The Curious Case of When SUPERMAN Met the ROCKETEER


UPDATED 7/29/23: The late Dave Stevens, creator of The Rocketeer, was born 68 years ago. Perfect time to re-present this piece from 2017 about a Stevens-inspired project that never was — but should have been. In addition, click here for this year’s birthday salute. Enjoy. — Dan

Boy that Adrien van Viersen is just full of surprises.

The other day, we ran a piece about the storyboard artist’s self-produced comic book reimagining the Golden Age Superman, which was incredibly well received by readers. (Click here for more on that. You really want to.)

After I posted it, Adrien sent me another gem: This scene conceptualizing a team-up between the Man of Steel and Dave Stevens’ beloved ’30s adventurer, The Rocketeer:

Adrien based the image on the late Stevens’ rejected Superman/Rocketeer pitch from years ago.

“For me, the Superman/Rocketeer 1938 team-up that Dave Stevens proposed years ago is the Holy Grail of unproduced/unpublished projects,” he wrote on his Tumblr. “A few pages of his notes were published a few years ago where the gist of the story could be gleaned: The Rocketeer is mistaken for an alien during the panic of the 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast and, of course, Superman presumably intervenes.” (Click here for more.)

It took Adrien five years to produce his Superman comic between paying film gigs. I’d be willing to wait another five years to see him produce a comic starring these two guys.

Or better yet, DC and IDW should hire him to do a crossover.


— The Best SUPERMAN Comic Never Published by DC. Click here.

— How NEAL ADAMS Opened the Door for DAVE STEVENS. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I love passion projects like this. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. No, DC should’ve approved Stevens’ pitch instead of insisting that the Rocketeer meet the present day Superman instead of his ’38 self. And as for Adrien van Viersen’s Superman:The Golden Age, I don’t like it. It turns Clark into a thief, stealing the costume and name from a drunken strong man, and the idea for his double identity from a circus freak.

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  3. I would’ve love to see this crossover

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  4. I love the concept that a story doesn’t have to be tied to an era or continuity. Let good stories be written and drawn. I don’t care if the main character of BATMAN doesn’t match the BATMAN in JLA etc.

    Give me a good comic based on the JSA based in the ’40s. My money couldn’t leave my wallet fast enough.

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  5. DC and IDW should definitely hire Mr. Van Viersen for this.
    It’s such a great idea and concept. and his great artwork matches that golden age vibe well.
    why haven’t they done this??

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  6. I just read a tweet from Billy Tucci, where he wished Stevens a happy birthday and laments that the world will never get to see the Captain America/Rocketeer team up they were working on before his death.

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  7. The Rocketeer has the feeling of being that era’s Spider-Man.

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  8. For copyright purposes (and keeping the heirs of Siegel and Shuster at bay) doesn’t DC claim that the 1938 Superman is a different character from the modern Superman? I believe that this is why DC doesn’t do any Superman stories set in other than modern times.

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  1. Superman e Rocketeer: o encontro que ninguém viu - […] De qualquer forma, Stevens produziu uma história para fãs, não lucrativa, unindo os dois heróis. […]

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