Rocket Raccoon #1 ReviewJuly 9, 2014
Blam, I murdered you. – Rocket Raccoon
As defenders of the cosmos go, Rocket Raccoon has faced his fair share of galactic battles. He’s been a hero to the weak, a champion of good, a protector of the innocent, a hearthrob to the intergalactic female species and now, a raccoon on the run. Sorry, a “formidable-and-expert Guardian” on the run; Rocket is not a raccoon, he’s the last of his species. Rocket’s high flying life of adventure and heroism may soon be a thing of the past when he becomes a wanted man and the authorities are not the only one on his tail in this new tale about Rocket in his own continuing series.
This new comic released the same day as two other Guardians themed books (Legendary Star-Lord and Guardians of the Galaxy – Galaxies Most Wanted #1) in the month before the movie hits theatres as one of the most anticipated movies of the year, and lets face it, people are excited to see Gamora, Drax and Peter Quill in action but one of the movies real draws will be their furry little companion. Rocket Raccoon #1 is a solo outing for the Raccoon with an attitude, though the rest of the Guardians can be seen throughout in a supporting role to his tale. This comic because it’s a fairly rare occurrence where the comics writer also takes on the task of doing the artwork, but Skottie Young does just that in this first issue.
In some of the first panels, Rocket makes references to Star Wars as he rescues a Princess from prison, and then we head to the present where Rocket heads to a wrestling match where Groot is taking on a very large unnamed monster. Even though the other Guardians appear in the book, the focus is solely on Rocket and his journey. Instead of the backstory that Legendary Star-Lord provided to Peter Quill, this one is more comedic than the other books and explores the kind of mayhem that Rocket unleashes and the trouble that he leaves in his wake.
Rocket announces that his full time side gig is saving princesses, but it also looks like he is more of a lover and then a leaver, as there is more than just the galactic police on his tail. He is being accused of murder across the universe, but not ones that he knows about. Rocket is basically on his own here as Star-Lord, Drax and Gamora (and from the looks of it Angela as well) are tied up fighting their own battles. It’s up to Rocket to solve his own problems which will allow for him to go on his own journey; that’s a great thing because it will give more time for people new to the Guardians comics to find reasons to love the raccoon with an attitude.
The writing is good but it’s quite the departure from the current Guardians of the Galaxy film storyline in which Rocket is more the comedic relief in the middle of battle. The writing and story is not quite as fun and doesn’t have the backstory that Legendary Star-Lord #1 has, but fans of Rocket will be satisfied with the beginnings of his own book and where it is heading with another not-a-raccoon running around the galaxy killing people, which sets up several amusing scenes, forcing Rocket from one problem to the next with his usual degree of feistiness.
The art style is also incredibly different from the other Guardians comics. It’s much more cartoony and kid friendly as opposed to the more serious and realistic look of the others. Kids who are looking for more Rocket than anything else will love this book and he is drawn very cute much like the path James Gunn has taken with the film, unlike his current form where he is cute, yes, but he definitely has been drawn vicious as well.
While there may not be a more grin-inducing read on the rack right now and the continuing idea may not be completely developed yet, it’s still a very fun engaging comic book that has a quality storyteller behind the pages who really seems to capture the character. With Rocket’s fan base about to explode in the coming months this is the perfect comic to accompany the coming onslaught of Guardians material. It’s good to see that Rocket’s comic future is in good hands and it’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you are either looking for something new and funny to read or are a Guardians fan.
On a side note, if you do find this comic enjoyable and haven’t read the main Guardians of the Galaxy storyline, I urge you to check out their ongoing adventures as it’s one of the best comics on the rack right now.