Chrono-Ranger/References

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Artwork

  • Plague Rat, Akash'Bhuta, Ambuscade, Citizen Truth, and Crackjaw Crew are portrayed on the bounty cards "The Ultimate Target," "By Any Means," "Kill on Sight," "No Executions," and "The Whole Gang"[1] respectively.
  • The Illusory Demon, one of the Dreamer's projections, is featured on the card "Sudden Contract".
  • Doc Tusser is featured on the cards "Eye on the Prize," "Terrible Tech-Strike," and "Dead or Alive".
  • Chrono-Ranger is holding Akash'Bhuta at gunpoint on "Just Doin' My Job".
  • Gloomweaver appears on the card "Displaced Armory".
  • Chrono-Ranger's original incapacitated art is the period when he is lost in time and space following his encounter with Ambuscade in Wagner Mars Base when he failed to kill the villain as his bounty specified. He was eventually saved from his situation by La Comodora. His alternate-art incap shows him beginning to turn into a Rat Beast following his battle with Plague Rat before Dark Watch finished the job and he was able to return to CON to be cured.[2]. The Best of Times promo's original incapacitated art depicts Jim taking the direct hit by OblivAeon during the destruction of Rook City and his alternate-art incapacitated art shows him in Pompeii as Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD - the young La Capitan stranded him there at the conclusion of their conflict.

Confirmed

Unconfirmed

  • The rat creature that bit Chrono-Ranger's arm off is likely a descendant of Plague Rat (or perhaps even the original), explaining why they are nemeses.
  • Chrono-Ranger is briefly alluded to, although not mentioned by name, in the backstory for The Eternal Haka.

To Other Works

  • Chrono-Ranger is a clear analogue for the "Weird West" tales that were popular in the late fifties and early sixties. The genre often took wild west characters and settings and introduced super-science, time travel, and magic into the mix. One of the most famous characters to emerge from this genre was DC's Jonah Hex, a deformed outlaw who made more than a few trips into the future. Most of the Chrono-Ranger's character traits seem to be based on Hex.

Questions Answered on The Letters Page

  • From Letters Page Episode 25 Chrono-Ranger
    • When did the heroes first encounter Chrono-Ranger, who met him, and how did that encounter go down? The first encounter is in the Akash'Bhuta fight, but they don't meet him at that time. They first meet him in the Plague Rat fight when the members of Dark Watch talk to him.
    • Did Chrono-Ranger meet Haka in the Final Wasteland before going back in time? Does he stay in the main timeline? Chrono Ranger and the Eternal Haka never meet (CON and Haka don't know about one another). He goes to a lot of different timelines and is constantly saving/altering those timelines by his presence. The times we see him in the main timeline are mainly the ones that were mentioned earlier.
    • Can CON enable time travel within the same timeline (referencing the fact that in earlier episodes the guys generally talk about time-travel as specifically reality-hopping rather than actual time travel within a timeline)? Yes. CON's main limitation was that it couldn't travel through time itself and needed an agent (up until it figured out how to upload itself to CR's gear at the end of the multiverse era).
    • As James Brooks originated in Western comics, how did readers react to the sudden change to the time-travel stuff? They didn't. The Western comics were really old and weren't in continuous publication up until Chrono-Ranger started showing up. Certainly, really observant comics historians or similar could have realized that the publishers were reusing this old character, but it's not like he was rounding up the Hayes boys one month and then dealing with time travel the next in terms of comics publication. This is similar to Faye Diamond's introduction in really old comics before being introduced as Nightmist decades later.
    • What's the coolest thing he's seen in his time traveling exploits? That's pretty subjective, but maybe watching the destruction of Pompeii.
    • Was CR able to prevent the future of the Final Wasteland? He doesn't know, but yes.
    • Questioner has a pet hypothesis that Jim kills the original Plague Rat, but then gets infected and becomes one himself - is that what happens? Nope. He (and several other heroes) get infected, but don't ultimately become rat beasts. More on this next week in the PR episode.
    • In the Prime Wardens Argent Adept's bio, it says that they would have lost the fight against Akash'Bhuta if they hadn't been helped by Chrono-Ranger, what did he do to swing the fight their way? Did he have some kind of special tech for this purpose? He just uses his normal revolver. He shows up at precisely the right moment to distract/stun her enough for the heroes to make a comeback and win.
    • What's the storyline behind Temporal Targets? That's the book that a lot of his cards' flavor text cites. Publication-wise, this was something the company started putting out to explain all of the events that Jim had been popping in and out of. By the time it was published, it was covering events that often had taken place years prior (like the Akash'Bhuta fight), just now from CR's perspective. We also get his origin story here.
    • Is there a story behind his connection to his hat or is it just a trope? This is a holdover from his original Western comics as a running character trait that "you don't touch the Sheriff's hat" and the modern writers kept it going.
    • What is the Masada? It's a ray-gun that CON put together for Jim to use in a situation when he just couldn't do any damage to something with his normal weapons. This is demonstrative of the sort of "CON supplies Chrono-Ranger with the equipment he needs" plot detail (represented in-game by stuff like "Displaced Armory").
    • Who are the people on "The Whole Gang" and how do they factor into his story? That's the Crackjaw Crew, as mentioned. More on them in the upcoming Interlude on Nemeses later this month.
    • What's with the phrase "Thunder and mud!"? It's something he would say that was retained from the old Western comics - it's sort of like Unity's "Sparks!" exclamation.
    • Jim seems to be a fan of the "solve a problem, then ride off into the sunset" trope (or in his case "solve a problem, walk through a time-portal") and he seems like he doesn't socialize with the other heroes - is there a reason for this or is he just not into small talk? Does he have any friends? Since the completion of bounties is what allows him to jump back to CON, he tends to not stick around much. He's not really much one for small talk anyway and is ok with solitude, but the nature of his story doesn't really allow him to get to know any other heroes (until the Future section).
    • Did Jim have any kids before he got dropped through time (and does he have any descendants running around)? Not that he knows about. He had a sweetheart back in Oklahoma, but she didn't go with him when he went out west. She found out after he left that she was pregnant and her telegram never reached him.
    • During his time-travels, has he ever met himself (or alternate-universe versions of himself)? No. He and La Capitan/Comodora are the only "true" time-travelers out there and he never gets sent to the same place twice and so doesn't interact with himself.
    • Does he return to CON after each mission? Yes, by the nature of how the time travel works (up until the Ambuscade incident at least).
    • How's his relationship with CON? They get along. He finds the chatty robot a bit annoying, but appreciates the effectiveness of it.
    • In the CR books, did the writers ever use time-travel as an excuse to have him meet past versions of heroes (previous Legacies, Black Fist, etc.)? Absolutely - in his solo series they did this a lot.
    • Now that he's met La Comodora, does anything happen between them (common time-travel experiences)? No - they become friends/drinking buddies given the common experiences, but they don't have a romantic relationship.
    • How are Plague Rat and Jim nemeses? Jim justifiably has a chip on his shoulder regarding man-sized rat creatures given that one ripped his arm off, but is PR long-lived enough to have been that rat creature or is it a descendant? Is he trying to stop Plague Rat to stop all rat beasts in the future? It's mostly the last bit - CON knows that Plague Rat and the infection that comes with it is part of what leads to the Final Wasteland and so needs to be stopped, but for CR this is kind of personal and that is what justifies the Nemesis status. Plague Rat doesn't know about any of this, but they've said before that being a Nemesis has to be a symmetrical motivation.
    • Why do we almost never see his mechanical arm? His original mechanical arm is rather spindly, but is rather compact when he's not using it - we generally see it while he's extending it, consciously. While in its compact state it's easily hidden at his side by his poncho.
    • Who/What is CON and where did it come from? The Concordant Harmonic Entity was created near the "end of the world" scenario that resulted in the Final Wasteland by some heroes - Unity, Mr. Fixer, and the Argent Adept. They decided to build this entity for the purpose of having it be smart enough and last long enough to figure out time travel to try to prevent this bad future. The vast knowledge of the Virtuoso of the Void and the mechanical know-how of the other two were what allowed them to build the bunker and the AI that went with it, along with the ability to self-upgrade when necessary. CON's personality is mostly due to Unity's influence, but it's largely a combination of their minds. In the thousands of years it's existed, it's worked its way up to the 4th major iteration and is finally able to send things through time when CR finds it.

Sources