Monday, November 26, 2012

I Reads You Review: THE ROCKETEER: Cargo of Doom #3


WRITER: Mark Waid
ARTIST: Chris Samnee
COLORS: Jordie Bellaire
LETTERS: Shawn Lee
EDITOR: Scott Dunbier
COVERS: Chris Samnee with Jordie Bellaire – regular cover
Dave Stevens – Cover RI
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S.

Mark Waid, you had me at dinosaurs. This is just another reason why I’m glad that I’m still reading The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom.

The Rocketeer is a comic book character created by the late artist and illustrator, Dave Stevens. The Rocketeer is Cliff Secord, a stunt pilot who discovers a mysterious jet pack that allows him to fly. Secord dons the pack and a metal helmet and becomes the adventurer and masked crime-fighter, The Rocketeer, whose adventures are set in 1938 and the following years, mainly in and around Los Angeles.

Rocketeer Adventures marked The Rocketeer’s return in 2011. Edited by Scott Dunbier and published by IDW Publishing, this anthology comic book featured Rocketeer short stories from some of the premiere creators in American comic books created in honor of Stevens. Now, the adventure continues in a new series, The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom, from writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee.

The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom opens in 1940 and finds Cliff with troubles on his hands. The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) may take away his pilot’s license. Sally, the young niece of Cliff’s best pal, Peevy, is now working as a mechanic at Peevy’s. Sally has a mad crush on Cliff, and Cliff’s girlfriend, the bombshell actress Betty, is fuming about the crush and about Sally being around Cliff so much. Then, he falls into the clutches of The Master.

As The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #3 begins, The Master prepares to make Cliff a dino-treat. However, Cliff didn’t survive this long as The Rocketeer with being wily and using his wits. Now, can he save L.A. from becoming the valley of the dinosaurs?

As far as I’m concerned, Mark Waid is one of the few name comic book scribes who consistently writes comic books that are fun to read and also recall the free-spirited, eccentric weirdness of old comic book stories. He is a traditionalist who can take Marvel and DC Comics’ intellectual properties and brands and recall them to bygone glory. I think that makes Waid just right for The Rocketeer, which is set in a golden age, but is not a Golden Age comic book character.

Chris Samnee’s textured inking heightens the drama in the dinosaur/fire destruction scenes. Add Jordie Bellaire’s colors and the drama is heightened even more. Finally, I feel like I’m getting every penny of the $3.99 cover price


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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