Thursday, 13 October 2016

Rocket Raccoon & Groot, Volume 1: Tricks of the Trade Review (Skottie Young, Filipe Andrade)

Set eight months after the end of Secret Wars (even though that detail turns out to be irrelevant), the Guardians think Rocket and Groot are dead for some reason but they’re not - Groot’s doing some kind of Memento tribute and Rocket’s ruling over an alien planet?? Oh boy… 

Skottie Young’s pre-Secret Wars Rocket Raccoon series was ok but his post-Secret Wars Rocket and Groot title is, like too many other Marvel books to emerge from that event, terrible. He just doesn’t seem to care. He’s got no good stories left to tell and all that’s left is disposable, throwaway rubbish. 

The three-part story that opens this volume is one long setup to a punchline that’s actually pretty funny in a fuck you kinda way (though all it really does it underline how pointless this entire series is). The other stories manage to be even more inconsequential and worthless. Rocket and Iron Man do a D&D/Fantasy Football thing, Rocket and Groot battle alien Vikings, and the book closes out with the two playing bar games. Absolute garbage! 

Some of the art is decent like Filipe Andrade’s work on the first three issues, and Jay Fosgitt and Brett Bean’s issues are ok, though Fosgitt is doing his damnedest to mimic Young’s style. I Hate Fairyland’s colourist Jean-Francois Beaulieu livens up the pages with his usual visual magic. Aaron Conley’s art on the D&D/Fantasy Football issue is some of the busiest art I’ve seen in some time - just exhausting to look at! And Rob Liefeld shows he’s still the worst by drawing the most horrendous Rocket cover ever!

Skottie Young isn’t trying anymore given these boring, boring stories. If you want to see where his creative energy is being directed these days, check out his excellent Image series, I Hate Fairyland, which is the antithesis of this crap. Marvel really is pitching a no-hitter with their Guardians books these days!

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