Time Masters #1-8

Continuing with #SciFiComicsMonth, I continue to be amazed of how many books in this genre I’ve managed to accumulate in the last few months. I know that some of them have to do with this hashtag month, but others have to do with the fact that I found an entire run or miniseries at the quarter sale back in November and picking up all four, six, or eight books for all of a dollar or two is really something I can’t completely pass up.

Such is Time Masters, an eight-issue miniseries published by DC in the spring of 1990 that reintroduces Rip Hunter to the DCU by having him be a scientist trying to discover the secret of time travel. While it was possible to bounce around the timestream like crazy in the pre-Crisis DCU (heck, Superman could just fly through time at various points … even though the pre-Crisis DCU did have its rules), time travel in the post-Crisis DCU was intentionally tough. The Legion of Super-Heroes did one or two adventures in the 20th Century post-Crisis and there were significant complications; about a year later, Superman would get tossed through time and run into a much-different-looking Rip Hunter who was part of the Linear Men.

Btw, I need to go reread “Time and Time Again” because I’m still not sure how we got from Time Masters to The Linear Men. I thought I might get the answer to that question here but I didn’t.

Anyway, this series features a young Hunter who has had some success with the time sphere but it seems like whatever device you use to travel through time has limitations–you can only use it once and they tend to blow up after it’s over. Hunter had previously appeared in Booster Gold, but here we get him assembling a team of people to work with him in order to take down a group that seems to be behind various power moves/works of evil over time–The Illuminati. Yes, we’re getting an Illuminati conspiracy in the DCU. And the man behind The Illuminati? Well, it’s an immortal villain that quite a number of people might be familiar with.

In fact, I can see how this is a bit of the inspiration for the first season or so of Legends of Tomorrow.

The series is really good, and has solid art by Art Thibert and Jose Marzan, Jr. Hunter is brash and arrogant and determined to have some sort of victory, especially since people are trying to kill them. And while there are elements of the story that were a little too rough in places (a minor character taking his own life, a love triangle that is kind of forced), when the book gets into the adventure part of the story, it shines, mainly because we get to see a number of classic DC genre characters whose adventures take place in the past, such as Tomahawk and The Viking Prince.

Time Masters is available digitally, so I probably don’t need to keep these books. I also know that it was collected in trade right around the time Legends of Tomorrow began. But really, it’s a fun series that updates a few concepts without going too hard into the Nineties. For that, I’m keeping the books.

Keep, Sell, Donate, or Trash?


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