49 years ago - William Tockman is born, the son of a lousy criminal.
35 years ago - 14-year-old William begins designing heists & selling them on the criminal market.
32 years ago - 17-year-old William goes to college to study accounting.
28 years ago - 21-year-old William graduates & fulfills his licencing requirements to become a CPA.
24 years ago - 25-year-old William, tired of seeing his most meticulous plans wasted, begins executing them himself as the Clock King.
20 years ago - 29-year-old William incorporates Tockman Inc, becoming one of the most powerful financial players in Star City.
18 years ago - 31-year-old slowly and quietly takes over organized crime in Star City as his competitors are dismantled by the newly-arrived Green Arrow.
13 years ago - 36-year-old William secretly funds Eric Needham's vigilantism as a way to take over the drug trade in Star City.
8 years ago - 41-year-old William rolls over on Eric Needham.
4 years ago - 45-year-old William Tockman's businesses are slowly dismantled by the new Green Arrow. He retaliates by having Dinah Lance's flower shop attacked.
Clock King is one of those characters that is a hold over to a very different time in comics. He was never a major character, basically appearing in back-up stories in anthology books, back with the fruit pie ads. Still, he hung on long enough to make an impression, even if it was largely based on how completely ridiculous his costume was. Just like a lot of those old ideas he's been reimagined in some very innovative ways over the years, and within that there is a character we can use to fulfill a very cool role on the world of Green Arrow.
Clock King's Comic History
Clock King appeared for the first time in World's Finest Comics #111 in 1960, literally the last of seven stories. He was, simply, a crook who liked clocks and themed his crimes around them. That was it. He appeared two more times in the next twenty years, all in back-up stories of World's Finest. One appearance attempted to give him a backstory, but only just barely. The character might have been forgotten completely but for the mid-80's invention of the Injustice Gang. The mid 80's Justice League by J.M. Dematteis and Keith Giffen was notably written for laughs, and they created a group of forgotten and largely forgettably villains to form their own butt-of-the-joke team of bad guys. As goofy as this sounds, the book and the idea were popular, and it increased visibility on these old characters enough that many of them have, in the years since, been rewritten or redesigned and actually become cool, useful characters.
In the case of Clock King, this happened in an episode of Batman The Animated Series. The show had already established just how staggeringly good it was at redesigning old characters in new and compelling ways, and they reimagined Clock King's look and motivations. This new design of the character was well received, and while the classic ridiculous character still occasionally makes an appearance, the comics just as often reference the animated series version.
Our Clock King Story
While at first glance, the Clock King seems like a very odd, cart-before-the-horse character to try to include in our timeline, the revisions made to the character have turned him into someone that will fill a very useful role in our new timeline. The adapted take on Tockman changes him from an absolute joke of a costumed criminal into a very solid crime boss archetype.
Thanks to the work of Mike Grell, Green Arrow is meant to be a liberal anti-establishment hero, deliberately protecting the downtrodden people of Star City from the powerful elite. The main thing missing from this, from an entirely comic book perspective, is a character personifying those powerful elite. Clock King's whole deal is that he understands and exploits complex systems, making him a perfect reflection of the sort of powerful wealthy people Green Arrow is meant to be fighting. This is exactly the character that should be running organized crime in Star City. He fits that role so well it seems a shame that he wasn't there from the very beginning.
Clock King's Costume
The amount of work that went into Clock King's animated appearance is frankly mind-blowing. They built this new version of the character almost from scratch; other than the name, I don't think anything carried over at all. This new design, the older white dude with a brown suit and clock glasses is obviously the most commonly referenced version of the character and what needs to be used for our take on him.
Interestingly, the comics have actually had only fair to middling success adapting this version of the character back to the page. His main appearance was as the leader of the Terror Titans in the pages of the Teen Titans, where they made him younger with longer hair, giving him the slightly deranged look you usually get in a Batman villain. It was a bit much, but the costume was solid.
There have been several post-52 and Rebirth takes as well, none with much consistency, but of what we've gotten my favorite is definitely when he's depicted as a slightly overweight black man with a bow tie. I don't know how necessary this version's facial tattoo is, but otherwise I'm all for this being the look we use in the comics.
Clock King's Future
We've set up Tockman's timeline so that he's largely operating behind the scenes, because we really like the idea of him always being one step ahead of Oliver. For him to be a character in the comic, Oliver needs to be aware of him, of course, but there's actually a lot of precedent in comics for crime boss characters that the hero can simply never bring in because they're too good at keeping their hands clean, and Clock King would obviously be perfect for that. This effectively turns him into Star Cities Lex Luthor. Instead of being a tech billionaire or genius scientist or something, he works entirely in finance, making him a perfect foil for Green Arrow.
This also sets him up beautifully when Connor takes over as Green Arrow. We want to show him really excelling in the role, and we get to do that by suddenly making him a real threat to Tockman's organization in a way Oliver never was. We used this as a catalyst for the attack on Black Canary's Flower shop, but this means we get to start setting up a real battle between Tockman and Connor. He'll need some more fantastical henchman to actually send after the hero, but this feels like a great place to start in the career of the new Green Arrow.