There’s a Guardians of the Galaxy animated series set to premiere on Disney XD, which I think is Disney‘s channel geared more towards tweens. The first that was seen of this show was months ago when the series was announced–along with an animation test which featured Rocket Raccoon–at the New York Comic Convention. More recently it’s been announced that voice actor Trevor Devall will voice Rocket in this upcoming series. He also did Rocket Raccoon’s voice acting during the character’s appearances in the Avenger’s Assemble series (which had such a painfully cheesy theme song.) However, I have one major problem with this news: it’s announcement video (see below.)
Did you hear that at the end? He said he’s happy to be voice of the most “lovable and heavily armed rodent in all of the Marvel universe.”
I will have you know, sir, that raccoons are members of the order Carnivora, which includes canines, felines and bears. Rodents are a different order of mammals altogether. While Rocket Raccoon is referred to as “rodent” in the movie, it’s by characters who are ignorant of his place in the animal kingdom or are being insulting to him.
If I were a lesser person, I would demand his head on a pike for this outrage. Instead, I merely ask that he be stripped be fired from this job and made to walk the streets for a little while, holding a sign that says “Raccoons are not rodents.”
As if that weren’t enough, however, comes the news that the Rocket Raccoon solo comic book series is being “temporarily” cancelled and replaced by a Groot series while the crossover event Secret Wars (what year is this?) at Marvel.
My favorite superheroine is Powergirl, and not just for the obvious reason(s.) Sadly, my second favorite is She-Hulk, which I could also be accused of liking for the obvious reason(s.) But hey, their designs help.
As characters with some pretty screwed up continuities, they’re both written as fairly meta in their respective universes (She-Hulk much more so, which leads to some really fun stories.) Powergirl, with an origin that mirrors that of Supergirl, often needs to be written specifically to avoid nothing other than “Supergirl, but older.” This results in the character usually being portrayed as more aggressive than the typical superhero. One that’s a little more willing to bend the rules in order to achieve her ends, such as using heat vision to cut off a villain’s arm in order to make a point.
But that’s not why I’m a fan of this character, although it is refreshing to see one willing to go to extremes to get shit done rather than faff about the morality of their actions. No, my favorite thing about her is that they’re also willing to write her as something of a bitch. Not in the “empowered woman showing the world what’s what” way or in the “I’m normally good so the only reason I might be unpleasant is if an extra dimensional being is secretly controlling me” way (an oddly frequent occurrence in comic books) but in the straight up “god dammit, sometimes people just annoy me” way.
Like the above display from Wonder Woman (volume 3) #41 where, unfortunately, Power Girl is being controlled by a group of psychic children. However, while they’re controlling her actions they don’t have power over her mind. The inner dialogue of Power Girl’s is genuinely the character’s, and they reveal a wonderfully relatable character at that! Power Girl is shown to be capable of straight up pettiness. An inner desire to tear down the facade of the ostensibly perfect Wonder Woman for no real reason other than she’s there and just so damn annoyingly perfect all the time.
It’s always been the dichotomy of DC’s stable of character versus Marvel’s that the DC characters are always so perfect. The “Trinity” of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are such flawless heroes that there’s no room for anyone to be a fan because they identify with the character, but because they’re in awe of the character. Stan Lee’s whole point of the X-Men or Spiderman was that before they were superheroes, they were people, just like the readers. Power Girl is the rare opportunity for what is ostensibly a Marvel character (because she has personality) to be in the DC Universe.
First was an article from the New York Times about how a co-creator of Rocket Raccoon, Bill Mantlo, was unable to attend a public screening of the movie and instead got to watch a private one arranged by Marvel (owned by Disney.) Ever since a car accident in 1992 he’s been in care at a nursing home and reliant on medicaid and contributions from fans to afford his medical bills. This touched off on a discussion of creators’ rights in the regards to the Big 2 comic publishers.
The second article that caught my interest was Scientific American‘s discussion of raccoon intelligence and the potential to make animals as smart as humans. I didn’t know that experiments had been done involving mice and grafting human brain tissue in theirs. It had some interesting effects, but was a far cry from achieving any real anthropomorphism.
On July 2nd the first issue of Marvel’s new Rocket Raccoon series came out. Trying to capitalize on the hype just before the release of Guardians of the Galaxy in a couple of weeks, along with the just launched Legendary Star-Lord comic, this series is currently being written and illustrated by Skottie Young. I like the choice of going with a more cartoony style for this comic, as it’s very difficult to sell such a silly character with a darker, grittier look. It’s also why I’m a big fan of IDW‘s current Ghostbusters series, drawn by Dan Schoening, which looks more like a Real Ghostbusters series and does a better job at conveying the humor of Ghostbusters better than many previous series I’ve seen, which skewed more towards moody and occasionally oppressive art, favoring the horror aspect of the property (a mistake, in my opinion, as horror is easy to find anywhere else.) And we really need to get over this idiotic “he’s not a raccoon” nonsense.
I’m also super psyched by the abundance of Rocket Raccoon merchandise out there.
And a She-Hulk/Rocket Raccoon team up … make it happen.
Free Comic Book Day (or FCBD to those in the know) was never such a pain in the neck for me in previous years. Of course, in previous years, I was always elsewhere (New Jersey and then Virginia after that.) The comic book scene here in the Denver area is a little sparse in comparison, with the market dominated by the local chain, Mile High Comics (but in their defense, their flagship store is gargantuanly huge.) They were also able to attract the biggest star to the area, for a comic shop at any rate, by managing to snag Henry Winkler, promoting his children’s books series about a kid with dyslexia. Of course, if you really wanted to see famous people, you’d be better off at Starfest this weekend.
Anyway, this year’s FCBD taught me something important: this event isn’t for me. Oh, sure, there’s an aspect of the limited edition-ness of the comics that should appeal to the collector lust in me, but in the end, waiting in a line with hundreds of parents and their kids–who wouldn’t give comics a passing notice any other day of the year–just isn’t worth the effort to me. In previous years, getting ahold of the comics was as easy as walking into the store, grabbing whatever you wanted, and leaving. Maybe, if the store was having a big sale in conjunction with the event, you’d look around to take advantage of the deals.
It’s just not worth the effort for these free comics.
Hell, even with Mile High Comics running a BOGO promotion on hardcover comics and TPBs I felt I wasted my time trying to find something to spend money on. Even as big a store as they had, I couldn’t find enough of the dozen or comics I was interested in to warrant a purchase. I suppose it’s just the traditional pain in the ass of dealing with brick and mortar retail.
I’m going to have to sit this event out next year. And continue to shift my buying toward digital comics or ordering through Amazon. I know, I’m the cancer killing comic book stores, but I’ve been left with no other choice.
BTW: Am I the only one weirded out by the number of kids who are totally familiar with The Walking Dead? There’s some extreme stuff going on in that show (you know, the moments that break up the way long periods of absolute boredom) and I didn’t think parents would let their kids watch it. Oh well, changing times.