Bonnie Baxter

Eve BaxterLast week on Legends of Tomorrow a couple of new characters have been introduced, a good guy (sort of…) and a bad one. Let’s start from the first: in Marooned, the Wave Rider intercepts a distress call from another ship belonging to a Time Master, the first female one we meet, Eve Baxter, portrayed by Stephanie Cleough. Eve obviously isn’t too happy to be “rescued” by a rogue Time Master such as Rip Hunter, but she eventually helps him and his team with his mission out of gratitude. The character is a re-imagining of one of Rip Hunter’s historical friends from the comics, Bonnie Baxter, a fellow Time Master who accompanied our hero since his very first adventure in 1959. Just as with Rip, Bonnie has been reinvented over the years as the DC Universe changed continuity…so there are two different (main) versions of her. Let’s see together.

The first version of Bonnie Baxter had a pretty obscure history. She was born in the United States of America, most likely in Arizona, and nothing is known about her family, apart from the fact that she had a little brother, Corky, who she went pretty much along with. History had always been Bonnie’s main interest, and when she arrived to college she chose to get her degree in history, in order to transform her passion into her job. She graduated with maximum grades, and her researches proved to be revolutionary in both their discoveries and in her interpretation of already known facts. In the academic world she obtained attention, and she was contacted by a scientist, who introduced himself as Rip Hunter: he was forming a team of explorers, and he was in need of an expert of history. When Hunter told Bonnie that the explorers in question would have travelled through time she believed he was jocking, but the man showed her his time machine, the Time Sphere. Thrilled to have the possibility to see in first person the things she’d been studying about, Bonnie bonniebaxtercomics1accepted Rip Hunter’s offer, but only if her brother, who she was taking care of, could come along as well (obviously, the teenager was pretty much enthusiast with the idea of becoming a time traveler). The Time Masters were born, with Rip Hunter as captain, his best friend Jeffrey Smith as an engineer and mechanic, Bonnie Baxter as historian, and Corky as little more of a mascotte. Bonnie visited the ancient times she had only dreamt about, and she even entered in competition with one of the most famous and powerful women in history, Cleopatra, jealous of her attentions towards Rip. During the many travels together, in fact, she found out she was undoubtedly attracted to the scientist, and she even declared herself on a couple of occasions, but despite all the admiration Rip had for her, he never reciprocated her feelings…despite a certain chemistry between the two. Bonnie never surrendered: after all, she had all the time in the world.

After the Chrisis on Infinite Earth, Bonnie Baxter’s story was rewritten. She lost her parents when she was still very young, and she became the tutor of her little brother Corky, a rebellious and troublesome kid who made her life extremely difficult. Bonnie obtained a history degree, and then she stayed in university to be the assistant of Geology professor Calvin “Cave” Carson. The girl liked the professor, and when it became clear he reciprocated her attraction, they started an affair. Their relationship didn’t go unnoticed for long, as the board of regents found out about it: in order to avoid a scandal, Carson was ordered to cut ties with his student if he wanted to keep his job, and Bonnie was fired and kicked out of the university. Carson felt guilty, and as some kind of apology he recomended Bonnie to an old friend of his, the scientist Rip Hunter, begging him to give her a job. Hunter, however, had something else in mind: he had found out that the Illuminati, a secret society that controlled most of the world politics and economics and that was guided by the immortal psychopath Vandal bonniebaxtercomics2Savage, would have caused a nuclear conflict in the future, destroying most of human civilization. Hunter wanted to prevent the cataclysm, and was forming a team to travel back in time and destroy the Illuminati before they became a dangerous and powerful world-ending threat. Despite she didn’t have any clue on how a time machine worked (especially one that needed to be recalibrated after every travel, since time couldn’t be manipulated the same way twice), Bonnie convinced Rip that she would have been of use to his crusade, and eventually he allowed her to join his team. Bonnie’s presence created extreme tension in the Time Lab, as she unwillingly gave birth to quite a competition between Rip and his teammate Jeffrey Smith to obtain her favors (when Cave Carson joined the team, things got even more complicated), but she wasn’t interested in any of them, and stayed focused on the mission…until her kid brother committed suicide. Feeling powerless in helping her brother, she also lost hope in Hunter’s impossible mission to prevent the Illuminati’s raise to power…but this eventually gave her a brand new perspective which she could look at the problem from, and she started developing an alternate solution that, for once, looked to the future instead of the past.

Bonnie Baxter is an extremely intelligent and resourceful young woman, a fast learner who even became an expert of time mechanics and quantum theory following her experience with time traveling. A historian, she further developed her skills and knowledge with direct experience, and she even mastered a brand new set of abilities, proving to be also a naturally talented sharpshooter. Bonnie is a strong-willed woman, able to stand up to her captain whenever she disagrees with his orders, and she’s brave enough to fight any threat time traveling implicates, even saving her male teammates’ lives more than once. A woman for all occasions, Bonnie Baxter is exactly the person Rip Hunter needs for his team…even if he doesn’t fully realize this, in more than one reality.

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