With Jake Parker on art, “Rocket Raccoon” #6 has a softer appearance, giving Skottie Young’s story a little more range of personality (towards a gentler side) than the frequently angry Rocket as Young draws him. That friendlier-looking Rocket doesn’t derail Young’s harder-edged, teen-plus stories, but it does amplify the humor to situations such as fighting the lice on Ego, the Living Planet.
Parker’s art is in line with what would be expected from all-ages reads, with softer lines, gentler shadows and rangy expressions. It’s not quite “Calvin & Hobbes” level, but it is between Calvin and Young’s take on Rocket, making Parker just about the perfect choice to fill in for Young with “Rocket Raccoon” #6. Add in a team-up with an outdated binary-speaking mech named Brute and an appearance by Cosmo, the fan-favorite mission leader from Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s days on “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and Parker’s work hits the sweet spot all the more.
Like Young, Parker draws some of the sound effects into the story, but letterer Jeff Eckleberry adds in plenty of additional sounds. His lettering and balloon choices for Brute, Rocket and Cosmo fit the story wonderfully, right down to the zeroes and ones bursting out of the balloon when Brute is alarmed. Rounding out the sparkling visuals on “Rocket Raccoon” #6 are sharp, super-bright colors from Jean-Francois Beaulieu. The colorist uses shades to indicate shadows, a method used for Young’s drawings, but one that seems more open and playful overtop Parker’s work.
After the four-part opening for this series, Skottie Young has given readers a pair of done-in-ones, which make for a crisp, quick, satisfying read. While Brute could be viewed as a stand-in for Groot (right down to their rhyming names) Young instead makes the character an individual in his own right, expanding the world around Rocket in doing so. Young also makes reference to Rocket’s recent appearances in “Nova,” making the cosmic portion of the Marvel Universe seem nice and tight.
“Rocket Raccoon” #6 hits the right notes to be both a successful Rocket Raccoon adventure and a fun, complete issue. While I’d prefer the comic — especially with Parker’s animated, bouncy art — to be more closely acceptable by an all ages audience, there’s simply no denying the fact that “Rocket Raccoon” is a fun book that flows in the same vain as the boisterous beast from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” feature film.