The Rocketeer and The Spirit are arguably two of the most famous pulp characters. But, what would happen if these two men were to meet? In the first issue of The Rocketeer & The Spirit: Pulp Friction Mark Waid and Paul Smith aim to answer that question.
After an Alderman from Central City wides up dead on the West Coast, The Spirit and company makes a trip West while Cliff aka The Rocketeer attempts to console his girlfriend Betty, who just so happened to find the body. When the Spirit lands, Cliff and Peevy overhear him talking of finding Betty, leading to a fight between Cliff and the Spirit before things get sorted out and the two team up to solve the crime.
Mark Waid obviously has a love for The Rocketeer and the pulp genre, but this issue seemed a bit lacking. There’s humor and wit, action and plot, but it seems almost like the first meeting is a bit choreographed and forced. It just seems like both characters are boiled down into rash brawlers, rather than the deep characters that they’ve been portrayed as before. Even so, Waid writes an issue that’s fun and sets up the rest of the series well, even if it does seem a bit lacking.
Paul Smith’s are is great for the issue. The characters are very expressive, from Peevy’s sly grin to the Spirit’s look of anger and disbelief to Betty’s looks of surprise are all displayed well, feeling completely genuine. The fight scene between Cliff and the Spirit was also portrayed really well, as the two careened through the sky.
Though the issue feels a bit lacking, it’s still a solid read, especially worth a look for any fans of the Rocketeer and the Spirit. It’s a pulp crossover that’s sure to be quite unlike any other.