Rip Hunter Won't Return in 'Legends of Tomorrow' Season 4

The blows keep coming for Legends of Tomorrow fans. After it was announced that the series wouldn't be included in the upcoming Arrowverse crossover introducing Batwoman, we found out during San Diego Comic-Con 2018 that Arthur Darvill's Rip Hunter definitely will NOT be returning for season 4.

Digital Spy spoke with Legends showrunner Phil Klemmer during SDCC, in which Klemmer confirmed the bad news"

"I believe he's done, for this season. But, I mean, Arthur Darvill is the greatest. We've got a terrible habit of killing the greatest people. It's totally stupid."

Darvill's Rip Hunter was a series regular in Legends season 1, rebelling against the Time Master to gather the Legends team and lead them on the campaign against evil immortal, Vandal Savage. In season 2 Rip took more of a recurring role, having been lost in time and stricken with amnesia, Rip (in his alter-ego of American film student "Phil Gasmer") held the key to the Spear of Destiny, which the Legion of Doom hoped to use to alter reality. He was turned evil for awhile, but ultimately helped his team defeat the villains. Rip then returned to Vanishing Point to rebuild the Time Masters into the Time Bureau organization. He led the charge to stop the anachronisms that eventually allowed the demon Mallus to escape his prison, and sacrificed his own life by blowing up the Waverider's Time Drive, incapacitating Mallus.

With that kind of twisted and convoluted character arc, it would be understandable for fans to hold out hope that Rip Hunter could return - and indeed Arrowverse executive producer Marc Guggenheim has already left that door open, stating in an interview earlier this year that Rip could indeed return... someday:

We love Arthur, we love having Arthur on the show, and I think Arthur enjoys being on the show. Because it’s a time travel show, and because we never saw a body, anything is possible. I think Arthur is totally willing to come back and play with us if we have a cool idea.”

Legends has beaten a lot of odds to become a fan-fav cult-hit of the Arrowverse. The fantastical comic book pulp premise, fund guest stars and historical reference, and unabashed fun of the show are something fans fans to be a medicinal cure for the heavy drama and darkness of other Arrowverse entries like Arrow and The Flash. Admittedly, Darvill's Rip Hunter has been a big part of that equation since the series found its seas legs, so the loss won't have huge impact on the current ensemble team dynamic that fans love so much. But still: R.I.P. Rip (see what I did there?).

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As a silver lining: Beebo and Vixen will both be making appearance in season 4!

Legends of Tomorrow returns for season 4 alongside Arrowverse cousins Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash and outlier Black Lightning, in fall 2018.