I may not have loved the last issue of this series, but you should always give a comic book at least the second issue to really win you over. Boy, was I surprised to be won over! Rocket Raccoon is in the middle of a heist that’s gone very wrong and the threat he faces alien team called Technet, which may be one of the wackiest and most 80s thing to come out of Marvel Comics in a while.
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Adam Gorham
Publisher: Marvel Comics
So what’s it about?
Why does this book matter?
Al Ewing writes in a prose style, which has been tried before, but maybe not quite like this. As the prose runs along the side of the page, Adam Gorham draws a reflection of each paragraph (or sometimes multiple paragraphs), which then bleeds into regular comic page layouts. It’s a cool concept that definitively puts you inside Rocket’s head. Given he’s up against some of the weirdest aliens in the Marvel universe and we’ll get his opinion on all of them, that’s a very good thing.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This might just be the best way to introduce yourself to Technet and before you ask, yes you really should introduce yourself to Technet! There’s a sequence where Rocket basically narrates via prose along the page what powers these freaks have and boy are they strange. His usual attitude screams through as he makes fun of and explains some of the weirdest powers you’ve ever seen. It’s these scenes that are the most entertaining which also coincidentally offer up the most action. Gorham does a good job capturing these weird powers in a sometimes goofy way which suits the narration very well.
What is going on?
Before I get ahead of myself however, the book actually opens in the future of the Technet scene with Rocket in court. That’s right, this entire issue is folded into a courtroom drama! Ewing was smart to do this, not only to increase the anticipation of the Technet fight sequence, but also to give a rather natural place for Rocket to flap his gums. Opening this way certainly throws the reader off a bit, though, as we expect it to pick up where it left off. It also closes with a few surprises that will leave the reader entertained through and through. There are quite a few humorous licks in there, which include a reference to a certain superhero lawyer, and what appears to be a Judge Dredd reference. If you’re a fan of swearing stick till the end, because Rocket makes a strong point about what kind of words we use as swears and even explains what “flark” means!
I love how the prose bleed into the panels.
The use of prose feels much more natural in this issue, in part because Gorham has the panels bleed into them. There are still panels with clean outlines, but there’s always at least one with none to allow the prose to feel more seamless. Gorham is also great at capturing the humorous moments, from body language to a classic fall down. In possibly the funniest visual joke and punchline, Gorham may just have you rolling with laughter–it’s just that good.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Clearly the history of Technet is somewhat necessary to fully enjoy this issue. I was a bit lost as far as the leader of the team and their powers go. Their relationship to other characters seems to be an important element too. Needless to say, Ewing will make you want to pick up a Marvel guide to truly experience this issue.
Is It Good?
Rocket is a reminder that comics should be fun. This issue does a great job capturing a little bit of the magic of the 80s Marvel characters while adding a lot of humor. Rocket is clever in its approach and funny every step of the way.