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  1. #1
    Leftbrownie Alpha's Avatar
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    Default HOURMAN - does this make sense?

    Why did Rex Tyler pick a moniker that tells every supervillain and criminal the serious limitation he has? Isn't this like Martian Manhunter calling himself "Fire mortal" or Alan Scott being "The AntiWood man".

    I've only read a few stories about the original Hourman, and I get the premise, he's a chemist that gets the powers of Golden age Superman for one hour, and he has to do everything he can in that one hour. He has a radio that allows him to receive calls about situations, and allows people to petition him for help through letters. He has a squadron of Minute Men all over the country, kids that can gain the same powers for one minute.

    Later on other writers explored how Rex Tyler became addicted to this PED. All of that is fine and dandy as a premise for a character, but has there been a better explanation for why he decided to present himself to the world as Hourman? Wouldn't villains simply choose to way him out until his powers were gone? Wouldn't villains orchestrate plans in order go make him waste that hour, and then they would start the actual heist?

  2. #2
    Invincible Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    "Hour-Man" could also mean he's "the man of the hour".

    It's not specifically saying "Yoo-hoo, I only have powers for sixty minutes, then I become a wimp!"

  3. #3
    Leftbrownie Alpha's Avatar
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    Yes his nickname is Man of the Hour, but people can see that he literally has an hourglass around his neck. So do people just think he has timetravelling powers? Why do they think he has the TIME theme?

  4. #4
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    Actually it should be "Our Man," but the U.S. publisher got the spelling wrong.

    In England people are always using "our" before someone's name. "Our Michael, "Our Sarah," "Our Alpha." It essentially means someone who's part of your family or so dear to you that they're like family. It was probably used in parts of the United States back then, too, given there used to be a more British way of speaking in old-timey days.

    The townspeople didn't think there was a time limit on Our Man--they just thought he was one of their own and a good lad.

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  5. #5
    Incredible Member ducklord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Actually it should be "Our Man," but the U.S. publisher got the spelling wrong.

    In England people are always using "our" before someone's name. "Our Michael, "Our Sarah," "Our Alpha." It essentially means someone who's part of your family or so dear to you that they're like family. It was probably used in parts of the United States back then, too, given there used to be a more British way of speaking in old-timey days.

    The townspeople didn't think there was a time limit on Our Man--they just thought he was one of their own and a good lad.
    If puns are the lowest form of humor, what does that make puns about comic books?

  6. #6
    Boisterously Confused
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    Why did Rex Tyler pick a moniker that tells every supervillain and criminal the serious limitation he has? Isn't this like Martian Manhunter calling himself "Fire mortal" or Alan Scott being "The AntiWood man".

    I've only read a few stories about the original Hourman, and I get the premise, he's a chemist that gets the powers of Golden age Superman for one hour, and he has to do everything he can in that one hour. He has a radio that allows him to receive calls about situations, and allows people to petition him for help through letters. He has a squadron of Minute Men all over the country, kids that can gain the same powers for one minute.

    Later on other writers explored how Rex Tyler became addicted to this PED. All of that is fine and dandy as a premise for a character, but has there been a better explanation for why he decided to present himself to the world as Hourman? Wouldn't villains simply choose to way him out until his powers were gone? Wouldn't villains orchestrate plans in order go make him waste that hour, and then they would start the actual heist?
    It's easily head-canoned as a reference to the hour-glass he wears. But the fact is that Hour Man was created in a time when comics were for children, and you could get away with pretending something obvious is a secret only the reader shares with the character.

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member krazijoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ducklord View Post
    If puns are the lowest form of humor, what does that make puns about comic books?
    It's all good man...
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  8. #8
    Ultimate Member Robotman's Avatar
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    Haha I never thought about that before. That would be like Superman changing his name to Kryptonite Kills Me Man.

  9. #9
    Leftbrownie Alpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    It's easily head-canoned as a reference to the hour-glass he wears. But the fact is that Hour Man was created in a time when comics were for children, and you could get away with pretending something obvious is a secret only the reader shares with the character.
    My point osn't that we should make fun of the name. What I'm asking is, does the general public and criminals know that Hourman only has his powers for one hour?

    And if they don't (which I hope they don't) has any writer given a reason as to what the public thinks his Time Gimmick is? Because most of the time these superhero names are a reference to something essential about them, and Hourman is quite specific as far as names go.

    And if none of these things have been solved, how would you guys write this if you were to take on Hourman? Would you give him a particular relationship with the public that would justify him adopting that moniker?

  10. #10

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    Most superheroes/supervillian monikers are probably inventions of the public and media than the characters. So hour man's title could be done similarly. In Rick's Era the newspapers called him Hourman and he begrudgingly accepted it.

    In Rex's generation he tries to change it and is unsuccessful. With Matthew he just liked the pun.
    Last edited by the illustrious mr. kenway; 08-17-2022 at 12:47 PM. Reason: I had to finish with an edit.

  11. #11
    Leftbrownie Alpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the illustrious mr. kenway View Post
    Most superheroes/supervillian monikers are probably inventions of the public and media than the characters. So hour man's title could be done similarly. In Rick's Era the newspapers called him Hourman
    But why did they pick the Time gimmick? He has super strength, durability and leaping. None of this has to do with hours.

  12. #12

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    If that bugs you then check out original Captain Marvel comics. Villains learned Billy was CM by reading his comic books.

    It was just the whimsical, free wheeling, tongue in cheek nature of comic books back then. There is no in universe answer, it's just how things were back then with comics being seen as escapist fiction for kids.

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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    But why did they pick the Time gimmick? He has super strength, durability and leaping. None of this has to do with hours.
    I figured they probably went with the Man of the Hour option MajorHoy outlined in their post.

    For all Rick knew, he was super close to being "Nick O. Time" which would be shorthand for "Nick of time".
    Last edited by the illustrious mr. kenway; 08-17-2022 at 12:49 PM.

  14. #14
    Ultimate Member Phoenixx9's Avatar
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    I mean, most heroes "say" their powers at least once, often or maybe all the time and give away too much info, lol.

    For example, "my superspeed is the only thing that will help" versus just doing the task and the evil-doer would not know if it was teleportation, magic, super-speed, etc.

    Another example would be "My Hex Power will stop you" instead of saying "I'm a witch. I can do anything. Don't mess with me".

    The same is true for those with energy powers, invisible force fields, telepathy, etc.

    Those with super-strength, stretching, flaming, icing, etc are kind of exempt since the villain sees what the hero can do for themselves. But stating limits, like "my flame is almost out" is an example of telling the bad guy or gal what is happening.
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  15. #15
    Leftbrownie Alpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Venus View Post
    If that bugs you then check out original Captain Marvel comics. Villains learned Billy was CM by reading his comic books.

    It was just the whimsical, free wheeling, tongue in cheek nature of comic books back then. There is no in universe answer, it's just how things were back then with comics being seen as escapist fiction for kids.
    One, that's a feature of execution, not of conceptualization. Reinterpretations of Captain Marvel / Shazam haven't picked up on that, since it's an easy plot to abandon.

    Whereas a hero's name won't be changed.

    Hourman / Hour-man and Al Pratt in particular is a character that writers have rexamined a lot decades after he was created, and have tried to think through his stories to deepen his characterization and embolden the concept. So it's totally in vogue to ask these questions of Al Pratt, like multiple writers have before, with great care and recognition.

    I'm asking if there is already a logical solution, and if not, than which ones you propose. A few people here are suggesting that his name and the Hourglass have given him the reputation of being "The Man of the Hour", as in he announces himself to be the "currently most important man". To me this explanation makes no sense since that wouldn't explain to the public why he wears an Hourglass around his neck when he has Super Strength and durability. The hourglass wouldn't have to be an allusion to time powers, but a symbol and a time motif should be there for a reason in people's minds, insteqd of a Medal (which symbolizes distinction)

    Imagine if Swampthing was called "Inflammable man" and wore the symbol of "careful with fire" on his chest. People would ask why he chose the name "Inflammable Man" and you would say "because he's always in the Heat of the Moment" and then I would say "okay, but why is his symbol a literal warning of highly inflammable?"
    Last edited by Alpha; 08-17-2022 at 02:18 PM.

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