doombug had the pick for new comics shipping July 21st and he selected Time Masters: Vanishing Point #1 by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund.
In a week where most of us apparently couldn't be bothered, even the people who liked the book couldn't justify giving Time Masters much more than an average score.
Review by Eli Katz
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.
Review by starlord
After two weeks of pretty horrible comics to read, I was excited about this; especially with the idea that Dan Jurgens is stearing this little ship. Was I happy witht he outcome? Nope... and... kind of. This didn't start out as strong as it probably should have, but I'm going to blame that on Grant Morrison. After all this is really his pet project of brilliance which is obviously holding Dan back. Curse you Morrison!!!
But Dan is still able to pull out a weak start with terrific writing, and a new mystery. Why are Despero and Degaton involved as well as Supernova? The art was great and just the style that I love. Bright, colorful and full of men in tights.
Now I know that some of you are going to say: Who cares about this little side story that involves characters that eventually will probably have nothing to do with the lame main story? Hey, don't blame Dan... this is Grant's fault.
My Score: 7
Review by Punchy
Story - For the past few years, Booster Gold has been one of my guilty pleasure comics, I mean, I'm the kind of fan who claims to hate continuity and that anything traditional sucks, but while I've been spouting that rhetoric online, all the while I've been surreptitiously reading a book which revels in DC continuity and solid, traditional superhero storytelling. I know, I know, what a terrible shame. But you have to admit, Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund's work on the title was just damn good fun.
Which is why I'm glad Jurgens is getting to continue his story in some way. While Booster's own ongoing has been taken by Giffen and DeMatteis into more bwa-ha-haian Max Lord territory (and that's perfectly fine too), Jurgens is taking his more traditional take into this mini, and it's just as solid as Booster was.
The focus here has shifted however, we're no longer inside Booster Gold's head, but instead we're in that of the mysterious Rip Hunter: Time Master. And of course, Rip is actually Booster's son! Rip has been a great, mysterious character in the DCU all the way since 52, and it's awesome that we're finally getting some glimpses at his own past, and to how he thinks. I certainly hope we begin to get some answers about Rip, it's about time! (Heh, time). Add to this Booster, Skeets, Goldstar, and the return of Supernova and villains Per Degaton and Despero, it's like Jurgens' Booster Gold never went away, and that pleases me. I'm getting to enjoy 2 very different sides of Booster every month, and that's just fine with me, no guilt whatsoever!
Of course, this mini is about more than just Rip Hunter and Booster Gold, it's also a companion piece to Grant Morrison's Return Of Bruce Wayne series, expanding on what Rip, Booster, Green Lantern and Superman get up to in that book. I actually found this aspect to be quite useful in explaining what's going on in Morrison's book. Brilliant though he is, Morrison is often reticent to fully explain just what the hizzle is going on, so it's good that Jurgens is here to cut through the bullshit, if you will. If I did have one complaint it's that Green Lantern and Superman really don't have much to do here, and they seem remarkably ignorant about Time-Travel, but hey, it is Hal Jordan, he's ignorant about age of consent laws!
In the end, this comic is nothing really that special, it's not reinventing the wheel, but it is very enjoyable and well-told. It does what it says on the tin, it's an exploration of cool time-travel conceits, exciting mysteries, and all the odds and sods from DC you never expected to see, such as the last page appearance of Claw, a DC Conan rip-off. I know some reviewers here seem to have a problem with a superhero comic just being a superhero comic, but I see nothing wrong with that, Time Masters is an unassuming gem in DC's roster, I recommend it, and Booster Gold wholeheartedly.
Art - Much like the writing here, Jurgens and Rapmund's art is just strong and dependable superhero art. Strong jaw lines, muscles, good facial expressions. Jurgens isn't very stylish, and his style may not have changed since the Death Of Superman, but I still think it fits the tone of this comic. I think the comics world needs more writer-artists, so it's good to see Jurgens continue to get work.
Best Line - 'So says the man with a ring capable of creating anything from a paper clip to a submarine'
Review by Jubilee
I read this the other day when I went to Forbidden Planet to read this, and honestly I went to the cinema, come back, and I'm genuinly struggling to remember it.
Just reading this comic sums up why I don't read monthly any more. There's just nothing worthwhile happening in this comic.
The art was passable, like so many of these comics, the story mundane and the dialogue wasn't exactly great.
It's a 3 out of 10 book.
Review by john lewis hawk
Solid issue. I enjoyed Rip's point of view and the part with future Booster and Kid Rip as well. Jurgens has good art too. That said, i enjoyed it but not enough to really care though.
Review by BlueStreak
For fans of the Dan Jurgens' run of Booster Gold, fear not. Time Masters: Vanishing Point is here. Unlike the more humorous take on Booster in his title, Jurgens keeps the title character and his supporting cast serious and focused. Their quest is to find Bruce Wayne before he returns to the present and unleashes some sort of catastrophic doom on the timestream.
Although the plot and McGuffin come straight out of the Return of Bruce Wayne miniseries, it's only seems to tie into the story in the loosest sense. The villains, attitudes, and characters all come from Jurgens run on Booster Gold. So if you enjoyed Jurgens' run, you will enjoy this story. If you didn't then you won't like this tie-in.
Review by John Snow
Here's an idea, let's take a tedious subplot from an already almost incomprehensible event mini and stretch that subplot into a 6 issue mini and tie it into another ongoing series. Had I not read Sweet Tooth v1 and Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life immediately preceding this I think I just might have sworn of comics altogether. It's not just that I have a pre-existing bias against Booster Gold, it's that this pretty much gives the middle finger to anyone not reading his series. Sure I know the people on the cover, but that whole thing with imitation Quasar and Star Lady? I don't know what any of that shit was. All I knew was that I wanted it to be over. X-Men Forever was poetry compared to Time Masters. The art was fine, but honestly I didn't really even notice it that much.
Story: Shoot me now.
Art: Dan Jurgens will never top his Ben Reilly Sensation Spider-Man run.
That gives Time Masters: Vanishing Point #1 a group score of 5.07. This is maybe the first time a book has scored over 5 due to apathy.
To check out the pageantry and opulence of an honest to goodness Review Group thread by randomly clicking links in the Previous Selections List or to post your own review, check out this week's thread in The News Stand forum.
Amoebas has the pick for next week and in hopes of breaking the Review Group out of it's funk has selected Justice League: Generation Lost #6 published by DC Comics. Look for the new thread after it becomes available Wednesday morning.
Justice League: Generation Lost #6
Written by JUDD WINICK & KEITH GIFFEN
Art by FERNANDO DAGNINO
DC's biweekly JUSTICE LEAGUE event continues here! Booster Gold, Captain Atom, Fire, Ice and Blue Beetle track a mysterious villain to Russia only to find themselves face-to-face with an angry Rocket Red Brigade! When one of the Rocket Reds decides to defect and join our heroes, they all soon realize that the Justice League International is once again complete…but why, and for what purpose? The mystery deepens as this BRIGHTEST DAY tie-in continues!
DC Universe | 32pg. | Color | $2.99 US
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