Rocket Salvage is a series I’ve been meaning to jump on and talk about for a couple of months now. First though, I love monthly Archaia issues. I’ve been reading Archaia long enough to remember when everything was monthly then collected in their amazing hardcovers and trades. In fact I loved that the company had a focus on the aesthetics of the books they printed because it made purchasing their titles so much better than other companies. Who wants a trade with cheap paper when you can feel the weight of a page with your fingers? Then they moved to only hardcovers and paperbacks and then over to BOOM! I’m not going to lie I thought the imprint was done when it hit BOOM!. There was enough diversity at BOOM! to dissolve the line, but instead the heart of the publisher remains intact and series like HaloGen, Plunder and Rocket Salvage show that.
Rocket Salvage is almost too easy to sum up and at times it’s too easy to figure out and that may be why some haven’t latched on to it. This is going to make very little sense, but sometimes stories have predictable plots because the story isn’t about the plot, but rather the characters. At its core Rocket Salvage isn’t that different from Image’s Descender or fellow imprint title HaloGen. It’s the future, we’re in space and there’s an object that will change or destroy the universe. Which series did I describe? All three, but it’s the nuances that make them different. For Rocket Salvage it’s the focus on family. The focus on something other than yourself being important.
Primo’s life probably looks pretty shitty to most people. He lost all his glory and fame and ended up with a messed up clone of himself and a clone of that clone, but they’re his family. They’re his children, even if they’re not really. That conundrum of a man raising himself is one of the single most interesting concepts I’ve read in comics. I think a lot of the stories more serious themes are actually overlooked because the story manages to be lighthearted with everything that’s going on.
In this issue alone we see Primo’s betrayal play out all the way and have more tacked on to it. While there’s jokes here and there, it’s still incredibly deep emotionally to see him come face to face with Evy. Zeta on the other hand shows her hand; the once rebellious and angry child misses her family and wants to master her powers in order to help them. It’s a big step from when we meet her that’s for sure.
There’s nothing to not love about the artwork. It screams future, but at the same time is inviting to the eyes. I’m sure a lot of kids would be drawn to this if they saw it, but as an adult I enjoy it as well. The linework is clean, detailed and yet very imaginative. There’s personality oozing off the page from the characters and the settings. The world feels alive and in space. The art also adds to the heart of the story with great expressions from the characters.
I actually got excited for this issue thinking it was the finale because I’m dying to read the entire series. I’m glad that there’s one more issue and while I don’t know exactly what it has in store, I’m looking forward to seeing it all play out. If you missed out on the series you can be a trade waiter. After all I told you in the beginning that Archaia produces wonderful trades and hardcovers or you could support the series. It’s too late to effect the print run, but you can still help move issue from the warehouse and trust me, this is a series worth owning.