The tapestry of the DC Cinematic Universe seems to change daily at the moment, between casting announcements for upcoming Warner Bros. blockbusters and the release of highly anticipated installments like Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The studio continues to announce new projects, including Hourman, which was confirmed last week. The project, which will follow a version of the DC Comics character of the same name, is co-produced by Warner Bros, DC and Cherin Entertainment. San Andreas and Hot Wheels writers Gavin Games and Neil Widener wrote the script. While details surrounding the Hourman film are relatively scarce – including what part of DC’s multi-tour the film will fit into, as well as the incarnation of Hourman the film will revolve around – the groundwork may already be in place to tie the film in with another upcoming DC Comics blockbuster, Black Adam.
There are three versions of the Hourman in DC Comics, starting with Rex Tyler, who wore the mantle in the Golden Age of Comics. The general concept – Hourman can use Miraclo, a chemical compound created by Rex to gain superpowers for exactly one hour – has since been expanded to include several other versions of the character, Rex’s son Rick Tyler, and an android named Matthew Tyler. Outside of that aspect of legacy, one of the biggest things Hourman was involved in over the years was his membership in the American Justice Society, the very first superhero team to be created in the Golden Age.
As those who have followed the more related elements of Black Adam will know, the film should offer a live-action look at the early days of the Justice Society. With the main cast of Black Adam – Hawkman (Eldis Hodge), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), Atom Smasher (Noah Sentineo) and Dr. Faith (Pierce Brosnan) – it’s already clear that the team will consist of multiple generations and will not all be in the same age bracket. This fits well with the legacy of the JSA in the comics, as the team has historically worked in many different eras, often with surviving versions of the former members – and this could have played into Hourman’s hands if the solo film had wanted it.
Assuming the JSA existed in some form before the events of Black Adam, many members of this Golden Age ensemble are still unknown, with the exception (perhaps) of a young Doctor Doom and an earlier reincarnation of Hawkman. Given Horman’s long history with the comic book team, it’s easy to imagine him as part of the old live-action team – something that could easily be explored in a Hurman film, should he choose to follow Rex Tyler’s early exploits as a superhero. If the film essentially follows a young Rick Tyler into the present, it would be possible to show this era of the JSA – the original incarnation of the team that is part of the Hourman legend that Rick was supposed to respect, and the new incarnation of the JSA that he could have joined.
Of course, if Hourman ends up being a fully independent DC film, much like the 2019 Joker, that’s great and worth celebrating in its own right. But the legacy of the JSA (and the fact that producer Black Adam and star Dwayne Johnson starred in the aforementioned San Andreas) certainly creates an opportunity for Hourman to connect with his team members – and potentially create a much richer cinematic universe in the process.