Hugh Likes Comics: Rocket

Rocket #1
Written by Al Ewing
Drawn by Adam Gorham
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There are two ways to look at Rocket #1. On the one hand, this is the second “Rocket #1” to hit shelves this year, and it isn’t even June. Readers could lay that at the feet of Marvel editorial’s constant cycle of resets and reboots, in this case an attempt to catch the wave of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. On the other hand, it’s Rocket doing heists in space with Technet. Technet, you guys!
Technet is one of the lovely bits of obscure Marvel goofiness that just warms my heart. They are a wacky team of Space Mercenaries that served as antagonists for Captain Brittain and Excalibur in the late ’80’s. They all have unusual designs and strange powers, and are just about perfect for a Rocket book that pulls him away from the Guardians.
This comic works because it has a perfect voice and it knows how to use it. This is a beat for beat heist that doesn’t apologize for the over-the-top characters. It opens with Rocket drinking alone in a bar, when a dame in white walks back into his life. The fact that this is a space bar filled crazy aliens, and the dame is an anthropomorphic otter named ‘Otta Spice’ is treated as a given.
The layout and art really make this comic work. Each page is accompanied by a a column of spare prose on the left side that reads like a Parker novel. And the slick suit-and-sunglasses look for Rocket and his crew sells the genre conventions.
Rocket #1 could’ve just been another tie-in cash grab, but by so seamlessly blending archetypal genres, and bringing back some genuinely weird Marvel characters, Ewing and Gorham are starting something special. In the words of Technetter China Doll, it’s “Fun-fun-fun!” You can find it at your local comics shop, or digitally from Comixology.

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