Thursday, 12 November 2015

Rocket Raccoon, Volume 2: Storytailer Review (Skottie Young, Jake Parker)


Stuck on an ice planet, Rocket’s gotta steal a dragon’s egg to save Groot’s life! Kaiju-sized Groot fights Rocket Jaegar! Rocket reads the Book of Halfworld and discovers his past!

The second Rocket Raccoon book, Storytailer (arf), is a jumbled collection of shallow stories that are basically filler issues instead of a more preferable single narrative arc. They’re all perfectly ok but aren’t especially exciting or interesting. D’you think Rocket will save Groot’s life on the ice planet? Exactly, no tension. So we watch as Rocket and “Groot Stand-In Character” go through the motions, blasting their way to the predictable finale. 

The story where Groot’s a giant monster tearing up Earth and only Rocket in a Jaegar-type robot can stop him is meh as well. It’s a throwaway one-shot that’s only about the visual of these two characters as giants and its tossed-off ending. 

And speaking of throwaway, there’s the final story. The series so far has loosely been about Rocket trying to discover his origins – is he the last of his species? What species is that and where is he from? He finds out what his deal is from the Book of Halfworld and that’s it. He’s not that bothered. Pretty anticlimactic! Then it’s back to getting chased by the space cops, getting thrown in jail, etc. etc. the usual Rocket and Groot shenanigans. 

Actually I didn’t mind the way the book ended. It’s a neat way of acknowledging Rocket’s weird and whacky past from the ‘70s/’80s comics while at the same time saying Marvel will not be returning to those days either. It also puts an end to the melancholic Rocket mooning about his unknown past – people want Rocket to be happy-go-lucky, not depressed! Now he’s got closure he can move on and he does. Dark and brooding characters are another (much less popular) comics publisher’s speciality…

It’s a shame Skottie Young doesn’t draw any of the issues as his artwork is superb – he draws the covers though and they look awesome. Filipe Andrade’s art is fine but nowhere near as memorable or unique while Jake Parker’s art is very similar to Young’s which is really weird to see! 

Like a kid’s cartoon show, Young’s stories are pleasant and easily digestible but are a bit too slight and very forgettable. Storytailer is an average, disposable quick read and little else.

Rocket Raccoon, Volume 2: Storytailer

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