Aftershock Comics’ Rough Riders vol. 3

Guestwriter: Frank Montellano

Writer: Adam Glass
Artist: Patrick Olliffe
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb

This article was made possible through the gift of a review copy from Aftershock Comics of the first twenty-four pages of Rough Riders, Volume 3: Ride or Die.

I have never read an issue of Rough Riders before this volume. But have no fear, gentle reader! The plot and story still made sense, making this an excellent jumping on point.

For those not in the know, the basic premise of Rough Riders is this: The year is 1906. Teddy Roosevelt, a true historical badass in his own right (he’s the only U.S. president to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, dontcha know), heads a team known as the Rough Riders to solve major problems in the world. The team includes a well-known escape artist, a famous inventor, and a lady who knows how to handle her weapons. All of these characters truly lived during this time in American history. Thus, this comic is a piece of historical fiction. Sort of like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen but written around real people instead of literary characters. I love the true details that are interwoven into the fictional portions of the comic. For example, part of the story revolves around seances, which were quite popular in the early 1900s. Also, mounted animal heads decorate the walls of Teddy’s office in the White House, evidence of his life-long love of the hunt. And in real life, Teddy did quit his job as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy to lead an all-volunteer group called the Rough Riders.

A panel from Rough Riders: Ride or Die © Aftershock Comics

A panel from Rough Riders: Ride or Die © Aftershock Comics

Kudos to writer Adam Glass for researching the era and people. Where the story gets a little weak is in the dialogue. The characters don’t have the differentiation one would expect from a president, an escape artist, an inventor, and so on. But that is a minor issue as the story sucks the reader right in. From the description: “…this time, the threat isn’t anarchists or aliens, no, it’s something from the great beyond, the next world after this one, from Death itself. Something so ancient and evil that the Rough Riders will need to add to their ranks in hope of defeating it.” And who are they going to recruit? None other than a young H.P. Lovecraft! Truly the adversary must be some cosmic horror if HPL is going to be involved.

Art and colors are done admirably by Patrick Olliffe and Gabe Eltaeb. Just like with the writing, these guys did their homework and accurately represent the early 1900s. Outfits and backgrounds truly reflect the past.

 

A panel from Rough Riders: Ride or Die © Aftershock Comics

A panel from Rough Riders: Ride or Die © Aftershock Comics

The ending of the preview copy was fantastic! Really ended on several cliffhangers and whet my appetite to see what comes next! Don’t delay, don’t dilly dally. Go pick up Rough Riders, Volume 3: Ride or Die, and see what Teddy, Houdini, Edison, Oakley and Lovecraft can do against mind-bending horror from out of this world!

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A panel from Rough Riders: Ride or Die © Aftershock Comics

A panel from Rough Riders: Ride or Die © Aftershock Comics

 

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