Graphic Novel Review: Rocket Raccoon: A Chasing Tale

Rocket Raccoon: A Chasing Tale

Rocket Raccoon: A Chasing Tale - Credit: Archant

Cartoon anarchy with the Guardians of the Galaxy’s fighting furry!

(Panini Books)

The phenomenal success of the Guardians of the Galaxy series has resulted in solo titles for most of the team’s cast, which explains why we’re reading the adventures of a homogenised gun-toting rodent… in space.

With a character like Rocket (he hates his raccoon origins being mentioned), you’re never going to see hard-hitting drama, pathos or emotional depth, which means the irreverent humour of this title is perfectly suited to its protagonist. Should this approach sustain a long run is hard to say, but for now Rocket is doing well enough flying in the slipstream of the blockbuster movie thank you very much.

This inaugural volume assumes a certain degree of advanced knowledge about its title character, his origins on the planet Halfworld, his relationship with partner in crime Groot, and his work alongside the Guardians, but it’s hardly going to be the sort of book you pick up without at least a cursory familiarity of these elements.

Alongside a couple of single issue stories (one of which relies largely on the three-word vocabulary of Groot), the main narrative here focuses on Rocket’s efforts to track down a homicidal double blasting a trail of death and destruction across the galaxy, and his bid to escape the alliance of ex-girlfriends who are after his tail, and not in a metaphorical way.

It’s entertaining enough, and the cartoonish artwork certainly supports the format, but it’s not what you’d call high literature. Of course, nobody expects comics to reinvent the genre every time, and there’s plenty of room for lightweight, action-adventure romps, but this particular title is both forgettable and something of a struggle to complete. It certainly doesn’t leave the reader chomping at the bit to reach its denouement.

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There’s plenty of room for a diverse variety of comic books in the marketplace, and it’s certainly good to see something away from the norm published by one of the big two companies, but one would hope for something a bit more memorable than the stories found in this collection.