Friday, May 20, 2011

Writers Block: Rip Hunter Subtle Depth? Part 3

Dan Jurgens:

Jurgens has said that Michelles' presence acts as a Jimmy Cricket to keep Boosters' more destructive impulsive behavior in check. I have to respectfully disagree with that for a few reasons. The first being that Booster has developed since his characterization twenty years ago, he's not as reckless or selfish now. The second being that Michelle hasn't really done anything to keep him on the straight and narrow since she's returned. Skeets does at times but the one who's really put the most effort into it has been Rip. While he does give encouragement he doesn't do it to the extent that would give Booster a big ego. Nice details that usually slip under the radar.

Picking up on the mistrust from the Johns/Katz run Jurgens plays with their mutual frustration. Although Boosters' is played up more (main character natch) Rips' struggles are less noticeable. When he tries to explain himself during the Dead Ted arc Booster refuses to hear it leaving in a huff. Really the only time he gets to voice the difficulty is to an older Booster who encourages him to keep acting as his mentor.

As a teacher he keeps most of his lessons vague. Some seemingly contradictory. Jurgens has been sly about this in interviews although he has Rip say that there are things that Booster simply isn't ready for yet. His intelligence is touched upon giving more credit for him being one of the few to truly understand time travel, giving him the edge on their enemies. His chess master like thinking is seen more and the only one who has matched him was Black Beetle.

It seems that Rips' character was considered vague enough to have Dan Didio ask Jurgens to flesh it out in the Time Masters mini. In it his point of view is given a better scope. He's not like most people because of the way he grew up. Taught from a young age how to be a Time Master and having all of time at his disposal. It was seen as a playground and a school. As a result Rip is comfortable in any era, able to fit in and equip himself for any occurrence. He loves his job. Although he's the only one out of the TMVP group of four without powers he shows no problem taking command and putting Superman in his place. His respect and love for his father is obvious in every issue. 

While Johns/Katz have explored some of the tragic nature of Rips' life with his friends being "erased", Jurgens has Booster give his son a strict lesson. Rip can never reveal his true identity to anyone. Where Booster must always remain the fool in the eyes of the masses Rip can never fully trust anyone with his secrets. Doing so would not only endanger his entire family but also the whole timeline.


  1. I'm not so sure about Michelle being Booster's conscience either. Lately, it seems all she's done is be a nag, and he has to go around rescuing HER!

    The relationship between Booster and Rip is quite fascinating really. It is a bit on the awesome side, to realize what Booster is going to grow into. It takes an awfully secure person to be able to live under the conditions that Booster and his family end up doing, to be called a fool and a lightweight, and not let it bother you.

    In a way, it almost seems as though Ted's death is what makes it possible for Booster to become the man that can produce someone like Rip.

  2. I don't think she was nag until G/D but she really isn't into heroics as him anyway.

    It really is and I get the impression reading it that Rips' often caught off guard by how his dad used to act. Rip actually sets up a lot of Boosters' successes.

    I think Teds' death was needed to get Booster to the point he had to clean up his act. At the end of Omac Project he desperately wants to make a difference even though he can't avenge Ted. In IC he does but Jaimes' disappearance opens him up to self doubt again. At first Rip doesn't seem like a kid Booster would produce but I think there have been some nice subtle hints in Rips' personality. In TMVP there was a dry line he thinks about Claw that just reminded me a lot of Booster.