by Carl R. Jansson
On the trail of two murderous madmen and the mysterious Television Terror, the Spirit takes Rocketeer to Central City, and Cliff finds it nearly impossible to navigate in such a crowded urban setting-but he’d better learn quickly because Betty’s life depends on it!
Mark Waid continues the fun and excitement in issue three of this thrilling crossover that we always wanted, whether we knew it or not. His pacing is excellent, taking us quickly, beat by beat from one situation to another. He juggles characters and story lines like the professional that he is, letting us spend plenty of time with each pawn on his chessboard, albeit in quick spurts. He lets the story play out, never letting it feel as if this team-up is forced.
There were some honestly funny moments between The Rocketeer and The Spirit, when introducing Cliff to his tomb he calls home, and later when The Spirit sneaks up on Cliff and says “Boo!”, scaring the bejeesus out of him. He delivers exactly the type of script this story deserves, with plenty of danger, excitement, and laughs. The chemistry between the two is perfect. You can tell neither really likes the other very well, but they are determined to work together to solve the case. And there is a new team-up this issue, as Peevy and Dolan have a dramatic reunion.
The third penciler in as many issues, J Bone’s art really grew on me by the end of the issue. I’ve been a fan of his for a while, but didn’t feel his style was right for these characters. By the end of issue, he has taken them and molded them into his own versions, while keeping them completely in character. His, much more cartoony than Smith’s or Wallace’s, style really works in the action sequences, but even the more intimate moments are a joy to behold. Rom Fajardo’s colors fit J Bone’s style like one of The Octopus’ gloves, giving his art the weight it deserves. His tones are bright where they need to be, and more subtle where warranted, but never once muddy. Over all, this was the best team-up so far in this series.
This has been a really fun series so far, and I for one am sad to see there is only one issue left. If you like your comics a little more lighthearted, yet still full of thrilling action, go out and pick the first three issue up, as there is only a month left until the finale, and I think it will prove to be great!