Indie Comic Review: Rocketeer Cargo of Doom #2

Just when you thought things could not get worse for Cliff Secord (aka The Rocketeer), things really hit the fan.  From getting a shiner from his new Civil Aeronautics Administration case manager, to multiple people discovering his secret identity, this day is probably one of the worst ever.

And then it gets worse.

Mark Waid’s script hits all the right notes as he nails the comedy, captures the characters’ voices, and then sticks the landing with enough twists and surprisses for a Universal serial.  This is the Rocketeer as he should be!

There is no character development in this issue.  Normally I would cite that as something to be concerned about.  However, I think the comic pendulum has swung too far in the character direction at the expense of good old fashioned action.  The Rocketeer is all about action.  Waid knows there does not have to be some reveal about a secret trauma in Secord’s life.  There does not need to be a crisis which will leave the Rocketeer on the edge of going rogue.  All there needs to be is a jetpack, a helmet, and something to punch!

The Rocketeer manages to strike a balance between the comics of yesteryear (fun!) and modern sensibilities (sensible!).  While the book may not be heavy on explanation, things have a certain internal logic to them that allows the reader to accept everything on the page and enjoy it without question.

Helping that happen is the art by Chris Samnee.  Samnee’s art is as dynamic as ever.  His bold use of blacks gives the sinister characters an edge of mystery, and helps to build tension for the final reveal.  However, those same wide black lines manage to not overshadow the heroic Rocketeer.  He sticks out like a sining beacon in the sky…even if that beacon ends up crashing in an ignoble heap.

While issue two may not be the best jumping on point, the series is not impenetrable to newcomers.  For people who are looking for something without mopey, navel-gazing “heroes” or genocidal sadistic villains, The Rocketeer offers a dose of action and fun!

The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #2 is in stores today.

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