The Rocketeer is one of the few pulp heroes I actually enjoy reading about; I have a pickiness which just leads me to be bored out of my mind by others. I think it's something about the fantasy of the situation, and the downright fun nature of the characters involved.
So When I see that Chris Samnee and Mark Waid have teamed up for a new Rocketeer book, subtitled The Cargo of Doom, I feel like I'm a little obligated to check it out: I mean, that's a creative team I can get behind.
Things I Liked:
- Samnee's art is outstanding, and really suits anything that needs to feel sufficiently aged. He pulled this off well with the issues of Captain America he did, and Thor: The Mighty Avenger is still one of my favourite Marvel books of all time.
- The storyline is relatively fast-paced, and the mood of the characters is actually pretty likeable. Naturally, they don't waste a lot of time establishing the plot, setting and characters because they assume you know them already. For those of us that are familiar, this may be a good thing.
- Waid knows how to establish character, but not necessarily pacing; while I'll go into this below, I just have to emphasize that most of these people don't seem like cardboard cut-outs.
Things I Didn't:
- As I mentioned above, the pacing of this issue kind of comes off the rails as Cliff finds out some key information that you think would shock him. However, it's almost as if he's happy that one of the central characters was almost traumatized, and the issue was kind of skirted away into the void.
- In the same vein, the last third of the book is a little incomprehensible; there's some time-shifts and moood swings that make it a little difficult to follow along, and I don't think it turned out for the best. Any time you have to shake your head and wonder "wait, what?" in a first issue is a bad thing.
The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #1
The Verdict: I'd call this a solid start, but the last half of the book kind of left a sour taste in my mouth. With all the good things Waid has been doing for Marvel lately, you'd think this would be planned a little bit better. I'm giving this the lowest four jetpacks out of five I can because it has a lot of potential, and I think this'll definitely be a series to watch.