Saturday, 22 February 2014

70s Saturday Sci-Fi Scans

Today's Swiss Army knife post is a book review, a movie preview and a 70s Sci fi scan, because the 70s could only have produced...

Rocket Raccoon

I have been gamely trying to get through this book since I bought it in November and really pushed to try and finish the original comics collected in Rocket Raccoon and Groot. It was one of those titles I had often heard about, but didn't want to spend hours digging for every year the local comic expo rolls around. Marvel has saved me from boxes of dusty newsprint by thoughtfully combining the original Groot comic, Rocket Raccoon comics and part of the new GotG series together in one volume.

Now, part of the excitement is that Bradley Cooper will be providing the voice for the plucky procyon lotor in Guardians of the Galaxy this summer. My anticipation for it has been been up and down - nothing is worse than a bad comic book movie after all - but then I found out Vin Diesel is voicing Groot. Groot is a tree. Let me rephrase that: One of my favourite actors is playing a CGI tree. 

The new trailer is out and I don't know what to think:

But let's dial back to the mists of time, when Groot first appeared in 1960. There's something dorky about a sentient space tree that terrorizes a town, and he meets a predictable, goofy end. Rocket shows up in 1976 with his furry pals, who are the guardians of the Keystone Quadrant and protectors of the Loonies - mentally ill people who...well, I really don't know what they do except bounce around in straitjackets. They all live on a planet called Halfworld, where competing toy companies start a war. Colourful, weird and punny sum up the original comics. At times they were almost unreadable, but then I went through a box of old Thor issues and realized it was just the style at the time - it was I, the reader who had changed! I can appreciate the editorial and creative freedom that abounded.

Even though the 2008-2010 comic version of Guardians of the Galaxy is slicker and well, more coherent in its narrative, it's hard to beat the sheer gleefulness of the 1970s series. Eye popping colour, dynamic action and a whole lot of weird, is something that comics have lost. The whole "dark and gritty" thing can get pretty old. Just look at this scene - killer clown tanks! Banana bombs! What?! There's creating something to send a message, and then there's creating a work just for the sheer fun of it. In that case, it's mission accomplished for Rocket Raccoon :-)

Click on over to Comixology where you can download the issues for your mobile device or just marvel (heh!) at the previews. I suppose I'll be back in a few more months reviewing the movie - until then, I'm going to try and figure out how they're going to make a cross-over with the Avengers ;-)