Written by Marc Guggenheim, Peter David and Stan Sakai
Art by Sandy Plunkett, Bill Sienkiewicz and Stan Sakai
Release Date: March 21, 2012

Ahead of the recently announced regular series, IDW has another series of Rocketeer short stories from some of the top names in comics. Opening this issue is Guggenheim and Plunkett with “The Good Guys.” A fairly straight-forward costumed hero story, we get a glimpse into how regular citizens view the Rocketeer. Guggenheim takes the focus away from Cliff to introduce a brief but surprisingly well-developed group of characters. Plunkett has a good style for the story and his action scene packs a lot into a couple of pages.

Next up is David and Sienkiewicz’ “The Ducketeer,” a parody of a parody in which Daffy becomes the Rocketeer instead of Duck Dodgers. The story I found a bit weak as it translates the original Dodgers cartoon a bit too fully. Sienkiewicz art, though eye-catching as always, is very poorly suited to what they are trying to get across. This one was a thud for me, which will hurt the grading curve for the issue.

Finally we have Stan Sakai writing and drawing “A Dream of Flying.” Almost anything I say about story would spoil part of it and I won’t deprive you of that. I loved this story, it was simple, sweet and had a completeness that is rare to find in 8-pagers these days. Sakai’s art is terrific here and there is a lightness to is that put a smile on my face right away. This story is a great example of what made the Rocketeer so enjoyable from the beginning.

Throw in a pin-up by Arthur Adams and we have another winner from the Rocketeer Adventures. It’s a wonderful tribute to Dave Stevens that IDW has published his pioneering work in great collections and is bringing together talent of this calibre to continue Cliff’s story.

Verdict: 7/10

Keith co-hosts the We Talk Comics podcast.


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