I slowly became aware of Rocketo the way that one hears about a great band still doing the club circuit: a word here, a small review there, a graphic purloined here… the same way that I found myself at an Earl Greyhound show months ago. I finally stumbled onto the first Rocketo trade at a convention and snapped it up. (I had yet to run into any of the single issues whatsoever, so I'm not aware of how the format is effecting the artwork in the least, but it makes me wonder a little bit why I've never seen any of the singles.)
I wouldn't wonder that Espinosa knows Darwyn Cooke, since both are certainly comfortable with the bold, thick line style that takes us, as comic historians, all the way back to Scorchy Smith. Perhaps it is Espinosa's use of color that separates him from the pack, as well his apparent desire to reduce entire panels to only the relevant shadows (perhaps his only storytelling flaw in the first collection). The book, as these two pieces illustrate, have a bravura quality with the color that is fascinating to watch, and when the group finally hits the Hidden Sea, extremely effective in conveying just what a bizarre world we're journeying into.
If there is subtext, we might be reminded of those "that would rip the heart out of mystery, hold it up to the light for all to see." If there is anything that is happening here, it is the desire for a complete immersion into an unfamiliar world, something that reignites our child-like sense of wonder, before we saw other survivors of Kryton, before we knew where the Joker came from, before we saw what other Time Lords looked like, in short, before we had all our questions answered. Here, we have almost none answered, and thats the very best part.