Writer: Scottie Young
Artist: Scottie Young
Colorist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Release: July 2, 2014
Young's artwork is somehow both cute and disturbed, which is how you might describe Rocket himself.
With the recent release of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, the cast of characters have been introduced to the world in a major way like never before. For many, it is the first time that they've heard about Star-Lord, Groot and the rest. Anticipating the success and exposure that the film would be offering the Guardians, Marvel Comics recently launched a few new series under their Marvel Now! banner. And so, Rocket Raccoon has his own series again for the first time since 1985.
This gun-toting and opinionated rodent has a history of interplanetary escapades. Enough so that his reputation precedes him and he often reminds people that he is the only one (or last) of his kind. In Scottie Young's first issue, which kicks off "A Chasing Tale" story arc, Rocket is framed for murders he did not commit and quickly learns that there is another raccoon further soiling his already-soiled name.
Young's artwork is somehow both cute and disturbed, which is how you might describe Rocket himself. The synchronization between the character and the style in which his story is presented is spot on and it's one of those cases where it's hard to say which came to fruition first. The result looks and feels like those mid-to-late '90s Nickelodeon cartoons that your mom would have preferred you didn't watch. The candy-aisle color schemes courtesy of Jean-Francois Beaulieu brings Young's artwork to Saturday morning cartoon life.
Rocket himself is a red-eyed, busy-tailed and even more animalistic than as portrayed by his recent film counterpart. I get the feeling that Young's Rocket would almost scoff at the compared tameness found in James Gunn's version. This Rocket swears like a sailor (but it is fittingly censored) and drops one pop-culture reference after another. After turning himself over to the authorities, Rocket has this quip to make before being taken away:
It's the last two pages that really seal the deal on this issue, tying it up to the cold opening set a few years earlier. Some mighty stakes, both funny and threatening, are established and this reader was left daydreaming at the words "To Be Continued...". It's a blast of a first issue that will no doubt let the reader know whether or not this is his/her cup of tea, but how in the galaxy could something so ferociously entertaining not be? For Guardians fans you'll also be treated to cameos from some of Rocket's compadres, and from watching Groot in a WWE-esque wrestling match to listening in on a zany cross-quadrant phone call with Star-Lord. Boy, I'd hate to see how much that charge is going to be.