Friday, March 29, 2013

CBR Rocketeer Adventures 2


The Rocketeer Rides Again!
Up... to the SKIES!!

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

Comic title: Rocketeer Adventures Volume Two
Art & stories by Kyle Baker, J Bone, John Byrne, Eric Canete, Peter David, Paul Dini, Marc Guggenheim, David Lapham, John Paul Leon, David Mandel, Bill Morrison, Sandy Plunkett, Stan Sakai, Bill Sienkiewicz, Walter Simonson, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Tom Taylor, Matt Wagner, Bob Wiacek & Colin Wilson

Published by IDW Publishing
From 2012
Lineup The Rocketeer
Format: Deluxe hardcover trade paperback, collecting the four issue mini-series Rocketeer Adventures #1-4.

Due to the immense success IDW's received on the first Rocketeer Adventures anthology series, a second one was only a natural move to make.

The Rocketeer Adventures regrouped various pin-ups and short stories from the hands of several popular artists and writers in the medium, a tribute of sort to Dave Stevens' legacy.

This book collects more serial adventures from long time fans and renowned artists such as Darwyn Cooke, Chris Sprouse, Gene Ha, Kyle Baker, etc... Each trying to show us the world of pilot Cliff Secord under their own eye.

Not counting the pin-up arts and covers, this comic collects about 12 stories.

"The Good Guys" The first story comes from writer Marc Guggenheim and artist Sandy Plunkett, a classic simple Rocketeer story. Cliff lands by accident in a little town after a fight, the story is very reminiscent of Dave Stevens style in tone.

"The Ducketeer" By Peter David and Bill Sienkiewicz. My personal favorite. It's actually a tribute/parody of the Looney Tunes Duck Dodgers animated shorts, as Betty and Cliff go to a theater to see a movie.

"A Dream of Flying" By Usagi Yojimbo's creator Stan Sakai. The Rocketeer is shot by someone that tries to steal his tech, only to be saved by a lil' kid with big dreams of flying of his own. This kid turns out to be....!! This is sort of like the Superman crossover the Rocketeer never had the chance to have under Dave Stevens pen.

"Work to Do" By Tom Taylor and Colin Wilson. It takes place in an alternative WW2, the kind of story the Rocketeer universe always suggested although such stories never really happened with Stevens. It's about the horror of war, as Cliff tries to save a soldier. But the fight must go on.

"Betty's Big Break" From Paul Dini and Bill Morrison. It's a more humorous story with some references to those sort of serials from which the series was originally inspired from such as King of the Rocket Men and Radar Men from the Moon. Very colorful and funny.

"Autograph" Written by Walter Simonson and art from John Paul Leon. A gorgeous period piece that takes place in the old land of Hollywood. A new movie is opening when thugs shot at celebrity and Cliff swoops in to saves her in time.

"Coulda Been..." Dave Lapham and Chris Sprouse. Another personal favorite. Sprouse "old timed" style really suits the characters. Cliff and Betty dream of what life settling down would be like... Even though those two would always dream of more adventures and excitement.

"Butchy Saves Betty" An hilarious short story by cartoonist Kyle Baker. Betty visits cliff at the plane field only to find out about a scheduled flight act with a beauty tagging along on a wing.

"History Lesson" Matt Wagner and Eric Canete. Although I wish there was one story in here drawn by Matt Wagner, at least we get this one written by him. It's a recap of the legend of the Rocketeer as we all have it generally in mind, it's not an actual summary of his stories. With a futurist twist look on his legacy~!

"War Hero" Written by Louise Simonson with art by Walter Simonson. The Simonsons really appropriate the Rocketeer's universe, it feels like the beginning of a new proper Rocketeer story. Cliff and Betty are seen flying to promote war bonds to help the troops, and the Rocketeer ends up fighting some nazis preparing a new scheme...

"Cliff Secord Warlord of Blargon" The funniest one of the colllection comes from David Mandel and J Bone. J Bone's art style is very similar to Paul Dini's, due to his work on Jingle Belle. In this science fiction-ysh story, after a storm the Rocketeer ends up on an alien planet fighting to save plant creatures from tyranny!....or was he?

"Fair Game" Finally last story, written and drawn by legendary comic book artist John Byrne. A little last tale that goes to show Cliff's jealous and over protective side. And the Rocketeer gets an honorary knigthood title!
The art is consistently pretty good across all the different stories. The artists each suit the tone of their own respective tales. Even though they try to mimic and respect Dave Steven's universe, they are able to show funnier stories, more serious ones, darker and lighter aspects of the title character in so little pages.

Granted, you might respond to each the same way. But I really liked the diversity in styles, IDW was able to cover a wide range of artists and writers in this new collection.

Overall, it's a fantastic book, definitively a must have for any Rocketeer fans and avid comic book readers. It perfectly recaptures what is so good with The Rocketeer and manage to hit all the right notes.

Adventure, humor, action, war, the glamor of the old Hollywood days...

Still no Adam Hughes, how come IDW?!? That is my only real beef with this second volme.

I really wish IDW had continued with this direction for the series, but they since then announced new Rocketeer on-going series in the form of mini-series arc-long books, and a first Trade Paperback is already out as I write these lines.

I give it:
3 / 3 FlamingCarrots!

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