William Tockman (Clock King)

William TockmanAfter another iatus, Arrow finally returns with the episode Time of Death, and introduces another new character who acts as the episode’s villain: William Tockman aka Clock King, portrayed by Robert Knepper. In the show, he’s a terminally ill ex-employee of Kord Enterprises who becomes a thief in order to save some money to take care of his disabled sister, a computer genius able to defeat Felicity Smoak on her very field. The character already appeared in the classic Batman tv series, but his name was changed to Morris Tetch to make him Mad Hatter‘s brother, and he was portrayed by Walter Slezak. In the show, he was a thief who only stole time-related valuables (such as Salvador Dalì’s melting clocks) and often made puns about time. The comicbook version is much more similar to the Arrow one: let’s see together.

For most of his life, hard-worker and dutiful William Tockman took care of his disabled sister, Beverly, an invalid girl who could count on him only. One day, feeling a little bit uneasy, he went to the doctor for a visit: after some days, the doctor told him he only clockkingcomics1had six months left to live because of an incurable disease. Tockman’s world fell apart: he had no insurance, no savings, nothing that could have gone to Beverly at the moment of his death. Nobody else in his family was still alive, so his sister would have remained alone in the world, penniless and with nobody taking care of her. Worried for Beverly more than he was for himself, William resolved to start a criminal career: if things went well, he would have had something to leave to Beverly in the moment of his death; if things went wrong, he didn’t have time enough to serve the entire term of imprisonment. Gifted with a great intellect and an unbelievable sense of timing, William became the Clock King, shaping his costume on a clock, a way to remind himself time for him was about to end. He targeted a bank in Star City, studying the vault’s timing in details and using that knowlede to rob it. Everything went well, with any action from the Clock King’s calibrated on the lockdown’s time, but a silent alarm he didn’t know was there gained the attention of superhero Green Arrow, who stopped him and arrested him.

While Tockman was in jail, Beverly got seriously ill, and died alone, without her brother at her side. Desperate, William was only waiting the moment in which he too would have succumbed to his disease, in the hope of meeting his sister again in the afterlife…but after six months he was still alive. Puzzled, he had another medical examination, and he was told he wasn’t ill at all: his doctor had made a major mistake, switching his papers with the ones of another patient. Furious for the trick destiny played him, distrupt for having lost the last moments of his sister’s life with no clockkingcomics2purpose, William looked for a target to blame for everything had happened to him, and that inevitably became the Green Arrow. Using his sense of timing once again, he escaped from prison effortlessly, but when he clashed with the hero he was no match for him, and was defeated once again. Frustrated and alone, the Clock King ended up joining the new version of the Injustice League led by Major Disaster, trying to accomplish in a team what he couldn’t do alone. The first mission of the IL was a disaster, and Justice League International severely beat them. Tockman left the team, but ended up queuing at an unemployment office in New York, where he was found once again by Major Disaster, who convinced him to join the team once again. They tried to steal the Dooley Diamond, but some terrorists arrived before them: trying to steal the Diamond from the thieves, the Injustice League ended up being mistaken for heroes by the watchers, a role they felt quite comfortable with. They asked for a chance, and Maxwell Lord named them Justice League Antarctica, a new team of heroes eager to prove their value.

William Tockman is essentially a good man, haunted by a tough luck, which sistematically destroys everything he holds dear. As the Clock King, he possesses a great intellect, that allows him to conceive his plans with absolute precision and timing, counting the very seconds necessary for every move. He also has at disposal a lot of time-based gadgets, and is quite a good swordsman (even if he often uses a giant minute hand instead of a proper sword). Intelligent and good willed, Tockman only waits for the moment in which even his fortune takes a good turn, hoping to be able to prove his worth.



  1. […] Gold and Firehawk, and she protected the young heroes from an attack led by the Clock King. Bones, satisfied by her successes on the field, never forgot her original job as a private […]

  2. […] controlled the waterfront. The ones who submitted, he made a deal with, and this he did with the Clock King. Other criminals, with remarkable talents, he started to recruit for a bigger […]

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