Review: The Rocketeer/The Spirit: Pulp Friction #2
The most pulp-tastic crossover of all time continues! What is the TV Terror that threatens all of Los Angeles—and how can the Rocketeer and the Spirit hope to combat such a futuristic menace? Plus—it’s the Peevey/Dolan team, together again at last!
In July The Rocketeer and The Spirit came together in the first issue of IDW’s big crossover event Pulp Friction. After a long wait, the next issue will hit comic book stores this week. The Rocketeer/The Spirit: Pulp Friction #2 is written by Mark Waid. Paul Smith kicked things off, but now Loston Wallace handles pencils with Bob Wiacek handling inks and Hi Fi Designs providing colors. Tom B. Long rounds out the cast with lettering.
The Spirit and The Rocketeer are hot on the case of the Central City Councilman who disappeared after a meeting and then wound up dead on the other side of the country in Los Angeles a very short time later. Cliff’s gal Betty found the body, so The Spirit, Dolan, Cliff and Peevy are at Betty’s questioning her about her horrific discovery. Peevy’s old friend Dolan becomes a little pervy with Betty and Cliff gets jealous…again. After getting all the information they can, the gang travel down to the coroners to id the Councilman’s body and find out the cause of death. Things take a weird turn when it’s discovered the Councilman’s internal organs were all scrambled up. It’s the dawning of the age of the television and two big, bad villains are looking to capitalize on it. Can The Spirit and The Rocketeer get to the bottom of things before it’s too late or will they meet their end at the airport? Both of our heroes have to take to the air, but it may all come crashing down. Will Betty’s search for stardom find her big trouble?
Waid writes another incredibly fun issue. The Rocketeer and The Spirit have good chemistry. They don’t really like each other, but they work really well together. Waid writes a truly great pulp story. He did some fantastic work with The Rocketeer, but adding The Spirit into the mix makes this something you do not want to miss. Wallace’s art is a great fit for the series. While Paul Smith started things off, Wallace is a good successor. He has a lighter, cartoon looking approach to many scenes. This looks like a really great Sunday newspaper strip, and I think’s that’s the highest compliment you can give a story like this. Wallace’s Spirit is a strong character who really stands out each time he gets panel time. Wiacek’s inks really stand out in many of the action scenes. Hi Fi Designs’ colors are bright and really make the art pop. The action backgrounds are just plain ol’ fun.
Bottom Line: This issue was well worth the wait. Waid presents a story that’s just fun. From start to finish it’s fast, full of action, and tense at times. Above all it’s just fun to read. IDW has presented some stellar Rocketeer stories the past few years, but this one is definitely a highlight. 4.5/5