Review: Rocketeer Adventures #2

Published on June 24th, 2011

Looking for a great, fun read with fantastic art that requires almost zero backstory but has some of the most talented creators in the industry?  Then look look no further than Rocketeer Adventures #2!

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Rocketeer Adventures is a four part mini-series that carries on the iconic character created by Dave Stevens in 1982.  It takes almost no knowledge of Rocketeer’s backstory (or even the last issue) because each issue of this mini is a collection of short stories by some of the biggest creators working in comics today.  Issue #2 features stories by Mark Waid, Darwyn Cooke and Lowell Francis with art by Chris Weston and Gene Ha, as well as Cooke doing his own art, and a double page pin-up by Geoff Darrow.  It’s also worth pointing out that Dave Stewart is the one factor connecting all of the short stories, as he does the colors for the whole book, and they’re quite stunning.

If you read Rocketeer Adventures #1, you know the level of dedication that these creators put into their work, and issue #2 is no exception.  The first story, by Waid and Weston, is titled, “It Ain’t The Fall That Kills Ya…”.  In this story, we find Cliff and Peevey in San Francisco trying to make a name for the Rocketeer.  The second story is titled, “Betty Saves The Day,” and is written and drawn by Cooke.  The third and final story is written by Francis with art by Ha, called, “TKO.”

My favorite of this issue is definitely, “Betty Saves The Day.”  I’m a huge fan of Cooke and will read anything written and/or drawn by him.  Luckily, he usually does both.  This story starts out with an intro that catches the reader up to the point where Cooke’s story is starting, but he plays it out like the intro to an old Hollywood serial.  The first page is in black and white and features images from the previous “episode” while the announcer tells us what happened, complete with, “When last we saw our intrepid hero…”.After the intro, the rest of the story is in color and features Betty, well, saving the day.  It’s really a great story and Cooke’s art is always top notch.  Ever wondered what a half naked Betty Page would look like as the Rocketeer?  Then this is the story for you!

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the theatrical release of The Rocketeer and next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the release of the Stevens’ original Rocketeer comics.  Rocketeer Adventures is absolutely a great way to honor the memory of Stevens’ amazing creation and to celebrate the anniversaries of both the movies and the original comics.

As previously stated, you don’t need to read Rocketeer Adventures #1 or the original Rocketeer comics by Stevens to pick up Rocketeer Adventures #2, but why the Hell wouldn’t you want to?  Do yourself a favor, go to Amazon and pick up a copy of the original stuff.  You’ll thank me.

Ian Candish
Ian@ComicImpact.com