Thursday, December 4, 2014

Why I love Rip Hunter

I remember when Rip was in Booster Golds' second series and the negative comments I read about him. How he was such a downer, cruel for his actions in the Killing Joke issue and how could such a killjoy be related to Booster. I don't agree with any of that.

I first read about the character when I bought BG vol.1. Rip Hunter invented the time machine the lead used and really had no reason to help him out when they finally meet. Yes he knew Boosters' tech guy Jack Soo and heard how his work fit into all of it. But at the time there was anti-superhero sentiment and helping one was pretty dangerous. You can tell he doesn't fully believe the story until they go to the future. He could have left Booster to his fate but he does everything he can to help him out. In the Time Masters series he claims not to like superheroes (which I never got the impression of) yet always seems happy to talk to Booster.

Through 52 (the max series) and Booster Gold vol. 2 Rip becomes a man of mystery. The mastermind that always knows more than he let's on. He's hard on Booster because he has no choice. Rip tries to be reasonable before he realizes the only way to get his message through is by letting Booster see what he means first hand. This is a teaching paradox because both the father and son will teach each other. Which makes their relationship unique especially since at this stage only Rip knows the truth.

It makes it especially hilarious on hindsight to reread sections like the drunk driving bit and know Rips' not just freaking out because Booster is being irresponsible on the job. This is his dad and his mind is blow that the guy that raised him would do such a thing. I mean we don't know what Rip is like as a teen but you can imagine a parent giving a lecture over drinking. To say nothing of Booster talking about women. To his credit Rip doesn't seem to care but you know he's cringing inside.  

I don't think enough people appreciate how hard things are for the character since most focus on Boosters' hardships. Rip lost the woman he loved and his friends. (At least prior to Flashpoint.) For his whole life he's been hunted and can never open up to anyone in fear of destroying the timeline. That's a lot of pressure and it hinges not just on him but his dad. Of course he has to be the responsible one.

I'm also pretty fond of Rip Hunter being a scientist that is more than fine getting into a brawl. More than that he will beat the crap out of you. While he has had a costume before I like that at heart he's not a spandex sort of guy. He won't wear a cape or giant clock to spell out he's a Time Master. Rip likes causal wear and jumpsuits. He feels at home no matter where they are in time and truly loves his job. Not just the science aspect but also the adventure it's self. As weird as it sounds Rip just gives this vibe of someone that has fun and despite his profession he's more down to earth. Would you think this guy is related to Booster at first glance? Money and glory don't matter to him. Yet he's still pretty famous (at least to superheroes) even with the fake name. I don't know, there just a lot that I love about this character.


  1. How can anyone dislike Rip? Yeesh!

    Imagine how hard it would be to go back in time and meet your parents when they were young? Yet somehow Rip manages to deal with Booster, who to be frank, WAS a bit of a jerk. He's grown up a lot.

    I do occasionally wonder if Rip ever wanted to give Ted a big kick in the pants.

  2. The negative comments were around prior to the son reveal. I don't recall them lasting much longer after that.

    Exactly! The fact that he can put up with an immature version of his dad is amazing. I love the exchange he has with older Booster over it and admitting it's not easy.

    Not if Geoff Johns is writing him. I remember him having Rip say Ted was the one with more sense out of the two. Which just isn't true. Unless Rip saw Ted acting jerky I don't think he'd know because I can't see Booster telling him that. I do think Ted would have been jealous of Rip since he's the tech guy. I always got the impression Rip was supposed to be way smarter since he was a student of Brainy 5 and is one of the few that understood time travel.