First of all let’s just get this out of the way, I am a sucker for books and movies that feature prominent moments and figures from American History no matter how ridiculous the concept seemed. For example in films movies like Wild Wild West and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Also in books titles like American Legends (Top Cow Productions Inc. & Image Comics) and All Star Western (DC Comics) and well you get the trend. Now Adam Glass through Aftershock Comics has released a very interesting book called “Rough Riders”. Which features a team of soon to be legends such as Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Harry Houdini as well as others. They are set to travel to Cuba and defeat a threat using alien technology to destroy American vessels. The cover alone sold me the book as it features the team of Rough Riders in an antique style color palette holding what seem to be alien weapons in contrasting blue and gold.
The first issue introduces us to the leaders of the group Theodore Roosevelt, who by day is the Roosevelt we all know but by knight is a vigilante out rescuing the those in need. We get a clear view of that in the first few pages of the book when he saves as many women as he can from a burning building that had been sealed shut. We also learn who is commissioning his services, a group called “The Four Horsemen” which are composed by men like Vanderbilt and Rockefeller the other names are not mentioned. Near the end of the issue we are introduced to the first member of the team enlisted by Teddy, Jack Johnson and by the end we know that they are headed to Coney Island to find their second member, Houdini.
What I like about this book is that it puts us right into the middle of action with Teddy which really sets the tone on what he is all about. By the time he gets to meet with the Four Horsemen we have a pretty good understanding about who he is and a little of his up brining. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a few flashbacks later. I also like the concept of the Four Horsemen, who we know by their names were very influential and powerful people in their time. Between this issue and the next we should see the complete team assembled on their way to Cuba at the beginning of the third issue. It is great to see them getting picked up in what I call their “natural habitats”, jack was picked up while boxing and Houdini is going to get picked up at his show at Coney Island. This is my third title that I pick of from Aftershock who keeps surprising me with great stories. The other two being Replica and Super Zero, I participated in a podcast called the Comic Source Podcast where we did a spotlight on Replica and it opened my curiosity to some of their other titles. They seem to be doing great things over at Aftershock and I recommend comic book readers to check out their titles as they contain quality stories. Put down your Marvel and DC Comics for a moment and check out some of this publishers quality titles (trust me you won’t regret it). Overall a great start to what looks to be a very interesting concept, let’s see if it can keep the momentum going and if we get good plot and story development.
Publisher: Aftershock Comics
Creator & Writer: Adam Glass
Artwork: Patrick Olliffe
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb