A 1965 ad for Harvey Comics’ brief revival of Kirby’s 3 Rocketeers concept in the only issue of Blast-Off. Originally appearing in Race for the Moon back in 1958, the Rocketeers were Captain Kip McCoy, Sgt Beefy Brown and Figures Faraday, a small squad of adventurers that investigate odd phenomena in outer space. Produced at the height of the space race, the 3 Rocketeers appeared in a handful of short stories that really packed a punch. It certainly didn’t hurt that most of the stories were inked by Al Williamson. While Williamson might not immediately spring to mind as a good match for Kirby, the pairing actually works really well.

At the same time Kirby was also illustrating (and often plotting and writing too) the Sky Masters daily and Sunday comic strip, and whereas Sky at least attempted to keep things down to Earth and scientifically accurate, the 3 Rocketeers allowed Kirby to stretch his considerable sci-fi muscles.

Sad to say, however, the intrepid trio weren’t around for long: two issues of Race for the Moon, and then the inventory was finally used up seven years later in Blast-Off.

©2009 Harvey Comics/the respective copyright holder