The mysterious cargo is finally revealed and Cliff will discover what demons will be descending on the City of Angels! It’s all action as the Rocketeer must rise to challenges the likes of which he has never before faced. Meanwhile, what exactly is Peevy’s niece up to, and are her intentions as innocent as they seem?
Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, yes the team from Daredevil, started a Rocketeer miniseries back in August. It was a book I was aware of, but it flew under my radar for the most part. With issue 3 coming out I went back and corrected the mistake of not reading the first two and jumped back in for the penultimate issue of Cargo of Doom. Now that we’re all caught up, does this story take flight or should it be grounded?
We pick up after the second issue where we discovered what those creatures where in the ship’s cargo hold. The Master wants to turn dinosaurs loose and give them rockets like our hero. It does sound a little crazy, but it actually works and isn’t out of place for a book that feels like it came out four or five decades ago. Waid captures the tone and pacing of the classic tales that the character was created to be homage to. This story feels like the original run of comics by Dave Stevens which was supposed to feel like a 1930s hero comic, that might be slightly confusing but that’s the best way to describe it. With the plot of the dinosaurs on a ship discovered, this issue is all action all the time. Not to take away from the other installments in the slightest, but this one is a rip-roaring adventure from start to finish. The story also looks at the continuing struggle between Betty and Sally. Agent Garland and Sally have to keep quiet about Cliff’s whereabouts and that doesn’t go over too well with Betty. For all the whiz-bang action, the question becomes can Cliff stop it all in time?
Chris Samnee looks to be having a blast with this issue, and with good reason. With all the action and adventure this issue offers, he excels. Imagine everything you love about Daredevil, and add in a pulp feeling with dinosaurs and jetpacks. There is only one thing I can fault the book for this issue- one panel shows off one of the ship’s occupants and it feels like it is way bigger than it should be. It adds dramatic effect, but it looks like there was no way that was able to fit inside the ship. The only possible explanation I can see is that it grows when you add water. This is only a tiny fault in a great book to be fair.
Bottom Line: The Rocketeer continues to show that everything old is new again. Waid and Samnee deliver the goods with Cargo of Doom and make an old style comic story that doesn’t feel cheesy in the slightest. With one more issue to go, it will be interesting to see how it wraps up. The way this one ended felt slightly too easy, but we’ll have to wait and see the real endgame. Rocketeer is a can’t miss series 4.5/5