Review: The Rocketeer/The Spirit: Pulp Friction #3
On the trail of two murderous madmen and the mysterious Television Terror, the Spirit takes Rocketeer to Central City, and Cliff finds it nearly impossible to navigate in such a crowded urban setting—but he’d better learn quickly because Betty’s life depends on it!
The Spirit and Rocketeer crossover continues this week in the pages of Pulp Friction #3. The comic is not back on track and coming out as scheduled. The story is written by Mark Waid and features art this time from J Bone. Rom Fajardo handles colors and Tom B. Long provides lettering. The story lost a little momentum with the delay, but how are things moving now that things are back on schedule?
Now that the Rocketeer and The Spirit have put aside their differences and decided to work together, they spend a few minutes getting to know each other. The Spirit brings Cliff into his sanctum and explains how he came to be the masked avenger he is today. Cliff is a little freaked out by The Spirit’s abode, so he goes off to look for Betty. Meanwhile Betty has found herself handpicked by a TV producer to become a big star. Little does she know this producer is the villain Trask who is in league with the Octopus. When the secrets of Trask and Octopus’ television interests come to light, our heroes will find themselves in more danger than they had originally thought. Can Cliff save Betty yet again before she gets herself into unimaginable danger? Will The Shadow be able to fend off the forces of the Octopus?
Waid writes another strong issue. A lot of the cards are turned over and several questions are answered. Waid has really been sinking his teeth into these pulp settings lately. He has a green masked hero he writes for another publisher that we won’t mention here, but he has a perfect grasp of The Shadow, the Rocketeer, and their various supporting cast. This is a fantastical threat Trask and Octopus have concocted, but Waid makes it feel surprisingly grounded. J Bone does a good job with the art. He absolutely killed on his recent Rocketeer miniseries, so he’s a perfect fit for the majority of this issue. His Spirit seems to be a little more of a square-jawed hero who appears a little lighter than the previous two issues, but overall it works. Bone’s cartoony approach works to great benefit for this installment. Fajardo’s colors really complement Bone’s style and makes great use of lighting and shadows.
Bottom Line: The Rocketeer/The Spirit: Pulp Friction is a fast-paced and fun series uniting two great characters. Waid has handled the different casts well and crafted a story that makes sense, which is an accomplishments considering how some other team-up stories of late have been. 4.5/5
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