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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
The Rocketeer
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

VINE VOICEon 4 February 2010
-The Rocketeer. The Rocketeer is another wonderful example of the flowering of the graphic novel which began in the 1980's with Moore's Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, and Watchmen, Frank Miller's Ronin and The Dark Knight Returns, Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez Love & Rockets, and Howard Chaykin's American Flagg, several of which I've reviewed for Amazon. As different from all of these as they are from each other, The Rocketeer is a pulp adventure romp which moves from the dry sunny skies of California to the dark underworld of New York and it's a delight from start to finish.

Firstly the art by Dave Stevens is delicate in line, detailed and accurate in its portrayal of the period, wryly humorous, almost unique its depiction of people who look real, and particularly gorgeous in its portrayal of beautiful woman. Betty, the heroine, is modelled on the legendary 1950's glamour and exotic pictures icon Bettie Page. I've no doubt that Stevens, who later became a friend of Paige, did much to bring her back into the limelight again. But I digress, in the unlikely event that you aren't taken with the story, it's impossible that the art will fail to enchant you. It has also been recoloured, in accordance with Stevens' wishes (though tragically he died of leukemia before he could see it), by Laura Martin one of the very top colourists in the business and whose skills have enhanced many graphic stories. Also reprinted are the many covers of the various magazines in which this story appeared.

As for the story itself, stunt pilot Cliff Secord gets his hands on jet pack stolen by Nazis from its inventor who isn't, as one character thinks, Howard Hughes but a very famous character from the pulp magazines of the period. Lots of action ensues with Cliff distracted by his stunning girlfriend and her career as a glamour model. All doesn't end well and Secord chases her to New York to try and prevent her from going to Europe with her sleazy-sophisticate photographer mentor. There he is befriended by another pulp hero with a very sharp nose as dark secrets of Secord's life are brought into sharp threatening life.

I love this book. I love it for its beautiful art. I love it for its high adventure and thrills. I love it for its humour and I love it for its detail and for so many other reasons. And I love it because I have it in this definitive beautiful hardback edition. And I'm pretty sure you will love it too.
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VINE VOICEon 23 February 2011
This deluxe edition of 'The Rocketeer' is brilliant. I got the smaller hardcover reprint of the story but then realised this was available so HAD to get this too. I'm glad I did. The deluxe edition has the same beautifully recoloured version of the story (and gallery of covers) but with LOADS of extras.

This larger format book comes inside a solid, and eye catching slip-case. The book itself has the red silk ribbon book mark in the binding which I think is a lovely touch.

Inside the book you get the full recoloured story reprinted ('The Rocketeer' and 'Cliff's New York Adventure') which is a corker. A proper old fashioned, pulp style adventure with brilliantly period detailed pencil work and striking colours. On the inside of the cover you get the black and white collage of images that was in the original paperback. After the story and cover galleries you get the extras: black and white sketches, panel layout drafts, colour to black and white comparisons, a couple of model poses to finished art comparisons, artwork related to the 1991 film and promotional artwork too.

Dave Steven's style is very detailed and delicate. He seems to approach comics more like an illustrator approaching how to match detailed text rather than like the usual comic artists I have seen. There aren't loads of sound effects leaping out all over the place only where totally necessary. The original colour work was bright and bold however the recoloured story now has an extra level of depth. It's very sad he didn't get to live to see this version completed.
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on 28 June 2014
All I can say is buy this book and any other publications by Dave Stevens bought the comics when they came out in the 80s nice to have them all in one book. downside is wish they could made the book larger as other graphic compilations
Have done by other publishers but that's just a personal thing glad I got this book
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on 10 June 2014
This is a wonderful evocation of late 1930's America in comic form with more than a wink and a nod in the direction of the pulp magazines of the period. The artwork is old-style and completely to my taste. It's such a shame that the artist died before his time. We could have had many more thrilling adventures of the man with a rocket strapped to his back. I bought the Kindle version which showed up well on my iPad. By tapping on a frame of the comic it could be enlarged to a degree. My only wish is that the frame could be enlarged to fill the screen in order to appreciate the stunning artwork.

S R Smith
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on 18 March 2017
great story
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on 16 June 2012
This is one of my most favorite comics of all time. It's filled with adventure, comedy, witty dialogue, suspense and a wonderful feel for the retro and nostalgia for the 30s and early 40s. Dave's art is simply gorgeous and Laura's color adds a vibrant life to his drawings with attention to detail and a flair for the dramatic.

The characters are fascinating, wonderfully designed and their progression through the story and development is some of the best I've seen.

This is truly one of the great graphic novels of the last 30 years and then some.
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on 6 September 2016
Set in 1938 this series of adventures pulses with so much life and colour that it really springs off the page at you. Even if you are not a fan of the story and the amusingly faithful dialogue, then the art work is something to marvel at and savour on its own. The deep, rich and authentic colouring really does elevate this to a thing of beauty and makes this essential reading. At times this reminded me of Vance and Burr’s outstanding “On The Ropes” and Moore and O’Neill’s “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”.
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on 28 May 2013
Dazzling art from one of America's best graphic artists. There is not much of Dave's work to be had but this is argueably his best.

The Kindle format actually enhances the composition, which can be viewed in more than sufficient detail to fully appreciate this labour of love.
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on 4 March 2010
There are moments when reading this collected Rocketeer when the sheer beauty of Dave Stevens' art can take your breath away. There is no denying the Rocketeer looks good. From the re-coloured art to the beautiful hardcover binding. It's clever too. If you know who Doc Savage or The Shadow are, then you could be in for a treat.

The story, like most pre- Dark Knight Returns is relatively light. Even the more adult moments are handled in a very light-hearted fashion.

It's also very short. 8 short issues make for a very thin volume. But it is the complete telling of the tale and exhaustive for it. The whole package is padded out with some additional cover art, which is definitely a bonus.

If you are looking for indepth story telling and complex characters try Watchmen, if you are looking for a beautiful looking bit of pulp - you've found it!
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on 24 August 2012
This book is excellent. Stories are so well told and drawn by Stevens who has created a totally real and grounded world for them to take place in.

I love this book, so glad i decided to pick it up.
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