Graphic Novel Review: Rocket Raccoon and Groot: Tricks of the Trade

Rocket Raccoon and Groot: Tricks of the Trade

Rocket Raccoon and Groot: Tricks of the Trade - Credit: Archant

There’s a new criminal mastermind in the galaxy and it’s... Rocket Raccoon! How did this happen? Groot knows, but he’s not talking. Well, he is talking, but all he says is... oh, you know. Diabolical danger, madcap mysteries and astonishing adventure abound! Collecting Rocket Raccoon and Groot #1-6.

(Panini Books)

There is very little point to a book like this. It doesn’t redefine the Marvel Universe, it has no place in multi-part crossover epics, and issues end without any noticeable change to the status quo. It is the comics equivalent of a buddy movie fused with a Warner Brothers cartoon, packed with over-the-top violence and snappy dialogue, illustrated in a style which has very little grounding in reality.

So taking all of that into account, is there any point in reading it?

Of course there is. This is comics being fun for a change, free from the chains of continuity, doing nothing revolutionary but still succeeding in telling a good story. Writer Scottie Young knows how to enjoy himself, and that comes through in his narratives, which never fail to do that which so many other comics forget, they entertain.

It’s made easier by the fact that the team-up of gun-toting rodent Rocket and walking tree Groot are so well-defined these days, thanks in part to their stand-out appearance in the recent Guardians of the Galaxy movie, and are capable of being successfully dropped into a variety of implausible scenarios.

So here we have a mission of liberty on a planet of space-Vikings, the ultimate American football grudge match between Tony (Iron Man) Stark and Rocket Raccoon, and a game of one-upmanship between our two protagonists which starts off with a game of pool and eventually escalates into participation in a full-scale interplanetary war.

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This series is unlikely to win any awards, and it certainly won’t be the title “serious” comics fans admit to having on their reading list, yet it is a perfectly-pitched guilty pleasure which you just can’t put down, and how many other books can make that claim?