|ROCKET RACCOON No. 3, November 2014|
Leaping straight into the action of a large space battle Issue three of “Rocket Raccoon” would appear to have attempted to cram in as many explosions, missiles and bullets as any reader could imagine in its opening few pages. This chaotic carnage is dynamically illustrated by artist (and writer) Skottie Young, and wonderfully coloured by Jean-Francois Beaulieu.
Indeed the American comic book artist really produces the goods with some ‘laugh out loud’ moments, such as Rocket going ‘splat’ into his ex-girlfriend’s spaceship, a huge missile with the effigy ‘Die Rocket’ scrawled on it, and the guppy warp being especially well drawn.
However this isn’t a virtuoso performance by the 2013 Inkwell Award winner, as the flow of the action in this opening third of the issue doesn’t always work; certainly I was momentarily confused when in one panel Rocket was ‘stuck’ to the exterior of the bridge to Amalya’s spacecraft and then the next sat safely inside the flying car of Macho Gomez, alongside Groot.
There are also a couple of double-page sequences in this issue which contain little to no dialogue. Such storytelling techniques can really captivate a reader if there’s plenty going on inside the panels artistically. Unfortunately this certainly isn’t the case for Young’s illustrations depicting the end result of the guppy warp as it simply shows the large bloated space-fish spit out Macho’s car and then ‘flump’ to the ground beside the now crashed vehicle.
There’s also an awful lot of words to read in the final third of the comic, almost as if Scottie Young was making up for its earlier absence. As a result the confrontation and subsequent conversation between Rocket and intergalactic bad guy Funtzel is actually rather hard-going, and contains none of the humorous one-liners the writer’s earlier work contains.
The book does though end on a particular artistic high note, with Young drawing one of the best ‘totally dark and blacked out’ gun fight sequences I’ve seen. The pencil work of which is once again extremely well coloured by Beaulieu, with lots of dark blues for the shadows but bright yellows for when the bullets start flying.