A Martian spacecraft crash-lands near the observatory of Cyrus Layton, designer of Earth's first spaceship. The survivor, forerunner of an invasion, can assume the form of any earthman. ... See full summary »
Columbia's 12th serial of 57 total (following 1940's "Deadwood Dick" and ahead of 1941's "White Eagle") is another of director's James Horne's "classics" where he evidently figured that the... See full summary »
Prof. Millard pretends to be dead and helps Jeff King ferret out Vulcan, the evil traitor at the science academy. Donning his Rocket Man costume King goes from one hair raising rescue to the next in order to keep the newly invented Decimator out of the clutches of Vulcan and his minions. Written by
Randy Spencer <email@example.com>
Dr. Vulcan, a mysterious criminal, has been sabotaging the experiments of a group of scientists at Science Associates (SA), as well as murdering the ones who come close to discovering his identity. He murders Prof. Millard, a rocket expert, who has been suspecting the nature of Vulcan's attacks. Millard is saved from his death by his colleague, Jeff King, a sonic propulsion expert. In order to save the works and surviving members of SA (where Vulcan in his true identity, serves as a member of the board of directors), King assumes the identity of Rocket Man, using a jet rocket pack designed by Millard. For 12 chapters, King/Rocket Man battles the forces of Vulcan and tries to prevents Millard's latest invention, the Sonic Desemator, from falling into the hands of Vulcan. For 1948, KOTR comes off as a good serial, but really you think it could have a been a wee bit better coming out of Republic. Coffin turns in a decent performance as King, after playing mainly villains all his career. Haggerty is great though as Vulcan's henchman Dirken, and makes you wish Republic used him more as a villain in more serials and Bs. Brannon is no Witney, English, or Bennett when it comes to serial directing, but this is one of his better serials. Many errors of logic in the serial, but does it matter in a serial about a scientist fighting crime in a rocket suit? Rating, based on serials, 6.
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