Created by Tom Lammers
"Things began to happen fast! Shots went off and I felt a searing pain in my left arm! Vaguely, I saw the punk collapse with a death rattle in his throat."
-- typical hardboiled prose, right from Rocky's mouth.
Here's a blast from the past-another short-lived attempt to bring the P.I. to comic books. As far as these things go, ROCKY JORDEN was relatively successful -- he survived in his own comic book for eight whole issues, published by Atlas Comics (an early incarnation of what would become Marvel Comics). The mag promised "Dangerous Adventures from the Private Case Book of Rocky Jorden." Originally called Crime Cases-Private Eye, by the sixth issue, Rocky was the headliner and the title was changed to Rocky Jorden, Private Eye. But it wasn't to last, even with the name change. The mag fizzled out and #8 was the last issue.
Too bad. Supposedly modelled after early television's Rocky King, Inside Detective, red-headed Rocky was your typical tough-talking, two-fisted gumshoe of the time,c omplete with an extremely loyal secretary, Lisa Brown. And the stories were nothing special, either, although there was an occasional bit of pre-Code grit tossed in now and then, as in the second issue's "Drums of Death, where Rocky must rescue Lisa from the clutches of her "coked-up drummer" boyfriend.
There were usually two or three Rocky stories per issue, padded out with a couple of standalone tales, and trying to suss out who wrote what is like pulling hen's teeth. The "creator credit" went to someone called Tom Lammers (or was it Ger Apeldoom? Or Frank Wimot?), but we know the editor for the series was Stan Lee. Yeah, that Stan Lee.
Still, what really made him Rocky such an interesting guy wasn't the pretty standard plots -- it was some of the talent used to bring him into the world, including acclaimed comic artists such as Pete Morisi and George Tuska.
By the way, Rocky is not to be confused wuth radio's Rocky Jordan. Or at least, I don't think he is.
Private Eyes of the Marvel Universe
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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