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The man behind the Rockeeter

March 12, 2008 |  5:00 pm

RocketeerThe Rocketeer was an all-American comic book hero who zipped around a 1930s-era Los Angeles using a rocket-powered jet pack. When not fighting evil, he spent a lot of time with a dark-haired beauty who resembled pin-up star Betty Page. 

Despite its vintage look and feel, the Rocketeer first zoomed into comic books in the 1980s courtesy of Dave Stevens, who was inspired by the many hours of watching old movie serials in a theater in Bell.  Stevens, whose Rocketeer was made into a 1991 movie and helped revive interest in Page, died Monday.

"As a kid I always wanted to fly, and the Rocketeer was my wish fulfillment," Stevens said in a 1991 interview with The Times. "Every time I would see an image of someone with something on his back that made him fly, no matter what the contraption was, I got all charged up over it."

Valerie Nelson is working on a complete obituary on Stevens, who had a home in North Hollywood but died at a hospital in the San Joaquin Valley city of Turlock. Here are  more details in Daily Variety and on the Dave Stevens site.

--Jesus Sanchez

Photo: Los Angeles Times