Comic Reviews: The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom and Dr. Manhattan!
The Rocketeer: Cargo Of Doom #1 (0f 4)
When The Rocketeer Adventures was first announced by IDW, I was happy to see one of my favorite characters in all of comics return to the paneled world. However, I secretly wished that Cliff Secord would take flight in an ongoing adventure. While Cargo of Doom isn’t an ongoing, this is hopefully the first step for The Rocketeer to take flight once again monthly.
Written by Mark Waid and drawn by Chris Samnee, Cargo is a phenomenal book that reintroduces us to the world of Cliff Secord. We meet characters we already know like Peevy and Betty, but we also get a new character in the form of Peevy’s niece, Sally. Sally’s got a not-so-secret crush on Cliff, but of course, he’s oblivious to it. After rescuing Sally and Mr. Feeny from a plane crash (which was started by Feeny trying to get a little too “fresh” with Sally), Cliff goes to visit Sally as the Rocketeer to find out what the cause of the crash was. It’s here that he finds out that Sally’s in love with him, and also of Feeny’s actions on the plane. Later on, the scenes shift to some shady characters on a giant cargo ship. The crew there are bringing some sort of creature to Los Angeles for “The Master”, a mysterious figure who looks a lot like Morlun from JMS’ Amazing Spider-Man run. As they dock, one member named Guptmann (who’s had some “brain surgery”) starts freaking out, yelling about Cliff Secord. The issue ends with Cliff and Betty leaving the local diner, and as Cliff brings his lady in for a kiss, we see a strange figure in the shadows.
What makes this issue so great is how accessible it is. Whether he know of The Rocketeer through Dave Stevens’ original comics or the movie, Mark Waid’s script is easy to pick up and go. Waid nails the light-hearted nature of the character, and creates something that would be serve as a worthy sequel to original story. Chris Samnee is the perfect choice to illustrate Cliff Secord and his cast of characters, creating a timeless look that fits right in with the artwork of the 30’s and 40’s. Cargo Of Doom is exactly what I was hoping for when I heard IDW was going to have Waid and Samnee on the book, and I can’t wait for the next issue.
Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #1 (of 4)
Here it is, the final “Before Watchmen” title. And man is it a headtrip. Bouncing through events that happened in the original story, Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan shows us events we’ve already seen, as well as how differently things could’ve played out. Dr. Manhattan’s narrative talks of quantum theories and alternate histories, all the while showing us events in the original story that may have happened due to him changing them. Was he supposed to originally work with Rorschach but changed to ink to show Silk Spectre? Or is J Michael Straczynski just messing with us? Regardless, the issue is very cool, even if you might need to reread some parts of it. Adam Hughes, doing interior pencils for the first time in years, is fantastic, and captures the tone of Dave Gibbons’ original pencils near-perfectly.