Love and Rockets Has the Best Comic Book Continuity – CBR – Comic Book Resources

40 years with the same tireless creators make Love and Rockets one of the best comic sagas of all time, and it’s not over yet.
Love and Rockets (by Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez) gives comic book fans a continuity like no other. The fates of its beloved cast have remained in the hands of its original creators for forty years. Groundbreaking characters who amplify Latinx/queer voices, Rockets' cast members age in real time. Most superheroes are perpetually twenty-something, but Rockets' troupe develops lines on their faces, gain weight and suffer anxieties regarding mortality.
Both brothers create continuously running 'slice of life' dramas. Being in charge of this monumental task has yet to sway the team’s creativity; the brothers have come up with over 700 hundred characters. Part of their passion stems from their unwavering love for the world they’ve imagined. Both Jaime and Gilbert often remark that writing and drawing Love and Rockets is deeply enjoyable, more like keeping a diary than managing a career.
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Two independent Latinx storylines progress under the Rockets umbrella: Jaime's 'Locos' series and Gilbert's tales of 'Palomar.' Locos flows like a real life chronology. Perla Luisa Chascarillo or Maggie began her run as a teenage rocket mechanic and has since moved into middle age. Maggie's care free days of sleeping late after punk concerts wane as she grows older and more cautious. Fans watch her go through on-and-off-again romance with Hopey, survive one lover's suicide and self-medicate by binge-eating and drinking too much. There are good times too. Maggie, once an energetic young woman enjoying a romance with her friend Hopey, becomes infatuated with the womanizing Rand Race. They follow her adventures as Rand's assistant, salvaging downed rockets in dinosaur inhabited jungles, savoring the years when all she worries about is becoming a 'prosolar mechanic.'
Gilbert Hernandez is the more experimental of the two siblings, more consistently incorporating surrealism and non-linear narratives about Luba (a strong female lead modeled after Sophia Loren) from the fictional hamlet called Palomar. Gilbert begins his continuity with tales of the births of many of his many provocative characters, that, in a fashion, serve as off-the-wall 'origin stories'. He's spent his later years advancing the Palomar series by stepping away from the boundaries of his fictional hamlet when he has Luba and family immigrate to the United States. This is a monumental evolution in his continuity considering Palomar is itself a character quintessential of Gilbert's work.
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In 2008, the Hernandez Brothers released new Love and Rockets stories. Jaime gives voice to what it was like for Maggie and Hopey to return to their old neighborhood and reunite with their old punk scene. Revisiting the live-forever-ethos of their youth makes for a story with which fans deeply identify. Memory is a big theme in these new stories. Maggie's current sense of her experiences is positive, but the reader is given flashback episodes to show how hard knocks her life actually was. She recalls fondly her time with Del, for instance, but the retrospective frames show things differently with Del's place portrayed as a grim and troublesome place.
The Hernandez Brothers take breaks, and switch formatting back and forth, from magazine to graphic novel, but Rockets finds its way back to the shelves with characters picking up where the brothers left them. This makes for more intricate work getting to know Rockets characters and its mythos. Someone wanting to begin reading about one superhero in particular can do so with relative ease. A fan can pick up any Hulk book and read Bruce Banner's backstory-blurb in the opening pages or quickly review his origin story to get into Hulk. In an industry that repeatedly redefines heroes and worlds with every new run, Rockets is a genuine epic. The Hernandez Brothers' grit and perseverance have given comic book fans one hell of a ride.
Elliot Swan has been devouring comics since 1996. Elliot mostly savors stories about queer/Black/womyn/Latinx/non-binary heroes in all-genre/all-inclusive comics. He is an artist and is proud to have designed and pained a mural that’s installed above his favorite comic shop in Yellow Springs, Oh. Elliot left NYC to build a homestead and write about his first love: sequential art. With an MA degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from The New School, Elliot tends to look at the social scientific side of comics, but also loves to talk superhero fashion, deliciously bizarre crossovers and creepy characters.


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