Every day this month will have the five goofiest moment from a five-issue stretch of a particular comic book run. Once a week it will be the ten goofiest moments of a ten-issue stretch. Here is a list of the moments featured so far.
Today we’re looking at Rip Hunter, Time Master #1-5, by writer Jack Miller and artists Ross Andru and Mike Esposito (#1-3) and Nick Cardy (#4-5).
As always, this is all in good fun. I don’t mean any of this as a serious criticism of the comics in question. Great comics often have goofy moments (Kirby/Lee’s Fantastic Four is one of the best comic book runs of all-time and there were TONS of goofy stuff in those 100 plus issues!).
If you’re unfamiliar with Rip Hunter, Time Master, the concept itself was terrificly goofy. A knock-off of the Challengers of the Unknown, Rip Hunter stars Rip Hunter (naturally) and his best friend, Jeff Smith, as well as Rip’s girlfriend, Bonnie Baxter and her kid brother, Corky. The quartet travel through time for both adventure and sometimes to solve a problem in the present. The series debuted roughly in early 1961, so Reed Richards can feel a bit better knowing that while he was dumb enough to bring his girlfriend and her kid brother to outer space on an experimental rocket, at least he didn’t routinely bring his girlfriend and her kid brother on missions through time itself (Reed waited all the way until Fantastic Four #19 before he brought his girlfriend and her brother through time with him).
5. Perhaps not the best use of your time machine…
Typically, there is some good reason for Rip and his crew to travel through time. To wit, in issue #2, an ancient beast is uncovered and starts destroying Greece, so Rip and the gang go back in time to figure out how the beast was controlled back then. That’s a good use of the time machine. Proving that curses aren’t real?
That is a goofy use of your time machine. It is like asking, “could you use your time machine to see if thunder is angels bowling?”
I guess Rip just figured that doing this would mean he could count this as their wedding present. Most of Rip’s money is wrapped up in keeping the time machine working, so he doesn’t have extra cash lying around for wedding presents.
His friend’s new father-in-law sounds like a real tool, no?
4. Once I save them, who cares what happens to them?
In #4, they go back in time to save the island of bird men known as Vornia from the ancient Babylonians.
On the way home, Corky wonders about the Vornians, and I just love Rip’s casual response…
“Oh yeah, they probably all died later on.” It’s like the opposite of the ending of a fairy tale. “They all died unhappily ever after.”
3. We can’t tamper with time! Oh wait, we totally can!
In #5, someone wants Rip to change time…
I just love Rip’s reaction. “We can’t tamper with time!” “Please!” “Oh, okay, let’s tamper with time!”
By the by, the end of the issue has Rip getting in the last word (as usual), and I like to read his dialogue as patronizing…
“No, moron, we did not, just like I told you we couldn’t do before, dummy!”
2. Why is this mission still going on?
Okay, so in #1, during their silly attempt to prove that the curse is not for real, they go to the 14th Century where they prove that one of the guys who supposedly died actually faked his death. So that’s the end. The curse obviously is not real (besides just normal logic), since one of the “victims” didn’t actually die. End of story. Mission solved.
Only Rip, for some reason, doesn’t buy it…
Huh!? That makes no sense, Rip!
Later on, they discover that the guy who placed the original curse on the family killed the first guy himself so that the curse would appear real and somehow THAT’s enough for Rip!
You already proved that the curse was bogus, Rip! You already had all the evidence you needed!!!
1. Don’t know much about history…
In #4, a ship captain friend of Rip’s comes across an ancient bird man who was accidentally zapped to the future. He calls in his pal, Rip, for help. And then he asks one of the most awesome questions ever…
I just absolutely adore that he clearly wasn’t sure about it. “Maybe I missed the history class where we learned about bird men!” Oh, dumb sea captain, you’re a hoot!