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The Linear Men: Summaries & Annotations Part V

Legends of The DC Universe
80-Page Giant #1

| Chronos Story Annotations | Rip Hunter Story Annotations |

"Come with Earth's current practitioner of the time-honored art of traveling the time stream, as Chronos ricochets through our long, eventful history and future!"


(September 1998)
Writer - John Francis Moore
Layouts - Paul Guinan ~~ Finisher - Dani Miki
Colorist - James Sinclair ~~ Letters - Ken Bruzenak
Editor- Mike Carlin with Frank Berrios

1.2.1-1.3.5 - Knossos, Crete: 1351, B.C.
Walker Gabriel has just swiped a treasure and is trying to find his way out of the labyrinth when a floating observer appears saying, "It appears that you are caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place, Walker Gabriel."
Walker - "Who are you? And how do you know my name?"
Observer - "Consider me a friend, Walker. I'm someone who would hate to see you join the ranks of those who have died in this legendary maze."
Walker - "Believe me. You're not the only one who doesn't want that to happen. Unfortunately, I'm kind of grounded at the present moment." [note: 1.2.1 shows Walker's suit intact and 1.3.2 shows Walker's shoulder is exposed and bleeding through the suit.]
Observer - "I know ordinarily escaping this labyrinth would be simple for someone with your time traveling ability– –but the pain of your wound is interfering with the concentration required to timephase."
Walker - "Look, I don't exactly have time to chat right now."
Observer - "No, you don't, the Amazons you robbed are following the trail of blood you conveniently left for them. You stole something from them they have sworn to deliver to the temple of Pallas Athena. You're lucky you survived your first encounter with them. Tell me, is that box worth your life?"
Walker - "If you think I'm giving this up to you, buddy, you're crazy! I trailed those warrior women for two weeks, waiting for the right moment to make the grab."
Observer - "I don't want the box. I'm here to offer you a way out of this dilemma. You may not realize the Amazons aren't the only threat in this labyrinth."
1.4.1-1.4.5 - The Minotaur appears at the doorway with a "GRRRRRRRR."
Observer - "The monstrous hybrid of man and bull is more than a myth. He is a living engine of destruction. Unarmed, you have no chance of survival against him."
Walker - "Thanks for making me feel so much better. So, are you here to watch me die violently?"
Observer - "I came to prevent such an occurrence. Your death at this moment in time would be a terrible waste."
Amazonian soldier -
Observer - "Time's running out, Walker."
Walker - "I guess I don't have much choice, if you can get me out of here, do it!"
The Amazon soldier yells "Great Hera!" as they are stopped in their tracks as the observer encounpases himself and Walker in a green glow and vanish.
1.4.6 - They reappear and Walker exclaims, "New York?"
Observer - "You've reached a crossroads in your life. And now you must decide what to do with the extraordinary ability you've been given. Your experience ins not unique. Others have wrestled with the same dilemma. You can learn from their experience. You have only to see."

The Spectre in "The Depths of Despair" - The Spectre puts the soul of a survivor of the Titanic tragedy at rest!

1.15.1-1.15.2 - Walker exclaims, "First you show me some Twilight Zone episode. And now you bring me to the middle of the Atlantic to watch the Titanic go down. This is insane. We can't just stand here and watch people drown. We've got to do something."
Observer - "Even the angel of vengeance could not alter this tragedy. That is the hard and bitter truth of time travel. Not all events can be changed."
Walker - "Then get me out of here. I feel like a ghoul."
1.15.3 - Phase out.
1.15.4-1.15.6 - Observer - "You are not as Cynical as you would have the rest of the world believe. You have a compassionate streak as well."
Walker - "Yeah, I'm a regular saint."
Observer - "I wouldn't go that far, but I do think you are wasting your potential as a thief."
Walker - "You don't understand, I had to take this box. You have no idea how valuable its contents are to me."
Observer - "The world is full of empty promises and hollow dreams. Men are often led astray by material desire. Watch and learn."

The Doom Patrol in "Lights, Camera and Too Much Action" - What made Rita Farr, The Doom Patrol's Elasti-Girl, walk away from Hollywood?

1.26.1-1.26.4 - Walker down the Hollywood walk of fame as he states, "And the moral of this story is–never trust anyone in Hollywood. Hey, I've seen The Player. I know how this town works."
Observer - "I didn't bring you here to warn you about the film industry. I wanted you to see the value of friendship and trust-even in the most bizarre circumstances."
Walker - "You aren't recruiting for some sort of cult, are you?"
Observer - "No, this is merely my chance to repay a favor once done me."
Walker - "Yeah? Well, consider your debt paid. I feel like a new man already. Can you drop me off in the year 2034?"
Observer - "Do you even know what you've stolen?"
Walker - "I didn't steal this for myself."
Observer - "You hold the Eye of the Grey Women–stolen by Perseus in heroic myth. IT is said those three sightless crones who shared this one eye between them were an aspect of the three fates–
The two appear in a museum with an exhibit on Minoan Culture as the Observer continues, "–And their eye granted its owner knowledge of all that has been, all that is, and all that will be."
Walker - "A museum? If this is a history lesson, I'll pass. I've been living one."
Observer - "Ah, but life is short, and you can not possibly learn everything by yourself. As the saying goes, There's no need to reinvent the wheel. Learn from the successes and failures of others."

Hawkman in "The Caged Bird" - Hawkman and Hawkwoman's fine feathered friends turn against them!

1.37.1-1.37.3 - Walker - "Why do you think all these aliens end up on Earth? The universe is a big place. I mean, why here? Do you think we're just the nearest interstellar offramp?"
Observer - "Some are refugees, others explorers. Perhaps they have adopted this world because it offers them something fundamental– –a sense of family. A home. Isn't that what you wish you had growing up? After your mother's death, and your father's madness, didn't you feel alone in the universe?""
Walker - "Whoa–hold on, Doctor Freud. Don't talk about my family. You don't know me at all."
Observer - "You know what, friend? I'm feeling much better now. I can make my way back to my own era by myself. Thanks for the life."
1.37.4 - Observer - "I'm not through with you."
Walker yells out "Hey!" as the observer blasts him.
1.37.5-1.37.6 - Observer - "I didn't want to do that. However, it's important you stay with me a little while longer. Observer - "There are a few things I have to show you– –and some of them are quite spectacular!"
Walker - "What is that?"
Observer - "A Zeta-Beam-the Gossamer thread that connects Earth with a planet millions upon millions of light-years away. Hurry, we don't have much time to catch it."

Adam Strange in "Puzzle of the Phantom Spaceman" - Hitch a ride to Rann, with Earth's first space hero Adam Strange, where things get really strange!

1.48.1-1.48.6 - The being and Chronos are trust through the cold vacuum of space and appear by a construction site.
Walker - "That was absolutely amazing. I was on another planet. Another honest-to-god beam-me-down-Scotty planet! Forget about drugs. That was a completely mind-bending experience."
Observer - "I thought you might find it... interesting."
Walker - "So this strange guy has to spend half his life scrambling across the globe to find the next place where the Zeta-Beam hits Earth– –or else he can't be with the woman he loves. Don't know if I could handle that kind of commitment. I college, I broke up with Patty Konitz ‘cause I didn't want to walk the mile from M.I.T. to her dorm at Harvard."
Observer - "Clearly, I'm wasting my time."
Walker - "Don't give me that, my enigmatic travel guide. I know what you were trying to show me. You have to be willing to endure great hardship for great reward."
Observer - "Perhaps... and I say this condition. Ally... there's hope for you after all."
Walker - "You know, I didn't take this for money. A man name Savage offered me information about me real father-the one who left me with Michael and Theresa Gabriel. Information he would give me in exchange for the eye."
Observer - "Each of us acts according to the dictates of our heart and conscience. And each of us must live with the consequences."

The Teen Titans in"The Secret Origin of the Teen Titans" - See what, why and who brought the Teen Titans together in spirit before their first "official" adventure!

1.59.1- Observer - "You will be drawn to others who possess not simply extraordinary abilities, but extraordinary souls– –and they will be drawn to you."
Walker - "All I ever wanted was to make enough money to fund me experimental research. And then everything changed the moment I was bombarded with tachyon particles–"
1.59.2 - Flashback to infusion. "–and found I could move through time with just a thought."
1.59.3-1.59.4 - Observer - "There's no such thing as predestination. The past is written, but the future is not. You can let men like Konstantin Vyronis or Savage use you or you can take charge of your own destiny."
Walker - "Aren't you the Norman Vincent Peale of time travel? I mean–don't think I don't appreciate this little pep talk– –but, are we done yet?"
The Observer replies, "I have one last thing to show you." And they phase out.
1.59.5 - The two reappear in the lab of Rip Hunter. A time sphere rests in the corner of the high-tech lab. Walker replies, "Nice lab. Hey, is that a quantum accelerator? Looks like somebody had some deep-pockets funding."
Observer - "You aren't the first twentieth-century man to travel in time. There was another young man, very much like you. Brilliant. Determined. And other too headstrong for his own good."

Rip Hunter & The Linear Men in "Falling in Line" - How exactly does one become a Linear Man? An untold tale of one man's quest to conquer time itself!

Rip Hunter & The Linear Men

Writer - Dan Jurgens
Pencils - Todd Nauck ~~ Inks - Art Thibert
Colorist - Lee Loughridge ~~ Letterer - John Costanza
Editor- Mike Carlin with Frank Berrios

1.60.1 - A smoking round object zooms through space. The occupant inside screams, "Computer! Status report!"
1.60.2 - "Stabilization units off line. Chronoscope operating at 12%. Energy conduits disabled. Life support unit operation at--" the computer starts as it is interrupted by a panicked man dressed in a grey uniform. A small device that interprets languages is at the base of the collar of the circle- seemed get-up. The man has orange-yellow hair with shocked blue eyes.
"Enough already! Just don't tell me that john is backing up!"
The computer replies, "As a matter of fact, the time sphere's waste elimination facility is no longer functional."
"I asked you not to tell me that!"
Suddenly the computer announces, "Dropping out of time stream. Collision imminent."
The man yells back, "Yikes! Let's talk about the bathroom again, okay?"
1.61.1 - "Time lock sequence initiated. Target point Earth, 1492 a.d. local time." The computer announces as the man desperately tries to rewire the circuits as the time sphere plugs towards the sailing ship below.
1.61.2-1.61.3 - Suddenly, a purple portal ones and time is frozen in place. A man and a women with body replacements emerge from the portal.
The woman announces, "Status field in place. The passage of time is halted."
The man replies, "Well done, Liri Lee. Our presence will be undetected by the natives of this era. Such is the way... ...of The Linear Men! Just as I anticipated. It's that accursed vagabond form the 20th century again."
1.61.4-1.61.5 - The two fly upwards as Liri glances at the instrument on her arm, "My chronal scan shows he'll end up floating in the ocean. Christopher Columbus's men will rescue him but they'll abandon their mission to find the Americas— --Fearing a devil who dropped from the sky! Hunter will be put to death, Columbus will head back to Spain and the Americas will go undiscovered for 132 years!"
1.62.1-1.62.2 - The Linear Man starts to fix the time sphere's controls as Liri looks on. "This Rip Hunter fellow deserves it! He's an offender of the highest magnitude! Justifiable homicide!"
Liri replies, "You know very well we can't allow that— --nor can we commit murder. Our task is to see that time remains pure and undistorted."
The Linear Man completes the repairs and They head back through the portal. Time restarts.
1.62.1-1.62.4 - The time sphere continues to fall to the sea, Columbus takes this ‘shooting star' as a good omen. As for Rip Hunter he crosses another circuit at the last minute and the time sphere zooms back upward. The computer is quick to judge, "Interesting. Your solution should not have sufficed, yet--"
Rip Hunter tells his computer to "give it a rest" and decides to "hit the future next time..."
1.63.1-1.63.5 - The year is 2240 A.D. and Rip Hunter is dogging laser blasts form the hoover jet based police force. Suddenly a blast shatters the wall of a building. Time stops and The 2 Linear Men are back on the case. "This is the tenth time we've had to intercede! When will it end?" The Linear Man questions as he rushes towards the frozen Rip Hunter.
Liri replies, "Maybe never. This guy is the most notorious time traveler of the 20th century!"
"Indeed. And because he has no idea that we constantly save his moronic hide he continues to court catastrophe!" The Linear Man answers back as he points to the collapsing wall. The pieces shift sideways.
1.64.1-1.64.3 - Liri piddles with her arm computer, "Guess that makes us guardian angels. If we don't save him this time around— --he's deader than Cro Magnon Man! This era's totalitarian government will confiscate his time sphere, build more— --and eventually invade the 20th century."
The Linear Man is quick to interject, "Exactly. Which is why I remain convinced we should terminate the idiot!"
Liri snaps back, "Would you stop that?" as they disappear back in the time portal and time restarts.
1.64.4-1.64.5 - The wall falls to the ground and Rip Hunter escapes un harmed back to his time sphere. The device disappears just as the police arrive.
1.65.1 - "TIME MARCHES ON..."
Rip Hunter VS. A Confederate Army Man
Rip hunter is held at gun point by a disgruntled Confederate.
Liri- "Our twelfth intervention if we let events proceed naturally, the time stream will suffer immeasurable harm."
The Linear Man- "I say we kill him."
1.65.2 - Rip Hunter VS. The Triceratops
Rip Hunter swings on a vine to outrace a raging Triceratops.
Liri- "Intervention fourteen. I'm more patient that you, but even I'm tiring of this!"
The Linear Man- "I still say we kill him."
1.65.3 - Rip Hunter VS. Giant Green Space Alien
Liri places a gun in Rip's hands as he is being suspended in the air by a giant green alien.
Liri- "Intervention nineteen. Don't— --Say— --A word!"
1.65.4 - Rip Hunter VS. The Caveman
Rip Hunter is pined against a pill of rocks with a Caveman towering over him ready to plunge a spear into him.
Hunter- "Intervention twenty-four. Any suggestions, Liri Lee?"
Liri- "Kill him?"
1.66.1-1.66.2 - Vanishing Point
The Linear Man- "Twenty-seven interventions without any indication our personal tormentor will stop! Something must be done!"
Liri- "Look, if you're going to suggest murder again--! What if we perfected his time machine so he had better control over his travel?"
The Linear Man answers as the two land- "I'll pretend I didn't hear that."
1.66.3 - Inside Ryder explains the situation, "About Time you returned. An Urgent matter needs immediate attention."
The Linear Man asks, "Is it him Matthew?"
Ryder replies, "‘Fraid so. Our old friend Rip Hunter. This time he's exploring the End of Time itself!"
1.66.4-1.66.5 - Liri interjects, "Entropy? The end of everything?! Oh, My--!"
Ryder continues his case, "The ramifications of which could be incalculable. I've scanned the eventual result. His time sphere will explode, opening a hole in time's fabric— —that will allow entropy to spill into the past and destroy everything. Stop him. This time, anything goes."
1.67.1 - Liri and The Linear Man appear beside the time sphere at the End of Time.
Liri is shocked, "Matthew we right! Hunter is here!"
The Linear Man replies, "Yeah. And the gravitational forces are so strong we can't stop time. We solve this one ‘live.'"
1.67.2 - Suddenly and explosion ruptures the side of the time sphere.
The Linear Man makes another blatant, "His buggy's coming apart. It's already started."
Liri yells, "Wait! You know the 20th century saying, ‘If you can't beat ‘em, join ‘em?'"
1.67.3 - The Linear Man sarcastically replies, "You can't be serious."
Liri continues to make statements as they fly towards the erupting inferno, "It's the only thing that makes sense!"
1.67.4 - The Linear Man makes another snide comment, "If you've been drinking before a mission, Ryder'll have your time band!"
Liri grabs a hold of her time band, "This is gonna work! Trust me!"
Rip Hunter opens to time sphere hatch to comment, "Voices? Here?"
1.68.1-1.68.3 - A time portal engulfs the three and they appear at Vanishing Point! The Linear Man quickly yells, "But... civilians aren't allowed here!"
The time sphere is bursting with fire as Rip Hunter tries desperately to escape through the hatch.
The computer lets out a last message, "Explosion imminent. Abandon ship."
Rip Hunter replies as he gets his left leg out of the ship, "You've been a good friend computer!"
Suddenly the sphere shifts, "UGH! Can't... make it... ouu..."
1.68.4 - Liri Lee swoops towards the exploding time sphere and scops up Rip Hunter. "Welcome— - -To Vanishing Point— --Mr. Hunter. A place that exists outside of time!"
1.68.5 - The danger is over. The Linear Man looms over the unconscious Rip hunter who is lying sprawled on the ground as Liri kneels over him, "Is he dead?"
Liri replies, "Injuries from the explosion, but he'll be fine."
The Linear Man replies, "Too bad. I doubt this is the solution Matthew had in mind."
1.69.1 - Matthew is viewing a vortex appear over Metropolis on the monitor as Liri approaches, "I should have you exiled for bringing Hunter here."
Liri calmly replies, "Your growl doesn't scare me, Matthew Ryder. If you wanted me out, you'd have booted me long ago!"
1.69.2 - Liri continues, "He might just work out, you know!"
Ryder steps away to face Liri, "Perhaps. The transformation is complete?"
Liri replies, "Yes, he's probally our most enthusiastic recruis ever. I don't think he'll miss his home-time at all."
1.69.3 - Close up of Ryder, "Good. He can't go back. Here he comes now."
1.69.4 - Hunter emerges in a black uniform with leather leather and metal in various spots. H's left eye is covered by a sensor. "My hair... shock white... and I fell like I weigh a ton!"
Liri replies, "It's the cyber plants. Necessary equipment to surf the time stream."
Ryder picks up with, "It's the price one pays for conquering time."
1.69.5 - Ryder brings Hunter and Liri over to the monitor. A vortex is on the screen with The Linear Man, Superman, and Booster Gold being sucked into it. "We'll start your lessons now... as we deal with another time criminal... Booster Gold."
Hunter looks onward and asks, "And Superman too? Why?"
Liri replies, "We have our reasons, Hunter. As you'll learn... in time..."
[The story of The Linear Man continues in the SUPERMAN: TIME AND TIME AGAIN saga.]

* Note from Adam: This is NOT the epilogue to Time Masters it was rumored to be. Instead this is, as best as I can ascertain, an alternate telling of the events of the Pre-Crisis Rip Hunter... Time Master series of comic books from the 1960s. Please do not jump to the conclusion that this is the Rip Hunter from the Time Masters mini-series. Because, he definitely is not. This version is too child-like and off-the-wall to be the Post-Crisis Rip Hunter. Also, note that the Time Sphere is used many times, proving that the ‘Time Travel Restrictions' of Time Masters are not in effect. *

1.70.1-1.70.4 - The two appear in ancient Crete as Walker rants, "Don't get me started about the Linear Men. A bunch of thugs if you ask me. One of theirs tried to bust me for a murder I didn't commit."
Observer - "The Linear Men do what they believed is right. And in their eyes, a wild card like yourself is trouble."
Walker - "I've never liked cops. Guess that's pretty natural for someone who was making his living as an industrial thief not too long ago. Hey, we're back on Crete. Does this mean this is the end of the line."
I'll take that as a yes."
Guess I can deliver the package now."
Inside Vanishing Point a subordinate greats the observer with, "Welcome back, Commander. Permission to speak freely?"
Observer - "Granted."
Subordinate - "Why are you expending so much energy on a reprobate like Walker Gabriel? His reckless disregard of the Linear Integrity makes him a danger to us all."
1.71.1 - The Observer begins to morph as he says, "I was pretty damn reckless myself in my youth."
1.71.2 - The transformation gradually moves from the statue like Observer form to that of the Linear Authority clad Hunter.
1.71.3 - Hunter continues, "Time changes everything."
1.71.4-1.71.5 - Walker tells Savage the bad news which he angerly replies, "What do you mean you don't have it?"
Walker - "The Amazons use some sort of freaky matriarchal magic to protect the eye. What can I say? Even Superman's vulnerable to magic."
Savage angerly yells out, "You're lying to me, whelp, and you'll regret it! You'll curse the day you crossed Vandal Savage!"
1.71.6-1.71.8 - The Amazon women present the treasure to the goddess saying,
Walker stands on a smiling at the decision he made.

The End

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Original Material © 1997-2016 Adam Arnold, All Rights Reserved., All Rights Reserved.