by Rick Bradford
ROCKET RABBIT #1
by James Baker
Wow! This comic is like something that Maggie from Love And Rockets would pick up at the store to read while dining on an entire box of Pookies. It's a boffo SF robot animal adventure: the eponymous rabbit hero, whose ears are jet propulsion tubes, seems to be getting a bit of a swelled ego, punctured periodically by his handler The Professor, a zaftig young braniac. The adolation of the masses doesn't help; but he is unfailingly there when called upon to beat down a team of riotous gorillas, led by Jack Ass, a pinstripe suited mule whose attributes change frequently with his name- Wise Ass, Hard Ass, etc.
It'd be great for kids, despite a little cartoony cheesecake. Older eyes might find the first few pages difficult to unbundle- James's page layouts can get a bit frantic, but once the story takes hold, it's a tale the whole family can dig upon.
The Nashville City Paper
"Graphic Content" by Wil Moss
Rocket Rabbit No. 1 (Nerve Bomb Comics)
is a lot of fun- a breezy, zippy, laugh-out-loud adventure story of a robot built like a rabbit with jet pack ears, and his creator, the tall, beautiful Professor. The duo fight villains like the evil gang of monkeys, The Apes of Wrath, who challenge Rocket Rabbit and the Professor to a throwdown. The humor and silliness don't feel forced or insincere like the story is looking for a joke; instead it feels like the humor just comes naturally. And homage to Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay or no, Escape Goat cracked me up.
"Small Press" review by Steve Saville
James Baker [comic creator guy] has very kindly included the following comment with the edition Rocket Rabbit he submitted for review:
"it's not deep, it's firmly in silly territory."
Now listen here Mr Smarty- pants Baker let's get one thing clear. You do your job and I'll do mine. You create the comic, this being your job, and leave the reviewing to me. I decide whether you have created something "silly" or not. There is a very good reason for this. That is you [as creator] will most likely be wrong. You, Mr Baker draw and write comics and as such you must realise that you have no idea whether what you have done is good or not. I, in my infinite wisdom, decide that and I have decided that this is not a "silly" comic, in fact it is a very good comic, so there.
If there is anything "silly" about Rocket Rabbit it is the somewhat unimaginative title, I mean it is hardly inspirational. Bit of a shame really because the contents are delightful. Thirty- nine very busy pages of delighfulness to be precise. Baker has created a very active and fast paced comic, full of movement. There is no wasted space here, each and every frame is a well constructed entity on its own and, at the same time, well integrated with those that surround it. What we have is two stand alone stories of a rabbit robot with twin outboard nukes for propulsion [in other words he uses rocket powered ears to fly] and his beautiful human 'partner,' the Professor doing battle with the villains laying siege to San Fiasco [yes the pun is in heavy use here].
The artistic style is reminiscent of the better animation that features in the Saturday morning cartoon slots on television with Baker showing a genuine ability in drawing the female form [the professor is really quite hot and as for newsreader Epiffany Binge Another strong artistic feature is Baker's effective use of tone. As a result every page looks damn good and draws the reader in. This is a very accessible comic with very tight art.
If this comic looks good then it is matched by the large doses of witty dialogue and genuine humour present. Most of this is directed at the American fan culture. In the fair city of San Fiasco Rocket Rabbit is a big hero yet many of his fans would rather play video games featuring their hero then drag themselves over to the window to see him in real life and when they do venture out their obsessive devotion borders on the disturbed. Unfortunately it is not too far from reality. Other aspects of American society are given a gentle working over as well. The mayor is a glove puppet, the grinning anchor man is the appropriately named Flip Remarque. The gender tension between the Professor and Rocket Rabbit is a wonderful sub plot. Never more so than when the Professor's fascination with remodelling Rabbit comes out into the open. Rocket Rabbit feels used despite the Professor's promise not to "touch his mind." These witty conversations are a feature of this comic.
The other high point is the villains [and so often this proves to be the case]. A schizophrenic donkey features in the first tale and a bunch of geographically challenged apes maraud through the second tale, titled 'Apes of Wrath' [I warned you about the puns].
This is a nice package, funny yes, entertaining yes, well produced yes, silly no. Behave yourself Mr Baker and get back to what you do bestrawing comics.
In a Word: Tight
Comic Book Network
MY VIEW by David LeBlanc
ROCKET RABBIT #1
40 pages, black & white, Color Covers, 6.5" X 8.5", $6.00
created by James Baker
As a follow up to NERVE BOMB #0, this title takes up the continuing adventures of Rocket and the Professor. Rocket Rabbit is a robot with rabbit-like ears that are actually nuclear powered rocket thrusters enabling him to fly. He is the creation of the Professor, a rather sexy female agent of "The Company". The book is a spoof of super hero and spy genres. Their leader is a a guy who rides around in a giant robot that looks like a man's suit. Picture a walking suit thirty feet high with a normal size guy in the collar of the shirt. He goes by the name of Big Suit or B.S. for short. He hands out the assignments and the Professor plans the action with her partner Rocket, using a variety of gadgets and vehicles. (shades of Get Smart!)
The issue opens with the dynamic duo recapping their latest adventure, thwarting an alien invasion. BS gives them attaboys. Little do they know that the bad guys, banded together in the group known as the Co-Op of Evil, are planning an attack. Their leader, Jack Ass, is planning to get some talking apes to lead the assault. He has a hard time keeping focus as just the speaking of his other personas' names changes his nature. He goes from Jack Ass to Hard Ass, to Dumb Ass, to Kick Ass at the mention of those names - a real multiple personality. The apes attempt the attack across the Bay and a news anchor gets taken hostage. Rocket and the Professor must spring into action - as soon as she figures out which weapons to use. Decisions, decisions . . .
Like its predecessor comic, ROCKET RABBIT is plain fun. The art is the cartoonish style of the gag magazines like MAD and CRACKED. The dialogue is smooth and the variety of characters would make you think that only a few are the focus. Not so. The two newscasters are given lots of panels to develop and have their share of gags. Likewise the villains are given some depth along the way. The relationship between Rocket and The Professor is clearly more like friends as Rocket acts like a person, to the point of annoying The Professor at times. By the end we know the players well and wonder where the story will go next. It is a fun comic and packed with laughs for 40 pages. There is not much like it on the market but there should be.
Comic World News
review by Micheal May
Rocket Rabbit #1
Written and Illustrated by James Baker
I've been waiting for more Rocket Rabbit since I reviewed Nerve Bomb Comix #0. It was such a fun, fresh take on superheroes. Baker has finally continued what he started and has lost none of what made Nerve Bomb such a joy to read. The banter between Rocket Rabbit and his hot creator The Professor is still playful and Baker still has a knack for creating genuinely funny super-heroes and villains. Even the one-panel throwaway characters are clever and silly; whether because of their names (Escape Goat) or their costumes (Hog Wild has a hog-head shaped mask with eyeholes in the pig's nostrils). And the great thing is that this issue's throwaways may be next issue's focus. A small character in Nerve Bomb called Jack Ass (a donkey who switches personalities whenever anyone invokes one of his other names Ð Smart Ass, Dumb Ass, Lame Ass, etc.) coordinates all the evil-doing in this issue. Super-hero parody is always a tricky business, but Rocket Rabbit isn't so much parody as just really enjoyable, really funny, light-hearted, sci-fi super-heroics.
The Fourth Rail
"Snap Judgements" by Randy Lander
ROCKET RABBIT #1
by James Baker (Nerve Bomb Comics)
Don and I first reviewed Rocket Rabbit and the Professor in Nerve Bomb about two years ago. At the time, we both found Baker's work visually appealing but unfocused in terms of story. Rocket Rabbit #1 is a step in the right direction, retaining the impressive art and making much more of a stab at a coherent story, although Baker's balls-to-the-wall comedy approach still retains a flavor of something overly familiar. However, it's familiar in a good way, and I certainly found plenty to chuckle at in these pages, as well as enjoying the visual spectacle.
Rocket Rabbit and the Professor are do-gooder heroes with a bizarre mix of creator/creation and boyfriend/girlfriend tension, but they are essentially just engines of destruction and comedy. Whether or not they win is immaterial, and Rocket Rabbit is not a book to look for if you're seeking answers to the questions of right and wrong or a story that poses any questions deeper than "Wouldn't it be funny if...?" However, for those who enjoyed the manic humor of Sky Ape or Scurvy Dogs, or the goofy parody of The Tick, Rocket Rabbit might be worth a look.
Where Baker really excels is in his artwork and design sense. I saw the Rocket Rabbit booth at San Diego, and it caught my eye everytime I went by, since it's such a striking visual, and the pure mayhem of the super brawl at Pow Palace is a visual delight as well. I also really got a kick out of Baker's amusing villain "The Ass" whose powers and personality change depending on what type of ass he is (smart, dumb, lame, jack, etc.) as well as the Apes of Wrath and the notion of a superhero president who seems to have more than a little in common with flamboyant professional wrestlers. If cheesy puns and mayhem are your kind of humor, Rocket Rabbit is your kind of book.