Warning: This review contains spoilers.
Rocket Raccoon #4 is business as usual for the series both written and drawn by Skottie Young. Naturally, it is off-the-wall bonkers. Seemingly taking its cue from the now famous line from Grant Morrison’s The Multiversity, Rocket Raccoon #4 is entrenched in cartoon physics. From outrageous lettering, impossibly dragged out fight sequences, and full-zippered disguises, Skottie Young has made Rocket the star of one of the most fun and downright weird comics on stands today.
Rocket Racoon #4’s artwork is alone worth the price of admission. Young’s scratchy, animated character designs and backgrounds remain a perfect match for this series’ tone. The combination with Jean-Francois Beaulieu’s vibrant colors evoke the look and feel of a vintage Saturday morning cartoon, only on acid. The plot itself further pushes this idea forward, with an abundance of slapstick comedy and humorous “sound effects.”
As the issue is largely an action affair drenched in silliness, the few emotionally charged scenes fail to fully deliver. However, readers are likely to look past it because the identity Rocket’s mysterious doppelganger is revealed – and they aren’t even a raccoon! In a twisted, but ultimately comical unveiling, Blackjack O’Hare is sprung on the reader as the force behind Rocket’s current misery. For the uninitiated, Blackjack is one of Rocket’s rivals dating back to the original Rocket Raccoon series from the mid-1980s. Also, he’s a rabbit. After revisiting the classic trope of the villain discussing his motivations, the two begin a heated battle in which Groot is blown apart… again.
The heavyweight battle between the anthropomorphic raccoon and rabbit is cut short, however, by the arrival the fleet of Rocket’s jilted lovers. The hijinks that results is frantic and sloppy, yet at the same time charming. Young’s inclusion of the previously mentioned sound effects is a wonderful detail that adds so much to the issue’s overall enjoyment. The same can be said for the little notes are slipped into the panels. For example, “this is important” is scribbled next to a wrench that is used as Rocket’s weapon later in the issue.
Rocket Raccoon #4 may not be considered to be one of the greatest books released this week, but it earns high marks for being the most entertaining. Though the story may not have the tightly wound narrative and impact on the Marvel Universe to fully justify the $3.99 price tag, the gut-busting humor will make that an afterthought. For pure, escapist fun, readers could do a lot worse than picking up Rocket Raccoon #4.
Note: This review was originally published at InfiniteComix.com