Marvel Pick Of The Week – August 5, 2015 [SPOILERS]


Pick Of The Week:

Groot 3, by Jeff Loveness and Brian Kesinger

Secret Wars pumped out a dozen (generally) high-quality stories this week, but the issue that has stuck with me all day was a small story from the pre-Incursion universe, the third issue of Groot. After the success of the Guardians Of The Galaxy movie (you’ve probably seen it. Statistically, you have seen it twice, based on domestic box office alone), Marvel gave Skottie Young a few issues to play with the whimsy and melancholy of the singular Rocket Raccoon, and that book has found a spiritual successor in Jeff Loveness’s Groot story. So far, Groot and Rocket have been bopping around space, but Rocket has been captured by a bounty hunter, and last issue, a grief-stricken Groot moved readers slowly through the pain of remembering how much your best friend means to you. In this issue, Groot literally bumps into the Silver Surfer and his human companion, Dawn Greenwood, and when the concussion clears, the group investigates a nearby planet and saves everyone from imminent doom. Dawn is quickly charmed by the noble monosyllabic tree, and the Surfer delivers soliloquies about how learning to love Dawn has given him an appreciation for how lonely space has been and how important Groot’s search for his friend is.

Loveness gets the Surfer, particularly Waid’s successful creative reinvention of the Surfer as Doctor Who, poking a little fun without actually hurting the character, and Brian Kesinger’s expressive cartoons are a great representation of Mike Allred’s iconic pop style. The following panel is a perfect example of this:

And the team also gets Groot, as in this panel where what he says is “I am Groot” but what he means is the heartbreak of losing his best friend:

This issue lets the Surfer, a known boring navel-gazing solitary wanderer, impart the things he’s learned from Waid’s wonderful new series about companionship and use it to comfort Groot. It also quotes a recent issue of Guardians Team Up in establishing the backstory between the Surfer and everyone’s favorite tree. This writer may be pretty new to comics, but he is showing his talent in the context of a profound respect for his source material, his fellow creators, and his readers. I love you back, Jeff Loveness.

Honorable Mentions:

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows 3, because when the black suit goes on, we lose the happy-go-lucky Spider-Man. This story has been great.

Siege 2, because Secret Wars has been great for queer representation. Angela and Serah in 1602, Jubilee and Pixie in Runaways, now Magik and Kid Loki’s ex-girlfriend. I ship this. I ship all of these.

Spider-Island 2, because this series keeps throwing wonderfully loony monster mash-ups, like Iron Man hopped up on the Green Goblin’s formula.

Catch up on previous Picks here!

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