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Clock King

Clock King is a title used by two fictional characters, supervillains published by DC Comics. The first Clock King debuted in World's Finest Comics #111 (August 1960), and was created by France Herron and Lee Elias.

Publication history

The first Clock King was originally an enemy of Green Arrow, but has become more identified by his appearances in Justice League International and Suicide Squad, and subsequent adaptations in Batman: The Animated Series. He has no super-powers or abilities other than a rigid sense of order and timing. Clock King is a master planner and sometimes uses clock-themed gadgetry. He wears a clock mask, a cape, and a blue suit with clock drawings on it.

Fictional character biography

William Tockman

Born William Tockman, Clock King spends his early years taking care of his invalid sister. One day he finds out from a doctor's visit that he himself only has six months to live. Despairing for his sister's future, he watches the timing of a local bank's vault in order to rob it, hoping the money would provide for his sister after he was gone. His caper would have gone successfully, had he not tripped a silent alarm and been caught by the Green Arrow.

While he is incarcerated, his sister dies alone. In further hideous irony, Tockman discovers that he really isn't terminally ill; his doctor had accidentally switched his papers with those of another patient. Infuriated, he escapes, later futilely attempting revenge on the Green Arrow.

The Clock King goes on to join Major Disaster's Injustice League, which becomes Justice League Antarctica. This JLA includes G'Nort, who ends up saving the lives of the entire team. Like his compatriots, Clock King becomes an ardent supporter of Maxwell Lord, partly due to the fact he is the only one willing to hire them. His group even guards Lord when he is incapacitated by a bullet wound.

Later, Clock King leads his own, separate team of villains in a mission. They consist of Radiant, Sharpe, Acidia and Crackle. They are not as well-organized as even the Injustice League. For example, Crackle still lives with his mother and they have to take the bus to their fight. It takes place at a Metropolis toy store. They end up fighting one of the many incarnations of the Teen Titans, the heroes Booster Gold and Firehawk and DEO agent Cameron Chase. An unclear super-effect from Chase ultimately neutralizes Clock's team and they are all imprisoned. Clock himself escapes on another bus.

Death

Later, Clock's friends are transformed into the new Suicide Squad. They are sent to a remote research facility where a genetic monstrosity is holding its creator hostage. Its main defenses are spawned "children" that could explode. During the mission, most of the team are seemingly killed, including Clock King, who is shot repeatedly in a retreat attempt. He is seen still alive after his brutal wounds but, in the end, Major Disaster believes he is the only one who survives. It turns out Cluemaster, shot in a similar manner as Clock King, survives, albeit with drastic scarring. (Suicide Squad (second series) #1).

Clock King is not seen for a period of time after Infinite Crisis. In an issue of 52, one character decides to kill all the time-travelers, and mentions someone "ending up like Time Commander and Clock Queen".

Teen Titans Clock King

A new Clock King appears in Teen Titans #56 as the head of a team of legacy villains named the Terror Titans. In an interview with Teen Titans writer Sean McKeever, he described this Clock King as "...Very smart. He sees things differently than others. His costume is similar to the suit worn by the Clock King seen in Batman: The Animated Series, although with clock faces on the tie and lapel as well as the lenses of his glasses. Underneath the glasses, his eyes are completely black. After his group defeats and captures Kid Devil, Clock King conditions the hero to be sold as a fighter to a group called "The Dark Side Club". Clock King then brings the Titans to his base of operations, a dimension outside of time. After besting Robin, Clock King is stymied by Ravager, who possesses similar precognitive abilities. He offers Ravager a chance to join him, but she refuses. Clock King then removes the Titans from his base and decides to move on to new plans. Ravager meanwhile reconsiders his earlier offer, after overhearing Robin and Wonder Girl discussing her future on the team.

Powers and abilities

Original

  • The original Clock King has no metahuman powers or abilities, although he is athletic and extraordinarily smart. He extensively uses clock and time related gimmicks to devastating effect. His primary weapon is a sword forged in the shape of a clock's hand that doubles as a walking stick, and his skill in swordsmanship is such that even Batman himself could not defeat him single combat, as shown in "The Clock King" Episode of Batman: The Animated Series.
  • His animated incarnation (see below) makes more use of his time skills. For example, he knows exactly how much time it takes Batman to throw a punch, thus allowing him to dodge it every time. Later, he uses his skills as an efficiency expert to coordinate a successful raid on the Justice League Watchtower.

Current

  • The new Clock King has the always-active ability to see what is about to happen approximately 4.6692 seconds into the future, allowing him to anticipate an opponent's every move. He is also a technological genius, creating devices such as teleporters, communications jamming equipment, and even an anti-gravity platform, all of them modelled after timepieces.

Other media

Batman (1960s show)

The 1960s Batman TV series saw The Clock King portrayed by the late Walter Slezak in the Season two consecutive episodes, '"The Clock King's Crazy Crimes" and "The Clock King Gets Crowned", aired on ABC October 12 and 13, 1966.

The two-parter was written by Batman creator Bill Finger and Charles Sinclair and directed by James Neilson. In the episode, disguised as a pop artist, Clock King tries to rob a gallery of a time-related surrealist painting. Batman and Robin are stuffed into the bottom of an oversized hourglass, stripped of their utility belts, and left to be drowned in sand as Clock King plots to filch Bruce Wayne's collection of antique pocket watches (only for the duo to later escape the trap). Later in the episode, he starts his masterplan, to steal the atomic powered Cesium clock. He wore a black cape and a top-hat with a clock inside it. He had many weapons, "Super slick watch oil", "Knock out gas", "Super sonic sound".

Batman: The Animated Series

In Batman: The Animated Series the Clock King is recreated as Temple Fugate, the name being a play on the Latin phrase 'tempus fugit,' meaning 'time flies.' The character first appears in the episode "The Clock King" and later returns in the episode "Time Out of Joint". He was voiced by Alan Rachins.

In The Clock King, Temple Fugate is a head of a time and motion study consulting company who is being sued for all its funds. Fugate is an odd, lonely man obsessed with time and punctuality; His every waking moment is pre-planned, on a "to do" list broken down into precise blocks. When urged by a pre-mayor Hamilton Hill to take a coffee break later than usual, Fugate initially refuses, as he does not want to ruin his schedule. After insistence by Hill, Fugate takes the coffee break. During the break, just when Fugate starts to relax, everything that could go wrong does, as Fugate loses documents and is late for his court appointment. As punishment for being late, the judge throws the case out, Fugate unjustly loses the case with no trial, and goes bankrupt. Fugate swears revenge on Hamilton Hill and later finds out that Hill's firm was the plaintiff for the court date Fugate was late for (though Hill apparently had nothing to do with that case). However, Fugate later claims that Hill's actual crime was making him late.

Seven years later, Fugate becomes the Clock King, using his keen knowledge of the element of time, he turns to a life of crime and revenge. His first attempt to kill Mayor Hill ends in a climatic battle with Batman inside the wheels of a clock tower, which Fugate accidentally jams with his clock-hand-like sword. The machinery collapses, and Fugate disappears in the fray. He is presumed dead, but Batman and Commissioner Gordon have their doubts and both have a premonition that Fugate might turn up sooner or later, it's just matter of time.

In "Time Out of Joint", Fugate returns unharmed, now armed with a device he uses to travel at near-light speed (stolen from a scientist named Dr. Wakati, for whom he works as a butler by the name "Harold"). This time, Fugate plants a bomb at Mayor Hill's dedication to the new court house, planning to blow it up and kill dozens of people. Batman and Robin, having learned Fugate's secret from Dr. Wakati, use a similar device to slow down the bomb's explosion while throwing it into the river. Fugate, his plans foiled, tries to escape, but Robin catches him and destroys the device, rendering him unable to flee. He is then arrested and imprisoned in Arkham Asylum.

This Clock King commonly dresses in a three-piece suit and bowler hat, with a pocket watch and glasses resembling clock faces. Though lacking superpowers of his own, he proved to be a formidable opponent for Batman after having studied and learned his every move from news footage.

The Clock King also makes an appearance in a 2004 Batman Adventures comic. In this issue, he finally gets his revenge on Hill by rigging the mayoral election so that it seems that Oswald C. Cobblepot (The Penguin) has won.

Justice League Unlimited

Alan Rachins reprised his role as The Clock King (Fugate) in a Justice League Unlimited episode, "Task Force X", in which he serves as a planner and tactician in the "Suicide Squad". He guides the team with clockwork efficiency.

It is later implied (and confirmed by producers) in Epilogue that The Clock King remains a colleague of Amanda Waller's after the Suicide Squad incident and is hired for a specific job in ensuring Batman's legacy lives "beyond" Bruce Wayne's eventual retirement. He only has a non-speaking cameo. He's nonetheless therefore responsible, in a second degree context, for Warren McGinnis' reproductive DNA being overwritten by Wayne's. This results in the future Batman, Terry McGinnis (in addition to his younger brother, Matt), genetically being the sons of Bruce Wayne.

The Batman

On The Batman, a character named Francis Grey with the ability to reverse time by twenty seconds appeared in the episode "Seconds", but he was never actually called the Clock King.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

The original Clock King (William Tockman) will appear in the upcoming animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

References

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