Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer/Artist: Skottie Young
Rocket Raccoon issue 1 by Skottie Young & Jean-Francois Beaulieu is a brilliant first issue by this creative team. Stunning visuals combined with great humor make this a must read.
Issue 1 sees Rocket having to contend with being wanted for murder (no wait, make that multiple murders) all whilst being out on a date that ends with a last page reveal that hooks the reader in and leaves us begging for more. Young’s characterization of Rocket is great and fits in with what we have seen of the character so far in the recent Bendis run of Guardians of the Galaxy as well as previous incarnations of the character. From his wicked sense of humor to his love for guns it is all there and long-time readers of Guardians will see plot points emerge from previous stories. Even without prior knowledge of these events a new reader can jump in and not need to worry which is what makes this a great first issue from a story perspective.
Young and Beaulieu’s visuals are an absolute treat and being as both creators really show what they can do. The color in particular is restrained when it needs to be in dimly lit space ship corridors before cutting loose with stunning vibrancy during the wrestling match scenes. Each and every character bursts from the page with great emotion and expressions are perfect, every character from Rocket’s date and Groot to name a few are perfectly captured and Young really brings these characters to life, even bit part players that are not around for long thanks to Rocket’s penchant for violence fill the reader with utter joy.
For those concerned that Skottie Young would be writing this issue have no need, he embraces Rocket’s personality to a tee and had be crying with laughter at some of the quotes from Rocket. This is contrasts well with Young’s visual style, giving us a book that revels in the fact it is about a sarcastic, foul mouthed, anthropomorphic raccoon that loves guns and violence.
Overall I cannot recommend this book enough; Young crafts a great story whilst giving us a book that visually is a masterpiece. It picks up a small plot thread from what could have been a throwaway story that runs with it and what it gives us is a hilarious, beautifully drawn, clever, fun book.