Saturday, June 25, 2011

Comic Review: Rocketeer Adventures #2

Are you ready for more high flying fun?

As with the previous issue, this one is divided into three short stories. The first one, "It Ain't the Fall That Kills Ya..." by veteran comics writer Mark Waid and art by Chris Weston, find Cliff Secord, girlfriend Betty and friend Peevy in San Francisco for the Golden Gate International Expo where Cliff plans on using the rocket pack to gain attention and make some money. His plans go awry however when he's shown up by Aeroman, a comic book hero-or in this case a model who just hit on Betty-and Cliff has to rescue the fake hero when a sniper decides to take him out.

The second story, "Betty Saves the Day!" by writer-artist Darwyn Cooke (DC: The New Frontier) is a tongue-in-cheek homage to Saturday matinee serials as an injured Cliff and Betty escape a runaway train only for Betty to suddenly have to strap on the rocket and save both of them, which isn't easy in high heels and stockings.

The last story "TKO" written by Lowell Francis with art by Gene Ha, has Cliff in a knockout brawl with another rocket man in Los Angeles. Cliff has to use his wits and his abilities to avoid bats and his opponent's arsenal or otherwise he might not survive.

Like the first issue, I really enjoyed the approach that publisher IDW is taking with the character and the fun, light hearted tone. The first story is a hoot, a fun take on comics-complete with Cliff's dismissal that "no good is ever gonna come from those things!" as well as a good story on what people do to get famous. The second also brings welcome humor that Darwyn Cooke showed off well during his run on DC's The Spirit. I also loved the setup with it's opening recap and the promise of episode 7 and that it gives Betty a showcase, even if she is probably more scantly clad than most serial heroines. The last story is a little of an odd man out as it drops the humor for more action. But it delivers that big time, thanks to Ha's artwork and the idea of two rocket men doing battle. I also thought it was a cool touch how Francis handled the story, using a boxing announcer's comments during a bout as a comment on the fight going on outside the arena.

Throw in a cool pinup piece by artist Geof Darrow and a choice of two cool covers, one (shown above) by Alex Ross and another using original art by Rocketeer creator Dave Stevens and you got a great comic book that any fan of the Rocketeer should snap up. Again I'll break from the norm and give it a full **** star rating.

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