It’s been said before, but it bears repeating that the Rocketeer, in my opinion, is the best superhero book on the stands. The character’s stories are structured perfectly, free of continuity and excess baggage. Dave Stevens created one of the most memorable characters in the medium when he created Cliff Secord and his high-flying alter ego. If you know the basics of the character, just the bare bones of who the Rocketeer is, then you can enjoy this, or any other Rocketeer comic. Even if you have never read a single Rocketeer book before, this first issue gives you enough fun, thrills, and mystery that you’ll no doubt enjoy it and eagerly await #2.
Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom ditches the anthology format of the Rocketeer Adventures books and instead looks to tell a bigger story, possibly the biggest since Dave Stevens’ original run on the character. Cargo of Doom fully embraces the pulp feel of the character. There are elements of action, horror, and romance (it wouldn’t be a Rocketeer book without the romance). It doesn’t look or feel anything like Stevens’ book, and yet it feels exactly how a Rocketeer book should. It’s new, without being a disservice to what came before. It’s pretty great, guys.
The story revolves around – wait for it – a mysterious cargo. I’m guessing there is doom inside. Whatever it is, it rips the hands off a sailor in a scene that initially stuck me as out of place for a Rocketeer book. It’s not bad, but you wouldn’t readily expect an image of a bloody and handless human being in this series. That said, it fits perfectly into the tale. There is an element of horror here that is usually reserved for Rocketeer pinups. It’ll be interesting to see where the story goes and what exactly is in that cargo (again, it’s probably doom).
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that IDW got two of the best talents in the industry to put this little book together. Mark Waid and Chris Samnee have already proven to be a great team with their work on Daredevil. Here, they take it to another level. Waid keeps things moving fast while Samnee delivers some truly inspired artwork. This is a fun, beautiful comic book that should serve as reminder as to why the comic medium is so great. It’s stunning stuff really and quite frankly the kind of comic book that there should be a lot more of.
If you are looking for a fun superhero book outside of the sometimes humdrum worlds of the Big Two, then look no further. Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom has it all. Waid and Samnee area a comic book dream team and they deliver one best looking, best written comics on recent memory. Buy the Rocketeer, guys. Do it for yourself; you’ve earned it.
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