Monday, February 18, 2013

CBR The Rocketeer: The Official Movie Comics


Here's a pretty short "filler" review.

Don't miss out my previous Rocketeer-related reviews!

Comic title: The Rocketeer: The Official Movie Adaptation 
Art by Russ Heath
Based on a screenplay by Danny Bilson & Paul De Meo

Published by Hollywood Comics/Walt Disney Company
From 1991
Lineup The Rocketeer
Format: One-shot single issue.

Remember a time when you had good ol' movie adaptations, remember those days?
This was before video games picked up nicely enough to warrant those tie-ins, before that it was usually quick comic book tie-ins.

But what about those movies that were adaptations themselves?
When they were actually comic books-turned-movies?
You'd get one of those unique ones, a comic of a movie of a comic. It would come full circle.

Usually they would be set quite apart from the original work, being expanded upon the movie adaptations. Either following a whole different world and simply aiming at a completely different audience.
(just look at the original gritty/adult The Mask comics compared to the Jim Carrey vehicle that was the film)

But here with The Rocketeer it's not exactly the case.
The Rocketeer movie was probably the most faithful adaptation I've seen to this day. Not only did it get the look and tone perfectly but it also mostly followed the same story to the letter - beside one or two little changes.
So then you go this "Movie Adaptation" comic.
Is it a quick cash-in, a sub-par attempt to recreate Dave Stevens' work or something worthy for the fans?
Let's read on!

No surprise on the story.
It follows exactly the screenplay written by Danny Bilson & Paul De Meo for the big picture.
It opens the same way, while Cliff Secord is trying a plane with Peevy & co at Chaplin Field, a bunch of criminals chased by the FBI crash nearby, hide the rocketpack prototype in the plane afterwards.
Later on, Cliff finds the mysterious package, straps it on after a few test runs and adventure ensues~

It actually adapts the movie's screen on the comic book panels quite well.
It's well start.
Then for some reason (lack of pages? not revealing everything? rewrites on the film at the same time?) it starts to rush  a bit through the story and zip throughs some scenes entirely. Mostly those from Jenny's point of view.
The result? A storytelling a bit confusing if you haven't seen the movie.

Russ Heath drawings are quite well enough and fitting for The Rocketeer actually.
But they're also quite amateurish compared to the original author - what did you expect?
Also it's difficult not to compare it to the original since it's seems like a quick summary of the original work.
Heath based the characters more on the originals rather than the actors in the film. It's mostly visible with Cliff and Peev'.
And the story lost its pulp-ysh pacing and serial format for a more traditional 6-panels grid. Too bad...

Dave Stevens himself contributed the very nice cover you can see picture above.
It's based on a scene exclusive to the movie, and looks great as opener.

Other than that?
Not much really...

Overall, it's a pretty simplistic summary of The Rocketeer.
Be it the film or the original comic.
It's fun enough, it's the same story! But just not as dynamic...

I liked the art and the colors were quite nice. (long before gradients and computerized photoshop coloring took over - thank god! I can't imagine such a rushed production done that way...)

The way the story speeds in the end is kinda too bad...
It's "nice", but not really recommended. Catch the movie instead!

I give it:
2 / 3 FlamingCarrots!

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