- For the group's successor, see Time Bureau.
- "As a Time Master of long standing, you seem to forget our responsibility is to protect the timeline, not humanity."
- —Time Master councilor to Rip Hunter[src]
The Time Masters were a council of individuals apparently tasked with protecting the timeline. They were also associates of Vandal Savage. Although the organization states that its goal to keep the timeline, it was ultimately nothing more than a façade, as they used a device called the Oculus that would give them a vision of the "true timeline", but the senior members used it to manipulate the timeline, something that most members of the group are not aware of.
Following the destruction of the Oculus, the Time Masters' ability to analyze and manipulate the timeline has been crippled. The Time Masters became inactive and many of them were dead. They no longer were a force to protect the timeline, which prompted the Legends to take their place; until Rip Hunter founded an organization known as the Time Bureau.
Rip Hunter stood before the council, requesting a team to take on Vandal Savage and prevent him from massacring any more people. However, the council turned a blind eye, standing by their decision. Instead, Rip took his timeship, the Waverider, and took on the mission anyway, in doing so relinquishing his position as a Time Master. They subsequently sent Chronos after him, to bring him in.
Chronos followed the team, but failed again, and so Time Master Zaman Druce was sent to try and bring in Rip and his entire team. Druce pretended to offer Rip and his team amnesty, but when Rip seemingly conceded, Chronos turned up to execute him. However, Mick Rory forewarned Rip of the betrayal and, assisted by Firestorm, thwarted Druce and Chronos, forcing them to flee.
Ultimately, Rip's team was able to capture Savage in 2166, along with evidence that he was tampering with time to acquiring futuristic technology for his conquest of Earth. Despite this justifying Rip's mission to stop Savage, it was revealed that the Time Masters have sided with Savage, believing him to be crucial to the balance of the timeline, opting to return him to 2166 and imprison Rip and his team.
The Time Masters then captured every member of the team except Leonard Snart, Sara Lance, and Jefferson Jackson. They released Kendra Saunders and Scythian Torvil into Savage's "care". They also planned to brainwash Rory into becoming Chronos. Druce, in order to get Hunter to abandon his obsession, showed him the Time Masters' ace in the hole, the Oculus, a device that could be used to influence decisions. He explains not only has he been controlling the teams' actions for months but also that he was the mastermind behind Savage's rise to power, wanting Savage to take over the world in order to prepare the Earth's armies for an alien invasion in 2175.
Subsequently, Sara and Snart sabotage the Time Masters' time fleet before freeing their teammates; Rory revealed himself to have resisted being brainwashed before killing Time Master Declan. Druce anticipated that Rip would try to target the Oculus Wellspring to free his team from his manipulations and thus set an ambush, claiming it to be destiny. However, Jax appeared unexpectedly, having returned from early 2016, enabling the team to get to the wellspring. Though the Oculus had predicted that Ray Palmer would sacrifice himself to destroy it, Rory took his place, then Snart. Druce was helpless as Snart defiantly destroyed the Oculus, killing Druce and crippling the Time Masters' ability to analyze and manipulate the timeline.
Rip Hunter went on to create the Time Bureau to replace the Time Masters and ensure that they are void of the corruption of his former masters.
Sometime after the destruction and disbandment of the Time Masters, Rip Hunter, a former member of the group founded an organization known as the Time Bureau, whose goal is to truly protect the timeline. Unlike the corrupt Time Masters, the Time Bureau is based on morals, honor and principles.
- Eve Baxter (inactive)
- Miranda Coburn (resigned; deceased)
- Zaman Druce (deceased)
- Declan (deceased)
- Rip Hunter (turned enemy)
- The Hunters (bounty hunters; deceased)
- The Pilgrim (assassin; deceased)
- Mick Rory/Chronos (bounty hunter; resigned)
- Vandal Savage (deceased)
- Kaylex Druzan (deceased)
- Carter Hall/Hawkman (member of the Legends; deceased)
- Leonard Snart/Captain Cold (member of the Legends; deceased)
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
- Time Masters use aliases to prevent their ancestors, descendants, and loved ones from becoming targeted by their enemies.
- The Time Masters were nicknamed "Time Bastards" by Leonard Snart, and called "Time Pigs" by Mick Rory.
- Rip Hunter claims that the Time Masters were aware of Mallus, that he was an evil, ancient and powerful, meaning at some point they encountered him when time was broken. However, he also says that the Time Masters "dared not speak his name", and considering that would mean they never said his name and that the organization is defunct, he may have just added them in to lend credibility to his statement.
Behind the scenes
- In DC comics, Time Masters are a heroic team led by Rip Hunter, rather than a villainous one hunting him as a rogue member.
- Unidentified Time Masters are portrayed in "Pilot, Part 1" by Mackenzie Gray, Simone Bailly and Christopher Logan.