Thursday, 3 July 2014

Rocket Raccoon #1 Review (Skottie Young)

Yes, he’s got a celebrity voice and will be appearing in Marvel Studio’s next hit movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, out in less than a month. Yes, he’s also part of one of Marvel Comics’ biggest success stories last year, Brian Michael Bendis’ Guardians of the Galaxy comic. But based on Skottie Young’s first issue of Rocket Raccoon, even if none of that were happening, there still should’ve been a Rocket Raccoon comic out YEARS ago because this first issue is an absolute blast, whether you know anything about this character or not. 

A Rocket Raccoon comic needs to be fun and funny - it is about a talking raccoon-like creature who likes firing guns at people; “realism” and “seriousness” aren’t even allowed within 20 feet of this title! So who better than one of the finest talents working at Marvel Comics today, Skottie Young, to not just draw this beast but also script it? NOBODY, that’s who! 

From the Star Wars-esque opening sequence where Rocket saves an alien princess, to the first date at Groot’s wrestling match (spot the Southern Bastards jacket!), to the chase through the sewers, this first issue is all aces. It also takes its cue from an Infinite comic (Marvel’s digital line) starring Rocket from last year, written by Bendis and drawn by Ming Doyle, where he discovered he wasn’t the last of his kind (that Infinite comic, along with the others, are included in this issue for free via a digital code, so fill yer boots!) and that the only other one of him is evil and framing him for murders he didn’t commit. 

Skottie Young’s art is (insert superlative of choice here). It doesn’t matter what word you use because it’s all of them: incredible, wonderful, amazing, beautiful, unique, testibularly fantastic! It’s such a gorgeous comic as you’d expect from the artist of Oz and the one-of-a-kind gem, A-Babies Vs X-Babies (which was better than the entire AVX series).

Young proves he can write like the devil too, giving Rocket a sassy, funny, cute, badass, charming attitude, and awesome personality. Thankfully too he’s not spouting the lame catchphrase Bendis gave him: “Blam! Murdered you!”. The other Guardians make a cameo via phone link as Rocket slowly realises he’s not alone, and their side adventure looks so good it made me wish Young was also scripting/drawing the Guardians series. 

And how inspired was it that he made Groot a wrestler? That whole sequence with Groot vs some Lovecraftian horror was brilliant, especially when Rocket really got into supporting his buddy - and the date who was surprised at the language he used. 

Rocket Raccoon #1 is easily my favourite comic this week, and definitely my favourite in a while. It’s a great first issue and gives the series the best possible start - long may Young write/draw the title he was born to do! 

Did I mention the art in this is pretty good? Why are you still reading this review - go and read this comic!!

Rocket Raccoon #1

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