Review: Rocketeer Adventures Treasury Edition
The first new stories of Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer in nearly 20 years appeared in the The Rocketeer Adventures anthology volumes 1 and 2. Full of great stories and art by a virtual who’s who of comic creators, both series’ became hits with fans and critics alike. Now, in the classic IDW treasury format, we are proud to present a selection of outstanding individual stories. Each is a loving tribute to Stevens and his enduring creation.
IDW presents a Treasury Edition for The Rocketeer featuring some of the best stories from the first two anthology volumes. The book contains 9 complete stories as well as some amazing art and pin-ups. I won’t go through each and every story and its creative team, but this features talents like John Cassaday, Kurt Busiek, Marc Guggenheim, Stan Sakai, David Lapham, J Bone, Darwyn Cooke and Dave Stewart just to name a few. So the only question to answer is whether or not this Treasury Edition is a real treasure.
The entire team behind this collection did a fantastic job of choosing the absolute best stories from the first two anthologies. You have some old-school pure pulp Rocketeer adventures, you have your comedy, your action, and your Cliff/Betty love stories. You have stories that hit you with emotion like Dear Betty where the story is told as Betty gets letters from Cliff. It has a very authentic WWII feel. You have touching stories about how Cliff is seen as a hero by two kids in The Good Guys and A Dream of Flying (which features an absolutely thrilling nod to a big-time comic character). The funniest story goes to Cliff Secord, Warlord of Blargon which is a riff on John Carter and features a comedy of errors. All the stories are great, but the one I found myself thinking back on the most was Work to Do from Tom Taylor. It features Cliff trying to save an injured soldier. It’s an incredibly powerful story.
The Treasury Edition cherry-picked fantastic stories, so there is absolutely nothing you can put in the negative column. One story may not be your particular taste, but a couple pages later comes another one for you to try. It’s presented very nicely, and at a little over a dollar a story is well worth the risk if you’re on the fence.
Bottom Line: IDW has taken The Rocketeer to new heights. With the new miniseries they’ve put out as well as this collection, it’s never been a better time to be a Rocketeer fan. It’s never been a better time for first time readers to jump in as well. If you’ve known the Rocketeer for a long time, or this is your first introduction this is a fantastic collection 5/5