Hourman: Family Business

During the final years of the Great Depression, Rex Tyler, a brilliant chemist at Bannerman Chemical, discovered through a series of trials and accidents a vitamin that for one hour's time would grant a person super-human strength, speed and vitality. Dubbing the vitamin 'Miraclo', Rex decided to use the power of Miraclo to fight crime as Hourman. Years later, his son Rick Tyler took up his father's mantle to become the second Hourman. This is their story.

"I'm the Man of the Hour."- Rex Tyler

New York City: June 1939

Rex Tyler sighed and stared at the daily report from the front desk. It seemed that a certain military general was coming to visit the labs at Bannerman Chemical this weekend, interested in their latest breakthrough in truth serums, hoping to use it for the military. Coupled with the fact that he was supposed to be taking the weekend off meant any chance of his leaving early was now gone if he was going to finish the test results in time. Taking a sip of coffee, he turned back to the two beakers sitting in front of him, rolled up his sleeves and began to play mad scientist again.

Several hours later

Rex left the lab with his hands thrust in his pockets, whistling as he quick marched down the hall to the elevator. He'd finished the tests on time, and managed to whip up a new batch of Miraclo pills. Looking forward to the break from work, he rode the elevator down to the first floor, smiling at the prospect of free time.

Stepping onto the street, he looked left, then right and decided the first thing he wanted to do was have a drink. So what if it was only 4:30, he was a free man and wanted to celebrate the fact with a beer.

Heading for the bar nearest to the lab, Rex stopped when he heard a slight hissing sound, almost like a gas leak. The hiss turned into a loud roar and the wall closest to him exploded in a shower of bricks and ice. Jumping into a doorway he peered out to see a familiar figure in a blue elf suit and pointed cap strolling out of the large hole, a bank bag in one hand and an ice pistol in the other.

It seemed the Icicle was back to cause trouble, and darn Rex's luck, he didn't have his costume with him. But he did have the Miraclo pills in his pocket. Placing one on his tongue he swallowed, and smiled as the familiar rush of energy poured through every cell in his body.

Rushing the Icicle as the villain marched into the street; Rex grabbed the blue-suited fiend by his shoulder and tossed him into a hot dog stand.

Icicle stood up and wiped mustard from his eyes and glared at the oaf in the suit who had managed to sneak up on him. Level the ice gun he fired and stared in disbelief as the fool grabbed a door off a nearby taxi with his bare hands and blocked the shot.

Pouring all the energy into a single bound, Rex Tyler landed feet first on the Icicle's chest and knocked him down to the ground. Connecting a solid right hook with the villain's jaw, he stood up and observed the scene around him.

The street was clear of all pedestrians, and the police would be another 10 minutes in coming to clean up the crime scene and take the Icicle back to prison. And since he had the weekend off and 45 minutes left till the Miraclo in his system was gone, maybe he should see if there were more wrongs to be righted.

Climbing up to the roof of an apartment building, he stood at the edge, stared down and smiled, then leaped over the edge into infinity, and the Hourman was on the move, searching for crimes to be bested and problems to be solved once again.

New York City: August 2004

"Rick, stop hot-dogging around and focus!"

Rick Tyler grinned as he ducked to avoid a remodeled Coup Deville as it sailed overhead and crashed into a city bus. A large albino gorilla beat his chest and roared in agitation at missing his target, then pulled a large ray gun from a holster and fired energy blasts in Rick's general direction.

Across the street Jesse Tyler, his gorgeous wife, clad in the red, blue and yellow costume of Liberty Belle, pulled a length of cord from her belt and formed a lasso then threw the loop over the Ultra-Humanite's arms and pulled it tight. Running to join Rick, they stood in front of the Humanite, shoulders tensed in case the villain pulled another fast one.

Staring at Jesse through the hood and mask of Hourman, Rick looked at the counter on his wrist showing much time was left before the Miraclo charge ran out. The timer showed 43 minutes remaining, plenty of time to take down the Humanite and any other trouble that reared its ugly head.

Rick looked back the Humanite and wondered why the hairy moron had picked today of all days to cause trouble. Then again, why had he even bothered causing any trouble at all these days? The Humanite had been giving the Justice Society headaches since the 1940's. Back then it had just been the JSA and the other mystery men trying to take on the world's problems.

These days, there were people like Superman, Wonder Woman and the Martian Manhunter, beings with incredible abilities and powers, standing alongside guys like him working to make the world a better place.

And then there was Jesse. She was the reason he kept putting on the costume day after day, so that the world would be a better place for her and for their kids (when they got around to having some). Not that Jesse needed taking care of. Being the daughter of super-speedster Johnny Quick and the original Liberty Belle, Jesse had grown up being taught how to fight and train her body for the day when she would put on a costume and enter the life. She had started out her crime-fighting career following her in father's footsteps as Jesse Quick, until Johnny had died taking down a rogue speedster who had tried to control the Speed Force. Now she wore her mom's costume and fought as the second Liberty Belle, using her wits and training in the pursuit of justice.

Snapping back to reality, Rick saw the Humanite had broken free of the lasso and was aiming the ray gun at Jesse. Tossing his wife onto the roof of a nearby brownstone, he leapt forward and punched the Humanite in the chest, knocking the big monkey onto his back. Pulling the power pack from the stock of the rifle, he radioed in the all clear signal to the JSA headquarters and then called the NYPD to bring a containment unit.

Glancing up at his wife he joined her on the roof overlooking the crime scene and put his arm around her shoulder. Giving it a squeeze he leaned over and kissed her, the glanced up again as a loud explosion rocked the neighborhood. A large energy ripple had opened up over midtown and strange green lighting was crackling down into the streets below.

The timer on his wrist registered at 30 minutes remaining before he would need another Miraclo charge. But Jesse was already two steps ahead of him, running over rooftops towards the portal.

Giving chase, he grinned inwardly at how lucky he was to have her in his life and how lucky he was to be able to carry on his father's legacy. Hourman headed into the fray once again, time on his side in the fight against injustice.