ROCKET RACCOON #1
Written by Skottie Young
Art by Skottie Young
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: July 2, 2014
Few things in this (or, any) galaxy can best be summed up with the words ‘raccoon,’ ‘weapons,’ and ‘space.’ The first entry into Marvel’s new Rocket Raccoon comic with story and art by Skottie Young is a trip into a whole new world for one of the most popular (if not, THE most popular) character from the Guardians of the Galaxy comic series. Skottie Young brings his most dynamic and exciting art to the galaxy’s best little ring-tailed hooligan in this fun first issue of what promises to be a great series.
The most obvious praise that Rocket Raccoon #1 can receive is in regards to Young’s amazing art. His style is its own brand, a never-stale use of smooth lines and a color palette that pops where it needs to. While the colors of Rocket Raccoon are more subdued that one might expect, Rocket’s exploits results in bold explosions, bright laser-fire, and a bevy of multi-colored aliens. Young’s designs are also worth special attention, both for his take on Rocket and for his take on … well … everything in the book. Not since Earthworm Jim has space-aliens seemed both so unique and so weird.
Young’s art seems like it was destined for a comic like this, a factor which goes light-years to establishing the charm of the issue. Rocket himself benefits most from Young’s art, his endless facial expressions and poses being deftly penned/inked by Young to the most hilariously extremes possible. While the idea of a talking, heavily-armed Raccoon might not seem like something you would ever expect to take seriously, Young’s Rocket seems ready to explode off the page. Likely because he has begun opening fire on the long arm of the law out to nab him, but also because he is just so thoroughly likeable in this comic.
The story is a simple one on the surface – Rocket Raccoon, while talking up his reputation and playing Romeo to a young alien-dame, gets into trouble when his WANTED poster flashes up for everyone (his date included) to see. Rocket quickly finds out that he has an imposter who has been giving him a worse reputation than he already has. The revelation of another space raccoon like him prompts Young’s best series of panels for little Rocket, proof that even in this bombastic, weird comic that Young can supply ample range with his expressions beyond just ‘wacky.’
The rest of the plot, which I hesitate to spoil here (seriously, read the comic and find out the twist at the end), involves a play on one of the more common ‘space smuggler romeo’ troupes – what happens to all the women they leave behind? Rocket Raccoon #1 looks to explore some normally unattended aspects of space drama, complete with broken hearts, missiles, heavily armored space police, and Space Wrestling.
The star of the comic is, hands and claws down, Rocket. Young brings the character to life with energy, comedy, the right touch of drama, and ego-bolstered insanity. Young’s Rocket might well become the best incarnation of the character to date and, with any lucky, the title of Rocket Raccoon will only become more popular after the launch of the new Marvel film, Guardians of the Galaxy, this August.
A special comment must be made for Young’s lettering. Some of the best laughs actually come from how he manages to so playfully use text and how he subverts the normal ideas of a ‘SFX’ use. Multiple jokes come from normal ‘CLICK’SFX-text balloons becoming things like ‘…Pinky Out “Click” …’ and the like. Cute, weird, and hilarious.
The Verdict: 9.0/10