The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures
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The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures (The Rocketeer)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  583 ratings  ·  68 reviews
The Rocketeer, Dave Stevens' opus, is finally collected in one volume! The Rocketeer and The Rocketeer: Cliff's New York Adventure are being completely re-colored, as per Dave Stevens' wishes, by renowned colorist Laura Martin. The best possible reproduction and the highest production values will ensure that this is the definitive Rocketeer collection.
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by IDW Publishing (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Anne
I shoulda known something was up when the story opened with a dog fart joke...

What the hell was this even about?! Yes, the art is gorgeous, but there is literally no real plot. Nothing in the entire thing made any sense! I kept thinking that somehow everything would tie together at the end, but noooooo. After I finished it last night, I kept flipping through the pages to see if I missed something. Like maybe more pages would magically appear, and the light bulb would go off.
Ah-ha! I get it now!...more
Jared Millet
"The Rocketeer" is an infuriating graphic novel, because it makes you realize two things: 1) Dave Stevens is dead, and 2) he didn't produce very many comics when he was alive. As a period-piece pulp action adventure, the Rocketeer is astounding, and the artwork is breathtaking. This was truly one of the great hidden gems of the 80's independent comic scene - a little too well hidden, in my opinion. I was a comic book fiend when the movie came out in 1991, and I didn't learn until years later tha...more
Arlie
I don't know that I'd call my self a graphic novel aficionado, but I've certainly read a lot of them. That said, this one doesn't number among my favourites. It seems most people are enthralled with Stevens' art, and while it certainly is 'luscious' (this word comes up many times, including on the back of the book itself'), I found the representation of Betty offensive. Perhaps I'm too much of a feminist or something, but it seemed to me objectification of the female form. Apart from the nudity,...more
Shazza Maddog
I had seen the Disney movie many times and really enjoyed it, so when I spotted the collected graphics, I snatched it right up.

Cliff Secord is a barnstormer who can't catch a break, except he has an absolutely beautiful girlfriend, Betty, and a terrific mechanic, Peevy. When guys running from the law ditch a weird pack in Cliff's Gee Bee plane, Cliff discovers he's hit a gold mine as well as nothing but trouble. The pack is a jetpack, and Peevy's clever enough to design a helmet that allows the...more
Justin
Dave Steven's "The Rocketeer" is held in very high regard amongst comic book (or graphic novel if you prefer) aficionados, so this might seem like heresy to some, but the storytelling is paper thin.

The art is stunning - no doubt about it - but there isn't that much that is memorable about the actual plot, and no matter how graphically beautiful it may be, it sorely lacks a good story.

Sad but true.
[Name Redacted By Goodreads Because Irrelevant to Review]
A brilliant homage to the old movie serials of the 1930s & 40s; the old pulp comics & radio-serials (the Shadow appears, unnamed, as a major character in the second half) of the same era; the late, great pin-up Bettie Page (after whom the character Betty is modeled); and the work of pre-madness Howard Hughes.

It's a period piece which proves faithful to its period, so if you can't stand works that don't reflect your modern views and attitudes then I would recommend steering clear. Otherw...more
Tom
Dave Stevens created a really fun comic. The colors are bright, the art is clean and engaging, the characters - though not deep - are fun, and the storylines have the quick, absurd driving forces that made comics fun in the first place.

Here's the premise: A down-and-out pilot gets his hand on a rocket pack, has his friend build him a helmet, and then gets into all sorts of trouble with gangsters, Nazis, the US government, and even carnies as he attempts to save his relationship with his Betty P...more
Travis Mcclain
The Rocketeer first came to my attention when Disney made the movie in 1991. I wanted to see it, but didn't. In fact, to this day I still haven't seen that movie! I get a crack at it on the big screen 27 July when Baxter Avenue Theatres will play it at midnight and I'm hopeful to make it to that. I discovered that the Oldham County Public Library main branch has this hardcover collected edition of the original comics and decided it was high time I checked it out (literally).

I didn't realize unti...more
Bjoern
I've always been a fan of the 1991 movie of the same name and fame and so i was very interested when a german comic book publisher announced the first time ever omnibus hardcover edition of the original comic book series. Okay, it's at the upper edge of my usual comic/graphic novel budget but as the book is made up really beautiful it was well worth the price.

As to the contents... i was astonished how good much of the art was. Some pictures of Betty e.g. had almost pin up oil painting quality an...more
Relstuart
A fun book with great art deco 1930s style time frame. The idea of the character of the Rocketeer was invented by the author when someone told him they had 6 pages available and needed a comic story to fill it. They told him he could do whatever he wanted. So he invented the Rocketeer. He drew the character first and then invented a story to go around him.

Interestingly, though this is the whole of the author's work with the Rocketeer there is no end to the story and there are serious plot threa...more
Shivering William
The Rocketeer has not stopped zooming around my brain since I first saw the movie when I was nine years old. Why? That's taken me a while to suss out. Why be obsessed with a superhero who's not so super nor heroic and whose only power is that some toughs accidentally left a rocket pack in his garage? Reading these OG comics gave me some answers. First of all, Cliff Secord is about as human as you can get. He's handsome but he ain't too bright, and all he wants it serious star power so his hottie...more
James
I was one of the few people who was lucky enough to see the movie when I was a kid, but for the longest time I never knew it was based on a comic. Having read it now I can say that while the film adaption is slightly superior, the comic is well worth your time.

First of all, the art by Dave Stevens is gorgeous. His affection for 1940s pin-up art is immeadiately obvious the first time you see Betty, modeled after the queen of pin-ups herself. His action sequences are quite good too and there's a t...more
Alger
One of my all time favorite memories of elementary school was going to see the movie "The Rocketeer" with my friend Kevin Malloy. The saturday matinee serial feel to it was captivating even to a kid who grew up sixty years after that genre of entertainment was popular.

As an adult, finding out that it was based off of a comic and reading said comic was like a trip back into the mindset of that awe-struck 8 year old. The stories were just as rich, if not richer given it was the wellspring of the...more
Chris Smith
While it is not the most intellectual tale... that should not matter too much. Here is one of the best reincarnations of the pulp fiction of the 30s and 40s. The art is incredible, evoking the feeling of those golden age heroes of old. The details are deep, referencing people and places from the time period, giving the entire experience a truly authentic feel. No, the story isn't going to be utterly thought provoking. But you shouldn't go into it with that mindset. After all, the source material...more
Phil
Aug 26, 2012 Phil rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics, sf
Like many people, I first encountered the Rocketeer through the 1991 movie. The character seemed so pitch-perfect that I took it for granted that he dated back to the golden age of pulp, so it was surprising to find out that his first appearance was as late as 1982.

This volume collects the entirety of the all-too-brief comic series, cut short by creator Dave Stevens's death from leukemia at 52. And it's great, my only complaint it that there isn't more of it. The pace is fast, the action excitin...more
Jamie
Wow! I was skeptical about the prospect of seeing these comics with more modern coloring, but I should have had more faith in Dave's choices and the talents of Laura Martin. She did an amazing job of making the books look like I remember them, blending current technology with the classic aesthetic so that it doesn't jar old-time fans while still looking in the now. The bonus pages in this big edition are also a great gift to Dave Stevens fans. Bravo!
Ed
A. Because I will read almost any story-oriented graphic thing between two covers that I find in our library collection.
B. Because I saw the movie based on this character in the theater in 1991 or 1992, and while it made little impression, there's still a tenuous connection. A part of me.
C. It has pictures. Lots of colorful pictures.
D. I gave up on it because it seemed puerile and could barely capture my interest to turn the page.
Shaun
A fun read. I fell in love with the movie when I was a kid and absolutely loved the high flying adventures of Cliff. I like the action of the story...the initial story arc is my favorite of the two stories in this single volume. Stevens' women are beautiful especially Betty. Cliff is an arrogant jealous type which makes him a fun character to read about and see. I wonder if Stevens wrote more about the Rocketeer.
Allen Stucker
I am a big fan of the Rocketeer movie and I wasn't disappointed with the comic that inspired the movie. The story is a rollicking good time including Nazis, circus folk, Doc Savage, and the Shadow. Wow just typing that gave me a little chill. The art is fantastic and the women are gorgeous. This is a great book and I highly suggest you give it a try.

I give the story a 5 out of 5 and the art a 5 out of 5.
Tony Calder
There is a new series of The Rocketeer being published now, but if you're a fan, this is a book you have to own. The stories are ok, they certainly have a pulp feel to them, and Cliff is regularly an arse, but it's the artwork that sets the original series apart. Dave Stevens made this such a joy to read - his artwork is just gorgeous.
Chris Walker
There are so many so-so comics out there recycling the same stories over and over again. Makes me wish there were more pure throwback adventure stories like this one in production. Top notch pulp action with beautiful art and great characters.
to'c
A fun little graphic novel and a definite homage to the pulp paperbacks of the 1940s, complete with cameos of nods to, if not the actual, characters from those pulps. You life might not be better for reading it but you'll enjoy the ride.
Gregory Litchfield
I read The Rocketeer as they came out in single issues: from the first two chapters published by Comico as a back-up story in Starslayer #s 1& 2 (April/June 1982) through to the last installment published by Dark Horse Comics in The Rocketeer Adventure Magazine #3 (January 1995). When IDW published this hardcover edition, finally collecting the entire Dave Stevens Rocketeer story, I knew I had to have it. I received it as a gift for Christmas in 2012, but waited until now to enjoy it with a...more
Eric Bauman
I am one of the few people who thinks that “The Rocketeer” was actually a pretty decent movie. Not great by any stretch, but still, a lot of fun. And hey, how can you go wrong with a movie with a Nazi blimp in it? And it has one of the best soundtracks IMHO.

I had never known that the movie was actually based on a comic book series, and when I read about this re-issue in “Entertainment Weekly,” I decided to pick it up (and as you can tell by the time between the publishing date and the time that...more
Jeffrey
There's just something ineffably attractive about the Rocketeer's costume. Whether it's the brass helm, the leather jacket, or the jodhpur pants, it's hard to say. Regardless, the art design of The Rocketeer is top notch. Sadly, the stories to it are not quite as good.

Some of this is the limitation of the art form. The original stories were not stand alone books but shorter stories in anthology volumes. Thus the arc is erratically paced and doesn't flow well. Shortcuts are also made. Those who...more
Adam Graham
This books follows the two Rocketeer stories by Dave Stephens in 144 pages told in eight installments, so yet it's pretty complete.

The Rocketeer definitely has a pseudo-golden age look and feel to it which makes it appealing. The Rocketeer is an appeal back to the more normal guy heroes that made up many comic books back in the day. The rocket is pretty cool and Clint is an interesting character. It works good as a high adventure period piece, with good art work and well-drawn characters.

The ne...more
Nancy
As a big fan of the movie? Definitely worth reading. This is Rocketeer's origin. It's fascinating to see which parts of the comic made it into the movie and which didn't. Prime example: the design of the Rocketeer himself - his helmet and outfit - was lifted straight out of the pages of the comic (so much so that you'd think the movie inspired the comics instead of the other way around), whereas the design of the rocket pack wasn't.

Independent of the movie? Eh. Not impressed. Cliff is an idiot....more
Stephen
If you haven't read the Rocketeer, I envy you because you have a wonderful experience ahead of you. If you read it when it was new, read it again and I'm sure you'll agree it holds up still today. If you only encountered part of the series, you owe it to yourself to read the whole story in full in any format.

I know there are some high-end sketchbooks of his that I never bothered to pay a collectors' premium for, but other than that, it is fairly easy to gather up all of Dave Stevens comic work,...more
tim
My only complaint about this is that there isn't more. A fun pulp story with slick writing and absolutely beautiful art, I only wish Stevens had put out more issues. The deluxe edition contains around 100 pages of sketches, original art, and page layouts.
Wilson Lanue
The full "Rocketeer" and "Cliff's New York Adventure" in one volume, this is definitely worth a read for even casual fans of the genre.

Though the second story is pretty weak, it's sad that - thanks at least in part to a years-long jerk move by Marvel's legal department - we never got a larger series. (And no, 2011's "Rocketeer Adventures" from IDW don't count.)

Ultimately, however, I consider this a rare case of a film bettering its source material. The 1991 Disney adventure has a fuller story wi...more
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The Rocketeer: All 5 Action Chapters! (Graphic Novel) Brush With Passion: The Art and Life of Dave Stevens Rocketeer: Cliff's New York Adventure Complete Sketches and Studies Dave Stevens' Stories & Covers

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