Sunday, May 22, 2011

Writers Block: Rip Hunter Subtle Depth? Part 5

Giffin/J.M. DeMatteis:

Although Rip didn't do much he still started out promising enough in this run. Yeah, there were a few odd bits at the beginning. He comes off very matter of fact when he talks of those that need to die instead of being more serious. Their Rip also works 24/7 (seriously you'd think the time lab was falling apart.) He actually seemed more laid back then Booster at times. Whether he was mentally rolling his eyes at Skeets' odd humor, wondering why Booster is in such a fowl mood or considering getting Rani crayons he didn't appear to be quite as commanding as other versions. Rip explains things but doesn't interfere with Boosters' "Max" mission even if he didn't get it. He's not mad at Rani for drawing on his infamous board although he is annoyed with her implication that he's old. Rip is a little exasperated but really only with Rani. And while he claims not to remember Maxwell Lord (although he knows him well enough later) he nevertheless agrees to help Booster. Rip even seems to take a private glee in referring to his father as "daddy" in a manner you can't really appreciate nor get if you're a causal reader. Although I do have to question if the writers were aware of the fact given what happens later.

Throughout Johns/Katz and Jurgens runs there was a characterization with Rip that sort of got overlooked. No matter how bad the situation, even if he couldn't actually explain things fully, Rip would always make an effort to talk things out with Booster. After Boosters' father comes back he made two attempts to discuss the matter. When things look impossible Rip still tries even when it's clear Booster won't listen. He makes repeated attempts to reason with Booster about Teds' death before he's left with no choice but to let him find out the truth first hand. Rip doesn't shoot first and then ask for opinions. The whole point in what he's doing is to make sure certain events happens and making sure his student learns the lessons. The fact that he always tries to get through to him through words no matter how futile also underlines their bond. This says that on some level Rips' used to talking through matters with his dad because it's always his first and most used method. Obviously he's used to it working with the two of them.

Shooting Booster to force a choice on him isn't how he works and it's doomed to fail. It not only puts a serious strain on their relationship (which he's obviously trying not to push too hard) but he doesn't even see it through. Because Boosters' up in the next issue and their all talking about it. By what logic does this work? By not tazering him and discussing it Booster could have given it more thought without distrusting Rip. He certainly isn't happy when he returns. (Although why he isn't even more distrustful is never answered.) Instead he attacks, they talk then fight off an attack which leads to Booster going anyway. All to apparently stop Booster from going bad even though it could have all been prevented by Rip making sure Booster wasn't wounded.
Nothing in this plot makes sense and Rip is supposed to be a chess master able to understand the butterfly affect. How could this plot possibly work since we the readers know that he's supposed to be Boosters' son? The bad version of Booster doesn't seem to know that connection and enforcing the creation of such a being would only erase Rip. Giffin and DeMatteis end up making Rip look incompetent and worse, needlessly cause his family grief from something that could have easily been avoided.


  1. Rip is never incompetent. So really, that's pretty ridiculous.

  2. Exactly. There's always a reason for everything he does. The reader never knows for sure if he's truly surprised but he's always thinking about the big picture.