Friday, March 27, 2015

REVIEW: Rocket Raccoon #9

Writer: Skottie Young
Artist: Jake Parker
Review: Will Dubbeld

I know, I know.
You loyal few may think it's a bandwagon move to review this book, considering Rocket Raccoon has become super popular and more and more omnipresent in the Marvel U.
Apparently there was some movie or another contributing to this pro-raccoon movement.

Well y'all can eat it. This raccoon book is awesome.

When Rocket reappeared in Dan Abnett and Andy Lannings rebirth of the cosmic Marvel Universe, I was hooked. Teaming him up with a retinue of fellow B-and-C-listers was icing on the cake. I absolutely adore Mort characters, and the entire GotG lineup was right up my alley. Mantis, Bug, Deathcry, Star-Lord (of all damn characters . . .), all of 'em a-ok in my book.

The book caught, took off and ran, and here we are. Several comic series and a movie later, Rocket Raccoon gets his own solo book and it's great. Skottie Young is giving us a comic that would be right at home in the Sunday funny pages. A light sci-fi romp that turns Groot and Rocket Raccoon almost into ciphers for Calvin and Hobbes, though I'm at a loss for which one is a mischievous boy and which is a mischievous tiger.

Rocket #9 gives us the tale of Rocket and Groots future, showing a Groot that has been turned into a rampaging kaiju due to Tony Stark and his meddling. It seems he gleaned the secrets of the tree-fellas regeneration in order to prolong human life and as a result turned Groot into a rampaging Godzilla monster.

Oh, the folly of science!

In the wake of Groots reenactment of the Rampage video game, elderly Tony Stark and elderly Steve Rogers decide only one raccoon can stop the marauding monster from Planet X . . .
Stark heads off to deep space and to Marvel's Mos Eisley, Knowhere.
For the uninitiated, Knowhere is the decapitated head of a Celestial turned space station/city and de facto base of operations for the Guardians of the Galaxy.

The real treat here is Jake Parker's depiction of an aged, grizzled Rocket Raccoon. Bearded, scarred, and grumpier than normal, Rocket looks amazing here. Full of piss and vinegar, the exchange between him and Stark is great.

After initially rebuffing ol' Shellhead, Rocket hops in his x-wing fighter and heads to Earth to battle his old friend, Groot.

Alright, it's not really an x-wing. BUT! this book does have a lot of Star Warsian moments and humor within. I don't mean like Jar-Jar "humor", I mean the quippy dialogue and some hijinx from the old Droids cartoon.
You guys remember that show? Dude from The Police wrote the theme song . . .

So ol' Rocket heads to Earth, all ready to throw down with his pal Groot.
His spaceship turns into a Gundam, you guys. Amazing.

So spoilers, but this book ends on a great note. Dangerously close to giving me some feels . . .

The creative team on this book is nailing it. The writing is fun, unencumbered with Marvels mega events and crossovers, self contained arcs, and this particular issue was one and done.
Beginning, middle, and end. 1 part and over.

It still can be done, writers.

The art is outstanding, reminiscent of aforementioned Sunday comics, with amazing colors. Sharp inking and lettering put the icing on this raccoon cake.

My only apprehension about the book is Rocket Raccoons fate post-Secret Wars. With Marvel shaking things up, hopefully books like this will not get swept under the editorial rug, causing the huddled mass of fans to look up and shout, "save us!"
And Deadpool will whisper, "chimichangas."

Friday, March 13, 2015

REVIEW: Black of Heart #4 and Open Tree #2

Black of Heart #4
Writer: Chris Charlton
Artist: David Hollenbach
Review: Art Bee

On March 28th at the Gem City Comic Con in Dayton, Ohio, the attendees will be witness to the unveiling of four new issues from Assailant Comics. One of these issues is Black of Heart #4, which is the next to last issue of the award winning series. This series recently won First Prize for the 2014 Space Award and offers a great main character, well developed plot, and unique, powerful artwork.

In the last issue Detective Drake Harper was suffering from hallucinations after going to a dentist, who is revealed to possibly be the killer. These hallucinations hinder him as he prepares to take on Lucky Luciano along with the rest of the department. The investigation has shown that Lucky has been importing narcotics in large quantities, and they are going in force to stop it.