It’s an amazing testament to the versatility of the character that Rocket Raccoon is fast reaching Wolverine/Deadpool levels of crossover/guest appearances and still hasn’t worn out his welcome. Every writer has a different, surprisingly nuanced take on the little furball and every writer seems to find a way to slot him into their narrative, whether ongoing or temporary, with surprising ease. Kelly-Sue Deconnick’s already shown herself fully capable of using Rocket as a foil for Captain Marvel and there’s no reason to believe he wouldn’t be making a return. When Danvers goes to pick up her old ship, with its old “crew,” she finds the not-raccoon there attending to everything as best he can, which turns out to be surprisingly well. Things quickly deteriorate, however, as Rocket’s declaration that Chewie is a “flerken” turns out to be more than just a futuristic space insult. Deconnick reminds readers that, while this book and her writing on it are definitely known for their whimsical, wonderful tone, she knows how to make things dramatic and serious with incredible economy. After a gut-punch of an opener, we return to much more amusing things as Tic (remember her? From Torfan?) makes her presence felt both to Danvers and Rocket while playing both peacekeeper and catsitter as the two bicker.
Marcio Takara steps in on art and makes a phenomenal first impression. His linework gives the book a breezy, fluid feel that makes it beautiful to watch, but he also knows how to make the hits look hard and the blasts look spectacular. From the book’s bizarre opening to its even MORE bizarre close, the visuals are sharp and bright, the latter owing a great deal to series regular Lee Loughridge on colors. The setting of this book is darker than previously in the series, the lights don’t work for a great deal of it, but Loughridge never loses sight of keeping things upbeat and colorful. Even when we’re looking through the lens of shadow.
The art is occasionally overly sketchy, particularly in the inking, giving the characters a somewhat ill-defined or nebulous look in a few. Apart from that (and even THAT’S a small matter) I’m having a hard time coming up with anything I actively disliked about this issue.
Captain Marvel is on her way home, but I’m glad she gets to have an adventure or two before arriving there. After the last arc’s more somber, sober tone and subject matter, it feels good to get back to a more madcap tale full of hijinks than something that involves the greater antagonists of the Marvel Universe. We get some great insight into Captain Danvers’ inner-workings, specifically her anxieties, and that makes for some great, if fleeting, drama and the new artist is doing a fantastic job establishing himself on the title. This issue defines a great jumping-on point but there’s also plenty for longtime fans to sink their teeth into.