Monday, September 19, 2022
Before the Rocketeer, there was Rocketman! Anyone ever watch one of the Rocketman serials?? I always knew of them because of my love of The Rocketeer but never saw them. So I found most of them and gave a watch! So much fun!! But confusing when learning about them. Let me see if I can explain. The first serial is called "King of the Rocketmen" and was a decent serial from Republic Pictures. The main character was Jeff King (and hence the play of words on the title). The second one, "Radar Men from the Moon", introduces us to the Commando Cody character, who is played by a different actor and recycles much of the flying footage. This is the easiest one to find as it's the only one in the public domain. The third one, "Zombies of the Stratosphere" was written as a sequel to "Radar Men" but they changed their minds at the last minute and thus is a third character to don the jumpsuit. Again the footage is recycled but this one also boasts an early screen appearance from Leonard Nimoy who plays a Martian. I have not been able to watch this one yet. Finally, there was a TV show (that originally aired in theaters as the fourth serial) brings back the Commando Cody character but is played by the actor from the third serial. Got that? Also, I was amused in the original and subsequent serials that he would put his leather jacket on OVER his suit and tie! To take it one step further, in the final serial, he wears a hat AND mask under the helmet!! All that leads to me thinking it would be fun to make an "animated" Rocketman.