What a wonderful coincidence: just as a big budget movie version of Guardians Of The Galaxy is released Marvel begins publishing a new run featuring the film’s break out character (*sideways glance at camera, raises eyebrow*).
Publishing decent comics that hook in new readers attracted by other forms of media is something that Marvel is really good at (take note DC), and once I had heard that both writing and art duties on Rocket Raccoon would be handled by Skottie Young, I was pretty stoked about this new series. So here we are, two issues in, and it looks like my excitement was justified: Rocket Raccoon is a riot – quite literally at one point.
First, a quick bit of backstory: this issue picks up pretty much directly after the first. In #1, Rocket Raccoon had been falsely accused of committing a string of murders, which had actually been committed by another member of his race. Yep, there is another talking Raccoon out there, contrary to what Rocket has been telling everyone for years. Issue one concluded with Rocket turning himself in to the authorities, much to the reader’s surprise. We pick up the story in #2 with Rocket in an interrogation room.
Let’s face it, everyone comes to a Rocket Raccoon comic for the jokes and violence, and thankfully Young nails both in this issue. He covers a much wider range of humour than in his first issue, and includes something for all ages. The jokes range from hilarious ‘sound effects’ and little notes that litter the comic (courtesy of letterer Jeff Eckleberry) to a string of smart pop culture references; the fantastic True Detective gag on the first page was a particular highlight.
To quote the comic itself, this is a real “purdy” looking issue. Young’s sketchbook-style artwork is inventive, and perfectly complimented by Jean-Francois Beaulieu’s brush heavy colouring, filling in many black backgrounds left by Young. A prison break scene, depicted as a two page intricate spread, was the highlight of the issue for me, referred to by Rocket as a “Prison break montage”.
Between the constant gags and inventive artwork this book moves at a pretty quick pace, and Young burns through plot. While this was a load of fun, I did feel we are missing some key character development, the comic relying heavily on an audience’s previous knowledge of Rocket Raccoon and Groot (whether that be from film, or comics).
Rocket Raccoon is light and fun. It feels like a Deadpool comic written and drawn by classic Looney Tunes talent, all set in the Wild West. And that is a pretty big compliment.
Rocket Raccoon issue 2 is available now.
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