By Nicholas Eskey
ROCKET RACCOON #1
Writer, artist and cover: Skottie Young
Colorist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
When thinking of furry-anthropomorphic characters in comics, my mind for some twisted reason can’t stray from the darker side of the comic realm. But thankfully the only thing that happens to be foul about this certain long tailed raccoon is his mouth.
Rocket Raccoon, long time member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, has recently landed himself a posh gig in his own comic series. A planned reoccurring comic featuring a fuzzy scavenger that talks and fights with weapons beyond his own claws? Don’t be one of those to write it off without a first glance. After all, it’s not like we haven’t heard of such things as bunny rabbits with samurai swords, or a duck with a cigar and a dirty mind. In this reoccurring comic bolstering his own name, Rocket Raccoon is wonderfully drawn and told by Skottie Young. There is nothing I can personally say that is lacking in this first issue to the series
Where other comics are known to get deathly serious with their manner of dialogue, Young keeps the things light and simple, without the danger of it venturing into an episode of Barney the Dinosaur. The subject matter is very adult, but at the same time easy to follow along with. You’ll be glad to know that your dictionary can stay perched on its shelf, still caked with a layer of dust.
Skottie Young’s art style, which feels much like a polished version of a zany cartoon, matches the outlandish characters and storyline to a tee. Young manages the fine marriage of an old fashioned western (complete with pistols), and a “B movie” sci-fi outer space movie (who doesn’t love a “B movie” sci-fi flick?), with the leading man replaced by a womanizing, sailor talking woodland creature. Even the colors and shading, done by Jean-Francois Beaulieu, lends to the gritty, out of this world setting of the comic. I swear the man appears to be a master in the use of gradient in his backgrounds.
The outlandishness of the settings, the funny portrayals of both familiar and unfamiliar characters, the easy “laugh ready” dialogue, and the fitting use of colors makes this debut issue a must have in any comic lover or collector’s hoard. If this is any indication of what is to follow in the series, I hope they know that they at least have won over one eager reader. The second issue will be on sale August 6th of this year.
The Elite Beat Staff is a trained squad of ninja masters.