I hadn’t read a Rocketeer story in a pretty long time. I may I have skimmed one or two now and then but I just wasn’t that interested. Don’t get me wrong as a character The Rocketeer rules. He’s always been the most realistic of all the heroes we have in comics. No super powers, no money, heck no real talent for anything except flying.
Nope it definitely wasn’t The Rocketeer that was the problem. Even the cast of characters worked for me, Cliff Secord the goodhearted slightly goofy hero, Peevey the mechanic, Betty the tough but beautiful bombshell.
So why then?
Pretty simple really, every story I seemed to get my hands on Cliff is up against Nazis or some Howard Hughes type, or both.
Well when I spotted a preview for this series there was something, I caught it in just one panel (I think it was the title page), tentacles. Yes I said tentacles. Sea monsters? Aliens? Cthulhu? I knew I had to find out.
I’m very glad I did. Robert Langridge has crafted a really fun, interesting, tightly plotted book. The story set in Hollywoodland in the late 1930’s has our hero stumbling (with a little help from Betty) upon the trail of some missing scientists. It seems like pretty straight forward adventure fare. Wait for it, there’s more to these missing scientists than meets the eye. Something creepy is going on and I can’t wait to see how it plays out! The writing really is wonderful and Robert even manages to include my favorite detective duo of the era. Even if J Bone hadn’t drawn them unbelievably recognizable I would have gotten it just from the perfect dialogue Robert wrote for them. (Who am I talking about? Well if you want it spoiled click here)
Speaking of J Bone, I’m not familiar with his earlier work (I’ll be rectifying that immediately) so I really didn’t know what to expect. This isn’t Dave Stevens’ Rocketeer. Oh he looks the same but this art has a looser a less severe style. Much more fun. Beyond that though J Bone’s work really lends itself well to the era, his Betty is pin-up worthy and Cliff flying around with the jet-pack is all at once a joyful and heroic. He really captures what I love about the character, the little big boy loving playing the hero and kicking ass at it. Peter Parker could have used some of that attitude over the years.
The horror aspect of the book only appears inthe last couple of pages and it’s tough to say how gritty or horror-esque it’ll really get. I’m willing to stick around to find out though. If you see it on the stands give it a read, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!
4 out of 5 really fun read!
Here check out these pages I “found”, also check out that cover again, yup that’s Walt Simonson.
The Rocketeer – Hollywood Horror #1
Written by: Eisner and Harvey Award winner Roger Langridge (Thor, Popeye, Snarked!)
Illustrated by: Eisner nominee J. Bone (Batman/The Spirit)
On Sale: February 27, 2013
Diamond Id: DEC120420