The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures

Comic book, Originally serialized in the 1980’s this edition released 2010

If you’re like me then you kind of don’t want to like The Rocketeer. Maybe it’s because of the movie, maybe it’s because it’s so closely mimicking a genre that it wasn’t a part of. But I brought it home because of the art. Dave Stevens was famous for having a low level of output due to his perfectionism, and boy does it show. Every panel in this thing is like a photograph. But it’s not stiff, there’s just enough cartoonyness to make his characters fun and expressive. The modern coloring isn’t bad either (these comics were originally published in the 80’s), but I might have preferred something with a hint of a human hand. And you know what? They story’s good. I was convinced that this was going to be an art and design showcase, but a chore to read. But this is one of those pastiches that isn’t referencing it’s source material, it’s the best version of it possible. The story is thrilling, engrossing and charming. Dave Stevens might not have had a large comics output, but as a body of work The Rocketeer is not sleight. 3.5

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