Written by: Jeff Loveness
Art by: Brian Kesinger
The breakout character of the 2014 Guardian of the Galaxy film has finally received his own solo issue. Although this is Groot’s solo debut, it also heavily features Rocket Racoon. This doesn’t exactly tear away from being Groot’s story, but portrays Rocket, more-or-less, as a translator for the readers, as Groot is limited by his three word vocabulary.
When we are first introduced to the duo, they are hitchhiking throughout space on their way to Earth, per Groot’s request. They are vehicle-less, hungry and just floating into the dark abyss called space. Along the way they encounter a series of unfortunate but comedic events.
Loveness perfectly portrays Groot’s beautiful, childlike curiosity on life and Rocket’s hot-tempered shoot-first-ask-questions-later mentality. Along their journey, the two come across Skrulls, Space Sharks, Aliens who try to rob them and Bounty Hunters. Despite all this, most of the real conflict comes from the playful bickering between the two friends. One of the standout scenes in the issue, in this regard, came from the diner scene as Groot and Rocket dig deeper as to why Rocket has no interest to go to Earth. Also, Without giving away too much, there is a hilarious not-so-subtle riff on the Superman mythos.
The Art style is reminiscent of Skottie Young’s run during the Rocket Racoon series and utterly compliments Loveness’ storytelling. Kesiner’s art is brilliant and the portrayal of Groot is something to note. Even without Rocket around as his translator, Kesinger nails Groot’s facial expressions conveying what exactly Groot means almost every time he says “I Am Groot”.
Whether or not you are a comic book fan, I would recommend this story line due to it’s comedic take. This is a story of two hitchhiking best buds getting into shenanigans, think Dumb and Dumber or National Lampoons Vacation. For the younger audiences, think Gumball and Darwin.
Normally I would recommend this issue for all ages, but keep in mind Rocket’s favorite word in this issue is “flark” which is an alien-cuss word, that sounds awfully familiar to one of our own. He uses this word nearly as frequently as Groot says his signature three words.
If you are not familiar with the Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot #1 is a great issue to begin your introduction. If all else, you’ll get a good laugh out of it.