This week Rocket Raccoon takes off in his own solo book, and Superman Unchained makes a triumphant return to the comic racks!
Rocket Raccoon blasts off into his own solo series, and thanks to writer and artist Skottie Young, it’s pretty spectacular. While it’s obvious that Marvel has put this book out to cash in on the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie, the decision to have Young write and draw the series makes this an absolute blast to read, and makes the wait between issues of Guardians of the Galaxy that much easier.
The issue opens with Rocket on a date night at the wrestling arena, where Groot is taking on a new challenger. Everything is going just fine until Rocket is caught on the “kiss cam” and an alert is sent through the security at the facility, sending Rocket on the run. After making a quick call to Star-Lord to find out what charges he’s wanted for (turns out it’s for multiple murders), we learn that there may be ANOTHER member or Rocket’s race out there killing people throughout the galaxy. The issue ends with a pretty surprising (and entertaining) cliffhanger that shows us that there’s way more heading Rocket’s way than he expects.
From the moment Skottie Young was announced as the artist for this book, I knew I was going to pick it up. I’ve been a big fan of his work for years, and think he’s one of the best comic artists around. The fact that he’s also a good writer is icing on the cake, and a pretty rare feat in most artists. Young injects a ton of expected humor into Rocket, and his characterization of the little guy and his Guardians teammates is spot on. He’s also setting up a fun mystery behind the Rocket-like creature that’s murdering people and the mysterious people who want Rocket dead.
Of course, Skottie Young’s art is phenomenal here (were you expecting me to say something else?). There’s a ton of charm and personality to the panels, and they’re so fluid that at times I thought they were animated stills. Young really pulls out all of the stops, with the highlight being the giant splash page of the wrestling arena, which is filled with more creatures than 10 Tatooine Cantinas. Colorist Jean-François Beaulieu should also get notice for some truly remarkable work. His bright colors perfectly display the alien worlds that we see in this issue, and the book wouldn’t be the same without them.
I’ve been enjoying the main Guardians of the Galaxy book, but I have to say, I think I liked Rocket Raccoon more. Many times after finishing Guardians I’m left with a feeling of wishing it went on just a little bit longer, so it’s nice to have something like this and The Legendary Star-Lord around to hold me over until a new issue. It’s also nice to have a book that’s light-hearted and fun as well. If you’re looking for a book like that, then you should absolutely pick up Rocket Raccoon.
You know, I was going to start this review by talking about how the delays on Superman Unchained have been affecting the series as a whole.
Then I read this issue.
Superman Unchained #7 has some of the coolest moments of year contained in its pages. Yes, the Scott Snyder and Jim Lee book has been taking forever to come out, but damn, if the issues continue to be of this quality, they can take years to come out if they need to (well, not really).
This issue finds General Lane’s forces assembling outside of the Fortress of Solitude, where Superman has hidden Lois while she has possession of the Earthstone. At the same time, Wraith has made his way into the Batcave and is ready to put the hurt on Batman. I’ll admit that my recollection of how we got to these points in the narrative are hazy at best (damn you delays), but I was able to at least catch the gist of what the main story beats have been fairly quickly.
Which is good, because this issue rules so hard. Scott Snyder really brings the action to the forefront with this script, putting both Superman and Batman in pretty dangerous situations. Any writer who actually makes me worry for the safety of the Man of Steel deserves recognition, and Snyder’s way of reminding us of how badass Batman is pretty damn awesome (and makes you forget that this is a book that stars Superman).
As for the art….it’s Jim Lee! It looks incredible! Lee’s definitely the source of the delays on this title, but like I said before, if the end result looks this good, I’m okay with the wait. There’s not a bad panel here. Lee’s Superman looks regal and powerful, and his Batman looks like the dark protector of the night that will cripple you if you get out of line. Not only that, but each hero gets a new look in this issue, and they’re just waiting for statues and action figures to be made out of them (I know that I’ll definitely be getting the Superman one when it’s available).
So yes, Superman Unchained is an incredibly delayed book. But you know what? It’s worth it. Yeah, it may be difficult to remember some of the plot points from the previous issue, but I’d much rather have this book take a few extra months than have it be rushed out to make a deadline. While I know we may be waiting an extra long wait for the next issue, at least I can take comfort in knowing that it’ll probably be pretty awesome.