Legends of Tomorrow: High Society by Jerry Whitworth
The first season finale of Legends of Tomorrow came to a startling conclusion when Hourman (Rex Tyler) emerged with the Waverider warning Rip Hunter’s allies that they’re next adventure would result in their demise. Further, Tyler identified himself as a member of the Justice Society of America which would seem to indicate the next season will interact with the World War II-based group of heroes. Thus far, there seemed to be no mention of such a group in other DC Television Universe series like Arrow, The Flash, or Vixen, although, something similar was approached in the series Smallville when it introduced the Justice Society (which was covered up by the government within the show). Of course, within the DCTVU, several JSA members (or their legacy characters) have already been represented. Such include Black Canary, Flash (Earth-2’s version a direct homage), Spectre, Atom, Wildcat, and Mister Terrific which would seemingly exclude them while Hawkman and Hawkgirl may get a pass as they reincarnate throughout the decades (as the helmet of Doctor Fate was shown in the Mill House on Constantine). It’s unlikely Green Lantern will make an appearance as the name is tied up in the films. The Society’s era was notably absent in the first season despite teaser images featuring Sgt. Rock (although, it’s debatable he may have appeared being seen killed off by Vandal Savage considering his prominence in the DC Universe and the actor appearing so differently than the source character), Hourman, Sandman, Dr. Mid-Nite, and Red Tornado were circulated online. Armed with this knowledge, lets see what other possible Justice Society characters may emerge in season two of Legends of Tomorrow.
Ted Knight was an astronomer and inventor that, while developing a new power source, created an apparatus he came to call the gravity rod. With his creation, Knight could defy gravity and manipulate energy in various ways choosing to become a costumed adventurer. As Starman, Knight became an early member of the Justice Society of America and later enlisted in the Air Force as a pilot. Unfortunately, Knight would suffer several traumas in his life including the death of his love Doris Lee and, having helped create the atom bomb, was horrified at the many deaths it caused. Knight would be institutionalized until his son Jack traveled back in time and inspired him to again don the Starman mantle. Several heroic Starmen emerged over the years including Doctor Mid-Nite assuming the name, alien Mikaal Tomas of Talok III, alien Prince Gavyn of the Infinite Realm, Will Payton (who merged with Gavyn), Knight’s sons David and Jack, and alien Thom Kallor of Xanthu from the 31st century. In a manner, the mantle of Ted Knight’s Starman was inherited by Sylvester Pemberton, a teenage adventurer called Star-Spangled Kid, who refined Knight’s invention into a belt called the cosmic converter that gave him similar abilities and more. Both the rod and belt would eventually be adopted by Courtney Whitmore who became the second Star-Spangled Kid and, later, Stargirl.
Surgeon Dr. Charles McNider would be caught in an explosion while trying to save the life of a witness against organized crime and seemingly lost his sight. However, miraculously, rather than lose his eyesight, McNider found he was blind to light but could see perfectly in darkness. Creating goggles that soften light and “blackout bombs” that created a field of darkness, McNider became the costumed crimefighter Dr. Mid-Nite (along with his animal sidekick Hooty the owl). Mid-Nite and Starman would join the Justice Society of America at the same time as the former became a field physician during World War II. Following the war, McNider would adopt the Starman name for a time when his colleague was institutionalized but the doctor would suffer a similar traumatizing event when his love Myra Mason was murdered by one of his foes who learned his secret identity. Two others would go on to adopt the Mid-Nite mantle in Dr. Beth Chapel (as Dr. Midnight) and Dr. Pieter Cross (who was delivered at birth by McNider).
Ma Hunkel was a working mother of two (Sisty and Huey) who saw her neighborhood in New York City become overrun with crime. Inspired by Huey’s idol Green Lantern, Hunkel donned red longjohns and a pot with two eyeholes cut into it to dispatch local crooks. As the Red Tornado, Hunkel went to apply to join the Justice Society of America when they formed only to leave when she tore her trousers. Tornado would eventually obtain an honorary membership in the Society as she took to adventuring with her daughter Sisty and her neighbor’s son Dinky Jibbet as the Cyclone Kids. The android Red Tornado would later join the Society as Huey’s daughter Maxine Hunkel would carry on her grandmother’s line as Cyclone in the Society. The android Red Tornado would emerge in the DCTVU series Supergirl played by Iddo Goldberg as a weapon designed by T.O. Morrow (also portrayed by Goldberg) to kill Kryptonians. However, when it failed to defeat Supergirl in a trial test, Morrow would be fired who then tried to use his creation to kill his former employer General Sam Lane (only for the android to be destroyed by the Maid of Steel and Morrow killed by the heroine’s adopted sister Alex Danvers). Despite being in the same universe as Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl takes place on an unidentified parallel Earth.
Born into wealth, Wesley Dodds traveled the world with his father following World War I where the youth learned herbalism and martial arts in Eastern Asia. Dodds’ dream was to be a writer but when his father died, he was tasked with managing the vast estate left to him. Despite this, Dodds chose to enlist in the Navy as a pilot prior to the start of World War II. Plagued by terrible dreams of the evil around him, Dodds developed a series of gases that could sedate or hypnotize those that inhaled it. Donning a gas mask and wielding a gas gun, Dodds became the Sandman, one of the earliest known costumed heroes. Dodds adventured with his love Dian Belmont (daughter of District Attorney Larry Belmont) and was a founding member of the Justice Society of America. Following the war, Dodds and Dian adopted her orphaned nephew Sandy Hawkins who became the Sandman’s costumed sidekick Sandy the Golden Boy. Sadly, Sandy would be caught in an accident and transformed into a silicon-based monster. Dodds retired from his double life to focus on finding a cure for Sandy. Eventually, Sandman and the Justice League of America managed to cure Sandy who would eventually adopt the mantle of the Sandman following his mentor’s death (Dodds and Dian being a rare instance of a couple in the crimefighter business to die in old age). Several people carried the Sandman name over the decades, such as psychology professor Dr. Garrett Sanford, Hawkman and Hawkgirl’s son Hector Hall, Hector’s son Daniel, and its been affixed to the entity Morpheus or Dream of the Endless.
A chemist specializing in biochemistry, Rex Tyler developed a drug called Miraclo. A concentrated dose of the drug offered superhuman strength for the span of an hour (the “hour of power”). Feeling perhaps the world was not yet prepared for such a creation, Tyler decided to employ the drug for himself as the costumed superhero Hourman, the Man of the Hour. Tyler became one of the founding members of the Justice Society of America but, working alongside such mighty allies, Tyler further concentrated his Miraclo making it addictive and doing harm to his body. Eventually, his heart would give out but he was saved by his teammates. Tyler retired from the superhero lifestyle, founding his company TylerCo and marrying stage actress Wendi Harris who produced their son Richard (or Rick). Father and son would prove to be a tough fit as the latter shied away from education and the former forbade his son from using Miraclo to become the next Hourman (fearing its addictive nature). Rick nonetheless went against his wishes and did just that, joining the Justice Society’s successor Infinity, Inc. Rick would contract leukemia from years of abusing Miraclo as a new Hourman eventually emerged in the android Matthew Tyler. Hailing from the 853rd Century, Matthew was made from combining cybernetics and biology using the DNA of Rex as a template supplemented by Miraclo. Becoming an apprentice to the New God Metron, Matthew was entrusted with the Worlogog, an artifact that can manipulate time. Wishing to explore his heritage, Matthew traveled back in time to the 20th Century where he met Rick and cured his cancer. Matthew spent decades traveling through time before choosing to sacrifice his life to save Rex from when he was meant to die, reuniting father and son in the present. Rick again took up the Hourman mantle, employing a lower dosage of Miraclo to prevent addiction or sickness. He married teammate Jesse Quick (aka Jesse Chambers) and the pair are active in the present day Justice Society. Rex Tyler is portrayed on Legends of Tomorrow by Patrick J. Adams (Suits) and Jesse Chambers Wells is played by Violett Beane on The Flash.