Comics Anonymous


The previous two collections of “Rocketeer Adventures” from IDW gave us a glimpse into the pulp characters life as viewed by a number of different writer/artist combos and they’ve followed that up with this dedicated four-part arc from Mark Waid……….ignition sequence started 😀

True to form after his previous story from the aforementioned Adventures release, Waid manages to grasp the vibe of the Dave Stevens creation and ease us into a brand new story.  Mixing the daily grind of Cliff Secord’s flying day job, with its government inspectors and run-ins with girlfriend Betty, as it swings into his “other” life as The Rocketeer.  Starting off with a daring rescue of their youngest pilot’s assessment by the aforementioned inspection….which really turns into a typical sexist come-on from the government “official” with the junior, female pilot.

The Rocketeer saves the day and we get the recognizable “Goodies” introduced as we’d expect.  Mixed throughout the daily grind/Rocketeer double-life is the impending “Cargo of Doom” as mentioned in the title.  A strange boat makes its way towards the docks and an edgy captain orders the cargo be checked ahead of their arrival.  Only now do we get to see the mystery around the cargo start to unravel as the tending crew members come to a gruesome end.  One having his hands removed in the belly of the boat by the evil cargo we have yet to fully see.

Waid maintains the mystery throughout and the flip between this and the goings-on with the Rocketeer, the Cliff/Betty relationship complications and this thread of darkness that helps to form the base of the issue.  Artist Chris Samnee offers us a vibrant energy in the art on show and the switch between that and the dark edges of the boat hold or the arrival in the docks is pretty impressive.  A major part of the art here though is the colouring from Jordie Bellaire, helping to build the excitement/terror as much as the story-telling itself.  I’m sure if there’s a “Pulp” pallet of colours, that Jordie has a full stock of them because it’s fun to read but A LOT of fun to look at – escaping a garish or bland feeling with ease.

A typically, dun-dun-dun feel to the last few pages we have an adventure/mystery on our hands here that reads pulpy and looks pulpy.  Yay for more stories with a pulp feel – maybe it’s a case of lucky timing but with the rumour mill churning out the potential for a movie remake….lets hope the style, adventure and fun can be recreated for this enjoyable character in the film as much as it’s been captured here in the pages of one issue.  One issue down and three to go……’s just never going to be enough for me……and I hope there’s a chance of more or even an on-going.



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