It's that time again: time to over-analyze the fashion choices that the super-villain on the go is making for his underlings. What fun we shall have!
The Villain: This is the guy, and I'm going to call him the Rocketeer (more on that later):
The Rocketeer (no relation) had a cunning plan to steal missiles in-flight for... some reason. The issue was actually less about whatever he was scheming as it was about the personal heartbreak of Batman's pal, who hadn't followed his family's tradition and gone into the armed forces and so had to be the best scientist ever in order to have some semblance of self-respect. And the fact that people were going to the trouble of stealing them mid-flight wasn't proof that they were good rockets, either, so don't bring that up in the comments.
The Rocketeer (no relation) was also notable for having a much worse costume than his underlings, but again, more on that later.
The Henchmen: These guys I'm calling the Rocketeer-Racketeers, because it's on the cover.
As far as henchmen go, the Rocketeer-Racketeers have it pretty sweet: they get to fly, they have great costumes... The only problem is that they just aren't all that good at their jobs. Or possibly that they were hired solely for their abilities in the stealing-a-rocket-in-flight field and were never actually tested for Batman-opposing skills. What I'm trying to say is that they are incompetent, to the extent that I don't know if I have any more pictures that feature them not being punched out.
Attractiveness of Costumes:
I'm going to come right out and say it: these things are totally awesome. Flared gloves? Goggles? Head and shoulder fins? Hell, even their pistols look like they were stolen from a moon-man. It's only the fact that the whole thing is bright orange that disqualifies this from my list of potential Halloween costumes, and the little rocket on the chest almost outweighs that.
Utility of Costume:
Also surprisingly high, actually. As opposed to some of our earlier examples of henchman couture, the Rocketeer-Racketeers appear to actually be appropriately attired. There are no awkwardly-placed tail-fins just waiting to get stuck in an inconvenient hedge, no giant rocket-shaped helmets to make them top-heavy, and they reliably fly! Well, semi-reliably. Also, I'm concerned about the placement of the jets - I reckon that over the long term the Rocketeer (no relation) is going to be dealing with a lot of lower-back injury related workman's comp claims.
There's also the issue of speed. As far as I can tell, these particular rocket packs must fluctuate wildly. After all, they managed to catch at least three rockets in-flight, but later on:
It sure does look like they get overtaken by a couple of guys in parachutes. And even if that's not the case, they definitely get out-manouvered by them. Happily for the Rocketeer-Racketeers, though, they regain some of their lost points via this little innovation:
Given the amount of time that these fellows spend crashing into the ocean, an amphibious mode is basically the best option that they could have thought to build into their suits. Hell, they kind of out-thought Batman on that one. Good call!
Budget for Costumes:
Exactly where it should have been, in my opinion. If you're going to go into super-crime then you have to go all the way. If there's one place that they skimped, it was on the surplus Orange fabric that they used to make the things. At least they all have the same colour.
The high quality of his henchmen's uniforms, in fact, is likely to be the reason behind the Rocketeer's abysmal fashion choices. Desperate to distinguish himself from the common hench-rabble, he added element after element, little caring that each one took more and more away from the attractiveness of the whole. Especially the writstbands and rocket-fin helmet. Only the rakish moustache was a good idea.
Chance for Bonus Points: Does the Villain Have a Lieutenant with a Marginally Cooler Costume and Possibly a Name?
Kind of? Actually, the Rocketeer 9no relation) himself fills that role, as he's kind of a first among equals. In the context of the story, it's the group that's referred to as the Rocketeers, or the Racketeers, or maybe the Rocketeer-Racketeers. So even though he's clearly the leader, the Rocketeer is also kind of the one henchman with a
nicer more elaborate uniform. But no name.
I just kind of confused myself, so I arbitrarily decide that he gets no bonus points. Still, the final total is a very respectable 11/15. Good job, you orange-clad crash-monkeys.
Enjoy your victory, Rocketeers!