The final chapter of The Rocketeer: The Great Race is here from IDW by Stephen Mooney, and it packs a punch! My first initial glimpse was at a seven-page preview, and I wanted more. The action drew you in and built up from the last issue where we saw Cliff fill his jet pack with experimental fuel so that things would be moving fast. This issue will have you on an emotional roller coaster to figure out who will win the Great Race — as well as the fate of The Rocketeer.
Many kudos to Stephen Mooney as writer and artist for this miniseries, who is following in the footsteps of the late, great Dave Stevens. It must be quite the daunting task to be responsible for both duties, yet I wonder if there is also less to worry about since it is primarily your vision? I am glad that this mini got to see the light of day as nothing is worse for a character to be stuck in limbo, especially since this year is the 40th anniversary of The Rocketeer.
In this issue, the action felt intense as we saw Cliff more as The Rocketeer and outside of a plane. The opening save was incredible and gave The Rocketeer quite a super feat for him being such a “grounded” character. We get it all in this issue: amazing flight scenes, in-your-face fisticuffs, and drama cranked to 11! Cliff will need quite a rest after this adventure for sure.
The action at the conclusion is epic. Ee get some fiery explosions, and one, in particular, leaves us wondering about the fate of The Rocketeer. It isn’t life or death to keep you in suspense, but it makes you wonder what can be next for Cliff Secord. I appreciate Mooney making that potential for absence with The Rocketeer, as it will be a sigh of relief when the character returns. I know I’ll be checking the comic solicitations to see what starts up next.
I want to call out Len O’Grady’s excellent work on the colors for this series. Len gave us some great skies to highlight the action and helped create a world that looks perfect for that timeless vibe of The Rocketeer. Cheers to the other crew members: Shawn Lee, Nicolas Nino, and Scott Dunbier for helping to make this story take to the air. Dave Stevens would be proud to see his legacy in great hands.
Speaking of Dave, we get the final chapter in Dave Stevens, An Oral History of The Rocketeer, at the end of this comic. Get ready – it will hit you hard, as this will be sharing the last years of Dave’s life. It was a mournful reading, but there is also a feeling of joy for Dave’s life. You really get the feel that these people speaking of Dave cared about him. The quote from Thomas Jane nails it perfectly: “This deserves a new generation’s worth of eyeballs.” He’s right, so make sure to share the retro-fantastic world of The Rocketeer!
The Rocketeer: The Great Race #4 is a suspenseful conclusion to this anniversary celebration of The Rocketeer. Stephen Mooney reminds us of just how incredible Cliff Secord’s adventures are. We get more history about the late, great Dave Stevens. Treat yourself to this love-fest and share it with someone so they can experience the joy of comics!
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