Time Masters: Vanishing Point #4 hit stores this week, and the central cast finally found themselves in the same place—a series of dark cells. While Booster, Superman, Rip and Hal Jordan try to escape from the cells, the evil wizard Serhattu discovers a new way to travel and manipulate time, and Supernova spends the issue facing off against the Black Beetle, the Time Stealers and the Linear Men. It’s a tall order for a guy who’s been superheroing for a little under two years, and never been in a fight without Rip’s help. As the conflict spirals out of Rip’s control, the voice in Daniel Carter’s head seems to be taking charge of the situation. Who’s that, and what does it mean? Dan Jurgens sheds a little light on the proceedings…!
The Gold Exchange: A couple of hair observations to start with: First, I like that Rip has blonde hair as a kid. Was that something that you had to confer with Hi-Fi on, given that he doesn’t in the present day anymore?
Dan Jurgens: It was planned all the way, to match up with the way we’ve seen Rip earlier. Whether it’s hair color or the beard, he does various things to alter his appearance. But, no doubt about it… blond is his natural color.
GX: Second, from what I’m seeing in that last panel of page two…apparently Rip’s mom is a blonde? That eliminates Sondra Crain (my personal best guess) and Trixie Collins (a fan favorite) from consideration!
DJ: Absolutely, positively, 100% true.
UNLESS… Rip’s mom alters her appearance as well. Given what Rip does, that would be reasonable, wouldn’t it?
GX: Who’s that villain attacking them in the flashback? He looks vaguely familiar, but I’m not sure if that’s just because he looks a little like someone you drew in Battle for Bludhaven or something.
DJ: Nobody specific. Just one of the hunters perpetually chasing the Carter family.
And, yes, when Rip takes the name “hunter”, it’s a nod to the fact that he grew up constantly being hunted.
GX: It’s funny—Marc DeMatteis was just saying the other day in the Booster Gold commentary that he didn’t think Booster had enough villains that were “his.” It seems as though you’re setting up Serhattu as a big bad we can expect to see more from.
DJ: Yeah, I can’t argue with that. Though Booster Gold has never really been a “villain of the month” type of book.
GX: Did the villains’ illusions “pair up” the heroes because that way they’d be less likely to try the radio trick right away? I can’t think of why else they’d give people a second set of hands!
DJ: That, and the fact that they obviously “learn” from the dialogue between the characters.
GX: Klaw and Starfire look good together—any chance we’ll see some action out of them after the Time Masters mini is over? I very rarely say this, but what about a co-feature somewhere?
DJ: I might be alone in thinking this, but I think there’s enough sound material available with Claw and Starfire that there ought to be some kind of vehicle for them.
GX: Speaking of co-features—The Childhood of Rip Hunter. Go!
DJ: I have a few ideas where we can tell the story of the Carter family, be it Rip as a youngster or even Booster as a kid, where he meets Rip. There’s plenty of fun stuff to be found in something like that. We’ve kicked the idea around in very general terms, so… maybe someday.
GX: …Another Klaw note: I can’t help but grin a little whenever he calls Skeets “Iron Bird.” I feel like maybe that could be Skeets’ superhero name the next time he has to be incognito in ‘80s Gotham City or something!
DJ: It does have a certain ring to it. I could see something like that working out.
GX: You know, I bet that reality show would really take off in the context of the DC Universe. Maybe a mini-series by Marc and Keith?
DJ: I hope to play around with that a little more. Might be fun to have someone actually approach Booster with the idea.
GX: Considering that he’s carrying bad guys in tow, and Liri’s comment about the 27th Century, the Linear Men are won over to Black Beetle’s side pretty easily. Is there a reason for that?
DJ: Given the fact that Rip had them locked up for who knows how long, I think it’s reasonable to see the Linear Men rolling with the Black Beetle for at least a bit. It’s pretty clear they’re not totally invested in everything he says.
GX: That said, the 27th Century lie is the one he opened with. Are we likely to find out that date is important to whoever’s under that helmet?
DJ: Not yet. That particular pot has to simmer a little more.
GX: …And may this be the series where we finally get to see who he is, and why Booster is so surprised by the reveal?
DJ: It’ll happen when the time is right.
GX: Did Daniel zap the Time Stealers (minus Beetle and the Linear Men) to the Phantom Zone there? And if so, are they out of play for the next couple of issues?
DJ: He put them back exactly where they came from, fitting right back into their proper eras.
GX: Is that Goldstar or…someone else…on the radio with Daniel after the fight?
DJ: Stay tuned!
GX: If they try to revive Waverider, will he be alright without the chunks of him that were stolen to rebuild Skeets?
DJ: Cue the “reset” button on the “stay tuned” comment!
GX: I notice that Matthew Ryder says Daniel is an “ally” of Rip’s, not an ancestor. So Rip has been clever enough all this time not to let the Linear Men know who he was, even when he was working with them?
DJ: Exactly. They know who Booster is, though not the ultimate truth of the relationship beteen Booster and Rip.
GX: We touched on this off-the-record a while back…are these Waters of Time related to the birth of Vanishing Point, or something new and different?
DJ: They’re not related to Vanishing Point.
GX: That staff has always looked very modern for the setting and characters—and having a Waters of Time sitting around, even if it didn’t work, seems kinda odd for someone who fights Klaw.
DJ: He’s a wizard! A sorcerer! Many things are possible for him!
GX: Will we found out that Serhattu’s got more to his origin than meets the eye?
DJ: Eventually, but not here.
GX: With our heroes floating through time and no tethers or Vanishing Point to rely on…should we expect to see whoever’s helping Daniel next issue?
DJ: You’ll get an answer on that before the series wraps.