Illustrator: Carrie Spiegle
Continuing with my LA-in-the-1930’s theme, I went back and re-read my copy of The Rocketeer (my girlfriend was kind enough to get it for me for Xmas). Honestly, I had no clue there was a comic version, so I was surprised when she dug this up (the movie is still good, though I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it at times). The story follows daredevil Cliff Secord, a broke and luckless pilot who discovers a top-secret rocket packet. The rest of the series follows Cliff as he uses his newfound jet pack to fight Nazi spies, impress his aspiring-actress girlfriend (who looks just like Bettie Paige), and help out other superheroes like The Shadow. The writer died in 2008, and he was apparently pretty slow at churning out new issues, so the Complete Adventures issue actually only contains a few stories. The plot isn’t very deep, and never feels all that solid. It also doesn’t help that it never actually ends. But what The Rocketeer does have going for it is its setting, and its wonderful artwork. The comic is like one endless example of Art Deco, so it’s beautiful to look at. Stevens obviously had a thing for that era (especially for Bettie Paige too, since Cliff’s girlfriend is particularly half-naked the whole time), and he took his time to make sure his characters fit that time period perfectly. It’s honestly a fun read; it captures every boy’s dream of donning a rocket pack and flying like a bat out of hell. Overall, it’s worth picking up.