Rocketeer Adventures #1 – Review

Dave Stevens created a character about 30 years ago called Cliff Secord aka “The Rocketeer”  who is a pilot that finds a jet pack and uses it to fight crime and have amazing adventures. Not much material was produced featuring The Rocketeer except for a few comics and a pretty good film from Disney.  Unfortunately Dave Stevens died of Hairy Cell Leukaemia in 2008 which seemed to put an end to the dream of many fans like myself that wanted more Rocketeer comics.

Jump forward 3 years and the dream is alive and well once again. IDW have this week released Rocketeer Adventures #1, a collection of short tales and pin up art from some of the comic industries finest talent. John Cassaday, Mike Allred, Mike Mignola, Dave Stewart, Jim Silke and Kurt Busiek are the power houses behind the first issue with the likes of Alex Ross, Mark Waid and Darwyn Cooke already working on the second issue.

Review

Issue #1 is made up of 3 short stories and 2 Pin up pieces. Each story is 8 pages long with incredible artwork and great pulpy stories.

The first story is called “The Rocketeer” and is written and drawn by John Cassaday. This tale sees Cliff Secord rushing to the rescue of Betty who is being held hostage by the Maroni gang. The story has the feel of a old 30’/40’s TV serial, you come in at the end of the story just as Cliff confronts the gang who have tied Betty to a rocket. Cliff and Betty have a great back and forth and the story has incredibly nostalgic pulpy adventure feel to it.

The second story called “home again” is written and drawn by Mike Allred (iZombie) and Coloured by his wife Laura. Cliff returns to California seeking the help of Peevey (his mechanic). Cliff has somehow got his hands on another jet pack and helmet and he is in big trouble. This feels like the beginning of a larger story and it has me hooked and wanting more. Mike’s art is great and really fits the subject, his images of The Rocketeer in flight are breath taking.

The Third and Final story is called “Dear Betty” and is written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by Michael Kaluta. The story is about Betty in New York during World War 2 and shows you her correspondence with Cliff as he is off fighting in the pacific. You get to read his letters to her and see her life around her as the war goes on. It’s a beautiful little story that is filled with emotion. The addition of the pictures Cliff is sending with the letters is excellent, you get to see him fight a massive mechanical squid and a gigantic samurai sword wielding King Kong. Every panel of this 8 page story leaves me salivating at the thought of a World War 2 Rocketeer ongoing.

Conclusion

This is one of the strongest comic issues I have ever read. It is filled with action suspense and great comedy, plus it’s about a guy with a rocket engine strapped to his back that has adventures. If you liked the original Dave Stevens comics or were a fan of the film go out now and get a copy of this comic, you will not be disappointed! It’s getting 4.5 out of 5. It loses half a point because I have to wait for the next issue!

 GS Reviewer: Matt

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