Rough Riders #3



RoughRiders3-minWhilst “Aftershock Comics” probably did enjoy “an explosive first year of publications with series featuring compelling new concepts and excellent comics talent”, Issue Three of “Rough Riders” arguably wasn’t one of the company’s finest products during this period due to Adam Glass’ somewhat disappointing decision to reveal the menace behind the U.S.S. Maine’s destruction as having a distinctly extra-terrestrial element to it. Admittedly, there’s little realism to a narrative based upon “a young Theodore Roosevelt” teaming up with Harry Houdini, Annie Oakley, Jack Johnson and Thomas Edison to begin with, and the title had already potentially ‘suggested’ an alien threat is at hand with the top-secret photograph portraying the American naval vessel’s demise uncannily imitating a scene from H.G. Wells’ novel “War Of The Worlds”. But that still doesn’t mean the graphic novelist’s portrayal of “Little Miss Sure Shot” being overpowered by a military delegate inhabited by an oversized multi-tentacled Martian earwig is the most palatable explanation behind Spain’s supposed new weapon…

Indeed, all the good non-fantasy-based ground work the author achieves during this twenty-page periodical’s earlier plot concerning Houdini and Johnson identifying “that something is happening up in those hills” by talking to the local prostitutes, as well as Edison’s evident non-acceptance that the aging scientist is going deaf, is debatably completely undermined by the purple-coloured wriggling monstrosity, which seems far more suited to the 1982 science fiction motion picture “Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan” than a western yarn where “things take a turn for the deadly.” Certainly, it must have been hard for this comic’s 5,440 readers to correlate the outlandish creepy-crawly squirrelling out from inside a Spaniard’s ear with the magazine’s surprising cliff-hanger featuring the mad Russian monk Rasputin; “You are mistaken, comrade. I am not your friend… I am Rasputin… And you will bow to me!”

Fortunately, what “Give Them Hell” does contain is the excellent pencilling of Patrick Olliffe, whose opening sequence of the future United States President donning his Brooks Brothers-made Colonel’s uniform is alone worth the cover price of this tome. In fact, the “veteran comic book illustrator with over twenty-five years of experience”, whose dynamically-story-boarded race through a trap-infested jungle trail does a superb job of capturing a headlong flight from danger, is likely to have been the main reason behind why there was such “building interest in the book” in June 2016…

This article is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of the site owner.


Reviewed by
For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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