Advance Review: The Hero Returns In `The Rocketeer: The Great Race’ #3

by Tom Smithyman

Overview

The title of the series is The Rocketeer, but the hero has been noticeably absent from most of the story. Luckily, he saves the day in this latest installment. Let’s hope he sticks around for good.

Overall
8/10
8/10

Finally, the Rocketeer is back.

It took nearly two-and-a-half issues for the titular hero to make more than a cameo in his own series, but the jet-powered protagonist finally saves the day in the latest issue. Up until now, our hero’s alter ego, Cliff Secord, has spend most of his time in a transatlantic airplane race to Paris. During that time, he’s made some questionable decisions, including flying his experimental plane so fast that he nearly ran out of fuel over the ocean.

Even this latest installment features more bad decisions from Secord, including getting mixed up in a bar brawl with an irascible German pilot. But finally, with his girlfriend’s life at risk, the Rocketeer appears to save the day – or at least to get the girl.

Stephen Mooney continues to pull double duty as the writer and artist for the series. While he’s made some perhaps out-of-character choices for some of the characters, the artwork does a great job of depicting the 1940s era in which the series is set. His lines are thick and a little on the muddy side, which is appropriate for a comic strip you might read in a newspaper of the time. Len O’Grady’s largely muted color palate adds to the vintage feel. And a main cover from Gabriel Rodriguez, featuring a close up of the hero’s helmet with the Eiffel Tower as the nose, is stunning.

With this limited series racing to its conclusion in the next issue, we’ll hopefully see more of the Rocketeer and less of the error-prone Secord. It’s been disturbing how little we’ve seen his exploits in the first three issues. The series needs a strong finish focusing on the hero to truly win this great race.

The Rocketeer: The Great Race #3 will be available for purchase on June 8, 2022.

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