Watch “Rocket Man” sweep from the clouds to battle America’s enemies!
My original pen and ink illustration includes the heroine, Glenda Thomas holding on to Rocket Man’s arm. Unfortunately the illustration was completed as a double page spread in my 5th sketchbook. The actress’s face was almost in the middle and fell right in the fold of the book. It looked fine in the sketchbook but there was no way to scan it without distortion. The only solution would have been to cut the page out of the book and I wasn’t prepared to do that. I played with it in photoshop but in the end I just moved her completely. That decision works for the final version in the ‘LickedinPop Series’. Glenda would be obscured by the text if i left her in.
And they hit the moon! 12 thrilling chapters about the most fascinating man who ever lived!
King of the Rocket Men is a 1949 12-chapter Republic movie serial. This serial is notable for introducing the character Rocket Man, who would later appear with different character identities in Republic’s rocket-powered hero serials that followed: Radar Men from the Moon (1949), Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952), and Commando Cody: Sky Marshall of the Universe (1953), the latter syndicated to television in 1955 under the same title but as a dozen 25-minute episodes, each containing new space footage and title music.
An evil genius calling himself “Dr. Vulcan” (heard only as a voice and seen as a shadow on a brightly lit wall), plots to conquer the world, but first needs to eliminate, one by one, the members of the Science Associates, an organization of America’s greatest scientists. After narrowly escaping an attempt on his life by Vulcan, one member of Science Associates, Dr. Millard goes into hiding and then outfits another member, Jeff King with an advanced, sonic-powered rocket backpack and jacket, a bullet-shaped, aerodynamic helmet, and raygun they had been working on together.
Using the flying jacket and helmet and other inventions provided by Dr. Millard and aided by magazine reporter and photographer Glenda Thomas, Jeff King, as Rocket Man, battles Dr. Vulcan and his henchmen through a dozen action-packed Republic chapters. Eventually, Vulcan steals Millard’s most dangerous invention, a Sonic Decimator, and uses it to flood, then destroy both New York and the rest of Manhattan Island before finally being unmasked and brought to justice by Jeff King in his Rocket Man persona.
No Serial Thrill like it before!
All work in the LickedinPop Series begins as an original pen and Ink illustration. Rich and colorful, it is my homage to the work of Roy Lichtenstein tuned to my favorites in pop culture. Beautiful reproductions of ‘Rocket Man’ and all my work in the LickedinPop Series are available for sale at my Etsy Store. Please come visit!