With so many focused on the current events of both DC and Marvel, there’s very little attention and knowledge as to what comics were once like. With possibly many frowning upon the old school comics, it’s quite a sad fact how there are many new readers who are unaware of events and storylines that shaped comics into what it is today.
Introducing a storyline that “must” be added into anybody’s growing collection of comics, specifically for those who are a huge fan of DC comics. Straight from the early 90’s, an 8-part mini-series from DC comics known as the Time Masters.
A piece of my comic collection that shows readers an unexpected battle between good and evil and exactly why the primary villain of this story Vandal Savage is deemed one of the most dangerous and powerful villains of all time.
Starring the Golden Age time traveling hero Rip Hunter, Time Masters is a story that focuses on Rip Hunter forming a group of both skilled and ordinary people on a risky mission to travel back through time to foil the formation of the secret organization called the Illuminati after suffering an attack from one of the members in a suicide bombing. Later realizing how modern society was secretly controlled and built by this organization throughout most of human history, Rip Hunter would pursues a personal war that would find himself and members of his team in a dispute with the leader of the Illuminati, Vandal Savage. But Rip would later learn a valuable lesson by the end of this battle throughout time when finally coming face to face with Savage, becoming a lesson that would teach Rip Hunter about himself when trying to change the effects of time and its course for the greater cause.
As a collector of these old-school comics, I can’t express how happy I was to finally obtain a storyline where Vandal Savage was the primary villain, even with the fact that Time Masters would go into the history of Savage and how he alone shaped the DC Universe by his own hand with the Illuminati.
The storyline is very interesting and unexpected seeing how it’s not your basic hero saving the day story. Instantly readers would see problems began to rise when Rip and his group kept finding their attempts on stopping the Illuminati failing and forcing to travel further back through time with several limitations because of the equipment they need in order to time travel. The catch is that each member of Rips group has only a single chance to travel back through time and foil the Illuminati where they would finally collapse in modern time. But after a few members were seriously injured and have nearly died, doubt began to rise among Rips team where they began to find this battle with the Illuminati of not worth cost of their lives.
It would be by the 8th and final issue where readers would see the tables completely turn on Rip Hunter when not only we see an extremely desperate hero fighting Vandal Savage at dawn of time itself, but realize that there are much greater consequences if Vandal Savage were to lose.
An interesting display of storytelling between the forces of good and evil, where readers would see how desperate a hero may become when trying to defeat the villain and how the outcome would change a mans heart when realizing that he’s in a fight that he will never win.
But even though I felt that Rip Hunters character was primarily the focus within the whole 8 issues, Time Masters is possibly the only story where you would actually see the entire character of Vandal Savage and how he managed to become one of DC’s greatest and most dangerous villains of all-time. A huge fan of Vandal Savage myself, I always felt that he had a lack on making decent appearances as a primary villain when being compared to the likes of Lex Luthor, Sinestro, and the Joker. As with the few storylines that I’ve seen Vandal Savage in and I can’t say that there was not enough details of exactly how powerful a man like Vandal Savage is when being compared to his appearance within Time Masters.
The storyline does have you wrapped around the concept of time travel. As to what I find to be great storytelling that properly introduces each of the characters and the surprise introduction of certain heroes throughout time who encounter Rip’s group in their battle against Vandal Savage. My complaint and only complaint pertains to Vandal Savage at the end of the story that leaves me with an unspecified question of Vandal Savages true fate.
Overall I would say Time Masters is one of many collections that has defined the DC Universe in a specific way. An interesting collection for those who have a strong love for storylines that holds a powerful sci-fi theme and isn’t your basic superhero story.