Book Review – Time Masters

  • Title: Time Masters featuring Rip Hunter
  • Author: Lewis Shiner
  • Artists: Bob Wayne, Art Thibert, José Marzán Jr.
  • Line: Immediately after Crisis on Infinite Earths (early Modern Age)
  • Characters: Rip Hunter, Vandal Savage
  • Publication Date: 2008 (this edition), first published 1991
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 7/27/2016

Time Masters featuring Rip Hunter is a graphic novel collection from 1989 and 1990 – thus it’s printed on low-quality newsprint in a four-color process. It looks and feels like an “old-fashioned” comic book because it is. But after reading several New 52 collections it was fun to read something a bit more old-fashioned and fun. Rip Hunter has solved the riddle of time travel, but has also discovered an inconvenient rule: each method of time travel can only be used once. If someone uses his Time Sphere to go back in time – they need to use a different method to return to the present (such as a time platform) – if no other method exists it’s a one-way trip. Also, each person can only use each method once. Rip gathers a group of scientists and they set out to save the world by unraveling a mystery – who are the Illuminati and who is their leader, Vandal Savage?

Vandal Savage and his Illuminati, whose origins go back to Atlantis, are definitely up to something – they, for example, kill George Washington and replace him with a duplicate German baron. Savage and his group sit in the shadows and pull strings and manipulate the fortunes and future history of the world.

However, this is one of the weaknesses of the book. I’ve never been a fan of conspiracy theories – most not only stretch credibility but can be easily disproven with easily obtainable facts. Rip, rather than being a dashing hero, sounds increasingly paranoid and becomes a “not nice guy” by the end of the book. Rip’s friends and associates are a good group though.

Although Time Masters was a fun trip to DC Comics past, full of nostalgia, the actual story was only so-so. I vastly preferred Time Masters Vanishing Point which was filled with awesome character interaction and a great story. Overall all, I can only give Time Masters featuring Rip Hunter a half-hearted recommendation. It’s OK but flawed.

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Adding My Book and Graphic Novel Reviews – Update 3

I have just cross-posted my last fiction Doctor Who book review from GoodReads to my WordPress blog. That isn’t to say that I have published reviews of every Doctor Who book, or even every Doctor Who book I’ve read or everything that I have reviewed on GoodReads. I still have a few of the Doctor Who Missing Adventures published by Virgin Publishing to read, and I am reading an e-book version of one of those now. I also have, in paperback, most of the Doctor Who New Adventures (from Virgin Publishing) featuring the Seventh Doctor and initially Ace, then later new companions such as Dr. Bernice Summerfield (whom I’m pretty sure is the basis for Dr. River Song) and Roz. I read some of those years ago, but I intend to re-read the entire series in order, and I have the e-books for the ones that I’m missing. I also have pretty much the entire run of the BBC Books Eighth Doctor series – I’ve read many of them (see list on GoodReads), and I have the e-books for the first 20 or so that I don’t have in paperback. And then there’s the New Series Adventures books, also from BBC Books, so there is still plenty of Doctor Who tie-in fiction to read.

I will continue to cross-post my book reviews though. I have reviews of many of the Big Finish audio plays and Companion Chronicles audio books. I have many non-fiction book reviews of books about Doctor Who. And, I have reviews of other books to cross-post, so there is plenty to continue to cross-post. As always, reviews get posted to GoodReads first, which I am keeping as a chronological reading journal, whereas here on this blog I am posting by topic for the most part. I’ve also read the entire BBC Past Doctor Adventures line, though most before I discovered GoodReads so I don’t have reviews at the ready. I may very well re-read some of my favorites to then review and post. I am also continuing to post my graphic novel reviews, and I may very well re-read some of my classic graphic novels to review and post. So there is plenty of content to be posted.

This project is going well, internet problems aside. I also appreciate the likes, new followers, and comments. Thank you all!

Oh, and by the way, I also want to get back to my movie and TV series on DVD/Blu-Ray reviews. My schedule limits my time on that project, however, I’m trying to at least watch a movie from my “to-be-watched” shelf every weekend, and I hope to get myself organized enough to review them as well. I don’t want to abandon the project.

Book Review – Doctor Who: Lights Out

  • Title: Lights Out
  • Series: Doctor Who Novelette Collection
  • Author: Holly Black
  • Characters: Twelfth Doctor
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 07/11/2016

Doctor Who Lights Out is the last volume in the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary 12 Doctors 12 Booksset of mini-books. GoodReads describes these as “e-books” and they may have been first published that way, but my set consists of 12 little mini-books the size of your hand, plus 12 postcards in a slip case. I bought the set from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble (I don’t remember which).

This particular story features the Twelfth Doctor as played by Peter Capaldi. Clara is mentioned but is not actually present in the story. The story begins in first person with a “space trucker”, someone who ferries coffee beans from the Intergalactic Coffee Roasting Station (ICRS, pronounced Icarus) to “the planet of the coffee shops”. This un-named character is waiting in line at a coffee shop, a couple of people behind the Doctor, when the lights suddenly go out – when they come back on, someone is dead, and people nearly panic because the coffee supply has been cut off. The Doctor immediately begins to try to solve the mystery.

But as the Doctor starts talking to people, suddenly the lights go out again – and there’s another murder. The Doctor suggests he and our point-of-view character go to the station control center to find out about the power outages. During the walk through long corridors the lights go out again, but no one is killed.

The Doctor and our character go to the control center, only to find both workers dead. The Doctor convinces our main character that they must go to his ship. On the ship, the Doctor has a talk to him about monsters – about becoming a monster. We learn more about the guest point-of-view character, whom the Doctor had rescued from a scientific “research” laboratory that was creating merged creatures, monsters, as weapons. The Doctor’s “pep” talk convinces our point of view character that the Doctor must take his escape pod and return to the Station and he will do what is needed.

The ending of this story was surprising, but it felt a bit rushed. I wasn’t sure I liked it. Having the main point-of-view character as the “monster”/murderer was a different approach as well. I just don’t know about this last story.

The series, however, is worth getting both for veteran Doctor Who fans and for new fans. In fact, I’d say, this collection is ideal for new fans – it introduces each of the Doctors and some of their best-known companions. The stories are modular and not dependent on any continuity knowledge and can be read independently. Each story features the Doctor and a single companion, or no companion, or a companion for the individual story only – a format familiar to New Who fans. Even eras of the show that had a larger supporting cast, are stripped down to the Doctor and a companion. This means the stories are approachable to New Who fans. And Classic Who fans aren’t forgotten – there is a story here for each Doctor as well as featuring some of the best known companions. The booklets are small – about the size of your hand, and short – easily read in a single sitting. Recommended.