- "I’ve seen men of steel die and dark knights fall. And even then, I accomplished my mission, no matter what."
- —Rip Hunter[src]
After his wife and son were murdered by Vandal Savage, Rip went rogue and recruited a team of 21st century superheroes and supervillains, whose actions had minimal effect on history, in a team known as the "Legends". Their goal was to travel through time and put an end to Savage, and prevent the deaths of his family before his rise to power could happen. However, his plan was opposed by the Time Masters, as Savage's uprising didn't endanger the timeline itself, and they sent various agents after him and his team to kill them and stop them from succeeding. Additionally, the flawed nature of the Legends' members often resulted in numerous timeline alterations in their quest, much to Rip's annoyance. Ultimately, Rip wasn't able to prevent Savage's uprising or save his family after learning the Time Masters were in league with Savage all along and orchestrated his family's death precisely to manipulate him. However, Rip still succeeded in killing Savage before he could fulfill a plot that would destroy time itself, and brought the end of the corrupt Time Masters. With the Time Masters no longer active, Rip decided to continue their mantle with the surviving/returning members of the Legends.
After 6 months of correcting aberrations caused by time pirates, the Legends encountered an aberration caused by Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash. After the Waverider took a critical hit, Rip used the time drive after securing a fragment of the Spear of Destiny to escape, but suffered amnesia, believing his life to be a figment of his imagination as he landed in 1967, and went to film school under a new identity as Phil Gasmer. Rip was later captured by Eobard's Legion of Doom and served the syndicate unwillingly, under mind alteration to retrieve the other spear pieces. After Sara and Jax ventured into his subconscious, they were able to restore his mind and he re-joined the Legends. After the Legion of Doom gained the Spear of Destiny and rewrote reality, The Waverider along with Rip was shrunken down by Thawne with Ray's exo-suit. After communicating with the Legends and unshrinking the ship they travel back to 1916 and break the cardinal rule of time travel to interact with their past selves, to prevent the Legion from getting the Spear of Destiny in the first place, eventually being successful. Rip decides to leave the team; to create an organization known as the Time Bureau.
Michael lived in poverty on the streets, becoming a cutpurse by the age of five before he got recruited as a Time Master and sent to The Refuge. There he was cared for by the orphanage's supervisor, Mary Xavier, whom he'd later regard as his real mother.
At some point during his childhood, his older self-brought the younger versions of his team to stay there to protect them from The Pilgrim. As part of a ploy by his older self, knowing his childhood disposition, Michael was used as bait in a prisoner exchange, where he stabbed the Pilgrim in the leg with a knife, giving his adult self's team the opportunity they needed to defeat her. Michael was presumably given an amnesia pill so he'd forget the event, thereby keeping his own future actions intact.
Eventually, Michael joined the Time Masters but as per their code took up the alias "Rip Hunter", to avoid any enemies from targeting Michael's ancestors thus erasing his existence. He trained under the watch of Time Master "Zaman Druce" and became one of his favorite students. While training with them he reached the rank of lieutenant. Against the Time Master's code Rip fell in love with another candidate, "Miranda Coburn". Eventually Time Master "Declan" discovered their affair and they were both threatened with expulsion from the academy. Though Rip planned to hand in his resignation so Miranda could remain in service, Declan informed Rip that Miranda had already done the same thing. Though Rip was annoyed, as he considered Miranda the better Time Master, she had grown disillusioned with the cause but knew Rip could commit more than she ever could. Rip served as a Time Master for over a decade and developed a feared reputation among Time Pirates. He traveled to numerous points across the timeline and claims to traveled centuries into the future.
At some point, while on a mission for the Time Masters Rip was sent to Calvert, Oklahoma in 1868 but after completing his mission Rip was unable to leave, consumed by the heroic opportunities the era offered. He also met bounty hunter Jonah Hex and the two became close friends. Jonah even gave Rip one of his coats. The two of them opposed outlaw Quentin Turnbull but Rip, fearing he'd never see Miranda again if he let himself be sucked in anymore, tore himself away from the era, one day before Turnbull destroyed Calvert, something Rip was aware would happen.
At some point Rip located the Spear of Destiny in Leipzig, 1956 and traveled there to retrieve it. While there Rip sought the aid of the Justice Society of America, a team of superheroes comprised of Henry Heywood/Commander Steel, Courtney/Stargirl, Charles/Dr. Mid-Nite and Todd Rice/Obsidian. Rip told them about the spear and what it could do and they agreed to help him find it. However, Todd was not permitted to go because the president "distrusted" him. Rip, Stargirl, Dr. Mid-Nite and Commander Steel engaged the Soviets and retrieved the spear. However they all agreed that it's power was too great for any one person to possess and Rip divided it into four pieces, one for himself and entrusted each JSA member with a piece. Rip then transported each JSA member to a different time zone to protect the spear pieces. He sent Courtney to Camelot in 507 AD, Charles to Detroit in 3000 AD and Henry to Manhattan in 1965 AD, while he returned to the Waverider and kept his piece of the spear hidden within the ship even from Gideon.
Rip was the first person to build a Time Sphere. Eobard Thawne implies that he met Rip at some point in the future referring to him as an "interesting man". Eobard also used Rip's Time Sphere as inspiration for building a 21st-century version with Cisco Ramon as a means to return to his own time.
Rogue Time Master
By 2166, most of the world fell under the subjugation of the immortal dictator Vandal Savage with London being the last land untouched by Vandal's tyranny. One day during the Second Blitz Miranda and Jonas were killed by Savage and Rip found their bodies later, much to his heartache. Seeking vengeance Rip addressed the Time Council in the Vanishing Point and requested that Savage be removed from the timeline. However the council reminded Rip that since Savage was not exploiting time travel to achieve his goals, they weren't permitted to intervene. Unwavered by the council's decision Rip stole the Waverider and traveled back to Ancient Egypt in 1700 B.C. before Savage, or Hath-Set as he was known back then, became immortal. Sneaking into the royal palace Rip confronted Hath-Set but as he had the upper hand he hesitated to kill him, and Hath-Set's bodyguards restrained him. However Rip refused to tell Hath-Set his name, resulting in Hath-Set calling him "Gareeb", and Rip was held in the dungeon. After weeks of being deliberately starved Hath-Set asked Rip again who he was and why he tried to kill him, but Rip simply told him he was saving the world from his evil. Rip eventually made his escape by tricking the guard with a novelty pen from the 1970s.
After failing to remove Savage from history altogether Rip returned to 2166 and found Miranda and Jonas before Savage killed them but as they ran back to the Waverider, they encountered Savage's shocktroopers and Miranda and Jonas were gunned down. After this, Rip tried numerous other times to save them, only to have similar end results. Realizing that Miranda and Jonas couldn't be spared from their fates Rip instead opted to kill Savage sometime during his immortal life, thereby preventing the circumstances of their deaths in the first place. To do this Rip decided to recruit a team of 8 individuals from the 21st century whose actions had minimal impact on the timeline, thereby keeping the future of the 22nd century intact.
Rip traveled to January 2016 to Star City to recruit Dr. Ray Palmer/The Atom, a member of Team Arrow. Arriving moments after Atom had engaged some of H.I.V.E.'s Ghosts Atom initially held Rip at gunpoint but assured him he wasn't an adversary and used a device that rendered Atom unconscious. Next Rip traveled to Tibet to recruit Sara Lance/The Canary, a formerly deceased member of the League of Assassins and member of Team Arrow. After Sara fought several men harassing a young woman Rip appeared and rendered her unconscious. Rip recruited Sara specifically because in 4 months Sara was fated to aid Team Arrow against Damien Darhk but would die along with her sister Laurel Lance/Black Canary as well as their father Quentin.
Next Rip traveled to Pittsburgh to recruit Firestorm, the merged superhero form of Jefferson Jackson and Professor Martin Stein. After Firestorm stopped a terrorist at a nuclear plant Rip appeared while Jax and Stein argued, and rendered them unconscious also. Next Rip went to St. Roch to recruit Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl and Carter Hall/Hawkman, the 21st century reincarnations of Savage's enemies Prince Khufu and Priestess Chay-Ara and the only ones who could physically kill Savage. Rip found them arguing about a botched rescue mission and suggested they seek marriage counseling before rendering them unconscious. Next, much to Gideon's confusion, Rip traveled to Central City to recruit criminals Leonard Snart/Captain Cold and Mick Rory/Heat Wave. Finding them chased by the police amidst a heist Rip rendered them unconscious.
Bringing the 8 individuals to Star City atop a rooftop, tampering with their weapons in case of hostilities, Rip introduced himself and explained that he had assembled them to help him destroy Vandal Savage. Hearing this came as shock to Carter and Kendra as they had destroyed him months before with Green Arrow and The Flash's aid. However, Rip revealed to the couple that unless they deliver the death blow Savage will restore from a single cell. Snart and Mick, however, were uninterested in being heroes but Rip claimed that the 8 of them in his time are legends, stating that each of them were destined for greatness. However, this was a lie as the 8 of them were considered unimportant to the timeline. After showing the 8 of them video footage of the dystopian era of 2166 he handed them an address to assemble at in 36 hours.
The next day Rip was pleased to see everyone decided to come and showed them around his timeship, the Waverider. To obtain more information on Savage himself Rip plotted a course for St. Roch 1975 to visit Professor Aldus Boardman, an expert on the story of Savage. Rip explained that the date of their arrival is the day Aldus will die so the timeline will remain unaffected. After arriving in 1975 Rip asked Ray, Stein, Kendra, and Carter to accompany him but asked Sara, Leonard and Mick to remain behind, believing the mission didn't require their skill set.
The team found Aldus in his office where they were shocked to learn that he was, in fact, the son of Carter and Kendra from a past life, who saw Savage kill them and had studied him since then trying to achieve vengeance. After Aldus provided them several notebooks on Savage, Martin sensed something was wrong and Rip ordered everyone back to the ship. However, Kendra and Carter insisted Aldus come with them and Rip, reluctantly, agreed. Returning to the ship Rip was shocked to see Chronos attacking the ship. After holding him off long enough to escape, Rip brought the team to the temporal zone to hide out, though Aldus was shot by Chronos before they could leave.
While there, Kendra angrily attacked Rip for getting Aldus killed and Rip finally revealed that he was a former Time Master, who had, against orders, assembled them to kill Savage, and Chronos had been sent to stop him. He also revealed to the 8 individuals that they were not legends, rather forgotten by history, and when Ray realized Rip's actions were more personal than he led on, Rip confessed his true motives. However, he respected if anyone wished to leave and gave them time to think while he repaired the ship. Surprisingly everyone, moved by Rip's true motives and realizing this was their chance to change their fates, decided to remain.
Losing a team member
While still in 1975, thanks to Aldus Boardman's journal, Rip and the team figured out where to locate Savage: At an illegal weapons auction. When Kendra and Carter ask why can’t they go back and save Aldus, Hunter explained that they can’t change things they’ve already been involved in. He then explains that he has a room in the Waverider that can give them any outfit for any era.
When Snart and Palmer started arguing over who would take point in the mission Rip reminded them that he was in charge, only for Palmer and Snart to blow him off still angry that he had lied to them. When the team returned from the auction having failed to capture Savage, Hunter angrily yelled at them for not listening and revealed that during the battle Ray had dropped a piece of his suit which Savage recovered and as a result spread his conquest of the world to the present year of 2016. Fortunately, Hunter revealed that this was not yet permanent and that they had time to stop this by retrieving the technology. When Ray reveals that the suit is powered by Alpha Particles, Stein suggests they track down his younger self who had created an Alpha Particle tracker. When Kendra and Carter reveal to the team that they have found an artifact that can kill Savage, Snart volunteers to go steal it back with Heat Wave and Ray accompanies them to make sure they don't get into trouble. Later when Ray, Snart, and Rory are captured by Savage, Hunter and the rest of the team come to their aid and a huge battle breaks out. In the ensuing conflict, Carter is killed and Kendra is severely wounded by Savage with the group barely managing to escape. Once Kendra is stabilized, Hunter reveals to Stein, who had accidentally recently just erased his marriage to his wife, that he suggested to his younger self to go to the seminar where they see young Stein and Clarissa together, saving Stein's marriage. Later back on the ship Hunter attempts to lift the teams spirit up by pointing out that while they have not saved the future they have a least saved the present. He then gives the team the choice of finding another way to stop Savage or return to 2016 and live out the rest of their lives. Now determined to avenge Carter the team chose the former and proceeded to come up with a new plan.
Carter's body was taken by Vandal Savage as a "Vessel" for a mystic ritual that would appease Savage's cult followers, giving them longevity and even eternal life. Among such servants was Mr. Blake, a banker of the Bruemberg Group, who met Rip Hunter and Sara Lance in his bank in Leipzig, while they were on a spying mission. Blake caught their bluff and attempted to slay "Gareeb", but was unsuccessful. Taken prisoner by Rip Hunter, Blake served as the team's "pass" into Savage's cult gathering. Although Rip Hunter's team took Carter's body back from Savage, Blake and other servants still consumed Carter's blood, giving them longevity.
These early failures were later revealed to be part of Time Master Zaman Druce's plan to manipulate history through the use of Oculus, assisting Vandal Savage and giving him an advantage in the form of the army of long-lived followers, as well as knowledge of futuristic technology, such as the A.T.O.M. Exosuit, and meta-humans, like Firestorm.
USSR in 1986
While trying to figure out Savage's next stop, he then took his team to 1986 USSR, where he encounters an attack from the Time Masters along with Mick Rory, which injures Jefferson Jackson a.k.a Firestorm. Then, after Martin Stein, Ray, and Mick get caught, he sends Sara and Leonard to rescue them. He also tells Sara to assassinate Dr. Stein if they fail in their plan. While rescuing their team, Rip encounters Vandal Savage where Savage gives back the locket with Rip's wife and child's photo. But Rip planted the bomb which temporarily kills Vandal Savage.
Adrift in time
After being knocked out of the Temporal zone by Chronos into Star City of 2046, Rip informed the team that the grim future of Star City is not set. Despite his protests, Sara demanded to go with him into the city. He then led a group including Mick, Leonard, and Sara to steal a piece of technology from Smoak Technologies that could fix the Waverider. However, bandits and Connor Hawke ambushed them separating Rip and Sara from Mick and Leonard. Grant Wilson and his men then cornered Rip, Sara, and Connor Hawke, but Connor helped them escape. Connor told Sara what happened to Star City but Rip advised Sara that she can’t change what happened and to focus on their mission. Connor then took them to a rundown Arrowcave to find Felicity Smoak's relocated projects. An older Oliver Queen then told them to go to a warehouse to find the tech piece. At the warehouse, they found the tech they needed but Grant Wilson's men attacked them and kidnapped Connor. Rip told Sara not to go after him but Sara went against him. Rip threatened to leave her if she didn't return in one hour. After waiting 90 minutes, Martin convinced Rip to help her. Rip and the team then helped Sara and Oliver defeat Deathstroke and save Connor. Sara thanked Rip for backing her up.
After leaving 2046, the Waverider was unable to track Savage due to obsolete time data. Rip was holed up in his office watching a recording of Miranda and Jonas. Gideon then intercepted a distress signal from the Acheron, a timeship which would contain current timeline data. Despite the suspicious circumstances, Rip opted to investigate. He led an away team with Martin, Jax, and Mick. However, time pirate captain Jon Valor captured Rip, Jax, and Mick on board the Acheron. Rip then used keywords to make Gideon fire upon the Acheron and later to cloak the Waverider. They were thrown in the brig, which also contained Captain Eve Baxter who wasn't pleased to see Rip. Rip and Mick then got into an argument with Rip admitting that he only recruited Mick because he was a package deal with Leonard, after which Mick left to cut a deal with Valor. After Martin freed them, they led the Pirates into a trap. Rip fought off Jon Valor and used explosive decompression to suck the time pirates into the vacuum of space. Captain Baxter then thanked Rip for the rescue and gave him current time data. Back on the Waverider, the team discussed what they would do with Mick, since they couldn't let him have free run of the ship after his betrayal. Leonard stated that sending him back to 2016 was not an option, since that was where the team's families were. He then said he would deal with his partner.
Stranding the team in 1958
According to the Acheron's timeline intel, Savage appeared in Harmony Falls, 1958. Rip and Leonard disguised themselves as FBI agents and asked the sheriff for information on the killings around town. The only thing they learned from the sheriff's files was that Savage was good at covering up the disappearances in the town. After losing contact with Jax, Rip and Leonard found a car with Jax's date Betty Seaver badly injured with talon wounds and Jax missing. Meanwhile, Kendra and Ray stole the Amon Dagger from Savage so the team devised a plan to kill him. Disguised as a hospital worker and patient, Rip and Ray ran into Sheriff Ellison. As Ellison was taking them into custody, a manhawk appeared knocking out Ellison and allowing them to escape. Before the rest of the crew was onboard the Waverider, Chronos attacked the ship forcing it to take off and leave Ray, Kendra, and Sara in 1958.
When Chronos boarded the Waverider, Rip fired at Chronos but they had to retreat further into the ship allowing Chronos to time jump the ship. Firestorm burst onto the bridge finding Rip but discovering that Leonard had been kidnapped by Chronos. Rip then rebooted Gideon to override Chronos' commands making them free fall through time. They touched down in 1960 to pick up Ray and Kendra but discovered Sara had rejoined the League of Assassins. Rip snuck into Nanda Parbat and made contact with Sara but he found that she had reverted to her previous self-loyal only to the League and captured him. Rip challenged Ra's al Ghul to a trial by combat. However, Ra's chose Sara as his champion, while Rip nominated Kendra which she accepted. After the trial, Chronos attacked. Ra's freed the Legends so that they could fight off Chronos. Through their combined efforts, they defeated Chronos but Leonard stopped them from killing him and they discovered that he was actually Mick Rory. Rip recognized this as an opportunity to reform Mick so they kept him in the brig. Rip then told the team that their next target was Savage in the year 2147.
Rip apologized to Mick for lying to him and asked for his help, which Mick refused. Rip then proceeded with the mission into the Kasnia Conglomerate in 2147. They encountered Kasnia's A.T.O.M. robots so they split up. Rip took Sara and Leonard to investigate Savage during a Conglomerate shareholder meeting using eye contacts to fool an eye scanner but Sara and Leonard were not permitted to enter. Rip listened in on the meeting where Savage argued to thin the population outside the Conglomerate's borders but Tor Degaton vetoed the move. Rip followed Savage where he learned that Savage was a tutor to future despot Per Degaton. Rip's plan was to kill Per Degaton now before he could rise to power and provide Savage with the foothold he would use to conquer the world. However, many on the team opposed this so he compromised by opting to kidnap him instead. Rip, Sara, and Leonard went about kidnapping the child while the rest of the team dealt with Tor Degaton's A.T.O.M. robot army. Rip then took Per to a secluded area and tried to kill him but Rip couldn’t bring himself to do it and pleaded for Per to do the right thing and reject Savage's tutelage. Rip then arrived at the scene of a battle between Degaton's forces and his team and offered to exchange Per's life for Sara's. Per tried to talk his father out of the exchange but his father relented so the Legends escaped. Gideon told him that their efforts merely cemented Per's rise to power and Rip reflected with Gideon if he did the right thing to spare the child. After a fight with Leonard, Mick then rejoined the team because both he and the team would have a mutual enemy in the Hunters, mercenaries hired by the Time Masters in wake of Chronos's failure.
Hiding from the Time Masters
Rip decided to hide out in the town of Salvation in 1871 since this specific time and place was a fragmentation invisible to the Time Masters. Despite his protests, the team decided to have a look around the town so he outfitted them all with time-appropriate clothing and weapons, but chose to stay behind on the ship. The team then returned with Jonah Hex who told Rip that Leonard had killed a member of the Stillwater Gang, which would bring about retribution to the town and reminded Rip of Calvert. Rip still remained on the ship when Ray accompanied Jonah Hex to attack the Stillwater gang. After the team returned with Jeb Stillwater but without Jax, Hex proposed a quick draw to exchange Jax for Jeb. Because of his lingering regrets of abandoning Calvert, Rip volunteered to duel. In the middle of the town, Stillwater's gang arrived with Jax. Jeb and Rip took their positions. Rip and Jeb drew their pistols, but Rip shot Jeb first killing him and winning the duel. The Hunters arrived after the duel and attacked. Rip gives Jonah a laser revolver and they and the team defeated the Hunters. Before dying, one of the Hunters told Mick that the Time Masters had initiated Omega Protocol triggering the Pilgrim to go after the team. Rip and Jonah made amends and the team left Salvation.
To stop the Pilgrim, The team first headed to Central City of 1990 to save a young Mick Rory. After saving 2007's Sara Lance, the team lost the trail on the Pilgrim. Rip ruled out her going after Kendra and himself. When Ray started sustaining injuries, Rip and Firestorm rescued Ray of 2014. Rip and Mick then kidnapped newborn Martin from 1950. The rest of the team was successful in rescuing everyone's younger selves so Rip took them all to the Refuge under the care of Mary, a mother figure to Rip. Mary revealed to his team that his actual name was Michael. Later, Rip and Mary reflected on how he's grown and she sent him off with some mince pies. Gideon then intercepted a message from the Pilgrim threatening the team's family if they won't turn their younger selves over to her. Rip countered her demand with his offer of his own younger self before he became a Time Master. The team met her at an abandoned Time Masters outpost where they turned over 10-year-old Rip to her. The team ambushed her but she held them off with her time micro-manipulation powers. However, young Rip stabbed her and she was subsequently destroyed by the team. Back at the Refuge, Rip said goodbye to Mary.
Now that most of the team's younger selves were displaced in time at the Refuge, the team had very little time to complete their mission before the time changes set and they were erased from existence. Rip took the team to London of 2166 at the height of Savage's rule. Rip took a strike team of Leonard, Mick, and Sara to strike at Savage. Rip and Sara dealt with his guards and his daughter Cassandra, letting Leonard and Mick go after Savage himself. However, Savage's forces started to overwhelm them forcing the team to retreat to the Waverider. Rip then led Martin, Ray, and Jax to contact the remaining resistance forces. Rip shared with Ray his past attempts to save Miranda and Jonas. Later, they went with the resistance to investigate an attack on one of their camps. Martin and Ray later discovered Savage's superweapon was a giant robot, The Leviathan, which was coming to rescue Cassandra, whom Leonard and Mick kidnapped earlier. The Waverider was attacked and damaged while trying to escape the robot. Dejected, Rip was ready to wait for the Leviathan to destroy them, but Ray convinced him to fight on. Rip then led a second attempt on Savage with Leonard, Mick, Sara, a reformed Cassandra, and Kendra. Kendra got the upper hand on Savage but she couldn't bring herself to kill him because he had brainwashed Scythian Torvil despite Rip's pleads to her. Instead, they brought Savage and Scythian back to the Waverider. Rip visited Savage in the brig vowing to kill him and get his revenge eventually.
Return to the Vanishing Point
Rip and the team traveled to the Vanishing Point after capturing Savage and holding him hostage on the Waverider. Once they arrived there, Rip handed Savage over to the Time Masters only for them to release him, allowing him to go back to 2166, their reasoning being that he was part of the natural course of history, and essential to the timeline. Time Master Druce then captured Rip and the rest of the team, with the exception of Snart and Sara, and put them in holding cells. In the Time Master's cell, Savage confronted Rip again, gloating over his victory. He then left to go meet Rip's family, leaving the other man screaming in anger.
Finding out the truth
Druce let Rip out of his cell to show him the Oculus. Druce told Rip that the Time Masters had been controlling the team's actions and that free will didn't exist outside of the vanishing point. Rip saw the future and saw Ray die trying to destroy the Oculus. Druce then proceeded to tell Rip that they knew he was going to go rogue and had Vandal Savage kill his family to make sure he turned his back on the Time Masters. When Rip returned to his cell the other members thought he had been tortured, but he revealed to them that he saw the truth.
Later, once the rest of the team was freed by their teammates left on the Waverider, Rip decided to destroy the Oculus so they could have a chance to defeat Savage once and for all.
Without the Oculus controlling the team's actions, they came up with a plan to finally stop Savage. They realized his goal was to destroy the timeline, bringing him back to Ancient Egypt in 1700 B.C. To stop him they had to travel to three different places throughout history. Splitting up into teams of two, they went to the three places in time where the meteors giving Savage his immortality were. Ray and Mick were in 1958 Harmony Falls, Sarah and Firestorm were in 1975 Norway, and Rip, Kendra, and Carter were in St. Roch 2021. If they all attacked each Savage at the exact time near the meteors he would lose his immortality so they could kill him. After successfully killing Savage in each time period, the third meteor was still set to go off causing the world to be destroyed.
Rip's plan was to fly the meteor into the sun destroying it, but also destroying the Waverider and killing him. He flew it to the sun before passing out and seeing a vision of his wife and son. After waking up and the meteor destroyed, the Waverider had one last time jump and Rip used it to return to 2021 to get the rest of the team.
Protecting the timeline
After defeating the Time Masters and Savage, Rip decided to protect the timeline with the help of any of the team members that wanted to help. Returning to Star City 2016 later that night Rip was pleased to see the entire team wanted to rejoin, though Kendra and Scythian announced that they weren't coming as they wanted to start fresh now that Savage is dead. After they bid farewell and flew away Rip and the remaining members of the team prepared to re-embark into history.
Sometime after taking up the Time Masters mantle, the Legends learned of an aberration in 1942 caused by Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash. While trying to stop it they met Rex Tyler/Hourman, leader of the JSA in that time. Around this time Hourman discovered Reverse-Flash's plans and was instructed by Mick to take the Waverider back to 2016, and stop their initial departure. Reverse-Flash learned of this and tried to stop Hourman but the Legends were all killed trying to stop him, but their sacrifices bought Hourman enough time to complete his mission and ventured through time to warn the younger versions of the Legends. Due to the future actions of Reverse-Flash and Hourman most of these events have been altered into the following.
Before the Legends could depart another heavily damaged version of the Waverider suddenly appeared and crashed near them. Soon a man disembarked and after Jax confirmed his whereabouts at his request, he told the Legends not to depart on the Waverider or they'd all die. Strangely the man told them that Mick was the one who sent him. Rip asked who the man was and he identified himself as Rex Tyler, a member of the Justice Society of America, and was from 1942. Though the team were skeptical to trust him Rex stressed that they had no idea the danger awaiting them if they traveled to 1942, but suddenly faded out of existence before he could continue.
The Legends spent 6 months fixing numerous aberrations caused by numerous time pirates. At some point during this time Rip received a message from Barry Allen/The Flash, from 2056. Barry warned Rip that there was going to be a war in Central City, but also that he altered the timeline and created Flashpoint which changed the pasts and futures of everyone he knew. Barry told Rip that when he leaves to the temporal zone he'll be in the Post-Flashpoint timeline and told him not to trust anyone, especially those closest to him as they might not be the same people he remembers. For this reason, Barry made Rip promise not to tell the other Legends.
Upon learning about a time ripple in 1942, the team traveled there. Rip realized that in order to protect New York City from the atomic bomb, the Waverider was the only thing that could possibly take the impact and prevent New York City from being destroyed, though he was unsure if the Waverider would survive, and if it did, if the time ship would still be operational. To find out, Rip scattered the Legends throughout time, but as Mick was too injured to survive a time jump, Rip left him aboard the ship and put him in stasis, in case the ship survived.  Thankfully the ship did survive but Gideon informed Rip that repairs would take 15 years to complete. Realizing that coming into contact with the time drive was the only way to escape, Rip took his piece of the Spear of Destiny. Before leaving, he recorded a message for the team in case they were found. Rip then made contact with the time drive and was transported to 1967. However, a side-effect of making contact with the time drive caused Rip to suffer amnesia, and developed a new personality as an American film student named "Phil Gasmer".
Hollywood film student
Phil traveled to Los Angeles to pursue his filmmaking desires. He also became friends with aspiring filmmaker George Lucas. However, Phil began remembering his original life as Rip Hunter but believed they were fictions of his mind, and began making a movie based on his old life. During the production of a scene, he was confronted by Legion of Doom members Malcolm Merlyn and Damien Darhk, who addressed him as Rip Hunter. Believing they were looking for Rip Hunter's actor, Phil didn't take them seriously until the Legends showed up, and they started fighting each other. Jax tried to get Phil to safety only for him to panic, and push his former teammate away. The police then showed up, causing the Legends and Legion members to scatter, leaving Phil to be arrested. While waiting in the police station, he was later found by Sara, Martin, and Mick, who tried to convince him he was Rip. Phil started panicking again, prompting the team to knock him out. Even though the team managed to bring Phil back to the ship unscathed, he did not remember being Rip Hunter, much to Sara's annoyance. However, Jax discovered that Phil's screenplay had information about the Spear of Destiny, as well as characters who resembled the Legends themselves. Phil told them that the inspiration for the Spear was a piece of wood he owned which he believed to be a good prop, and the Legends realized this was an actual piece of the Spear and left to retrieve it. They encountered the Legion, gaining the upper hand before Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash arrived. Phil noticed their distress, and went to help, despite being scared and not having any powers. He dressed in Rip's classic duster and used his signature weapon. However, the gun did not work, causing Phil to lose his confidence and the Legion to realize this was not the real Rip. As he panicked, Eobard abducted him. Phil was brought to the Legion's headquarters, where they would interrogate him for information on the Spear.
Turned to the Legion of Doom
Damien and Malcolm tried various methods to get information from Hunter, including torture and hypnosis, neither men being able to produce results. Damien tried torture again, pulling one of Rip's teeth out and finding information hidden in it, about a bank account in Switzerland in 2025. Damien wanted to use force to enter the bank vault, but Malcolm persuaded him to use Hunter as an asset. Their first attempt failed because Phil was unable to recall Rip's password, but all three men were able to escape without capture. Malcolm and Damien clashed because of this failure, eventually fighting each other to settle matters as they did in the League of Assassins. The two men would have fought til the death, but Phil intervened and said that this is what their boss, Eobard, wanted, and that they were losing by fighting each other instead of working together. Initially angry at the words Phil used, Malcolm and Damien agreed that he had a point, and worked together to break into the bank vault. Later, Eobard found out about their newfound alliance from Phil and confronted them. Instead of the men turning against each other, they settled their differences and used what they found in the bank vault to bring Rip Hunter back. Eobard addressed Rip's "shortcomings" before giving the man his memories back.
With his mind altered, Eobard Thawne brought Rip Hunter to 1776 where he was put into the services of General Cornwallis of the British Army and supplied them with automatic rifles. He then snuck into the American camp and killed George Washington to create an aberration to lure in the Legends. Thawne tasked Hunter to kill them all and bring back the fragment of the Spear of Destiny that they had. When the Legends arrived before Washington's death, Rip led a small squad of his rifle armed redcoats to attack. He set off an EMP device which disabled the Waverider, Ray's suit, Rory's Heat gun and Firestorm's quantum splicer. He then captured Washington and Rory before shooting Sara. With some of his soldiers, he attacked the Waverider and went in search of the spear. Jackson was still aboard and took out the soldiers and tried to keep Rip back but the former Time Master cornered him. Jackson tried to reason with Rip but he assured Jackson that he wasn't the Legion's puppet and that they finally freed him from being one. Jackson tried to keep him from getting the Spear but Rip threatened him with Sara's life which made him give it up and Rip killed Sara in front of him when he did. Before Rip could leave, Jackson caught up to him and threatened to shoot him for killing Sara. Rip was confident that Jackson wouldn't and even taunted him. It looked like Jackson really would shoot him before Sara, saved thanks to Gideon and Stein, talked him from doing so. Rip then took off with the Spear, leaving Jackson and Sara watching him go, brokenhearted.
Rip then told the Legion about the other three spear fragments being protected by members of the Justice Society of America. He traveled to the year 3000 A.D. where he met Dr. Mid-Nite in Detroit where he worked as a cybernetic researcher. He was amazed to see that the man had his sight restored. Dr. Mid-Nite was surprised to see him as they had agreed to not contact each other again but Rip told him that the Spear was in danger as a group was after it. He asked to have his fragment so that he could join them and hide it in the Vanishing Point. Dr. Mid-Nite wasn't fooled and Rip quickly turned on him and attacked. The former JSA member refused to tell him where the fragment was but Rip correctly guessed that he had hidden it in his own body and preceded to kill him and cut him open and retrieve it. He also took Dr. Mid-Nite's cybernetic mind-warping technology.
After that, he and Damien Darhk went to 507 A.D. to Britannia where Stargirl was. She was now Merlin and served King Arthur and Guinevere in Camelot. He and Darhk preceded to kidnap Knights of the Round Table and put them under their control with Mid-Nite's tech. They even succeeded in capturing the legendary king himself. They used him to gain access to the castle and were surprised to find that the Legends were there. They held Arthur at ransom and demanded the spear fragment at dawn or they would use their army of brainwashed knights and soldiers to destroy Camelot. Rip began growing impatient with waiting and wanted to attack but Darhk told him that it was easier to attack on a battlefield then lay siege to a castle. On the battlefield, Rip commanded the army to attack Camelot's but the Legends arrived to try and turn the tide. Stein and Rory managed to hack his tech and then shut it down freeing Arthur and the others from his control. Arthur then charged for Rip and held him at bay. He called for Darhk to help him but the man just sneered at him and told him that he didn't do rescues before he retreated. Rip was then taken to the Waverider where he was put into a cell and threatened by Jax. He told Rip that he was no longer captain and Sara convinced him to spare Rip before but if he hurt anyone from their team again that he would personally end him. After Jax left, he spoke out to Gideon and revealed that the ship's computer A.I. was still loyal to him.
Re-joining the Legends
After he tried to access Gideon, the team stopped him and then he tried a different tactic. He overrode Gideon with a code that allowed him to cause the ship to self-destruct. The Legends stop him and send Sara and Jax inside his mind. Inside they find Rip, who doesn't know who he is anymore. Sara helps him discover that he has power within his mind. They then get to the bridge, however, they are stopped by evil versions of Sara, Firestorm, and Rory. Rip then learns with the help of a human Gideon who he is. This helps Sara and Jax defeat their dark counterparts. Everyone discovers that the Waverider inside Rip's mind is falling apart due to Rip no longer believing its existence. They all leave except Rip who doesn't think the human Gideon is real. Gideon tells him that she is. He then kisses her before leaving. He gets back into his usual attire, joining up with the Legends in the bridge. He tells Sara that he knows where the final piece of the Spear of Destiny is. He also tries to apologize for everything he has done to the team. Gideon takes it as an apology for the kiss and tells him it was nice. He then leaves to the bridge.
Struggle for leadership
After rejoining the Legends he attempted to re-assume command over the group only to find the team had adopted Sara as their new leader, and that the team functioned much more smoothly under her leadership. Eventually, he realized that the team would rather have Sara as their leader and begun questioning his place on the team, only for Sara to console him and remind him that despite everything he was still a Legend.
After defeating the Legion of Doom, Rip decided to leave the Legends, Sara caught him leaving, in which the pair parted ways both giving each other good luck.
Forming the Time Bureau
After leaving the Legends, Rip would spend the next five years forming an organization to replace the Time Masters called the Time Bureau, tasked with preserving the timeline and correcting anachronisms.
After fixing the Legends mess in Los Angeles with the help of the Time Bureau, Rip informs the Legends that they are no longer required as the Bureau will deal with the anachronisms. He thus disbands the Legends, takes the Waverider from them and leaves them.
Hunting Mallus and arrest
While the Legends were tracking down an unforeseen anachronism in 1895 London, Rip met up with his former team and explained why he was allowing the Legends to operate again. For five years, Rip wanted to hunt down and prove the existence of one of the Time Master's most feared legends, Mallus. Director Bennett of the Time Bureau wouldn't allow such a hunt, forcing Rip to work alone. Reluctantly, and to call off the Time Bureau's pursuit of the team, Sara agreed to help. Rip would work alongside his team again, however, upon Damian Darhk's resurrection, Rip called in several Time Bureau agents, all of which were killed by Darhk. Infuriated over Rip's disregard for human life and his obsession with hunting down Mallus, Sara turned him over to the Time Bureau where he was detained awaiting trial.
According to Agent Sharpe, during his trial, all Rip did was rave about the threat of Mallus, which lead to his prison sentence.
Rip is seen to be a highly compassionate man who deeply loves his wife Miranda Coburn, and his son Jonas, so much so that he broke his oath to the Time Masters to travel through time and save them from their demise. He also wanted to save the future from an apocalyptic world that was believed to be caused by Vandal Savage. However, he later found that it was the Thanagarians that would destroy the world and Vandal was being helped by the Time Masters to defend Earth and prevent their attack, even if it meant destroying Rip's family in the process. Seeking revenge, he hunted Savage throughout time in an attempt to kill him before he could rise to power, but he failed to do so on his own, leading him to gather a group of unknowns to aid him.
Rip's decision to take a chance on changing the timeline can be seen as noble. While he does want to save his family, he also does want to see a better future where Vandal is not a threat. However, his love for his family trumped everything else, as he does not regret breaking his loyalty to the Time Masters. When Rip discovers that the Time Masters are in league with Vandal, as well as the fact that they have been manipulating history and are responsible for the death of his family; he becomes disgusted by their actions and completely turns against the very organization he once had respect for. While his motivation to save his family and the future are honorable, his tactics to achieve his goal brought him into conflict with not only his former employers, who were secretly manipulating and controlling events with the Oculus, but his own team. Rip mislead them on the roles they play in history by making it seem they are remembered as some of the greatest heroes, though later admits he chose them specifically because they actually have no real impact on the timeline. He also has little patience for anything that sidetracks him and the team from their pursuit, preferring to focus on the matters at hand.
Rip is shown to have a tendency to let his temper get the best of him, to the point that he ends up arguing with his own team. He can also be so absorbed in sticking to the mission to stop Vandal that he disregards the feelings of others. For instance, he harshly scolded Sara Lance for wanting to aid her home Star City in the year 2046, accusing her of having more concern for one potential future than she did the real one, and even threatened to leave her there if she did not return in an hour, either not understanding or not caring that it would certainly take longer for her to save Star City from Grant Wilson. On another occasion when frustrated after being taken prisoner by time pirates he bluntly told Mick Rory he had only been recruited to the team because of his partnership with Leonard Snart, with this revelation partially enforcing Rory's decision to betray the team.
It is revealed that even as a child, Rip was fearless, cunning, and even ruthless, willing to perform criminal acts to survive due to him living on the street and starving more than he ate. He was also very tough for someone of his age, standing up to more powerful foes without any hesitation. This is evident when his child-self pretended to be normal and innocent, as well as ignorant of the Pilgrim's intentions to kill him, only for him to stab her when she was distracted and gloating at the team. Rip's knowledge of what his younger self would do if someone tried to harm him is what led to him including the child in his plan to defeat The Pilgrim and ultimately led to her death. As an adult, he is a ruthless fighter and expressed great rage at Vandal Savage when he got to temporarily kill him the first time and when he chose to shove him into electrical breakers to kill him for the final time, instead of simply shooting him.
As he attempted to take the Nth metal meteorite into the Sun to keep it from destroying Earth, Rip underwent a near-death experience where he had a vision of his wife and son. This vision allowed him to finally come to terms with their deaths and let go of his obsession with saving them from Savage in the future. In this experience, he was shown to be extremely emotional, hugging his son tightly and holding onto his wife with the same emotions. Now having gained closure, Rip has become a far more stable individual, no longer allowing his passion or hatred for Vandal to overcome him, having made it full circle as an individual and as a leader.
As Phil Gasmer
Rip, under a new identity as Phil Gasmer, had retained some of his prior traits. Although Phil seems more anxious and fearful than his previous self, he showed that he was still courageous when it counted. He tried to help the Legends when they were engaged in a fight against the Legion, and made an attempt at escaping while a prisoner of said group. Phil was also shown to be creative, having been implied to have spent some time in film school before the appearance of the Legends, and coming up with an interesting solution to pose as Rip Hunter to help them in battle.
Under mind alteration by the Legion of Doom
While Rip is under mind alteration thanks to Eobard's tampering of his memories, it rendered him a ruthless, immoral, cruel and cold version of himself. His loyalty has seemingly shifted, as he is now obeying the commands of the Legion and shares in their determination to find the Spear of Destiny at any cost. These traits were demonstrated several times as Rip is willing to kill his former teammates to achieve a piece of a spear. He was not hesitant to shoot Sara in the stomach and later crush her throat while choking her when she was helpless and wounded. This was after having bombed the ship with an electromagnetic pulse and therefore disabled its medical equipment. Despite his cold attitude, he was slightly sarcastic and humorous, such as when he claimed to have found time-traveling fun after killing General Washington to lure his teammates into the past to try and kill them. When hunting for and shooting at Jax, he briefly tried to convince him that they could use the spear to save the latter's father, James Jackson, only to attack once again when Jax refused, showing he was willing to manipulate in order to achieve his goals. He had also shown arrogance, believing his old self to be a fool for believing that time was worth protecting. Instead, Rip believed that there was no point in protecting history, as he viewed it only as "war and slavery and holding a dead son in your arms", which implies that Rip's new personality is influenced by the loss of his family. His cruelty was enough for him to have no qualms with killing Charles when cutting a piece of the spear out of his body after not being able to trick him into giving it willingly.
- Expert tactician/Leader: As a former Time Master, Rip has an immense understanding of the flow of time, able to calculate what events will affect the time-stream and by how small/large a margin.
- Genius-level intellect: Rip is very intelligent as he is the creator of the first time sphere. He also knows a lot about the flow of the timeline, able to calculate every change and its consequences.
- Master engineer: Rip is shown to be extremely skilled in building and repairing time travel technology, building the first time sphere and teaching Jax everything on how to repair the Waverider. Also, during his last 5 years, he was able to create a device that opens portals.
- Master marksman/Firearms: Rip has shown high levels of skill in the use of his sidearm. As seen in a showdown in 1871, Rip is a very skilled quick-draw and sharpshooter, able to beat Jeb Stillwater with ease.
- Skilled hand-to-hand combatant: Rip is a very skilled hand-to-hand combatant, as he was able to go toe-to-toe with Vandal Savage in his earlier years, and even manage to overpower and slit his throat to temporarily kill him in 1975. However, he has been shown to easily be outmatched by stronger or more skilled combatants, shown when he struggled to handle a large member of the Russian Bratva. Rip also crushed Sara's throat with little effort and using only one hand.
- Skilled knife-fighter: Rip was able to skillfully use a knife in a fight against Vandal and slit his throat with it.
- Mimic/Impersonation: Rip has shown himself capable of fluently imitating an American accent. Also, as Phil, he's able to perfectly imitate Rip's British accent.
- Energy gun: Rip carries an energy gun that resembles a six-shooter, but fires blue bolts. The energy rounds can easily cause damage to solid materials or even stun foes wearing advanced body-armor such as Chronos. The gun's energy shots seem less harmful to those wearing future clothing, as Jon Valor was unharmed when shot. With such clothing, a shot from the gun is the equivalent of being struck in melee combat. Rip owns at least two versions of this gun, with one of them glowing green and firing green bolts and the other glowing red and firing red bolts.
- Stun device: Rip owns a flashlight-like device used to render others unconscious with a flash of light. He notably used this device to capture his original team members to recruit them, as well to capture Per Degaton and sedate Mick Rory to put him in stasis. Ray Palmer took possession of the stunner after Rip disappeared, attempting to stun a zombified Mick Rory with it while locking him in the medical bay, though it failed. The device is also capable of erasing memories, as Mick and Sara Lance used the device to erase the memories of Leonard Snart and Damien Darhk of their time as time travelers with the Legion of Doom.
- Time courier: Rip carries a time courier. This device allows him to transport through time and space without the need of a timeship.
- Waverider: Rip owns one of the most powerful timeships of all-time, the Waverider, which he and his team use to jump through time and find Vandal Savage. The ship was stolen from the Time Masters. The ship is also used for protecting the timeline.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
- After Rip's first attack on Vandal Savage/Hath-Set, he and his followers began to call Rip "gareeb", which is Arabic for "stranger".
- The coat he wears used to belong to Jonah Hex. The coat also looks similar to the Tenth Doctor's coat on Doctor Who.
- Rip is the only member of the original Legends team that never appeared on The Flash, although he is mentioned.
- Rip's favorite candy is jelly beans as revealed in the episode "".
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Rip Hunter is a time traveler who is frequently seen as a man out of time, with no real place in history whose real name is a mystery. He is a member of the Challengers of the Unknown quartet, as well as the future son of fellow time traveler Booster Gold.
- Arthur Darvill, who portrays Rip Hunter in the series, is best known for his role in the BBC series Doctor Who where he portrayed Rory Williams, a companion of the time traveling Eleventh Doctor. While the Doctor's race is called "Time Lords", Rip's group is called "Time Masters".
- Rip Hunter's real name, Michael, is a reference to his father from the comics, Booster Gold, whose real name is Michael Jon Carter.