Rocket Raccoon #9
March 4, 2015
Monster Mash! In the not-so-distant future, what happens when you water Groot a little too much? Grootzilla has arrived, and he ain't happy! He's faster than a speeding Rocket, more powerful than Drax the Destroyer, and able to eat tall buildings in a single gulp!
Following a disappointing outing last month, Rocket and Groot are back in a much more serviceable, self-contained adventure. After the odd duo’s misadventures on the mystery ice planet that housed the Nogu Queen, we explore what the future could hold when Groot grows to insane size and attacks Earth with our Rocket Raccoon #9 review.
Rocket Raccoon #9 starts by dropping you right into the action, as a rampaging Groot is attacking New York City in the year 2046. Right away, a grey-haired and balding Hulk tries to take on the towering tree, but ultimately fails. After a little more destruction from Groot (or as he’s called by the summary, “Grootzilla”), the comic quickly shifts to Captain America and a well-aged Tony Stark trying to find a way to defeat this new menace. From here, the rest of the story is set up and it shifts to Stark activating a distant Iron Man suit that he set up with SHIELD so that Earthlings can keep tabs on the rest of the galaxy “after that Thanos stuff.” He knows that they can’t beat Groot physically, but he has one talking rodent friend on the other side of galaxy who may be able to help.
The rest of the story, as far as the Avengers side of things are concerned, is light and fun. As we learn towards the end of the issue, the entire thing is a simulation that Groot and Rocket are running and it’s a kick to see what Skottie Young has thought up for the future Avengers without having to worry about continuity or anything else. Even with free reign to do whatever he damn well pleases, Young manages to craft a pretty interesting and believable story about how a rampaging Grootzilla would have been created. Basically, with the Avengers aging and on the verge of death Groot volunteered to let them experiment using his regeneration ability to use on themselves. Unfortunately for everyone involved, the experiment went south and Groot’s body began to fight for survival, essentially taking over his mind and turning him into a giant killing machine.
Seeing the tiff between Stark and Rocket, which has always existed, played out with them both being crotchety old men is also a nice change of pace.
All of this of course requires some creative art to age the characters appropriately, and Jake Parker does an excellent job at just that for the most part. He does a great job keeping with Young’s usual style, but adds some of his own extra flairs to it. Rocket Raccoon #9 includes some great full-page art pieces, and even a full two-page spread of Groot fighting Rocket in a giant mech suit. Oh, did I forget to mention that Rocket and Groot fight in a Power Rangers-style brawl in the city? Because that’s a thing that happens, and it’s spectacular, if cut a bit short by the simulation ending.
Parker really doesn’t hold back, and you can just feel all the personality that he puts into the city-destroying scenes. Old Rocket is pretty much spot on as I’d imagine, but Tony leaves a little bit to be desired. It’s hard to see any trace of the younger Stark in his face, and he looks more like any generic old guy drawing. A brief fight scene that occurs between Rocket and the satellite Iron Man suit is well done as well, with several quick panels stacked on one another to accurately show the quick movements of the suit and Rocket going at it before the suit gets decapitated.
Being that this is an issue of Rocket Raccoon, there are plenty of sentimental moments between Rocket and Groot, or at least Rocket and the memory of what Groot was. Young has done a great job with these little moments in Rocket‘s first eight issues, and this ninth one is no different. Especially the ending, which should remind Futurama fans of a certain episode involving Fry’s brother, is a borderline tear-jerker without feeling manipulative.