PopCultHQ Comic Book Review: ‘ROUGH RIDERS’ TPB from AfterShock Comics

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PopCultHQ received a preview copy of the trade paperback of ROUGH RIDERS from AfterShock Comics. In stores now, the trade paperback collects issues #1-7 of the hit title of 2016! The creative team for this series features writing from Adam Glass, artist Pat Olliffe, colorist Gabe Eltaeb, and lettered by Sal Cipriano.

Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review for Volume One of the TPB of ROUGH RIDERS…


Writer: Adam Glass
Artist: Pat Olliffe
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Cover: Gabe Eltaeb and Pat Olliffe

Item Code: OCT161101


Collecting the first seven issues of the epic AfterShock series! At the cusp of the 1898 World’s Fair, America is poised to become Earth’s most industrious nation. When a terrible power emerges from the darkness, a group of unlikely heroes team-up to stop it. A tortured Teddy Roosevelt recruits a struggling Coney Island magician named Harry Houdini…a hard-drinking, gun-slinging Annie Oakley; a financially strapped and aging Thomas Edison; and a boisterous, womanizing African American boxer with a big chip on his shoulder named Jack Johnson. These legends of old will soon wage a shadow war that will change the course of history for America, and ultimately, the world. That is, of course, if they don’t kill one another first.

Don’t miss out on this first collection from ADAM GLASS (executive producer of Supernatural & writer of Suicide Squad) and PAT OLLIFFE (Untold Tales of Spider-Man).

PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:

“Give Them Hell”

The ROUGH RIDERS trade opens with a touching preface from writer Adam Glass. His words detail the love he has: of history and the stories it brings, with his creative team, the support from AfterShock, and mostly that of his family. Just as his heart is captured by this intro, the 160 pages to follow provide the canvas for it to fully be displayed to all.

<For a more detailed, individualized look at the series, check out our reviews of issue two and issue seven>

Action, comedy, intrigue, excitement, lots of fighting, lasers, and alien symbiotes! It’s like all the things which I love in television and film had a one-night stand with my 8th grade History textbook and the result is ROUGH RIDERS. Perhaps a bit far on that one? TMI?


Writer Adam Glass has created nothing short of a masterpiece. Watching his imagination unfold the way ROUGH RIDERS reads, especially in the trade paperback format, is cinematic in nature. It screams for a film adaptation so much that not bringing this series and its characters to life for the big screen would be a detriment and an injustice to the world as a whole.

Glass also has an awesome sense of humor and injects it with precision. Roosevelt and his sophisticated wit, and especially Jack Johnson with his perfect timing and simple “call-it-like-I-see-it” attitude, has me cracking up every issue. I mean EVERY issue. But it’s the right amount. Adam does a remarkable job at embedding the comedic relief in a smart fashion, while not detracting from the true intended feel and purpose of the story.


The combined work of Pat Olliffe and Gabe Eltaeb couldn’t represent the title any better. Their look fully captures the era and the characters to perfection. Olliffe has put his heart into this series and the output is nothing short of brilliance. These stoic individuals, with their chiseled features and commanding presence, add a thick, complimentary layer of excellence on top of Glass’s writing. Even if you simply pop into your LCS and only thumb through the ROUGH RIDERS TPB, without even reading any of it, the imagery alone will impress the hell out of you. This volume should be featured and showcased atop Patrick Olliffe’s resumé and could unquestionably command respect by any prospective onlooker.

Colorist Gabe Eltaeb adds an element to ROUGH RIDERS that raises the stakes for colorists today. This guy straight-up owns this series with his work. A great blend of strong accentuated moments coupled with a terrific subdued and matted overall feel makes this one of the most phenomenal pieces of collected work I’ve seen in ages. The “backward beatle,” as I refer to him only in my head <crap, and I guess now here, too>, puts on a visually stimulating display that is so impressive to take in. I found myself on countless occasions just pausing from reading or turning the page just so I could take in what Gabe contributes to ROUGH RIDERS and it’s spectacular!


Sal Cipriano is the man who completes the package. The look of the caption boxes seem time-appropriate and contribute to the essence of the series. Smart positioning and some pretty sweet styles add another dimension themselves. When opting for a letterer, it’s obvious that the decision wasn’t made lightly. You needed someone with range and ability to adapt to the source material, even when it’s set in 1898. Cipriano makes it look easy and is truly an asset to this team.


The ROUGH RIDER Vol. 1 TPB clocks in at 160 pages and has an SRP of $19.99. The first series collects issues #1-7 and, if purchased individually, has a combined cover price which exceeds that. There’s a chance you could find an online retailer or LCS having a sale and score this trade for possibly 10-20% less. To be quite honest, a trade of this quality, this magnitude, and of this significance to the world of comic books, it is the best $20 you could drop and most bang for your buck you’ll likely find all year. A story worth reading and rereading, of sharing with friends and family, and a must for any trade paperback collection, especially if you want yours to feature only the best in the business.

PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:

Though ROUGH RIDERS may not go down in history to the extent of the characters found within, this series has left an undeniable mark in what will be the history of AfterShock Comics and the comic book community as a whole.

The story is one that is as timeless as its crew; in generations to come, ROUGH RIDERS will still resonate with readers and remain relevant. The writing is intelligent but has a bit of a playful side. The artwork found between the pages is as timely as the story and just as spectacular.

ROUGH RIDERS is an instant classic with which readers will fall in love. You cannot help but be impressed by this lovable team of legends in the making. Their charisma, fortitude, loyalty, and each’s unique mannerisms explode off each page. Just as Teddy Roosevelt seeks out the elite, the best of the best, the select few capable of pulling off such a great feat, AfterShock has found their Rough Riders in Glass, Olliffe, Eltaeb, and Cipriano. On every facet of which to critique, ROUGH RIDERS tops them all. A true solid cornerstone for which the publisher to build. Get on board with ROUGH RIDERS now because the second adventure is right around the corner!


PopCultHQ’s Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

5 out of 5 Stars


Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders
need your help to save the future~

Watch a special message from Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Houdini, Annie Oakley, Thomas Edison, Jack Johnson and Monk Eastman like you’ve never seen them before – in LIVE ACTION – with an URGENT announcement that you must see to believe!

Pick up Rough Riders Volume 1 NOW!

And as Roosevelt would say: “Bully to you all!

Be sure to follow the creative team!

T H E ~ C R E A T I V E ~ R E V O L U T I O N ~ S T A R T S ~ H E R E !

Writer Adam Glass:





Artist Pat Olliffe:






Colorist Gabe Eltaeb:





Letterer Sal Cipriano:




Publisher AfterShock Comics:


ABOUT AFTERSHOCK COMICS– Launched in April 2015, AfterShock Comics is a comic book company that combines the creative edge of an independent comic book publisher with the strengths and experience of a traditional powerhouse. Enjoy creator owned comics from industry greats like…Brian Azzarello, Amanda Conner, Garth Ennis, John Layman, Jimmy Palmiotti, Mark Waid, Marguerite Bennett, Ray Fawkes, Paul Jenkins and more….

About Jason Bennett 8217 Articles
Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's chief editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. One with the Force. Browncoats Unite! So say we all! Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett