Written and drawn by Skottie Young with colors from Jean-Francois Beaulieu and letters provided by Jeff Eckleberry, “Rocket Raccoon” #2 brings readers a raccoon more inline with the foul-mouthed Procyonidae from the feature film than the selfless servant created by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen that starred in his own Mike Mignola-drawn miniseries of the 1980s. That’s not to say this comic book isn’t enjoyable — but it’s definitely Rocket as filtered through the lens of popularity.
Young carries on the adventure he began in the debut issue, with Rocket being interrogated for a series of murders. Consigned to Devin-9, Rocket finds himself in a situation that requires him to think fast and act fiercely. In a scene reminiscent of the film, Rocket establishes himself as the alpha amongst a squad of inmates that includes Xemnu, the titan. Young doesn’t do this without humor. The scene revolves around Rocket being called “purdy,” followed by a vigorous conversation between Rocket and Groot in which Groot’s replies are hilariously interpreted.
Young’s art is lively, cartoony and fun. This is exactly what readers would expect to see in a Skottie Young comic book and he delivers in spades. Beaulieu works well in and around Young’s art. There are brushstrokes and overlays present throughout, infusing the drawings with vitality normally associated with artwork from energetic children. Where Young avoids backgrounds, Beaulieu punches up the texture and shading. The duo work well together and give “Rocket Raccoon” #2 a vibrant story filled with animated characters and bizarre settings and scenery. In the center of this issue, Rocket and Groot stage a prison escape that Young crafts as a maze, with the characters winding their way across the two pages, from one corner to the opposite one.
While Rocket is the most appealing “Guardians of the Galaxy” character for audiences of all ages, this comic isn’t an all-ages read. It’s more apropos for fans of Deadpool and Bendis’ current run on “Guardians of the Galaxy” than it is suited for readers mired in continuity or younger readers looking to make a character connection to a fuzzy woodland critter. Weighing in as a teen-plus read, Young does a fine job working alongside Bendis’ interpretation of the team and has provided readers with an outlet to get their fill of Rocket Raccoon adventures. The second-part of an ongoing story, “Rocket Raccoon” #2 gives readers a satisfying adventure, but leaves plenty of reason to come back.