Thursday, March 30, 2023

Showcase Corner - Rip Hunter...Time Master!

It's all about the art. Like so many delightful features, Rip Hunter Time Master debuted in the late 50's when DC Comics was exploding with new concepts and fresh revivals of vintage ideas. The Flash was reborn and could run faster than ever, Green Lantern was given a mission from wise men in space, Hawkman with Hawkgirl by his side used ancient weapons to fight modern enemies, and the Atom could shrink into the very matter beneath his feet. The Challengers of the Unknown were using their precious borrowed time to help fend off weird threats to the world's security. Adam Strange and Space Ranger defended mankind and other kinds across the depths of space. And likewise, Rip Hunter and his three allies used a time machine to solve secrets make solutions in the modern world. All of these characters have one thing in common, they all debuted in Showcase. 

( Alex Toth)

In the case of many of the characters I mentioned above, they were treated to great art from the hands of DC's excellent talent pool. In the case of Rip Hunter, the artwork kept changing and seemed only to go from strength to strength. The list of talents who drew the earliest adventures is most impressive. Ruben Moriera kicks things off, then he's followed by Mike Sekowsky. The great Joe Kubert is around for the follow up two issues a year later. When Rip Hunter gets his own title Ross Andru and Mike Esposito are the regular team. They are followed for a few issues by Nick Cardy, and he was followed by Alex Toth. Finally a regular artist named Bill Ely took the helm, but even his work was in a class with what had come before. 

The Rip Hunter stories remind me of Dr. Who tales. Rip Hunter stories are not content to have the team of Rip, Jeff, Bonnie and Corky travel to the distant past, but they have to find some weird menace as well. Aliens are good bet, but just as often it is magic. (Like the TARDIS, Rip's "time sphere" apparently had a device that enabled translation.) The quartet is maintained as in the Challs, the Suicide Squad, and so many other teams of this time. The writer of these offbeat adventures was Jack Miller, a mainstay talent at DC who also gave the world Sgt. Rock. He didn't create Rip Hunter, that was Dave Wood (at least according to the GCD), but he wrote almost all of the subsequent stories. Other sources give the creation nod to Miller. 

Below are the covers of the comics contained in this Showcase Presents tome. 

It's of note that Rip Hunter and his colleagues will get snappy green uniforms in the very next issue of the series, which alas is not included in this Showcase Presents volume. 

Rip Off


  1. I wasn't aware of the talent on "Rip Hunter" especially Mr Toth. Another comic for me to look out for

    1. The early issues move from strength to strength artistically. Quite impressive.