TIME MASTERS: VANISHING POINT #1, written and illustrated by Dan Jurgens, is a boring, cliché-filled book that's connected to a silly, overly long Batman event. The premise of TIME MASTERS is pretty simple: A group of heroes, headed by Rip Hunter, travels through time in search of Bruce Wayne, who disappeared mysteriously at the end of FINAL CRISIS. Because this is issue 1 of a six-part series, and because this is merely a companion piece to BATMAN: THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE, nothing interesting happens in this 3-dollar, 22-page throwaway book. And when I say throwaway, I mean my copy is already in the recycling bin.
Early on, there is a scene with Superman and Rip that illustrates just how unoriginal this book is. Rip has led the heroes back to the fifteenth century, where they come upon a shipwreck. Inside the badly damaged boat are several sailors, who are covered with skin sores and dying of scurvy. Superman wants to intervene and save these poor men from an easily preventable death. But Rip tells Superman the obvious -- that they can't intervene because saving these men would change the course of history irrevocably. Superman protests, saying that it goes against everything that he stands for to let innocent men die. But eventually he realizes the importance of remaining an outside observer.
How many times have we seen this kind of exchange in a time-travel story? Are we supposed to think that Superman is so stupid that he doesn't understand the consequences of interfering with history? Hasn't the Man of Steel traveled in time before or at least watched an old episode of STAR TREK? Is Jurgens so uninspired, so bereft of ideas, that he has to recycle overused sci-fi scenes to fill this miserable book? And, more important, do the editors at DC have such a low opinion of readers that they think we'll enjoy something this unimaginative? Sadly, it seems they do.
As for the art, Jurgens' pencils are adequate but hardly exciting. He tells a clear, straightforward story, but his style is conventional, if not old-fashioned. Reading this book is like going back in time and looking at art done by some forgettable illustrator from the 1970s. It's dull, and it only makes a bad story harder to read.
TIME MASTERS: VANISHING POINT #1 is not the worst thing I have ever read. Hardly. But it is certainly a bland, unnecessary book that reinforces why I avoid collecting superhero comics. I'd rather stare at a blank wall for 30 minutes than read this book again.
Last edited by Eli Katz
on Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:51 am, edited 2 times in total.