The CW is very clearly in the superhero TV business to stay. Arrow is still humming along, strengthening it’s ties to the DC Universe by adding a slew of comic-based characters to its roster this season, including Barry Allen, who may headline a Flash series for the network next season. Besides that, the former home of Smallville also has a Wonder Woman prequel project in re-development, and now, it looks as if they are ready to add another property to the pile.
Reaching all the way back to the Golden Age of comic books for inspiration, The CW is developing a show based on Hourman (a founding member of the Justice Society of America) with former Ironside creator (is it re-creator when it’s a remake?) Michael Caleo and producer Dan Lin. But while some JSA and Golden Age fans are sure to rejoice over this news, others may be bothered by the apparent direction of the project.
Here’s a brief synopsis.
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.
This project is in the formative stages still, so that synopsis could find itself thrown out of a window before the series makes it to air, if the series makes it to air, but as it stands currently, it’s a bit of a departure from Hourman’s original origin story.
In the comics, Rex Tyler is a scientist who creates a formula – Miraclo – that imbues him with superpowers for one hour. Essentially, Tyler creates a PED, but he uses it to thwart crimes as a vigilante, not hit home runs, so we should all be cool with it. Tyler also becomes addicted to the drug, as does his son, Rick, who follows in his father’s heroing footsteps.
The seeing into the future angle isn’t a fresh creation, though, it’s just that it comes later thanks to the third incarnation of Hourman – an android version that gives Rick Tyler an hourglass that allows him to do just that. Right now, we don’t know whether the show will focus on Rex or on Rick.
Again, this is still developing, so many elements from the comic could make their way onto the show, but a show about the moral conflict faced by a scientist who abuses a drug for perceived good while turning himself into a guinea pig and someone who is addicted to the high of helping people and the power that the drug gives him sounds like an awesome TV show that could advance the superhero sub-genre, doesn’t it? That’s not to say that the above synopsis doesn’t map out something with potential, but it also sounds like a super-powered version of Early Edition.
It’s also worth noting that this project has no known connection to Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti, who helm Arrow and who will helm the Flash spin-off if it goes to series. Does that mean that an Hourman series would be removed from the Arrow/Flash verse that is currently being carefully constructed?
We won’t likely know with any certainty for quite some time, but the Commissioner Gordon/Gotham TV project that is in development over at Fox and the Hellblazer show in development over at NBC both seem unlikely to be tied in tightly to Arrow and The Flash due to logistical issues, so perhaps this is another indication that DC and Warner Bros. aren’t interested in making a grand inter-connected DC Universe on the small screen after-all.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more on Hourman