The Rocketeer is a fictional character, a superhero created by writer-illustrator Dave Stevens. The character first appeared in 1982 and is an homage to the Saturday matinee serial heroes of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.

The Rocketeer is the secret identity of Cliff Secord, a stunt pilot who discovers a mysterious jetpack that allows him to fly. His adventures are set in Los Angeles and New York in 1938, and Stevens gave them a retro, nostalgic feel influenced by the King of the Rocket Men movie serial, the syndicated Commando Cody TV series (both from Republic Pictures), and pinup diva Bettie Page.

In 1991, The Rocketeer was released as a feature film by Walt Disney Pictures and was directed by Joe Johnston. Rocketeer creator Dave Stevens has a small cameo in the film as the German test pilot who dies when the Nazi version of a rocket backpack explodes during take-off. This was a part of black-and-white film footage stolen, then smuggled to the US of Nazi top secret rocket backpack testing.
The Rocketeer makes a great number of references to pop culture from the 1930s to the 1950s. The first storyline, "The Rocketeer" features characters from the Doc Savage pulp series, though Stevens takes care not to refer to any of the characters — including Doc Savage himself — by name, so as not to violate copyright and incur a licensing fee for use of the characters. "Cliff's New York Adventure" similarly features unnamed characters from The Shadow pulp magazine series, including the Shadow's famous alter ego, Lamont Cranston.
by The Centurion December 14, 2014

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