Wednesday, 9 July 2014

New Beginnings - Rocket Raccoon #1

by Matt Puddy

At the point of writing this review Guardians of the Galaxy is less than a month away from hitting the big screen. This is Marvel’s wild card as far as films go, as it takes off from Earth and steers away from the better known and more established characters. To make things even wilder two of the characters are entirely motion captured CGI, with only Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel’s voices to identify with. Welcome to the world of Rocket Raccoon!

Written and drawn by Skottie Young, the gun-toting pint-sized furball's new comic kicks off right away, with the cover depicting Rocket - complete with massive guns held aloft - in a dynamic action pose atop the head of Groot. What more could a small mammal want for an entrance?

The issue is all about introductions, on multiple levels. Going back three years to begin with, we meet our furry protagonist rescuing a princess from captivity. He’s dashing, debonair and most of all the girls love the tail. He’s a funny little ladies man wrapped up with cheek, charm and a dash of danger. So where else to go but a wrestling match to celebrate!

Our second introduction, albeit in third party, is the walking forest/enforcer Groot. Things are all going well until Rocket is recognised by the authorities and chased for something he didn’t really do... well mostly. After trying to escape through sewer tunnels and trying to find a way out whilst on the phone to Star Lord, he comes to a stark realisation. Maybe he isn’t the last of his kind in the universe after all,  especially if someone who looks like him is committing multiple murders and framing him for it. 

So cue, even by the Guardians’ standards, an incredible ridiculous plan. He turns himself in which not only surprises the guards but also his date. For a very different reason. It seems that Rocket’s cavalier approach to women may also be coming back to bite him in the ass. By the end of issue #1 he has been arrested, framed and is on a large hit list for a group he doesn’t even realise exists. Not bad at all for an opening gambit.

Young’s story is fun, fast paced and quite a giggle too. You can hear a cheeky little voice as you read along (although for me it wasn’t Mr Cooper’s voice I heard) which helps sweep you along. The other thing that really supports this happy go lucky feeling is the artwork. It oozes with Skottie Young's style - over-emphasised features and odd shapes combine with bright colours (from Beaulieu), all smothered in a disarmingly child-like veneer.

My one gripe with it was someone didn’t proof read it all well enough. It was only one word but when it’s a fairly pivotal word in a sentence and you stick it in bold, you could at least spell MOSTLY right!

All in all this is a cracking little comic bursting with energy and fun. If this is any indication of the way the film is going to go as well then that is even more to look for but in the meantime as a good tongue in cheek wise cracking issue this is a good one to pick up.

It's also been known to sooth a grumpy mood!

Matt Puddy is looking forward blasting off with the Legendary Star-Lord!

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