Review: The Rocketeer The Complete Adventures

Published on May 24th, 2011

Did you guys check out Ian’s article on the 20th anniversary of the release of the movie adaptation of Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer? If not, check it out. Anyway, if you couldn’t tell, Ian is a big fan of the Rocketeer and he was nice enough to loan me his copy of The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures so that I could feature it on this week’s edition of Trade Tuesday. That’s right, IDW was able to get the rights and release the whole collection in one book.

therocketeercompleteadventuI think at this point, we all know the basic story for the Rocketeer, but I’ll give ya a quick recap anyway. I got nothing better to do. The story takes place in 1938 where a young racing pilot named Cliff Secord comes into the possession of an experimental rocket pack that got stashed in his plane when some seedy gangster types left it there while they were trying to escape the police. Cliff sees this rocket pack as his ticket to the big-time that could help him make enough money to impress his girlfriend, Betty. The problem is, everyone wants to get their hands on this rocket pack, including The Nazis.

This trade is a collection of everything Dave Stevens did with the character, it really is the “complete adventures.” This really is a nice hardcover book, that is well worth the price and there are a couple different releases of this. There’s a deluxe edition, that includes all the comics, plus a ton of extra stuff, like sketches and character designs. The one I’m looking at is a basic edition that just includes the comics and a few pin-ups thrown in here and there. If you can afford the deluxe edition, you should get it. If you don’t have the cash, or just can’t find it the basic one is still something to treasure.

There’s so much to love about The Rocketeer. First off, it’s an amazing story. I mean come on, what kid hasn’t dreamed about having a jet pack? I remember when I saw the movie in theaters, I made a rocket pack out of a cardboard box and ran around the backyard pretending to fly. Maybe I’ll call out sick to work and do it again. Stevens created something that anyone can relate to and enjoy.

Not only is Stevens a great story teller, but his art is absolutely amazing. Everything from the incredible facial expressions to the sexy pin-ups are fantastic. After almost thirty years, this comic book is still a wonder to read. And everything about this book is iconic, just look at the helmet. I don’t think there’s any sort of head gear that’s as recognizable as that helmet.

I’m so glad that I finally read this, and whether you’ve read it a million times, or it’s your first reading, any comic fan will love this book. That’s why I bought it, for my pal Sam (and fellow Comic Impact contributor) for his birthday last month. The retail for this edition is $29.99, but Amazon sells it for about twenty bucks. Or, if you really want the deluxe edition, Amazon Superheroes Graphic Novels) still has it in stock for under 50 bucks. If you can afford it, get that one while they still have it in stock.

Ken Zeider