“Guardians of the Galaxy” won’t even be out until until August 1, but Marvel are already counting on Rocket Raccoon becoming a star. Starting in July, Marvel Comics are now launching talking, gun toting raccoon, Rocket, into his own solo series. And better yet it’ll be written and drawn by fan-favorite writer/artist Skottie Young.
For the past few years, Young has been working on the Marvel “Oz” series as art contributor and also working on multiple covers for Marvel’s superhero line, even finding time to write a few series and one-shots here and there. But “Rocket Raccoon” is the first time Young will serve both as writer and artist on an ongoing series.
“I like any of the humorous characters, any of the ones I can have fun with,” Young say”And around this time ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ was getting restarted, so I said if there was any of way of doing some sort of Rocket Raccoon story that would be fun too!”
Editor Sana Amanat agreed, and so Young was signed up to take on Rocket once “Oz” had wrapped. Although nobody seemed too stringent on following the movies plot and without any real idea what the character will be like on screen, upon seeing the trailer, Young says got a sense that things were right in line between the comic and movie versions of the character.
“Even though it was just a sliver of Rocket, I couldn’t wait to work on this guy even more,” Young said. “I think it’s going to have a connection to that nostalgic feeling for ‘Looney Tunes,’ that old animated flavor where everything wasn’t squeaky clean, you know? Daffy Duck would get his bill blasted off with double barrel shotguns… That’s what I grew up watching, and being able to play around with that in this hyper-superhero intergalactic universe will be a lot of fun.”
Rocket Raccoon made his debut in comics since 1976, when Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen created him. So there’s a fair amount of history to Rocket… But don’t worry as Young isn’t planning to get too bogged down in continuity too early into this new series.
“I’m trying not to hinge too much on those kinds of things,” Young said. “I’m sure as we get going along, I’ll start seeding some of those things through. But my goal right out of the gate was, let’s take this cool character, run him around a bit and have some fun… And not worry too much about connecting the crazy continuity right out of the.
The first couple of pages, I don’t want to ruin,” Young said laughing. “Usually people don’t want to ruin the last page, but I actually don’t want to ruin the first three pages.”
From the preview pages can see so far at least that Rocket ends up watching an “intergalactic MMA wrestling style match,” where his best bark buddy Groot is fighting a tentacled alien.
“And Rocket is there on a date of sorts,” Young continued. “We’re just having some fun with the idea of the world of space, and a talking raccoon, and a talking tree-like person.“
Fellow Guardians of the Galaxy member Groot was also supposed to be originally in the title of the series. But after talks with with former Marvel Editor (now VP of Marvel Animation) Stephen Wacker, the title and focus shifted.
“I felt that it would be a disservice to that character if we naturally focused on Rocket all the time, and had [Groot] as a side thing, but with his name in the title. But you can’t have one without the other, so he’s not going anywhere. He’s not going to be on every page, but he’s definitely going to play big roles in all the stories I have in mind. He’s definitely going to be his buddy throughout all the stories.”
We also won’t necessarily see Rocket crossing over with Brian Michael Bendis’ current Guardians run right away which also features Rocket and Groot as cast-members.
“So far it’s just been Brian saying, ‘Hey, what’s your Rocket story?’ I ran it by him, and he said, ‘Ah, cool, great stuff, just wanted to make sure I wasn’t stepping on your toes.’ ” Young said. “I’m sure as we get closer to the movie, or if there are some bigger events going down Brian will give me a buzz, and we’ll figure some stuff out there.“
Given the talking fuzzy raccoon and the new movie connection, Young’s and everything else you’d almost be forgiven for thinking that this is just a series for children. Almost …
“I’m not going to go crazy where we’re going to go extremely vulgar or anything, but I did want to play with a bit of that edge,” Young said on the tone of the book. “If you have a character that carries a big gun, a ridiculously, cartoonishly big gun you’ve got to be willing to shoot it.”
But don’t worry, it’s hardly going all Punisher MAX gritty just yet it’s still Skottie Young drawing and writing, with his regular amount of humor, just in a more grown up fashion.
“If you do feel MAX, right away you’re going to get smacked upside with a little laugh, “I don’t think you’ll see any raccoon private parts or anything like that.“
“Rocket Raccon” hits stores everywhere from Marvel Comics on July 2. Here’s the official solicit info from Marvel:
Written & drawn by Skottie Young
As defenders of the cosmos go, Rocket Raccoon has faced his fair share of galactic battles. He’s been a hero to the weak, a champion of good, a protector of the innocent, a heartthrob to the many intergalactic female species and now–a raccoon on the run?! ( I’m sorry, I’m sorry, a “formidable-and-expert-Guardian” on the run. Rocket is NOT a raccoon, okay?) Rocket’s high-flying life of adventure and heroism may soon be a thing of the past when he becomes a wanted man–and the authorities are not the only one on his TAIL! (We’ll definitely be overusing that pun!) Superstar creator Skottie Young brings his A-game as writer and artist on the series we’ve been waiting decades for.