I was lucky enough to get a chance to eview one of the top talents in DC Comics today, Mr. Tom Peyer. Former writer of the Legion of Superheros, now currently the writer of Hourman and The Brave and the Bold "Barry & Hal". Enjoy the eview and please visit the DC Comics message board and tell us what you think.
Craig: What was the transition like going from the 30th century
Legion of Superheros, to writing for the 853rd Century hero Hourman in the 90s?
Tom: Well, there was a year's overlap where I was working on both, so it didn't feel like a transition... more like one of the many little transitions we go through all the time when we work on multiple projects, which can make you crazy, but can also be very fulfilling & exciting. Probably the biggest difference between Hourman and Legion is Hourman has so many fewer characters, so it's easier to feel like I'm doing justice to Hourman, Snapper, Bethany, et. al. I don't have to cut the loaf so thin to give them all their share.
Craig: In just over a year, Hourman has been a member of the Justice Legion A, the current JLA and now a founding member of the new JSA, where do you feel his place has been on all these teams?
Tom: I think he could belong to a few more teams. He ought to be eligible for Young Justice; he's only two years old. I know he could join the Metal Men. Maybe a labor union, too, and a choir. I get the feeling Hourman doesn't like being alone.
We'll see him interact with Justice Legion A in HOURMAN #11, and with the JSA in JSA. I'm not sure he's really a card-carrying member of JLA, but he sure crosses their paths a lot.
Craig: Who's idea was it to bring Snapper Carr back into comics? Any chance we ever get to see why he left the Justice League, or what happend to his meta powers while he was "off stage"?
Tom: Bringing back Snapper was Grant Morrison's idea, bless him. And we're doling Snapper's past out bit by bit, but only when it helps the main story. Some JLA/Blasters-era references made it into HOURMAN #8.
Craig: A lot of people have asked that since Young Justice, Red Tornado and Hourman all live in Happy Harbor, why haven't they had any interaction? Has anything been planned to bring these two forces together for a crossover or special appearance?
Tom: It tickles me that they live in the same small town and never run into each other. That's like life. I think YJ might be scared to go into the Mad Yak, Hourman's coffehouse hangout. There's an old weird crowd in there. But I think we'll try to bring YJ in next year, maybe issue 14 or 15.
Craig: In the last few issues of Hourman we've started to notice more and more of the aspects of Rex Tyler showing through the current Hourman. For example, the miraclo and even becoming Rex for a short hour. How much longer until we see Rick Tyler show up and is there any chance of maybe seeing a retro-adventure between Hourman II and Hourman III?
Tom: Rick will show up sooner than you think. It won't be pretty.
Craig: What has it been like working with Mark Waid and Barry Kitson on the upcoming Barry & Hal story? What are some things that have stodd out in your mind with this project?
Tom: Mark's one of the great writers we have... he perfectly understands Flash, obviously, but also Green Lantern. Barry has earned the highest compliment I can pay a comics artist: he would have found work in the Silver Age, when jobs were at their scarcest and standards at their highest. So we're all fans of these characters from when we were kids, we all know them well, and we're all rowing in the same direction. Collaborations are a real pleasure when everyone is on the same wavelength.
Craig: Do you think that since Hal and Barry's relationship was so unique that readers could start to feel and reconize a deeper bond between the current incarnations of The Flash and Green Lantern?
Tom: I think they play off each other quite a lot already. It's comforting to think that, no matter what happens, a Flash and a Green Lantern will always be a team.
Craig: Whos decision was it to bring in Rags Morales to do the pencils on the Hourman series? What do you enjoy the most about his pencils? What made you decide to bring him on the series?
Tom: Editor Tony Bedard hired Rags. It was a stroke of genius. Rags is the straw that stirs the drink. Nobody brings more energy, more creativity to any comic today than he brings to HOURMAN. All of us... Tony, inker Dave Meikis, colorist John Kalisz, letterer Kurt Hathaway... we're all sincerely burning to make this the world's best comic book. Tony's hiring of Rags made it worth a shot.
Craig: What is your opinion of the new JSA and the new Star Spangled Kid so far? Both are "retro" teams/heros that are making a return, just as your Hourman. What is your opinion of this new rise in "seconed and third generation heros?"
Tom: It's what has set DC apart since "Flash of Two Worlds"... the generational turnover of heroes, the feeling of a legend being passed down, of heroes being part of something bigger than themselves (whether they belong to a team or not). It's a very wide and deep theme for super-hero comics. It speaks to us real people. And it still offers a lot of untapped possibilities, as DC ONE MILLION proved dramatically.
Craig: Is their anything you can tell us about the future of Hourman? Maybe some stuff we can be on the look out for in future issues or crossovers?
Tom: HOURMAN #8, due out in September, links with DC's DAY OF JUDGMENT crossover in which demons invade earth. Our chapter is called "The Week With No Hourman," and it concerns Snapper Carr's struggle to prevent the demon invasion from ruining his mood. Hourman is no help, because at the end of the previous story he boarded his Timeship and sailed directly to issue #9. This story has a lasting impact on the supporting cast, which is unusual for a crossover.
HOURMAN #9 is the much-requested confrontation between Hourman and the gravely ill Rick Tyler, the second Hourman, son of the first. For perfectly understandable reasons, Rick so despises Hourman that he takes a life-threatening double dose of Miraclo and tries to take the android apart. Hourman also strikes up a weird relationship with Rick's mom, movie star Wendi Harris.
HOURMAN #10 reintroduces a Golden Age Hourman villain, Dr. Togg, seen in flashback in HOURMAN #5. After 60 years in prison, Togg is back on the street after 60 years in prison with nothing to do, and no skills but monster-making.
HOURMAN #11 begins a multi-part reunion between Hourman and DC ONE MILLION'S Justice Legion A. The team is not happy that Hourman depowered himself and quit the 853rd Century without consulting them, but they need his help when the universe falls under the threat of The Else-Men!
Craig: Anything left to say to the fans of Hourman?
Tom: Thank you one and all! And stop by the message board at dccomics.com and say hello!
Once again, thank you very much to Tom Peyer, for taking a few minutes out of his schedule to give the fans the low down on Hourman. Look for Hourman currently appearing in his own series, JSA and random issues of JLA.
This eview is exclusive to the "Young Justice: The Hangout" and "Hourman: Man of the Hour" websites. Any use of the text herin in not allowed unless you get the written concent of webmaster Craig Young. Email him at Coberry265@aol.com, for permission.