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Rocket is a Tribute to Hard Boiled Heist Stories

Illustration for article titled iRocket /iis a Tribute to Hard Boiled Heist Stories

“A crime thriller heist novel, but set in space and also the hard boiled ex-con protagonist is a talking raccoon.” Never have I thought that such a synopsis could apply to something so great and yet here we are with Rocket #1, written by Al Ewing, with art by Adam Gorham.

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When I say “crime thriller heist novel,” I mean that in the most literal sense: the book is presented as coming straight out of a novel, the first-person narration looking like it’s ripped directly from the yellowing pages of an old paperback.

Illustration for article titled iRocket /iis a Tribute to Hard Boiled Heist Stories
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(By the way, I’m taking that reference to “ice planet” as a shout-out to Firefly.)

So, of course, like lots of crime and heist stories, we begin at the end and then go back to the beginning. Rocket is just innocently sitting in a space bar (no pun intended) talking about his past as a safecracker...

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Illustration for article titled iRocket /iis a Tribute to Hard Boiled Heist Stories

...when who should show up but Rocket’s old partner/flame, the one who left him in jail after their last heist, asking for his help.

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Illustration for article titled iRocket /iis a Tribute to Hard Boiled Heist Stories

Rocket tries to say no, but, of course, he can’t. But to pull another heist, he needs a crew.

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Cue the Technet.

Illustration for article titled iRocket /iis a Tribute to Hard Boiled Heist Stories
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Oh yeah. The Technet, the bunch of weird alien bounty hunters created by Alan Davis for Captain Britain. But why would they throw themselves in with Rocket? Well, money is kind of tight at the moment.

Illustration for article titled iRocket /iis a Tribute to Hard Boiled Heist Stories
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The rest of the book details the heist, but it’s that hard-bitten noir narration that really elevates this book from good to great.

Also, Hard-Boiled Henwy is awesome.

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