THE ROCKETEER: CARGO OF DOOM #1
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Chris Samnee
I do not have much history with The Rocketeer. I really liked the Disney film, I have enjoyed IDW’s anthologies, and this is the first issue of a new mini-series by two of my favorite comic book creators. I really enjoyed the beginning of this one and definitely recommend it!
Cliff Secord has to save Sally when her plane runs into trouble. It runs into trouble because a government man testing the planes tried to force himself on her and when she stops his advances there is a malfunction with one of the parachutes that gets caught up in the plane’s wing. The G-man then threatens to shut the airstrip down if she told anyone. Sally confides this later to The Rocketeer though she does not know he is really Cliff.
Cliff is juggling many problems. Sally has a crush on him and disapproves of Betty, Cliff’s girlfriend. Cliff is trying to deal with this for Peabody’s sake because she is Peabody’s niece. Meanwhile, unknown to Cliff, a mysterious ship hides some rather menacing looking men on it. One of these men knows the Rocketeer’s identity and the other looks to do him harm.
I felt this was a great jump on point for new readers or old readers that had grown tired of the anthology stories. Mark Waid and Chris Samnee make the characters appealing while slowly building a fun story. They are a great team and I am glad IDW is getting top talent for this property.
FINAL WORD: A great first issue to this new mini-series and perfect for new and longtime fans!
I, VAMPIRE #12 DC Comics
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
I think you cannot talk about the end to the first year’s worth of stories in I, Vampire without acknowledging a few important aspects of the series as a whole. I enjoy many of the DC52 titles, and I would say that some of them even top my list for my favorite comics of the last year. I, Vampire has not only been the most consistent DC52 series, but it managed to stay fresh and engaging through every issue while maintaining the same creative team. That is a magic feat.
Once again Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino take the book in unexpected directions, change the purpose of the series, and do it with style. The Van Helsings sacrificed themselves to be turned into zombies. These zombies are killing and transforming Andrew’s Vampire Army into Zombie Vampires just as Andrew’s powers are waning. Meanwhile, Stormwatch appears on the scene and gets involved after a brief misunderstanding of who the bad guys are.
Although one should be wary of spoilers whenever entering my reviews I rarely give a twist outright. Nevertheless, I am going to now. If you read further, remember, I warned you! Andrew uses his magic to subsume all of the dark magic in the zombies and vampires. He cures all of the vampires, in the entire world, including Mary. Unfortunately, in the final moments we learn this has turned Andrew evil.
The series started out as Andrew fighting his own kind trying to stop his true love Mary from creating a vampire Army to destroy the human race. He was joined by the Professor and Tig on his journey and managed to go to all kinds of unexpected places. Now the entire story has turned inside out and I bet the series will now follow a human Mary trying to save Andrew from his dark vampire self.
Fialkov has managed to change the status quo three times in major ways within a calendar year, and he has done this without the twists overpowering the story. The characters are fun and interesting, the plot never sits still for long (a problem with many of the DC52 books), and he makes you want more at the end of every issue. He also made Stormwatch look cool for the first time since the realunch! Why isn’t he writing the Stormwatch series?
The art by Sorrentino is nothing short of mesmerizing. I have been giving my single issues to a friend of mine and plan on buying I, Vampire in complete editions. Sorrentino’ s illustrations invoke a little Jae Lee and they are dynamic and amazing. I honestly cannot believe he is not on a higher profile book, but I never want DC to move him off of this title while Fialkov is writing it. One of my favorite new artists!
I have no idea where this title will go next, but the rest of the DCU could learn quite a bit from the execution by the creative team. It was a long story told in short plot arcs that were easy to follow yet demonstrated nuanced and complex ideas as they entertained. It is easily my favorite surprise from DC in the last year.
FINAL WORD: The first year of I, Vampire comes to a close, but delivers one of the best issues to date!
Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Ryan Ottley & Cory Walker
This issue of Invincible was not my favorite, but longtime readers will want to pick it up because we learn a bit more about Rex Robot and Monster Girl’s time in the other Universe. As the heroes fall during the invasion Mark is upset because his condition still has him sitting on the bench. And as the issue draws to a close we find out something decidedly unexpected about the leader of the invaders.
It was one of those issues that read too quickly and before you know it you are already hoping for more. The creators on this book never fail to surprise, delight, and frustrate in equal measure. The book is just paced so quickly that you get to the end and hate having to wait a month to find out what happens!
Although I could surmise some of what happened to Rex and Amanda the ending draws all kinds of questions I was not expecting. There still has to be a revelation as to why Rex and Amanda were so distant with one another on their return to Earth. I am also frustrated as a reader because I do not believe Mark will be robbed of all of his powers forever and although I love the side characters, am anxious for this series to concentrate on him again.
This was a good issue, but it reminds me why I prefer this book as a trade. A single, middle chapter for this series just does not give me enough resolution. It is still one of the most innovative superhero books on the market just because characters grow, and change, and die. It runs counter to the standard superhero book from Marvel or DC. Hopefully next month we will get some better resolutions, or at least that Mark will make a triumphant return!
FINAL WORD: A good issue with a big surprise, but this middle chapter does not give me all I wished it would.