Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom

 I wasn't exactly thrilled to hear that IDW was going to be publishing new Rocketeer adventures. Dave Stevens, the character's creator, passed away in 2008, and I couldn't imagine what anyone else could possibly add to the foundation that Stevens had laid down.

 Boy, was I wrong.

 ROCKETEER ADVENTURES, VOLUME ONE was as close to perfect as it gets, and although I haven't read it yet, VOLUME TWO just landed on my doorstep this past week, and it looks every bit as good. And here comes IDW's first original story arc, THE ROCKETEER: CARGO OF DOOM, by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee. Mark Waid is one of those old favorite creators that never seem to go out of style, and for good reason: He's a talented, solid storyteller, and he totally nails Cliff, Betty, and Peevy, as well as the whole Dave Stevens vibe in general. The story is a glorious mash-up of pulpy high adventure/espionage/fantasy, as Cliff goes up against thinly-veiled Doc Savage villain John Sunlight in an attempt to stop a deadly, mysterious cargo ship from making it to Manhattan, where it's deadly payload will be unleashed. I won't say just WHAT this ship is carrying, but I will say that it's previous port of call was a place called Skull Island. If that's not enough to get you to buy this book, then I don't know what is. The art, by Chris Samnee, is absolutely perfect. It's the polar opposite of Stevens' photo-realistic style, but it fits Waid's story perfectly. Here's hoping this isn't the last time we see Waid and Samnee together on THE ROCKETEER...the ending just cries out for a sequel!

IDW provided a review copy.