After the success of Cargo Of Doom, it looks like IDW is giving us more Rocketeer. Similar to the previous miniseries, Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror looks set to combine the world war II images of Rocketeer with more of the fantastical aspects of the series. We’ve already had someone attempt to invade America with Jet-pack dinosaurs, so whats next in Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror #1?
You wanted more Rocketeer… and you’ve got it! Missing scientists! Plucky girl reporters! Betty and Cliff on the rocks! The mysterious Church of Cosmicism! And who is the sinister Otto Rune? Pulp thrills the way you like them as the Rocketeer comes up against a brand-new adversary in… “The Hollywood Horror!”
The plot itself is surprisingly detailed. For a first issue, readers get a lot to digest. This is mainly around Cliff and his role as the Rocketeer, but there is development for the villain too. Likewise, the story is also narrated by a stranger, offering a fresh perspective that hints at the future a lot, tempting and teasing hints about the story.
Of course, once again, Betty is set-up to play the typical foil. This is the typical formula for much of Rocketeer. The Hero’s career ensures he never has time for his girlfriend. Whilst Betty does play the typical angry and angst female lead, this title looks to be giving her a wider role. This is made rather obvious, as the title sets up some basic and generic sexism issues that will, if one could hazard a guess, get resolved by the series conclusion. Its obvious, but its getting a character that’s always around into the limelight a bit more.
That, said, she still spends a lot of the time in her underwear looking like a poster girl. This may just be part of the artwork. Overall, Hollywood Horror is more cartoon-based in its art direction than Cargo Of Doom. This work sin some areas, setting up panels to look like posters or bright cartoon-style drawings, but the simplistic nature lacks detail. It also looks less realistic; the various shots of Betty in underwear make her look a little like Betty Boop.
Overall, this is definitely a great start to a new Rocketeer. Whilst it seems to tread the typical themes of “something happens, Betty gets annoyed, insert random monster”, it none the less does it in a fast paced and well written manner.