This week we travel to the dreaded Winter Planet with Rocket Raccoon, and dive back into IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series!
Rocket Raccoon #7 (Marvel Comics)
Month in and month out, Rocket Raccoon has been one of my favorite books from Marvel. It’s a fun, light book, and issue 7 is no exception. Skottie Young and Filipe Andrade set up an intriguing new story with this issue that serves as a great jumping on point for new readers.
The set up for this issue is simple: Rocket Raccoon and Groot are stranded on a winter planet. After being attacked by the native alien creatures, Groot suffers some major injuries. The two are taken in by the planet’s native people, and while there, Rocket learns that Groot is slowly dying after being poisoned by the creature’s bites. However, the only way to cure him is by retrieving an egg from the queen of the aliens that attacked them. Sounds easy, right? Well, seeing as how the queen of this race is about 100x larger than Rocket, it’s safe to say that this won’t be a cakewalk for everyone’s favorite talking Raccoon.
Skottie Young really does a tremendous job setting up the stakes for this new storyline. He establishes a threat that’s pretty big, but also doesn’t let the seriousness of the threat drag the book down. Rocket, even when he’s upset over Groot, still has his weird sense of humor intact. Young also has a lot of fun putting our two heroes up against the elements of the winter planet early in the issue, the highlight being a pretty hilarious sequence that involves Rocket using Groot’s appendages to make a fire.
Unfortunately, Skottie Young isn’t providing the art for this issue. While it’s a shame, he does have a pretty big project coming up, and his replacement Filipe Andrade is more than up to the task. Andrade’s style is similar enough to Young’s that at first glance you’d probably think Young drew the book. However, Andrade does have some differences from Young’s work when it comes to some facial expressions. Despite this, Andrade has a great sense of motion and pacing with his artwork, and serves as a solid replacement for Young.
Once again, the team behind Rocket Raccoon delivers another awesome issue. In fact, I might dare say that Rocket Raccoon is a more consistent read than Guardians of the Galaxy. Young is clearly having a lot of fun writing this series, and it shows in the work he’s doing here. If you’ve been on the fence about checking out Rocket Raccoon, this is the perfect issue to pick up.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #42 (IDW Comics)
A few weeks ago, I decided to catch up on IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, and I have to say, I’m really glad I did. Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman and writer Tom Waltz are crafting one of the coolest new takes on the turtles in a half shell, and the latest issue brings everything to a head in a very satisfying way.
Leo, Donnie, Mikey, and Raph have discovered that Krang has finished his TechnoDrome, and is planning to use it to start an Utrom invasion of Earth. With options running out, the four turtles align themselves with Shredder’s foot clan and take the fight to Krang. But have the turtles and their master Splinter really swapped sides?
Of course not, and Eastman and Waltz reveal the turtle’s plans perfectly. By setting Shredder and Krang against one another, the turtles (along with Old Hobb and his “Mutanimals”) will sneak into the Technodrome and destroy it from within.
Waltz’ script sets up a lot of back-story for the Shredder/Krang fight and the turtle’s plan against them, but don’t worry; we get to see a bit of the fracas in this issue. Like with issues prior, Waltz’ characterizations of the different turtles is spot on, and he and Eastman have a lot of fun subverting the expectations that long time Turtles fans will have for this series. Cory Smith handles the art duties for this issue, and his art is perfectly suited for the style this book has had in the past. His panels depicting the beginnings of the Foot Clan and Krang’s forces throwing down are awesome, and his final panel will have you begging for the next issue.
It’s safe to say I regret giving up on Ninja Turtles when I did. However, after catching up, I have to say that this is one of, if not the, best titles that IDW is publishing. There’s a ton of stuff here that longtime Turtles fans will love, and some awesome new additions to the Turtles mythos as well. While my new favorite Turtles character, Bludgeon, Shredder’s mutated shark, takes a bit of a backseat in the battle, I know that the best is yet to come. Those looking to jump aboard this wild ride only need to pick up this issue and last month’s issue, and strap in.