Writer Donny Cates
Artist Cory Smith
Colorist David Curiel
Letterer VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Artists Mike Henderson & Dean White
80th Anniversary Frame Variant Cover Artists
Chris Stevens & Jason Heith; Mike McHone & Edgar Delgado
Rocket Raccoon is looking sick, skinny, tired, and almost ready to cross the River Styx. The procedures and processes that uplifted him from a simple animal to a sentient, large-caliber loving, big word using maniac are starting to break down. We learn this right in the beginning of the book through Donny Cates pen, a strong pen, and Cory Smith’s art as brought to life with David Curiel’s colorwork, both equally as strong as Cates pen.
A good example of the job that Mr. Cates is doing was on display as Cosmo, the USSR space dog, is speaking telepathically with Lockjaw, the Inhuman teleporting dog. Cosmo becomes overwhelmed with the honor of meeting Lockjaw and shows him his belly. Lockjaw, then in turn tells him “…you show your belly to no one,” while reading this I was giggling a little bit as my love for these characters grew a bit larger. My giggles turned into guffaws as I read Star-Lord’s response to observing their interaction. I can’t spoil anymore of that exchange because you should read it for yourself. There were more than a few times during the book that either made me laugh, or even a little sad. Kudos to Mr. Cates, he’s doing this book right.
This was a good book to read, and for more than Donny Cates showing us his love of the Guardians. Cory Smith and David Curiel have really made a beautiful book, their takes on the characters and space-environs are lush, dense and bright. The pencilwork has much going on, without any feel of clutter or a lack of clear definition to what’s being shown. One page that really stuck out to me as a great exhibit of what I’m liking about Cory Smith in particular was the two page spash showing the different Eras and wars Rocket has been a part of. A close second was the full-page reveal of Rockets Gundam-style battlesuit. Wow, there was a lot going on with those pages, I loved it.
The colorwork in this book was exactly what I love in a good Cosmic book, or any sci fi book, bright, clean, and bold. A good colorist adds more to the art than just color, he’ll add things that weren’t there before his turn, and amplify what the penciler started, Curiel did both. I especially liked the purples and pinks used in certain panels, they really made the art pop.
When your a dying Space Raccoon without much time left, make sure that before you serve up some deserved comeuppance to your enemies, that you get this book and…