“The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #4”

(w) Mark Waid
(a) Chris Samnee
IDW Publishing
22 pages

      The Rocketeer: C.O.D. is among the very best drawn comics on the stands. Every pen stroke that exits Chris Samnee’s hand is deliberately executed and every splash of color from Jordie Bellaire is appropriate to the scene’s intended mood. I’d say the art is reason enough to buy this book (it is) if the story weren’t so noteworthy, too.

      Issue #4 brings the story arc to its most logical conclusion: having The Rocketeer use his newly acquired ray gun to blast the S#&@ out of some dinosaurs. At no point do the odds Cliff faces seem too inconsequential, as swiftly flying pterodactyls and malfunctioning equipment add to the challenge of his plight. Also, actually seeing a glimpse of the more nurturing side to Cliff and Betty’s relationship is a great pay-off to the several issues worth of hostility that came before. Finally, the secret of what Sally has been up to comes to light in a manner appropraite to the series tone.
      As this mini-series comes to a close, a saboteur is revealed that is sure to “take the air outta you” and the plot thread of the villainous benefactor of the cargo of doom is left hanging. If these four issues by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee were meant to revitalize a decades old character and create a new generation of fans, they could have done it with half the material contained in these issues. Instead, they went above and beyond, and there is sure to be plenty of anticipation for future installments of  IDW’s The Rocketeer by all who were lucky enough to read this.