Comics / DC Comics History

DC Comics History: Hourman 1964 - 1967: The New Look


By Deejay Dayton
October 27, 2019 - 09:00


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Hourman had made his Silver Age return as part of the first Justice League of America/Justice Society of American crossover, but during the period 1964 – 1967: the New Look Hourman would team with Dr Fate in two issues of Showcase.

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The first of these, Showcase 55, gives more attention to Dr Fate, as the two heroes join forces to fight both Solomon Grundy and a transformed Green Lantern. Frankly, Hourman is outclassed in this story. I will be looking at it in more detail when I come to the entry on Dr Fate, and focus this article on the story from Showcase 56.

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Inza Nelson makes a cameo at the top of this story, working along with Kent Nelson on a dig in which they discover the legendary Medusa Masks, which have the ability to induce emotional reactions in people.  Kent does not believe in the legends, which is kind odd, being Dr. Fate and all, and brings them back to display in a museum. Rex Tyler comes to the opening, and brings along his fiancee, Wendi Harris.  As Wendi looks at the masks a man lights a flame near one, which causes Wendi to fall under the spell of the desire mask.  She steals the whole lot, but without realizing what she is doing, and winds up giving them to the mystery man. The guy is Roger Hayden, and it turns out he was the cellmate of Charley Halstead, the original Psycho-Pirate, who battled the Justice Society twice during the 1940s. 

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Halstead trained Hayden, and told him of the Medusa Masks. Hayden imbues himself with the powers of all of the masks, and is then able to control the emotions of individuals, including Dr. Date and Hourman.  By using both pride and frustration against Dr. Fate, he is able to make the hero think he is facing a couple of his old villains, Mayoor and Wotan. When he faces Hourman the Psycho-Pirate tries a completely different trick, making the hero friendly, so that he helps the villain get away, rather than fighting him.

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Still, when it comes right down to it, like the last issue, it's Dr. Fate who is responsible for the victory.  He seals Hayden's face in a mask to block the power of the Medusa Masks. The story ends with Rex revealing his alternate identity to Wendi, and their plans for marriage.

Hourman continues in the next period, 1967 - 1970: It's a Happening!

Hourman: Showcase 55 – 56 (Mar/April – May/June 1965)

Next up – Dr Fate!

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Last Updated: October 27, 2019 - 08:06

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