The Rook (comics)
|First appearance||Eerie #82 (March 1977)|
|Created by||Bill DuBay|
|Alter ego||Restin Dane|
The Rook is a fictional, time-traveling comic book character whose adventures were chronicled in 1970s issues of Warren Publishing's Eerie magazine and then in his own 1980s title, The Rook Magazine. He was created by writer-artist Bill DuBay in Eerie #82 (cover-date March 1977).
The Rook debuted in Warren Publishing's black-and-white horror/science-fiction comics magazine Eerie #82 (March 1977). Created by writer-artist Bill DuBay, who drew the character's cover illustration, the Rook debuted in the 20-page story "The Man Whom Time Forgot!" by writer Dubay and artist Luis Bermejo. He was featured in nearly every issue of the otherwise anthological title, through Eerie #105 (Oct. 1979), missing issues #86 and 96-97. His stories ranged from 11 to 31 pages in length.
The character was then spun off into his own comics-magazine series, titled The Rook on its trademarked cover logo and The Rook Magazine in its indicia copyright notice. This ran 14 issues (Oct. 1979 - April 1982), and also included, in various issues, the ongoing backup features by Dubay (either under his own name or his pseudonym Will Richardson) and others, including "Voltar", writer-artist Alex Toth's "Jesse Bravo", writer-artist Jose Ortiz's "Viking Prince", "Kronos", "The Goblin" and writer Jim Stenstrum and artist Abel Laxamana's "Joe Guy, America's Foremost Hero!". A handful of one-time features also appeared, such as "Buck Blaster and the Starbusters", "Bolt", and writer Don McGregor's "Dagger"
Following his solo title's cancellation, the Rook appeared in eight- to 13-page stories in Eerie #132, 134 and 136 (July, Sept., Nov. 1982). He had also guest-starred in the Vampirella story "Ghostly Granny Earloose" in Vampirella #70 (July 1978); Vampirella and Pantha likewise guested in the Rook story "Warriors from the Stars" in Eerie #95 (Sept. 1978). The first four Rook stories were reprinted in Warren Comics Presents #2 (May 1979).
The Rook is scientist Restin Dane, who comes from a family of scientists whose members include the unnamed protagonist of the novel The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Dane gains his nickname from the fact that his time machine resembles a giant chess rook. Taking to wearing Western-style clothing and a gunbelt, he has his first time-travel adventure at the Alamo in order to save an ancestor. There he succeeds in rescuing his great-great-grandfather Bishop Dane, who accompanies him on many of his adventures, along with two robots Restin has built.
In the initial stories (Eerie # 82-85), Restin appears to be romantically involved with January Boone, while Bishop Dane is involved with Katie McCall. Later stories establish that Restin and Katie have a relationship.
Harris Comics would revamp the character in name only, first in the miniseries Chains of Chaos, then in a short-lived series that ran five issues (#0-4) in 1995.
- Arndt, Richard J. "The Warren Magazines", EnjolrasWorld.com, July 3, 2005. WebCitation archive. In notes for Eerie #82, historian Arndt writes, "The cover is a fixup affair, showing DuBay’s original presentation art for The Rook, with inserts of interior panel art by Bermejo."
- The Rook (character) at the Grand Comics Database
- Per Arndt, "The Warren Magazines", artist "[Alfredo] Alcala's Voltar character had been invented in The Philippines back in the 1960s.... He debuted in America in Magic Carpet #1 (1977) with scripting by Manuel Auad."
- Per Arndt, "The Warren Magazines," "Ortiz’s ' Viking Prince' had appeared years earlier in Europe as 'Sigur The Viking'."
- The Rook magazine at the Grand Comics Database
- The Rook #1-3 (Warren, 1979–1980).
- Time Castle Book- on-line archive of Rook stories
- Eckert, Win Scott. "The Rook Chronology" (fan site). WebCitation archive.