How many of you were lucky enough to pick up the first volume of the Rocketeer Adventures series that IDW published last year? Well, I count myself as one of the lucky handful of die-hard Rocketeer fans that made a beeline for the local comic store to make sure I nabbed a copy! Good thing I did too, because for every single issue, I picked up the LAST COPY each time. I know, I know…you’re asking yourself, “what on earth makes the Rocketeer so special?” I’m not sure I can explain it exactly, but if you’re a comic book loving fool such as myself then I can almost guarantee, if given a chance, the Rocketeer will woo you too.
To be fair, there were not very many copies of Rocketeer Adventures Volume 1 preordered to begin with at my LCS. This doesn’t mean it was a bad book by ANY means whatsoever. The Rocketeer brand, I feel, has been stymied a little due to experiencing such a sporadic publishing schedule and a long dry spell seemingly hidden away in some secret comic book vault. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the Rocketeer had not seen the light of day since sometime in the mid 90’s, until IDW recently acquired publishing rights. I’ve grown to love IDW for several reasons, but if this was all they did…I would still love them just as much.
The Rocketeer (Cliff Secord) for me is the embodiment of the American spirit. He’s as American as baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie. He’s the guy just trying to make a living, win the girl, and do what’s right for everyone. What’s not to like about the guy? I’m a sucker for World War II era comic books, and the Rocketeer fits that mold in every way. Dave Stevens (1955-2008) captured that time period like no one else has, and his influence continues on in this latest dive into the Rocketeer universe.
In issue 1 of the second volume we are treated to three individual stories by Marc Guggenheim (The Good Guys), Peter David (The Ducketeer), and Stan Sakai (A Dream of Flying). Fabulous artwork provided by the likes of Art Adams, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave Stewart, and Sandy Plunkett. Each story has it’s own flavor injected by clever writing and beautiful pencils.
The Good Guys makes a case for why we need the Rocketeer, and what he stands for. The Ducketeer is a humorous tale paying homage to Looney Tunes and staying true to the chemistry that makes Cliff and Betty’s relationship perfect. A Dream of Flying gives us a “what if” type tale on where a little boy with the last name Kent may have got his early inspiration.
Some of you may take issue with these tales being short stories. I know it’s difficult investing the money in something that isn’t producing into some HUGE epic tale with monstrous special effects, but that isn’t what ole finhead is trying to accomplish (although I wouldn’t be opposed to an ongoing!!). What you will get when you pick these books up is QUALITY. Most may be scared away by the $3.99 price tag, but I’m telling you this is a book that works hard for your dollar, and the proof is packed in every panel and page.
Parental Concern: Almost all ages, except for one of the incentive covers with a revealing image of Betty
Rocketeer Adventures 2 #1 is on sale TODAY! Get it while it’s hot!