Review: I AM GROOT #1

Written by Christopher Hastings
Art by Flaviano, Marcio Menyz, and Joe Caramagna
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 24, 2017

Somewhat dismissible, but certainly fun, I AM GROOT #1 does exactly what a spin-off, tie-in series should do: gives fans that are clamoring for more the more for which they clamor.

Writer Christopher Hastings clearly makes the effort to coordinate the series with the All-New Guardians series (or, y’know, he’s received enough editorial direction to do so) while putting Groot into a situation that drives the story of the issue. The limited dialog of everyone’s favorite Flora Colossi is a bit of a challenge, but Hastings seeds the story with plenty of other characters to act as translators and tour guides. Hastings’ Groot is the whimsical, carefree, dancing to ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” Groot that audiences are currently in love with.

That leads Groot into I AM GROOT #1’s major predicament. The plot-driven tale gives readers some chuckles and laughs as well as some head-scratching opportunities in what is closer to an interstitial than a main feature.

In addition to the Guardians, I AM GROOT #1 also provides the first appearance of Buddy, a space dog of marvelous proportions. The new character and the adventure Buddy and Groot are embedded in give Flaviano plenty to explore, invent, and discover. As tiny as Groot is, Flaviano tinkers with perspective, occasionally dropping the camera to a worm’s eye view, and even more frequently raising the lens to remind the reader of the vast expanse that Groot is now engulfed in. Some panels are more involved than others, and some sequences certainly more measured, but Flaviano gives the storytelling a healthy, amicable beat, making I AM GROOT #1 an easy read.

Colorist Marcio Menyz gives the issue a bright palette that aligns with the aforementioned All-New Guardians of the Galaxy series as well as the movies. Staying within the palette, Menyz uses a variety of styles to communicate setting, action, and lighting, adding depth to the storytelling that amplifies Flaviano’s work. Letterer Joe Caramagna does his usual masterful work, adding tones and effects to the dialog, pizzazz to the sound effects, and diversity to the cast within the pages of I AM GROOT #1.

This is a fun read, but more of a luxury than a necessity. That said, Hastings, Flaviano, and company do a fine job adding to the Comic Marvel quilt, bringing at least another couple squares to what promises to be a light-hearted, engaging read.

The Verdict: 8.0/10


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