Thursday, 8 January 2015

Rocket Racoon #6 - Marvel Comics

ROCKET RACCOON No. 6, February 2015
It is hard to imagine that this “Guardians Of The Galaxy” spin-off title would have been the best-selling comic of July 2014, and led the comic industry to one of its biggest months in history, had it been comprised of “Misfit Mechs” instead of Skottie Young’s superb opening instalment of “A Chasing Tale”. Both issues sport colourful cover illustrations by the Inkwell Award winner, and the two issues are also wonderfully written by him as well. Indeed the creative team are one and the same, with just a single difference…

This particular edition of “Rocket Raccoon” is entirely drawn by Jake Parker, and as competent a job as he does at imitating Young’s detailed yet wacky pencilling, he is just not as good. In fact his far simpler figures and less complicated art style would also seem to have given color artist Jean-Francois Beaulieu less opportunity to show off their incredible talent; as many of the panels seem devoid of the vibrant multiple hues witnessed in earlier issues.

Fortunately Young is ‘still ‘at the helm’ for writing duties and in that respect this twenty-page self-contained ‘solo’ adventure is a great success. For starters it features Cosmo, the telepathic Russian dog who acts as head of security for Knowhere. The American comic book author has also created a great temporary replacement for Rocket’s regular partner Groot, in the shape of the old military robot 01100010 01110010… otherwise known as Brute. Like the Monarch of the Planet X, the massive automaton’s speech is completely incomprehensible yet the anthropomorphic raccoon appears to understand his binary lingo perfectly, even going so far as to challenge the giant robot’s tone from time to time. Brute is also quick to wrath and when there’s a choice between one of Rocket’s ridiculously complicated plans or simply getting the pair involved in “…a crazy gun battle” the weapon of war merrily stomps straight into the fight.

Indeed many would doubtless have enjoyed a far lengthier storyline featuring the mech as the verbal interplay between the pair is thoroughly entertaining with some genuine laugh out loud moments. However such regret at the robot’s swift departure back to his home in Bots Town, on a “secret planet somewhere very secret”, does make the tale’s all too quick ending all the more poignant as a result.
Writer: Skottie Young, Artist: Jake Parker, and Color Artist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu

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