Wednesday, February 20, 2013

CBR The Rocketeer 3D


And here's another movie tie-in adaptation to round-up my recent review!

Don't miss out my previous Rocketeer-related reviews!

Comic title: The Rocketeer: 3-D Comic
Art by Neal Adams & Continuity Studios
Written by Ron Kidd

Published by Disney Press
From 1991
Lineup The Rocketeer
Format: 3D one-shot single issue.

Remember a time when you had good ol' movie adaptations, remember those days?
This was before video games picked up nicely enough to warrant those tie-ins, before that it was usually quick comic book tie-ins.

But what about those movies that were adaptations themselves?
When they were actually comic books-turned-movies?
You'd get one of those unique ones, a comic of a movie of a comic. It would come full circle.

Well, The Rocketeer actually got two of those.
I already reviewed the traditional movie adaptation last time.
The Rocketeer movie also got a 3-D comic!

Back in the 90s comics went through a sort of boom!
All sorts of gimmicks were used to make any of the gazillion comics on direct market stand out from one another.
Maybe too many gimmicks, which made usually more classic "normal" issues" stand out in the end.. Anyway, you had tons of "1st issues" special and renumbered series, books with variant covers, polybagged issues, embossed covers, etc.
And finally with horror films bringing the 3D glasses back in the 80s, several comics also experimented with the three dimensional pictures. Be it publishers like DC and Marvel.

The Rocketeer 3D was a second movie adaptation of the classic Rocketeer story.
It followed the movie to the letter as well.
While Cliff Secord is trying a plane with Peevy & co at Chaplin Field, a bunch of criminals chased by the FBI crash nearby, hide the rocketpack prototype in the plane afterwards.
Later on, Cliff finds the mysterious package, straps it on after a few test runs and adventure ensues, yadda yadda...

The story was broke down into panels and the dialogues adapted by Ron Kidd here. He did a pretty decent job even if it reads like a simple summary of the movie's events.

The art was done by the classic Batman and Green Arrow artist Neal Adams. (hey, that's what I'll always associate with him!)
Neal Adams' drawings are simply oustanding!
His work perfectly suits The Rocketeer's pulp direction. His characters are mostly based on Dave Stevens designs...nothing to complain here.

And how can I not talk about the 3D itself?
It was done by Ray Zone from the studio 3-D Zone. A pioneer in the genre for the medium.
He also worked on the Batman 3D for DC Comics.
As annoying as I usually find 3D for the eyes after a while, his work was pretty well executed, no wonder, the man in who founded the studio himself did The Rocketeer! Each page looks as impressive as the others.

Overall, I actually quite liked this one.
It's just too bad this book was the 3D one and not the other way around (with the other Rocketeer movie adaptation).
Neal Adams artwork is way too good to be cheapen by the 3D gimmicky in my eyes... I would have loved if they did have a non-3D version of this issue available. (as they usually did back then)

The characters are way better handled here, the story more dynamic and the layout better used for the Rocketeer...

It's probably without a doubt one of the better 3D experiences from a comic at the time.
The comic actually looks pretty good. The 3D effect is well done.
Ray Zone used 3 or 4 different layers here and there actually! And, hey, it's a black & white comic - full color ones mess the 3D a lot worse usually.

It originally came with 3D glasses and a "3-D audio tape" featuring a cast reading the story & sound effects - quite a unique experience!

I give it:
2 / 3 FlamingCarrots!

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