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Today in things that make us scream incoherently

Warner Bros. Is Creating A TV Show For DC Comics’ Hourman, Because That’s An Awesome, Well-Known Superhero


Warner Bros., I am disappoint. 

Ok let’s see here. Arrow, The Flash spin-off, Constantine, a Gotham City series featuring James Gordon…sure, let’s add another male character to the DC properties on television list. Why not?

Before I go any further, let me say, I actually like Hourman. I think he’s a fun character. He was created by Ken Fitch and Bernard Baily and has had a few incarnations along the way – Rex Tyler, Rick Tyler, and Matthew Tyler. Most of my experience with the character comes from Geoff Johns’ Justice Society of America version (and beyond), the man who has a successful marriage to superhero Jesse Chambers, aka Liberty Bell, aka Jesse Quick. His powers grant him the ability to see one hour into the future (but with random visions) and also super strength, speed, etc. (also for a limit of one hour) by using a drug called Miraclo. Also, he can only use that drug once a day because it’s not so great on the body. That being said, as a superhero, he’s pretty lame.

The proposed series would air on The CW but what direction will they take with the character? According to The Hollywood Reporter:

Hourman centers on a brilliant-yet-troubled pharmaceutical analyst who discovers that the visions that have plagued him since childhood are actually glimpses of tragic events occurring one hour in the future. Determined to win back his ex-wife and son, he heroically prevents these tragedies from unfolding, finding both purpose and redemption along the way.

So…supernatural elements but not quite superpowers per se. From the report, it seems as if we’ll be getting the original version (at least by name, anyway) of the character, Rex Tyler. They also gave a few details on the creative team involved, “Michael Caleo (Ironside, The Sopranos) will pen the script and executive produce the drama alongside Dan Lin and Lin Pictures’ head of television, Jennifer Gwartz, for Warner Bros. Television, where the banner is under a new two-year overall deal.”

Where do I begin? Not only is this Hourman series coming before tons of more recognizable female characters (even those you’ve already introduced on your television shows) make it to the big or small screen, it’s also coming before things like the proposed Booster Gold or Blue Beetle television shows, both of which were discussed at one point and would likely be a lot more interesting for a general audience. And although The CW apparently had a Wonder Woman-centric show in the works (Amazon), there’s been no news of it since May (when it was being “redeveloped”) and all those Warner’s execs talking about how Wonder Woman should have some sort of project, certainly haven’t mentioned it by name.

Warner Bros., I love your characters. I have since I was a child. But you are making me want to forget that love completely. Like, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotlless Mind-erase your intellectual properties from my mind. I’m not sure what your overall media plan is but I can say with some degree of certainty that Hourman is an odd choice of character to try and make a household name. How about Vixen, Jack Knight Starman, Black Canary, Stargirl, Mr. Terrific, Madame Xanadu, Wesley Dodds Sandman, Black Alice, Power Girl, Supergirl, Manhunter, Zatanna…I could keep going if you want.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

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  • Bryant Francis

    SEXY CW PHARMECEUTICAL ANALYSTS

  • Brian McDonald

    That’s…almost completely not Hourman. Maybe next they’ll greenlight “Starman”, about a guy who has a magical star pendant that gives him powers, or “Hawkman”, a rugged librarian with a trained hawk who fights crimes.

  • Anonymous

    AND IT’S NOT EVEN THE ANDROID.

  • Anonymous

    I think they’re purposefully using an obscure hero precisely so that they can avoid the internet screaming that Smallville and Arrow got for changing stuff from the comics (even though more people seem to have come around on Arrow since then).

    Choose a superhero most of the audience doesn’t give a crap about, you don’t have to worry about the nitpicky “Oh gosh, they’re changing his costume/origin/powerset/eye color/hair color/size/weight/music tastes!” stuff every comic production gets.

    Of course that doesn’t explain why it had to be another white dude, as you said.

  • Anonymous

    Love your suggestions at the end, a Madame Xanadu / Zatanna team-up show must be made.

  • http://www.gamersdailynews.com Christophor Rick

    CW formula: Salami-armed cardboard cut-out actors + lame love stories + overly dramatic scenes where nothing really happens = Superhero TV. Anytime I see CW attached to something, I’m fairly sure it will suck at some level… Perhaps Warner doesn’t trust the CW with actual superheroes? Then again, all of the CW is aimed at 18-34 year olds, so I’m too old to understand what they’re doing ;)

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    Hey don’t knock it til you see it, Human Target was an AWESOME show based on an Obscure DC character. And F**K Fox for bailing on it.

  • http://pontoonification.blogspot.com/ AverageDrafter

    I actually think this is why Marvel green lighted Guardians of the Galaxy so fast after The Avengers. They wanted another team, but one they could recreate more or less whole cloth because NOBODY knew who they were – not even most comic books folks.

  • Mandy

    “”Warner Bros., I love your characters. I have since I was a child. But you are making me want to forget that love completely. Like, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotlless Mind-erase your intellectual properties from my mind.”"

    Yep…that’s pretty much it. The more things I see DC do lately, the more the big wigs open their mouths, the more I strongly dislike them. No matter how much I love reading about the Bat family I’ve been moving further and further away from anything DC/WB related since the unnessassry reboot. It’s obvious I’m not a target demographic as a 20 something girl geek and if they want to continue to ignore my demographic and in fact actively push us away then fine. They can enjoy all this money they are wasting by actively pushing away half the population.

  • Dessa Brewington

    Hourman? Ler’s face it: this is network television were talking about here. It’ll be more like “44-minute man” (without commercials).

  • Glitchy

    I’m wearing a dent in my workstation from all this headdesking.

  • Harrison Grey

    At first I was all, “Yes, a Golden Age superhero show” and then I realized how stupid that is; a superhero show set in the Golden Age would be incredible, and there’s no way DC can do incredible right now. Sure enough there’s the show description, and yeah. Not incredible.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/scarletsherlock scarletsherlock

    I…would watch that Hawkman. Sadly.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/scarletsherlock scarletsherlock

    Aww dammit I love Jesse and Rick but holy hell, can we not? Not before anyone you mentioned in the last paragraph.

  • Anonymous

    This is why we need to fix the patent/copyright system. These systems were originally designed to protect creativity, not corporations. They were intended to be LIMITED monopolies that a creator could use to make a return on their initial startup investment without the competition of others who wouldn’t have the same costs to recoup. Once that was done however, it was fair game for anyone to step in and compete, and innovate based off that original creation. Creativity is built on the works of others. It’s an iterative process, not usually a spontaneous creation from the ether. If the system were still following that intent, instead of being corrupted by greedy corporations to create a stranglehold on creativity in order to maximize profits, Wonder Woman would have gone public domain decades ago. (The original timeframe for a copyright was 14 years. Now it’s over 70.)

    If Wonder Woman were in the public domain, then a studio like the ones behind Hunger Games or Twilight (don’t laugh, they’ve also made good movies, and making Twilight shows they’re not afraid to take on female driven stories) could make it without requiring WB’s blessing.

  • http://runt.org/ Adrian

    I can’t even.

  • http://runt.org/ Adrian

    I tried. I just can’t.

  • http://mordicaifeed.tumblr.com/ Mordicai

    So…not about how steroids will give you super powers?

  • http://mordicaifeed.tumblr.com/ Mordicai

    I on the other hand would watch that Hawkman gleefully.

  • http://mordicaifeed.tumblr.com/ Mordicai

    …wait, doesn’t the CW already HAVE a sexy guy who can see the future, on Reign?

  • Craig Forshaw

    I would watch every episode of a ‘Black Alice’ TV show a zillion, billion times. Plus, it could be a decent alternative to all those, “geeky girl (played by incredibly hot actress) deals with family and social dramas (that most people would love to be dealing with, as they aren’t that dramatic)”, by having the PROPER Birds of Prey appear occasionally as mentors, her messed up family life (including Misfit), and, most importantly of all RAGDOLL!!!! Oh, and the rest of the Secret Six.

    And then they would make Gail Simone the official World Head of Everything Awesome, where she’d inevitably be corrupted by power and start putting refridgerators in people’s beds as a warning about crossing her, because, well, that is as realistic as anyone at Warner Brothers doing anything decent with their DC properties, including most of the comics they now publish. :-( I miss the good DCU.

  • Craig Forshaw

    So long as Jeff Bridges still plays Starman, it’ll be awesome. ;-)

  • Craig Forshaw

    If the CW had so many people capable of seeing the future in real life, they would surely have known a forth season of ‘Veronica Mars’ would have been a ratings winner.

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    A Sandman Mystery Theatre TV show would be godly. AND they could have Hourman in it, too! (He’s in the comics)

  • Harrison Grey

    I’m partial to the idea of a JSA movie, myself. For some reason I really want Kyle Chandler as Doctor Midnite and Josh Holloway as Wildcat.

  • http://mordicaifeed.tumblr.com/ Mordicai

    Listen, I like VM as much as anybody, but after the third season? I would have cancelled it too.

  • Cy

    Zatanna would be awesome. She is one of my DC favorites. It’d be pretty easy to do as well. You already have an established city in Arrow. A traveling father/daughter magician act could stop in. Tragic things could befall the father and spin off the series from there.

  • Anonymous

    Hourman would be a nifty guest-star on (Green) Arrow, but I really don’t see him supporting his own series if they’re not using the time-travelling android version.
    Also no single episode would be able to show off the full effect of Miraclo because of commercials.

  • Annie F

    Hourman is a pretty easy hero to adapt because his powers are so generic and his backstory(s) aren’t that elaborate. Why do you make DC the target of all your anger at the lack of female characters? As if Marvel is doing any better in that area.

  • Anonymous

    They call out Marvel too in Marvel articles.
    But what’s the point of adapting Hourman if he’s so underdefined that they have to invent almost everything about him from scratch to support a TV show? Why not use a character that’s already got a fleshed out myhos & built-in audience so that it’s less work trying to think up interesting things to do each episode? Hourman is a character that works best in ensembles.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    Because doing that has done nothing but benefit Marvel and DC is trying to follow their cue?
    Iron man, Thor and Captain America are such unknowns outside of the comic book community that people flocked to em and they were able to do whatever they wanted with the characters and people loved them without caring about consistency.

    So following their cue, DC is probably using obscurity as a factor when considering possible tv shows since vocal hatred generally springs from people who know about and/or like a character. (Take the number of people who hate man of steel for example)
    Since tv shows unlike film, is a riskier business.

    Plus since this is specifically a CW show, they are probably looking for a character who would cheap to film, that they could make into a good soap opera and that they can have as naked as possible to appease viewers with eye candy.

  • Nick Gaston

    I’d personally LOVE to see a series about hoary, 70 year old, cheesy Golden Age DC superheroes that never caught on in the public consciousness…just like I’d like to see one about all the shallow, flash-in-the-pan, fad/demographic pandering ones they’ve tried periodically since the 60s!

    …it’s just that I don’t think the FCC would be cool with an anthology series that just had someone being viciously flogged to death over 46 minutes* every week.

    *(Plus commercials.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    On that note I would love to see Alan Scott

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    I don’t want to sound negative but it might be our faults on that ^^;

    The fandom has probably screamed for every female character worth their salt in thee dc universe so far (with several actually getting films and tv shows with poor results) and their probably trying to figure out what counts as obscure enough given how vocal people can be

  • Alexa

    You know I would have gladly of gotten into comics before the reboot, in general the reboot is completely and totally unnecessary since you know the internet exists and guys like Linkara can give me a hint to where I should start, and avoid crap like Countdown. Sure there were bad story lines and weird decisions made for some characters before the reboot, but I did not like Flashpoint at all, and I liked it even less since after it created a universe where really dour and kind of uninteresting characters preside. Sure there are some exceptions (most of those being the ones that got cancelled eventually) but not much and really the universe didn’t need to change the way it did. Talk about fixing something that wasn’t broken in the first place.

  • Temmere

    I’m confused. You start out complaining about the fact that it is yet another male-centered superhero property, but then at the end you list the heroes you’d rather see than Hourman in a new show, and several of them are men. So which is it? Do you want a female-centered show, or just someone other than Hourman?

  • Alexa

    I think the point was that there are way more notable and deserving superheroes than Hourman, both male and female, to have there own show. But it would be nice to have more female-centric superhero shows since there are so few…

  • Charlie

    Are they doing this just to insult female superhero fans now or what?

  • Anonymous

    But those Avengers characters have had decades of solo stories to provide plenty of stories to mine for movies. Hourman only had one solo series that was cancelled after 25 issues & it didn’t even star the version of Hourman that’ll be in the TV show.

  • Jamie Jeans

    300% done with your BS over not making a Wonder Woman movie, WB and DC Comics…

  • Abel Undercity

    “Ask your doctor if Miraclo is right for you. Side effects include an affinity for impractical headgear, recklessness, crippling addiction, and premature death.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    Decades of solo stories that will largely go on unused due to either the over the top nature (a clone of iron man traveling through time to kill the present day iron man and take his place because the character had become such a giant jerk that nobody liked him to name an example) With frankly, not alot to work with if you are trying to do a superhero show on a CW budget.
    Any of Thors adventures needed alot of special effects budget shelled out or they would probably look pretty crummy.
    Captain America is little better, able to carry himself well in film but not having the sort of tone that would work for a weekly tv show. This is due to the fact that the captain their trying to create in the cinema is far more serious, dramatic and disassociated from the world around him to work in that atmosphere.
    As for Hulk…Well he has pulled off a tv show, though how good it was is a debatable issue.

    Hourman might not have the ‘mining capacity’ as you put it of the avengers characters, however it should be pointed out that Arrow did not bother trying to rewrite scene for scene its entire history and instead wanted to create a new take on the character and an original universe, going by DC’s long tradition of valuing story over continuity. What is important to them is the character and what they can do with it because after a century of storylines and the characters long presence in the medium. He has developed extensively as a personality and a character with concepts such as his own superpower being an addictive drug and the family he created.

    Being caught up in how many issues a character has sold and how many storylines he has already solo’d in is a fools game that severely limits the creative possibilities.
    When Batman the animated series popped into existence, it did not concern itself with telling a strictly comic accurate portayal of everything. It sought out to do its own thing and to tell awesome stories with anyone it wanted.
    They took Mister Freeze, a then generic mad scientist with ice tech and created the backstory of his loving relationship with a wife whose suspended animation drove him to crime and to freeze his heart in ice.
    They created Harley Quinn who was such a wonderfully developed character that she immigrated to the comics.
    Ventriloquist was virtually an unknown villian in the batman rogues who few people knew about at the time and he had hardly any appearances in the comics. The animated series fleshed him out, made the character deep and compelling and the rest followed.

    Forcing writers to only follow the tight confines of the most popular and stay strictly within the stories already told limits creative ability by a large amount. If they are talking about an Hourman tv show, then it is probably because someone came up with a brilliant approach to the character which would do well in live action tv and it will strive to be awesome.
    That said, Birds of Pry had a fascinating premise and it still sank, but thats television.

    For now, we always have Superman and his girlfriend Spiderman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5Pjo0WjBcs

  • Alyson L

    OMG! You read my mind!

  • Alyson L

    I don’t know why but for some reason I couldn’t help but think she would be an awesome character to put on Supernatural…

  • NickN

    What exactly makes a superhero more “deserving” of a show versus another?

  • NickN

    Well she’s supposed to be in Del Toro’s Justice League: Dark World movie. I’ve kind of been hoping that because Constantine is getting his own show, Zatanna will end up being the lead of the ensemble — and hopefully its sequels.

  • Anonymous

    That synopsis is basically ‘Daily Edition’ but with hour-ahead visions instead of a ginger cat bringing tomorrows paper.

    I think what we are seeing here is an attempt to ‘reach’ the broadest audience with a high-concept – but basically ‘normal’ – show while vaguely tying in with all this superhero stuff that seems popular right now.

  • Michael Albright

    DC has done an awful, awful job of recreating their more popular characters for a mainstream audience, and they’ve been completely unable to hold on to a winning formula for Wonder Woman even in the comics. For every Arrow, there’s a Birds of Prey. For every Batman Begins, there’s a Green Lantern. The bad efforts have, historically, been more bad than the good ones have been good, if that makes sense. I’m not saying a female character wouldn’t be appropriate and perhaps even preferable — maybe a Phantom Lady, or a mixed-gender pair like Star and STRIPE — but I think it’s clear they don’t know the winning formula and they’re hesitant to borrow the Marvel formula, since a multi-film JLA project would be heavily derivative and incompatible with the Christian Bale Batman everyone likes right now anyway. So they’re experimenting with characters they feel they can afford to lose.

    Find the winning formula with your lesser-known characters (though if they were doing Hourman, I’d much prefer it be based on Matthew Tyler; that series was amazing, especially the episode where he resurrected Tomorrow Woman for an hour — I’m tearing up a little just thinking about it) then give them the series they really want.

  • Charlie

    I’m just going to say I want a female centered show because it’s just getting outright sexist now. Like Marvel with their ‘Oh but our man focused films have strong women in them’ subtext: We don’t think chick films will do well. DC with their Wonder Woman is too complicated, but Superman works with his genetic library and ghost dad shenanigans.

  • Laura Truxillo

    I quite like Hourman. Of course, that description doesn’t sound like any of the things I liked about Hourman (I really really love married superheroes, especially when the woman is the more Type A in the relationship), and it sounds…oh, wait, what’s the phrase? Oh, yeah: grim, gritty, and depressing. So, y’know, at least it’ll mesh with the rest of their ‘verse.

    I know they both showed up (and to somewhat meh reaction, due to poor execution) in Arrow, but a Huntress TV show (C’mon, JLU Huntress could’ve held her own–mob princess seeking retribution and justice?) or a Black Canary TV show would’ve been wicked. And Booster Gold was MADE for TV.

    Eh. I haven’t watched Arrow. I don’t have any strong reaction to this one either. I think we misinterpreted DC’s infamous 18-35 males statement a few years back–maybe it’s not that they think that’s their target audience so much as that’s all they want in their target audience. I miss being excited by DC things.

  • Laura Truxillo

    That sounds about right.

    I think they also really, REALLY don’t want people to think of their characters as superheroes for whatever reason. They’re not willing to embrace that inherent silliness and go for it full throttle, and the result is a lackluster, lukewarm sort of product that it’s hard to be excited about.

    Fans respond to enthusiasm. PR enthusiasm isn’t enough to cut it. If they made their stuff look like something that the people involved with it were all so psyched to be doing, if they told a story that was straight up superheroing with no: “Well, he’s not REALLY a superhero, he’s just a guy who…y’know, has some powers…” none of this halfhearted attempts to “make it modern and real,” then I think people would respond. But that’s risky. That’s attempting to play Rachmaninoff when you could just doodle through “The Entertainer” again and not fall too spectacularly….and that is a badly mixed metaphor. I’ll stop now.

  • Laura Truxillo

    They’re doing a little better, at least. Especially in the comics themselves.

  • NickN

    I just looked at Max Landis’ revealed pitch for a Wonder Woman movie. It involves an amnesic Wonder Woman waking up on a beach not remembering she’s supposed to be a scout for an Amazonian invasion of man’s world and was described as the anti-50 Shades of Grey.

    I think at this point a lot of it has to do with the fact that the people making these pitches and green-lighting these shows don’t really understand (or care to understand) any viewpoint that doesn’t revolve around white, straight dudes. Superman and Batman have good upbringings and role models in their fathers, Wonder Woman has to rebel against her evil amazon sisters because the audience (dudes) can’t really relate to her growing up in an isolated commune of women or care about see a mother/daughter relationship on screen versus another film focused on daddy issues.

    The only way I see things changing is if we get more diversity amongst the people behind these projects, which I don’t really see happening any time soon.

  • Laura Truxillo

    I think it’s safe to say that Captain America and the Hulk, at least, were more in the public consciousness than Hourman. Even pre-movies, Iron Man and Thor were as well, if not quite as recognizable.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Well, if you love Jesse and Rick, get ready to have a sad. She’s his ex-wife that he’s winning back, after all. So she’ll be kind of unreasonable and put-upon and probably over-emotional and whatnot, and he’ll be the dogged nice guy trying to make her love him again.

    Just like the Rick and Jesse you remember!

  • Laura Truxillo

    Oh my gosh, I’m loving that idea. Something a little like “The Shadow.” Definitely a period piece–ride off that Mad Men vibe that’s popular now (alternately, Gatsby/Downton Abbey, and Boardwalk Empire are also getting people interested in the days when men wore hats properly). It would be daring and original and fun.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Oh my gosh, I’m loving that idea. Something a little like “The Shadow.” Definitely a period piece–ride off that Mad Men vibe that’s popular now (alternately, Gatsby/Downton Abbey, and Boardwalk Empire are also getting people interested in the days when men wore hats properly). It would be daring and original and fun.

  • Laura Truxillo

    I hope at some point he sings “60 Minute Man” and tries to make it sexy while miserably failing.

  • Laura Truxillo

    I hope at some point he sings “60 Minute Man” and tries to make it sexy while miserably failing.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Alternately, they also believe that these people want to be able to enjoy their superheroes without admitting they’re superheroes, so they’ll take the comic out of comicbooks.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Alternately, they also believe that these people want to be able to enjoy their superheroes without admitting they’re superheroes, so they’ll take the comic out of comicbooks.

  • Alexa

    Okay look Hourman is not undeserving, just that there are more notable and more interesting superheroes out there. And its just kind of unfair that a kind of obscure superhero is getting a show before the heroes that they listed in the article. That’s all…

  • Charlie

    Well Joss Whedon has had a Wonder Woman film ready for years. I doubt his was that disparate.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    My summation of DC’s approach vs Marvel’s, is that Marvel makes movies that say “Oh look a world with superheroes! Don’t you wanna live there?” whereas DC says “Oh look a world with superheroes! Aren’t you glad you don’t live there?”

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    My summation of DC’s approach vs Marvel’s, is that Marvel makes movies that say “Oh look a world with superheroes! Don’t you wanna live there?” whereas DC says “Oh look a world with superheroes! Aren’t you glad you don’t live there?”

  • Anonymous

    Here’s a thought which someone earlier in the thread probably mentioned: put it in real time. He’s only got 1 hour of powers. A show lasts 1 hour. Seems like a perfect fit.

  • Anonymous

    She’s also not so iconic and well-loved as Wonder Woman, so maybe she’d be less intimidating, but she’s well-known enough to have a bit of draw. Hourman? Who remembers Hourman? Only people who read that particular run of JSA, that’s who.

  • Anonymous

    Because Del Toro Definitely has time to do all the things he says he’s going to do. >sigh< Why can't we make more of him?

  • Anonymous

    WHAT HAPPENED TO THE 90S? I’ve been watching 90s-era DCAU on Netflix, and it’s so depressing. They used to be so awesome.

  • Anonymous

    The lady who played Oracle on that awful Birds of Prey was pretty perfect. As for every other thing about that show…let’s not talk about it.
    I did like it better than The Cape, at least.

  • Anonymous

    JSA is so fun.

  • Anonymous

    JSA is so fun.

  • Anonymous

    I would love to not-see Hal Jordan. So I agree with you!

  • Anonymous

    I would love to not-see Hal Jordan. So I agree with you!

  • Mandy

    Possibiliy the best explination I’ve read about DC/WB’s movie verse obsession with “gritty realism” aka trying to make a adaptions of comic books but taking as much fun mystical comic-y stuff out as possible.

  • Anonymous

    Wow… ladies, I know you really love DC comics but… the make-up is starting to wear off and the black eyes are fully visible :