PICK OF THE WEEK!
I was pretty worried sitting down in front of this week’s Rocket Raccoon. If you’ve seen Guardians Of The Galaxy (and based on sales alone, you have), you saw Rocket as a charming cartoon whose bloodthirst was humorously out of sync with how much you just wanted to give him a treat and let him sleep next to you. He was cuter than a Looney Toon and more credible than Stitch. In a team filled with charmers like Chris Pratt and Groot, Rocket still stood out. My sociopathic Yorkshire Terrier recently took down his doghouse’s Cujo poster to make room for a picture of Rocket. It would be hard to read a solo adventure of his without a letdown.
I shouldn’t have worried. Skottie Young’s first issue of this book was a sweeping introduction with tons of intricate jokes in the background, and for issue two, he pulls the scope in to focus on Rocket’s trip to prison after being framed for murder. Rocket is an admitted killer, but he didn’t commit this particular crime, and the idea that a second surviving member of his species might be at fault rocks his world. Cue an elaborate prison break in service of clearing his name and meeting his relative. The plan includes a great surprise appearance by my second-favorite Guardian and interactions with cellmates as funny as any you’d meet in Orange Is The New Black. Young alternates weight on the funny and scary sides of this furry little sociopath without missing a step. So often, books with concurrent movie releases suffer in trying too hard to match up to the screen, but this volume builds organically on the representation millions of us fell in love with this weekend.
Superior Spider-Man 32, for reminding me how much I loved Otto Octavius, but also for reminding me how much I loved 2099, Spider-Man’s web armor, and The Spider Monkey. If Spider-Verse can keep up the fun momentum started in this issue, fans are in for a treat this Fall.
Moon Knight 6, for ending Warren Ellis’s amazing run with a fairly straightforward superhero story, then following with four preview pages nakedly begging us not to drop this book just because most of the people who make it are leaving. I’m in, but it’s nice to be asked. Thanks, Marvel.
New Avengers 22, for taking the conflict we seem to have gotten in every issue of this book (Worlds are colliding! In order to save ours, we have to kill theirs! We can’t do it! It’s so bad! But… yeah, we can do it, we did it, we just feel bad about that.) and moving the argument forward with a good old brawl between Namor and Black Panther. I didn’t care who won as long as they just Stopped. Talking. About it. And I loved how in the end, the Illuminati feel like hypocrites again and find themselves even more unprepared for the next moral dilemma.