The Rook is a time-traveling comic book character whose adventures were chronicled in various issues of Eerie magazine published by Warren Publishing in the 1970s and 80s, before getting his own title. He was created by writer Bill DuBay.
|Super Name:||Restin Dane|
|Real Name:||Restin Dane|
Master of Time Rook
|1st Appearance:||Eerie #82|
|Appears in:||50 issues|
The Rook is a time-traveler whose adventures were chronicled in various issues of Eerie magazine published by Warren Publishing in the 1970’s. The character was created by writer Bill DuBay. The Rook eventually proved popular enough to receive his own Rook Magazine which ran for 14 issues between 1979 and 1982 (after its cancellation; he returned to Eerie in #132).
The Rook is actually a scientist named Restin Dane. Dane comes from a family of scientists whose members include the unnamed protagonist of the novel The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Dane gains his nickname from the fact that his time machine resembles a giant chess rook. Dane takes to wearing Western style clothing and a gunbelt. His first adventure is to travel back in time to the Alamo to save an ancestor. He succeeds in saving his great-great-grandfather Bishop Dane, who accompanies him on many of his adventures, along with two robots he built.Restin Dane is the grandson of Adam Dane the man who told his story about his adventures in the future to his friend H.G. Wells who turned his account in the book The Time Machine but at his insistence withholding his name out from the book.
Restin also builds a time machine, his being in the shape of a rook from a chess set.
This first trip takes him to the Alamo where he saves his great great grandfather Bishop Dane knowing that taking him out of the time stream just before he would have died will prevent any paradoxes.
During his subsequent adventures he also gets in the habit of dressing in Western style and using a handgun from that time period.
During their further adventures, The Rook, as he comes to be called, Bishop and two robots that Restin constructs encounter Sherlock Holmes, Robar the Conqueror, H.G. Wells and his grandfather the Time Traveler, whom he helps in a final war between the Eloi and the Morlocks.
In a later adventure, he meets the time traveler from Wells' book — who is revealed to be his grandfather Adam Dane — and helps him in a war between the Eloi and the Morlocks. The time-traveling adventurer Restin Dane, who called himself "The Rook," after the castle-like shape of his time machine. Dane's exploits were told in the pages of Warren Eerie and The Rook magazines in the 1970s and 1980s.
A few notes about consistency... Continuity is not necessarily a trademark of this series (and the same might be said of other Warren series), therefore I have noted inconsistencies when I have found them, and postulated explanations where necessary. Each time the Rook visits the future, there are discontinuities, such as the Earth being completely barren of all life in the 30th Century (Future Shock, Eerie # 88) and yet showing a 40th Century in which a very technologically advanced mankind is engaged in a massive battle for survival with their robot creations (The Trouble with Tin Men!/Robot Fighters, Eerie # 104-105). These, therefore, must be treated as futures which are only possibilities, and not set in stone from our 21st Century perspective.
Another mystery surrounds Restin Dane's romantic entanglements. In the initial stories (Eerie # 82-85), Restin appears to be involved with January Boone, while Bishop Dane is involved with Katie McCall (this involvement clearly ends later on, with Katie calling Bishop a "senile old coot" on several different occasions). In Quarb and the War Ball (Eerie # 98), Restin tells Katie he loves her as he departs on another mission. In a later issue, January calls him "lover" (Terror of the Spaceways, Eerie # 102). And yet, in Terror of the Spaceways, Part II, (Eerie # 103), Restin kisses another woman while in the future (admittedly, she is very distraught over losing her family, so perhaps Restin is just comforting her). Later on, it is established that Restin and Katie have a long-standing relationship. Oh well, it was the '70s, after all.
As with any series, The Rook stories vary in quality. In my opinion, the best Rook stories are those which deal with the history of Restin Dane and his companions, rather than the somewhat throwaway adventures that send the Rook to the future, outer space, the edge of the universe, and so on. The essential Rook stories are:
The Man Whom Time Forgot!, Eerie # 82
The Day Before Tomorrow, Eerie # 83
Yesterday, The Final Day, Eerie # 84
Quarb and the War Ball, Eerie # 98
The Original Master of Time!, The Rook # 1-3
The Coming of Coral Dane!, The Rook # 7
The Coming of Billy Dane!, The Rook # 8
To Checkmate a King!, The Rook # 9
Finally, some may disagree with the direction that Harris Comics took when they revamped The Rook in the 1990s. However, this is an effort to document the complete adventures of The Rook, so I have noted those stories as well.
Other versions Edit
Harris Comics would later "revamp" the character in name only, first in a mini-series Chains of Chaos, then giving him a short-lived series for five issues (#0-4) in 1995.Rook being a scientist and an adventurer, he was recruited into Danse Macabre. One day he was attacked and he bonded with chaos skin as the last resort. Now he has a powersuit-living entity named Slough, and they need each other to survive. He responds to his mental commands and can form any weapon he can think of. He can travel in space and between alternate realities.
A.N. Group, LLC has announced the acquisition of the intellectual property rights to “The Rook,” the popular graphic story series created by W.B. DuBay and Budd Lewis.
A.N. Group, LLC, a Native American-owned firm and a recent entry in the exploding field of media property rights acquisitions, is pleased to announce its intent to bring this classic time-traveling hero from the pages of comics and print to television, film and gaming.
The Rook, also known as Restin Dane, is a descendant of the time traveling scientist from H.G. Wells‘ classic novella, “The Time Machine.”
The Master of Time finds himself alongside iconic figures of history and legend when his exploits take him from the eras of long-lost lore to the fantastic and infinite possibilities of futures yet to unfold.
Time traveler, chess master and a man of science, romance and courage, The Rook fights to right history’s wrongs while exploring his own fascinating historical roots and saving those he loves from the ravages of time.
- Eerie #82-85, 87-95, 98-105 (Warren, 1977–1979)
- Rook Magazine #1-14 (Warren, 1979–1982)
- Eerie #116, 120 (Warren, 1980–1981; stories featuring The Rook's great-grandfather)
- Eerie #132, #134, #136 (Warren, 1982)
- Warren Presents #2 (reprints the stories from Eerie #82-85)