|ROCKET RACOON No. 1, September 2014|
I’m something of a long-time fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy, having first encountered them back during the late Seventies when they teamed-up with the Mighty Avengers. Of course that was when I was reading the old British monthly black and white reprint magazine “Marvel Superheroes” and the Guardians consisted of the likes of Vance Astro, Captain Charlie-27, Yonda Udonta, Martinex T’Naga and Starhawk. These days the roster for the spacefaring superhero team, reimagined a few years ago by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, are somewhat different… very different in point of fact.
Rocket Racoon and Groot appear to be the most popular of the new Guardians, and both feature prominently in this first issue of “Rocket Racoon”, despite the comic book only being titled after the medium-sized mammal. First impressions are really good if you like the cartoony zany artwork of Skottie Young, and I do. The American comic book artist’s pencils are absolutely perfect for the animated capers of the captain of the starship Rack ’n’ Ruin and the insane gun battles the furry fellow gets involved in.
Equally as compelling is the beautiful ‘color art’ of Jean-Francois Beaulieu, whose red-purple hues used for the wrestling match contrast wonderfully with the green-blue colour scheme used as Rocket escapes down “a pipe full of #$@%.” The sheer amount of sound effects used in this book are both staggering and worthy of note too, as panels are packed to the point of bursting with “Bigidy! Blam!”, “Thud”, “Chud”, “Ting” and “Splosh”. There’s even the odd “Smooch”, “Fragaboom” and “Pinky Out Click”!?!
Skottie Young’s plot is also a good bouncing romp to begin a comic series with, and manages to include all the other Guardians in some way shape or form, whether it be avoiding “death by evil spaceships” or ‘zigapping’ a giant alien monster. The writer even seems to throw a nod to the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation days of Mike Carlin’s time writing “The Thing” in the early Eighties, by having Groot grapple in the Bonavaglia Arena.