Review: Rough Riders #1
Led by a young Theodore Roosevelt, a motley crew of soon-to-be American legends must work together to solve a mystery that threatens all of existence. Harry Houdini – street magician and master of misdirection. Annie Oakley – a washed-up entertainer, eager for a chance to prove herself in a real war. Jack Johnson – an undefeated brawler and the son of ex-slaves, determined to get his shot at the heavyweight championship… When a terrifying alien technology destroys the USS Maine, these unlikely allies set sail for bloody Cuba, into the heart of a brewing conflict, to wage a shadow war against the greatest threat mankind has ever known. Before they were famous, they were… ROUGH RIDERS.
Rough Rider #1 is an alternate history comic featuring some pretty well known characters set at the end of the 1800s and having to do with the Spanish-American War!? It might sound insane, but holy crap does the comic work. The comic is a fantastic mix of fun, action, and real world history and had me googling for hours after looking up the various characters to see if timelines fit, they do, and where folks are in their lives. So, I was entertained and I learned something. Shocker, comics can encourage learning!
Written by Adam Glass with art by Pat Oliffe it’s clear this comic has been researched in both historical events, individuals, and the way it all looks. Each character is beyond recongnizable, Oliffe nails that part. Glass also makes history fun with the addition of his alternate history. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, though happening a decade later, is clearly an influence to how the comic kicks off with Roosevelt playing action hero and using politics and policy of the time to remind us what it was like then.
This is alternate history in an action packaging that hopefully will get you, like me, to actually look up the real history and see how much Glass nails. I hadn’t been this excited (probably ever) to do some research, and the story itself too is a lot of fun. The first issue is very much a setup as we learn about Roosevelt, his mission, and his going about assembling his team. And Glass mixes in some fun action during that set up, giving the readers a great balance between it all.
Rough Riders #1 met and exceeded my expectations and has me excited to see what comes next.
Story: Adam Glass Art: Pat Oliffe
Story: 8.6 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy