Comics Anonymous


Mark Waid’s Rocketeer mini continues with the penultimate issue in the series – an issue I was particularly hyped about when I spoke with Jordie Bellaire at the D.I.C.E. con….she mentioned ray-guns YEEHA!

Picking up where we left off in the previous issue, Cliff is up to his neck in trouble…roughed up by The Master’s henchmen and just about to be thrown to the Dinosaurs, yes you read that right…DINOSAURS.  He’s got to think fast and his trigger ignites the rocket-pack being held by our main villain sending him flying into the roof and setting the ship ablaze.  As the henchmen continue their attack on Cliff he quickly wrestles free and the starts taking care of them while the fire grows around him.  Add to the mix some escaped dinosaurs and oddly enough the death of The Master in all the confusion and you’d have thought we’d be in the last issue….but not quite… a cryptic message leaves Cliff baffled.

A quick interlude sees Betty in turmoil over her last run in with Cliff and how her jealousy gets the better of her and we’re back in the thick of the action.  There are fire fighters, there’s crew members abandoning ship and there’s dinosaurs making their escape into the city – all things that don’t bother the captain as he hasn’t owned much of anything since joining The Masters crew.  He does find the time to help Cliff crack the cryptic message and he’s been guided into the belly of the burning ship…..just as a T-Rex rips through the desk.  Quickly grabbing a hose from the fire crews he works his way into the ship and stumbles across the crates from the cryptic message and dodging an attack he finds out that the crate contains the very thing that will help gain control of the dinosaurs…….a ray gun (EPIC).  Taking care of one with ease he kisses his new weapon and heads of to round-up the other escaped monsters.

This mini has just kept a strong momentum from that first issue and again, that’s down to Waid’s writing here as he manages to capture Cliff/The Rocketeer’s attempts to bumble his way through the saves he somehow manages to pull-off.  This may have been the first issue where the switch to what was happening with Betty frustrated me but it’s a good tool for keeping this grounded firmly in a realistic world…..ok maybe not with Dinosaurs and the like but it keeps that pulpy, non-superhero vibe going…which is really why I’m reading.  There also a step-up in things to tackle for artist Chris Samnee and colourist Jordie Bellaire – with more action on offer that includes rockets, ray guns and monsters they’ve managed to maintain that pulpy style in every page.

Lots going on in this issue and it may well feel like it’s over pretty quick but re-reading #1, #2 & #3 together makes the build-up all the more evident and the pace change a smart approach.  One thing that did puzzle me though was why The Master had to suddenly have a change of heart and help Cliff, even with it being cryptic but the fact that our main villain dies in the penultimate issue surprised me although I’m sure the questions posed by this issue will be tied up in that final issue.



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