When this mini series was first announced, my first response was: “Wait, what? I’m it sure I get it…”. But, it was coming hot on the heels of Cargo of Doom and Hollywood Horror – two stellar Rocketeer mini series – and it was being written by Mark Waid and drawn by Paul Smith. How could I say no to it? And it’s everything I wanted it to be. It’s pulpy, fun, colorful, and an all around great read. As a first issue, this book was pretty stellar. It sets everything up extremely well, and my only problem with it is that it’s slightly formulaic.
So essentially, The Spirit and his allies show up in California to investigate a murder – and the dead body was discovered by Betty, Cliff Secord’s girlfriend. So, of course, The Spirit and The Rocketeer have a mis-understanding, fight, and then realize that they have the same, or at least similar, goals. Formulaic, sure, but it’s still a lot of fun, especially the battle in the air. The Spirit straight up jumps onto The Rocketeer, who carries him up into the air, and then they just go back and forth while trying to hit each other. It’s pretty absurd that they go back and forth like they do at such high altitudes, but it’s pulpy and awesome anyways.
The way in which they become friends isn’t exactly what you’s expect, and that’s fine, because it’s pretty great. The story is a lot of fun, but I have one complaint with the issue: the art. Not to say that it’s bad, because it’s not. It’s actually pretty great. But, really, it doesn’t mesh with the style I’ve become accustomed to in Rocketeer stories. I’m used to seeing a more cartoon-y, sort of Chris Samnee-esque style to Rocketeer stories. And if he weren’t working in Daredevil, man would it be great to see him do a Rocketeer mini. And even though they don’t mesh, the book is still really amazing, and probably the best book of the week.