Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Rocket Raccoon #4 Review (Skottie Young)


Rocket’s finally cornered his lookalike – does this mean that he’s not alone in the universe after all? Are there others like him? The reveal is pretty jokey and surprising though. Elsewhere, Rocket’s jilted exes catch up with him again and slug out their frustration on his fluffy tail. 

Eeeeeeehhhh. 

The series is not improving. It started really great and felt fresh and exciting but it’s taken a steady nosedive since. With the fourth issue we’re still on the “am I alone?” thing and the angry girlfriends story without really developing either, and it just seems like the series is going round and round itself. Neither storyline is that interesting and yet that’s what the whole issue’s focused on so it’s a bit of a dud read. 

Then there’s the uneven tone which tries to go for sentiment and doesn’t quite pull it off. The problem is Skottie Young’s art which is utterly gorgeous, flowing, creative, and playful awkwardly contrasted with Rocket’s sadness over his still mysterious origins. The two clash rather than work together. One minute we’re seeing poor Rocket brought low by the revelations of the villainous lookalike, the next we’re in a near-slapstick fight between angry women and Rocket. The silliness fits, the sadness doesn’t (though the movie managed to strike the right balance). 

It’s like when Marvel tried to make Deadpool sad recently, and failed. Their characters are just too chipper, more cartoony, less real, and lots of fun – attempting to make them dark and troubled (eg. the DC approach) doesn’t work on some of them. Rocket joins Deadpool in that camp. 

The good news, at least for me, is that this storyline is done with by the end of the issue. I think the series could be way better than it’s been so I’m looking forward to new, more entertaining plotlines for Rocket and Groot rather than ham-fistedly aiming for the heartstrings with a go-nowhere origin story. Rocket Raccoon #4 looks beautiful but the writing and story is decidedly lacking.

Rocket Raccoon #4

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