Simplicity of design and chic. Now why does this guy seem so yesterday, which he is, than say the X MEN of today? Because of computers, CGI,etc, easy. Simply put the effects today are “more realistic!” Really – you really believe what your seeing or are you just impressed by the action == wow! Cool! But just as audiences 50 or sixty years ago suspended disbelief to thrill at Rocketman as technology improves again X-MEN will look pretty creaky in a few years (alright granted T2 from’91 still works) but there’s more on the horizon. So much more that someday X-MEN will seem just as campy and the names of those superstars that played — as long forgotten as the actor who played Rocketman (Tristram Coffin was Jeff King/Rocket Man). Fifty or sixty years they’ll look just as dorky to our kids. Point isn’t what sells in Peoria but the impact of technology on our perception. McLuhan sort of said it: the medium is the modifier in this case of our fantasies. You know, something like that.

courtesy WIKIPEDIA: King of the Rocket Men is a 1949 Republic movie serial, in twelve chapters, notable for introducing the “Rocketman Character” who reappeared under a variety of names in later serials Radar Men from the Moon, Zombies of the Stratosphere and the semi-serial Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe.

An evil genius of unknown identity, calling himself “Dr Vulcan,” plots to conquer the world, but first needs to eliminate one by one the members of the Science Associates, an organization of the Earth’s greatest scientists. After narrowly escaping an attempt on his life by Vulcan, one member of Science Associates, Dr. Millard (James Craven), outfits another member, Jeff King (Tristram Coffin) with an “atomic powered rocket flying suit.”

With the help of the suit, a magazine photographer named Glenda Thomas (Mae Clarke), and other inventions of Dr. Millard, King battles the minions of Dr. Vulcan for twelve suspenseful episodes. Eventually Vulcan steals one of Millard’s more dangerous inventions, the Decimator, and uses it to flood and destroy Manhattan Island (courtesy of stock footage from the once-thought-lost film, Deluge (1933)), before being brought to justice by Jeff King in his jet pack.

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