Rough Riders #1
Written by: Adam Glass
Art by: Patrick Olliffe
Colours: Gabe Eltaeb
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Review by Gregory Brothers
Rough Riders is a historical fiction created and written by Adam Glass (Deadpool, Suicide Squad) with art by Patrick Olliffe ( Spider-Girl), that takes place in the 1800’s as a younger Theodore Roosevelt is tasked to put together a group of to investigate the true cause of the sinking of the USS Maine. The group that he puts together includes other famous Americans including Harry Houdini and Jack Johnson, who later in life becomes the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion.
The issue starts with a scene that was not all to unfamiliar during the time period of a fire in a factory, The females workers attempts at escaping the blaze are blocked by a door that has been locked from the outside by a unscrupulous business owner. As the women panic Roosevelt comes in to attempt to save the women by getting them out of the building alive. Only after his first means of escape are thwarted does he produce a weapon that would not be would not be standard issue for the late 1800s in order to save the women.
After a quick change and monologue as to why he is doing what he is does Roosevelt moves on to what looks to be a well attended socialite event. After a few meet and greets his is summoned to a backroom that is filled with four men who are well know and powerful men from the time period. During the tense conversation it become obvious that these men have a much more intimate knowledge of events that have been unfolding and the true cause of them. They task Roosevelt with investigating the incident and send him on his way to put his team together. The last part of the book we are introduced to the first member of the team, and learn his motivation for joining up.
The art in the book is very well done and very detailed throughout. One of the more unique visuals is when Roosevelt’s face hits a body of water in one screen he actually splits the word Splash in two. During the meeting in the back room you can almost feel the tensions rise as people enter and exit shadows during the conversation. The expressions through the book enhance the dialogue between characters rather than take away from it.
“Buy It! The book has a very League of Extraordinary Gentleman feel to it as far as the art and the writing. The use of historically accurate people and events as a backdrop to something that is far beyond the reaches of that time period is a concept that has been used before, and when done well can lead to some very fun and unique stories. Glass does a excellent job using an event that conspiracy therist have often argued there is more to than the public has been allowed to know. Add in the idea of an illuminati type group made up of real people and it adds to the intrigue. It will be interesting to see how the team comes together and how the different personalities mesh as they try to work to accomplish their mission and what secrets they uncover.