Rip in Time
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|Rip in Time|
|Publication date||1986 – 1987|
|No. of issues||5|
|Created by||Richard Corben
|Written by||Bruce Jones|
|Rip in Time Collected||ISBN 0-9623841-1-9|
Rip in Time is a five-part comic book limited series written by Bruce Jones and illustrated by Richard Corben, first published by Fantagor Press in 1986. It tells the story of police officer Rip Scully and his adventures traveling back in time to the Cretaceous period, in pursuit of the man who kidnapped his fiancee.
Colonel Sharon Nelson enters a large laboratory full of personnel and equipment, demanding to speak with Dr. Philpot, the managing director of the facility. Philpot assures her everything is on schedule. They will have a test run of the project that evening at 11:30.
LAPD officer Rip Scully and his fiancee Maggie are driving to a party when Maggie suggests they stop to pick up some liquor. Inside the store, as Rip pays for his purchase, Sid Resnick and his girlfriend Darlene enter, Sid brandishing a sawed-off shotgun. During the holdup, (which Rip attempts to prevent) Sid escapes and, once outside, takes Maggie hostage with a switchblade. Coercing Rip's gun from him, Sid then forces Maggie to drive them both to safety.
Rip drags Darlene to Sid's getaway car, an old Dodge and they give chase. Some miles ahead, Sid forces Maggie to go around a large truck on a blind curve and, cut off by oncoming traffic, they smash through the guardrail and down a steep mountain incline, crashing through a wall at the bottom. Inside a large room, they see there is an experimental aircraft similar to the Moller Skycar hovering nearby. Sid drags Maggie to the empty vehicle and flies it down a large tunnel.
Meanwhile, the Colonel and Philpot are counting down to the 11:30 test. On their mark, a switch is thrown and a large portal opens with the lab, referred to as "The Hoop". Suddenly, Sid and Maggie crash through the lab in the stolen aircraft, destroying several banks of equipment before flying wildly through the mysterious doorway. Rip and Darlene appear in the Dodge moments later, following them. One of the technicians, Beacham, grabs a sub space communication device and attempts to follow everyone, but the malfunctioning portal collapses upon him.
On the other side, Rip and Darlene escape from the Dodge, which has become mired in a tar pit. Rip has found Sid's pistol in the glovebox and is looking around frantically for any sign of Maggie. Beacham materializes then, burned to death from the effects of the collapsed portal, making Darlene scream in horror. Rip picks up the communicator and hears Dr. Philpot's voice, telling him to stay exactly where he is. A pterodactyl swoops by, forcing Rip to ask Philpot just where that might be.
The pterodactyl swoops down on Darlene, grabbing her and flying away. Rip fires at it with Sid's .45 and runs to help Darlene where she's fallen, but she sucker punches him and tries to get away. Rip subdues and cuffs her and, seeing smoke in the distance, assumes it's the wreckage of the stolen aircraft. He and Darlene head in that direction against Philpot's demands that they stay put until The Hoop can be repaired.
Maggie and Sid, having survived the crash, offer their wildly differing opinions of their situation. Maggie is certain Rip will come to rescue her and kill Sid, while Sid assures Maggie that Rip is no match for him and will be killed the moment he shows his face.
Back at the lab, Colonel Nelson declares the loss of the experimental aircraft, known as the X-54, to be the last straw with respect to Rip and company's interference with their project. She arranges for John Vincent Roper, a mercenary, to be contacted and brought to the base.
At the edge of a clearing on their way to the X-54 crash, Rip and Darlene encounter a herd of grazing Triceratops. Attempting to sneak past them, the animals stampede when, in the distance, a volcano erupts. Rip and Darlene are knocked to the ground but manage to recover and leap onto the back of one of the dinosaurs running past. As they approach a cliff, all of the animals charging straight off it to their deaths, Rip reaches up for a large tree branch, swinging both he and Darlene to safety.
Sid is lounging in the grass, demanding Maggie gather wood so they can start a fire from the flames of the X-54. Maggie does so and drops a pile of sticks at his feet when Sid sits up, deciding with a wild grin that she should be doing his bidding naked. He points his gun, demanding she undress, becoming more enraged the longer she refuses. Suddenly, the tremors of the volcano eruption reach them, startling what appears to be a turtle-like Ankylosaur from the bushes. Sid fires blindly behind him as he flees into the jungle. Some time later, as Maggie sits warming herself by the fire, she calls out to him: "You can come out now. It's gone."
The next morning, Rip and Darlene awaken in the tree in which they spent the night. Once on the ground, Darlene thanks Rip for saving her life, giving him a kiss. Rip pushes her away and Darlene insults him, telling Rip it's obvious, given her profession, he doesn't think she's good enough for him. She storms off, declaring that if Rip is so "goddamn anxious to get himself killed" then they might as well continue their search for Sid and Maggie.
At the crash site, Sid wakes up to the sound of Maggie bathing in a nearby pond. When he asks what she's doing, she says she smelled bad and Sid should take the hint. He does so and strips down, jumping in with her. They wrestle in the water and Sid tries to pull her under. When they surface near the bank, Sid tries to force himself on her, but Maggie fights him off. Frustrated, Sid gives up and Maggie looks around, confused: "What is it? You stopped?" Excited at the prospect of a woman who likes it rough, Sid proceeds to slap Maggie repeatedly to her cries of encouragement.
Back at the project, Philpot visits Colonel Nelson in her room, where she is taking doses of uppers to stay focued. He questions the wisdom of letting Roper into the lab, a man with whom Philpot claims to have had some experience. After a brief argument, Philpot decides he cannot and will not let Roper into the project. Colonel Nelson seems to relent when, behind Philpot, a video monitor comes on, displaying Roper's face as he stands outside. Philpot turns and sees this, when the Colonel shoves his head into the monitor, knocking him unconscious.
Finding the site of the demolished X-54, but no sign of Sid or Maggie, Rip and Darlene ponder their next move when Rip spies a coil of nylon rope in the bushes. He figures this was part of an emergency kit on the aircraft and might come in handy. Just then, Darlene points ahead of them, at the sight of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It chases them, until Rip manages to lose it near a pair of large trees. Tying the rope between the trees, he baits the creature when it circles back, forcing it to trip across the rope. Falling onto its belly, Rip rushes from cover and empties his pistol into its head. He and Darlene run off, believing the thing to be dead, though, once they're gone, its eyes open.
At the project facility, Colonel Nelson instructs Roper to find Rip and the others and kill them. She equips him with a weapon similar to an M79 grenade launcher, though with considerably more range and accuracy. She then tells him to hurry through the re-activated Hoop, as it will only stay open for a few seconds. Roper walks through the portal, finding himself in view of a Dilophosaurus. He fires the launcher with a grin, exploding the creature. Unbeknownst to Roper as he walks away, a small, video equipped cylinder detaches from the weapon and floats high above, watching him.
Rip and Darlene watch a group of Velociraptors attacking an Apatosaurus, Darlene expressing sympathy for the creature as it's being devoured. Rip replies "At least they're eating," and sets about making a bow and arrow with his pocketknife. He successfully kills a nesting Archaeopteryx and he and Darlene cook it around a small fire. Talk turns to how each of them got to their place in life, which turns argumentative to the point where Rip slaps Darlene. She retaliates with a kick to his stomach, which turns into a full-on fight, ending when both share another kiss. A few yards away, Roper is crouched in the jungle, watching.
At their new camp, Sid is torturing a Stegosaurus with a crude spear, blinding it first, then jabbing the spear in its side. Maggie begs him to put it out of its misery but Sid ignores her. Pointing to the creature, Sid laughs at its cries of pain when suddenly, it explodes, similar to the Dilophosaurus at the end of the previous issue. Sid looks around and Roper appears from behind him, knocking him down. Roper then binds his hands and feet and strings him up by his ankles as Maggie looks on, incredulous. Asking who he is and what he is doing, Roper calmly explains that he is "a hunter" and is going to use Sid as bait to "summon the policeman".
At the facility, Philpot wakes up and finds the Colonel in the lab, watching Roper with Maggie, courtesy of the flying video drone launched from Roper's weapon. Philpot lectures the Colonel on the dangers of infecting the timeline when she reminds him that so long as everyone that goes through the Hoop stays through it, no damage can be done. She simply wants Roper to kill Rip and the others so the project's future excursions to that era won't be disrupted by any of them trying to get back home, presumably bringing any entropic fluctuations to the timeline with them. Philpot seems to agree with this logic when he suddenly assaults the Colonel, pushing her out of the lab and sealing the door.
Rip and Darlene find a set of bootprints in the mud, following them to a river. They construct a raft and float across, hearing a loud scream from the opposite shore. They attempt to paddle themselves faster, but are nearly capsized by an angry Plesiosaur. As the creature seems about to the get the best of them, its head is burst by Roper's weapon and they're able to make it to shore. Following the footprints up a hill, they find the remains of Sid's legs dangling from a tree, which explains the screams they heard. Velociraptors in the area serve to explain their cause.
As Rip and Darlene turn away from the scene, they hear moans from nearby and push through the jungle after them. They find Maggie tied down within a web of ropes, each one connected to a sharpened stick that has been pulled back and staked in a circle around her. Roper appears, informing Rip that if he should untie the wrong rope, all of the sticks will plunge into Maggie's body. However, if Rip should agree to a contest of survival against him, Roper would be glad to free her.
As Roper watches, Rip kneels down by Maggie and examines the structure of the rope web. He chooses correctly and saves Maggie but before he can confront his adversary, Roper flees into the jungle. Rip decides the safest course is for all of them—he, Maggie and Darlene—to track Roper together, the better to know where he's at until they can reach the Hoop entry site. However, as they stand arguing the merits of such a decision it begins to rain, the storm escalating quickly into a flash flood.
Back at the facility, the Colonel has summoned men to burn through the lab door with acetylene torches. Philpot ignores her threats from outside and turns from repairing The Hoop to fixing the Z-29, an early prototype of the X-54. The Colonel mentions that if Philpot is trying to rescue Rip and company, he won't make it in time. Philpot replies that "time is the operative word!"
Rip is separated from Darlene and Maggie in the flood. As he is swept away, Maggie and Darlene make their way to shore. They are confronted by Roper who kills Maggie, tying her to a tree. He then binds Darlene and waits for Rip to appear. When he does, he is promptly killed as well.
Philpot manages to repair the Z-29 and flies off through the activated Hoop, arriving several minutes prior to the events leading to Rip's death. Using the video drone as a guide he finds Rip, warning him just as Roper is about to fire. Seeing Philpot, Roper redirects his aim to him, crashing and nearly destroying the Z-29. Rip and Darlene run to it, Philpot telling them with his dying words that The Hoop is active due south of them. Rip and Darlene fly back to the portal, on the way crossing paths with the T Rex they'd tried to kill earlier.
Back in the present, the Colonel and her men rush through the lab door, guns at the ready. Suddenly, Rip and Darlene burst through on the Z-29, closely followed by the T Rex, who promptly begins to attack the Colonel and her men. As Darlene and Rip flee the lab, the time gate is destroyed once more. Outside, heading into the desert, Rip vows to return to the project and somehow use The Hoop to rescue Maggie.
The series has been collected into a trade paperback:
- Rip in Time Collected (collects Rip in Time #1–5, Fantagor Press, August 1990. ISBN 0-9623841-1-9)
- Rip in Time at the Comic Book DB