Times Past, 1941
A JSA Classified story
by Nadra Enzi
Rex Tyler only has one Miraclo-fueled hour at a time to spend as Hourman. Is it any wonder that the man of the hour seeks to make the most of it?
Gulp! was what chemist Rex Tyler remembered before he quickly swallowed his Miraclo pill. The man wearing Hourman’s costume was about to become Hourman. After swallowing, the world became super.
Imagine feeling a sun burst inside you, each of its rays engulfing different parts of your being — your body swelling with strength like you’ve never dreamed of, all fueled by endless energy howling throughout every nerve ending, and the overall sensation just too good to describe.
Now imagine only having one short, sweet precious hour at a time to feel this way, and you could understand Hourman’s dilemma. He had to squeeze as much excitement as he could into a paltry sixty minutes.
The back door to the burning building caved in through one kick from his booted foot, its blast furnace of burning air barely raising a sweat on his hooded brow.
A leap through a vortex of swirling flame and a sprint up a crumbling flight of flaming stairs rewarded Hourman with two injured firefighters trapped in a collapsed section of the building. Smashing down the wall behind them, the man of the hour took each man beneath his arms like infants and jumped three stories downward to the street.
“Thanks, see you later — bye!” he said too quickly to be understood before sprinting away faster than even Olympic great Jesse Owens. He wasn’t being rude, but he was in a rush.
A running leap upward to a lamppost allowed Hourman to effortlessly swing his body around twice before launching himself toward a rooftop with just a flex of his super-powered arms.
From a higher vantage point he surveyed the city, anxious to do something, anything exciting.
“Somebody up there likes me!” he happily said to himself, jumping downward toward the scene of an auto accident. The side of one car was crushed in like a beer can as its hapless driver weakly called for help.
Bracing himself against the car’s crumpled side, Hourman yanked the damaged door free from the chassis with one loud screech of metal yielding to superior force.
Taking a few deep breaths to calm himself down, he gingerly lifted the injured driver out. A quick hop to a police call box a block away summoned help on the way. Thankfully, the driver was shaken up more than anything else.
Hourman jogged past astonished onlookers, his senses in overdrive, still on the lookout for things to do while still on the clock.
Proving no task is too small for a mystery-man, he even scaled a tree to rescue a kitten who’d gotten a little too adventurous for his own good.
A brawl at a nightclub ended when he simply out-brawled the brawlers after politely asking everyone to clam down.
When two would-be car thieves woke up in police custody, their shared recollection was of a cowled man in a cape wearing an hourglass around his neck knocking them unconscious with a single swat of his fast hands.
An unlucky cat burglar was just climbing out of the window of a store he burgled, when a fist from the darkness put his lights out for a while.
A stalled car with a frantic husband and his very pregnant wife was quickly pushed a half-mile to the nearest hospital by the man of the hour.
His last fifteen minutes before dreaded normalcy returned were spent helping police catch an escaped convict who thought his reputation as a mob strongman made a difference against someone stronger than a dozen mob strongmen.
As the last vestiges of his hour of power faded, Hourman had to admit he’d managed his time pretty well. But there was always a next time.