Superhero Sunday: The Rocketeer

Strap on your jetpacks, dawn your helmets and lets take to the skies in this month's Superhero Sunday with The Rocketeer.

The History

Created in 1982 by writer-illustrator Dave Stevens, who first got work penciling for Tarzan (newspaper comic 1975) then getting recognized for is pin up work and later went on to storyboard for Hanna-Barera.

The Rocketeer is a fun adventure book that was birthed out of paying homageage to the old serials from the 1930s through 50s.  The story first appeared as a backup issue in Starslayer for Pacific Comics. The four issue was released by Eclipse comics under the title Rocketeer.

The Character

The story takes place in a fiction 1938 Los Angeles, but who is this helmeted hero? Cliff Secord a racing stunt pilot (barnstormer) discovers a mysterious package hidden in his hanger. Gangsters fleeing the scene leave left a prototype jetpack that kickstarts Cliff's adventures and lead him on a jet fueled dream.

The 1980's comic contnued its fun for years as Cliff went on one-shot journeys and adventures as The Rocketeer. He would fight crime and rescue his main squeeze Betty (Dave Stevens modeled off of Bettie Page the Queen of Pin-Up). Cliff the lunkhead with the heart iof gold went on to fight Nazi's and the mobsters but every comic was great fun.

Rocketeer 1.jpg

Why this hero?

As always I did not read the comic until well after its creation. I probably like most didnt dicsover The Rocketeer as a comic at all but instead as the 1991 Disney film. Yes, in the 90s Stevens approved Disney to adapt the comic into film. This movie is where I found the Rocketeer and was instantly in love with the character. The costume is this amazing suit that lets you fly around with an awesome helmet and you become this hero who saves the day, it was everything I wanted to be as a kid (maybe now too). After the movie I wanted to be The Rockteer and I was inspired to find those 80s comics.

The Rocketeer comic rights changed hands and went from Dark Horse to IDW. Dave Stevens passed in 2008 but the comic series was revived in 2011 by IDW with the talented writer Mark Waid, the book would recieve trades of collected new adventures. The Rocketeer is not the dense heavy work of Alan Moore nor is it Garfield. No, The Rocketeer is high flying fun and a real treat for anyone who wasn't wax nostalgic about 1930s-50s.

Recommended Reading:

What's In Your Bag: Santa Fe Comic Con Edition

I just got back from Covering Santa Fe Comic Con, and I figured I would do a video of "What's in Your Bag?". I will link each item and let you know how it functioned in the convention setting.

  • Timbuk2 TSA Messenger Bag - This bag has yet to let me down once. Highly recommend it.
  • Zojirushi Water Bottle - Another item that has yet to let me down. It is a bit expensive but it will keep you hydrated and not ruin your computer/camera gear. 
  • Field Notes - Even if you are not going to a con, you need to have one of these in your pocket. You never know when you need to take notes, or write a to-do list, or have a brilliant Idea. I always have one in my back pocket.
  • Fisher Space Pen - This is my favorite pen and it always goes with me. Super small and reliable. And this is a custom version to commemorate hitting 100 subs on my youtube channel.
  • Google Acer Chromebook - I am a big fan of this laptop, and I use it more than my Macbook Pro, however, you do not need to take a computer to a convention unless you know you're going to be doing writing throughout the day. This was unnecessary. 
  • Neewer Lav Mic - These things cost about $7, and you get three of them for that cost. HOWEVER, this mic shorted out and yielded almost all my footage from the convention useless. If you are going to get these, be careful, and make sure to check the recordings and make sure they are working before recording anything important.
  • Zoom H1 - I love Zoom's recorders and this is no exception. I got so much use out of this thing. I set it on autogain, tossed it on the table at panels and hit record. It worked like a charm and it's small and portable. One of the most useful things I brought with me.
  • Emergency Battery - Lucky for me, I did not have to use this. But, I always keep it in my bag with an extra iPhone cable. 
  • Go Pro Hero 3 - This is another one of those devices that you just can't go wrong with. I love this thing and I filmed almost all my footage with this thing, however, the lav mic caused all of it to be useless. Not the GoPro's fault though. I do with there was a way to monitor microphone levels though.
  • Samsung NX1000 - This camera worked alright. In lowlight, it struggled, and I started to get some noise when I was in low ISO's, so I'm not sure if this is a great option for conventions. I didn't use the kit lens either. I did take a lot of photos, but many of them didn't turn out well. I blame my amateur photography skills for that, and not the camera.
  • Samsung NX 16mm LensThis is a great lens, but just not for my needs. This is a lens designed for beautiful landscapes, and I'm sure it can kick butt at those. I will have to test that out and get back to you. 
  • Samsung NX 45mm Lens - This lens is the sex. That's what the kids are saying, right? Well I love this lens. It is beautiful, provides great DOF, and a big aperture and just all around great! I took the majority of my photos with this lens, and some of them look spectacular. When there was enough light, the photos turned out great. I have included an image taken with this camera, above.