If you’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy then you know Rocket Raccoon was the breakout star of the movie. And really, who else would it be? The first issue of his own title was a crazy fun ride. Does issue two keep its frantic energy? Load your guns and get ready for the review.
Previously in Rocket Raccoon: Thought to be the last of his kind, Rocket Raccoon has now been framed for murder by another talking Raccoon. Since these are murders Rocket didn’t actually commit, the police came after him and Rocket decided to turn himself in.
DIDN’T I SEE SOME OF THIS A WEEK AGO?
Skottie Young definitely continues to bring the fun and silly in issue two, but some of it seems too similar to the Guardians movie that came out last week. Rocket gets thrown into prison on Devin-9, hatches an escape plan involving Groot and has a shootout. Even the prison suit designs as well as Rocket’s regular outfit all look just like ones from the film. Admittedly, I don’t remember if the group was on Devin-9 though. While it makes sense to tie to the movie, I would like to see Skottie Young make Rocket Raccoon his own and not obligated to tie to the movie. Even with that minor nitpick, the issue is a blast. The pace is quick, the jokes hit a mile a minute and everything works. I particularly loved Rocket quoting True Detective while being interrogated and the shootout escape with Groot was insanely fun. Groot and Rocket’s relationship is wonderful and their interactions kill me. I also love that Xemnu the Titan makes a cameo. Young nails the tone and the issue continues to read like a Looney Tunes cartoon yet never becomes silly. It’s just plain fun and nice to see a comic that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
BRINGING THE HIP HOP FLAIR
As if the story wasn’t vibrant enough, Skottie Young’s art makes the issue almost vibrate in you hands. It’s all packed to the brim and his graffiti/hip hop style is fully on display. The majority of the jokes are actually in the art which makes multiple readings a joy. I kept finding things that I missed at first. The prison escape spread, which is a map of tunnels that Rocket and company crawl through, lends fifteen minutes alone to spot everything. Young takes what I loved the most about the first issue and cranks it up notch. Sound effects are subtle but elicit a laugh once noticed. From “Shaw-Shank” as Rocket digs a hole in prison to “They came to drop bombs!” as the army of ex-girlfriends fires missiles all had me rolling from laughter. It’s unique and I haven’t really seen anything like it. It all comes together and is truly the highlight of the book.
BOTTOM LINE: I THINK THIS IS GOING ON MY LIST
I have a rule against paying $3.99 for a comic put out by Marvel or DC but Rocket Raccoon #2 may have to be the exception. There’s so much here to love and it’s a plain fun book that doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a nice change of pace. While some of the parallels to the movie feel forced, the artwork and frantic energy more than make up for it. Even without a major motion picture, Rocket Raccoon’s book would be a winner.