Last time on Time Masters: Vanishing Point; Superman had no point, Hal was an ass, and Booster and Rip teamed up with barbarian people to fight wizards. Blimey, I should be giving this a stellar review just for that description alone. But, like a bridge, we are halfway across this comic and it is starting to rock and creak.
Issue #4 begins with all of our characters split up into groups in pitch black rooms. Rip Hunter and Superman try to examine the room,when the wall changes into Kryptonite. Claw, Starfire, and Skeets are talking about wizards until their room becomes a serpent’s mouth. Booster and Hal finally reconcile in their room when it starts to close in on them. Back at the End of Time, Black Beetle is explaining how he is looking for the corpse of Waverider, Matthew Ryder of the Linear Man from the future,who was killed during 52. Supernova tries to stop him, but the Linear Men escape with the Black Beetle. Back in the cages, Rip Hunter realizes that the tentacle creature has just placed visions into their minds, and that they’re still in its clutches.
Using Rip’s technology and mind, Serhatuu activates the Waters of Time, and the Vortex of Time pulls our heroes in, ending the issue. Issue #5 begins with the heroes traveling through chronal energy until Hal uses his ring to hook them back up to Serhatuu’s castle. Rip sends Starfire and Claw back to their own times and they leave the castle. They blow up the castle using explosives and head off to The Manhattan Project, 1945. In the future, the Black Beetle has acquired Waverider’s corpse and attacks the Linear Men. Back in 1945, Superman grabs Serhatuu and Skyle (Who were trying to grab the atomic bomb,) and Rip sends them back to their destroyed castle.
They try to get back on Batman’s trail when they are diverted back to the time stream. A yellow blur starts to attack them until Superman knocks it down. The figure reveals himself to be Reverse-Flash, ending the issue. Issue #6 begins with Reverse-Flash revealing he is also looking for Batman, but to get the Omega energy he was charged with when he was shot. Reverse-Flash fights for a little and then disappears into the time stream and from the comic. They plan to follow him back, but feedback from the Black Beetle prevents them from following Reverse-Flash. In the future, Black Beetle is planning to absorb Waverider into his body when Supernova interrupts him again.
As Black Beetle fights Supernova, Liri Lee of the Linear Men, absorbs Waverider into herself, becoming the Linear Woman. The heroes show up and Black Beetle teleports away and so does the Linear Woman. The comic comes to a quick rap with Vanishing Point being fixed, Supernova revealing he was actually Booster from the future, and Batman returning from the past. When Booster and Rip go to look at Rip’s chalkboard, many references to Flashpoint are written on the board, but Rip reveals that he didn’t write them. Having read Flashpoint it’s nice to see these little references play out, such as “Where is Superman?”. “The terror of Aquaman,” and “Why did it have to be Bruce?”
Now that this heavily delayed review is over, let’s get to the ratings.
Plot: The whole “Search for Bruce Wayne” really takes a back seat to the actual plot of the book. The more important story is what is happening at Vanishing Point with the Black Beetle and the Linear Men. This however was the least represented story and the heroes trapped in magic land has no real meat to it.
Characters: Rip was the main star here and he plays it well. Superman plays more of a role than I lead on with saving the day from Serhatuu, Reverse-Flash, and Black Beetle. Booster was pretty funny and his future self was cool to see. Now Hal was a total jerk, but it’s not the kind of jerk that made me mad, it was just groan inducing and had no reason to be here.
Action: There’s some good action here with many fight scenes against Skyle and her magic army. The Reverse-Flash fight was short, but was cool.
Dan Jurgens’s art is pretty good like always, but there’s some weird face Hal has in issue #2 that’s just funny.
Ending: The ending is pretty rushed, with Vanishing Point coming back quick and Batman returning off panel. The Flashpoint references at the end are nice though.
Final Thoughts: This is a pretty hard one to evaluate. Trying to remove my bias as a Booster Gold fan, it’s just not a very good comic. Half of the dialogue is exposition about how time travel works, the characters don’t really shine or show depth, and the whole thing just feels pointless in the end. This book was set up to lead into Flashpoint, but it also set up some stuff for the regular DCU, such as the Linear Woman. It’s not terrible, but it really is forgettable.
Rating: Borrow from a mate