Skottie Young and Filipe Andrade continue the exploits of these two Guardians of the Galaxy in their own spotlight series!
Luke and Danny. Logan and Kurt. Peter and Johnny. Cable and Deadpool.
Famous buddy duos fill the Marvel Universe, but only one such bromance consists of an anthropomorphic raccoon and a talking tree.
After making their big-screen debut last year in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” and headlining their own solo comics—ROCKET RACCOON and GROOT, respectively—everyone’s favorite space-faring duo return this fall in an All-New, All-Different ongoing series, ROCKET RACCOON AND GROOT, by Skottie Young and Filipe Andrade.
Young’s very familiar with the pair already, having written 11 issues of ROCKET RACCOON, many of which he also drew. Over the course of the series, the writer sent Rocket and occasionally Groot to some pretty far-out places. So where does he plan to take them this time around?
“Even more far-outer places—is that a word?” Young asks. “Sure, let’s make it a word. More far-outer.”
Rocket and Groot will visit those “far-outer” places in shorter, one-to-two-issue story arcs.
“The first time around, I started [ROCKET RACCOON] out with a four-issue story arc; I enjoyed doing that but also felt antsy to tell more stories,” Young explains. “So after I finished the original story arc, I start writing more one and two-shots. I loved diving into new tales with each issue and really letting Rocket have some fun out in the galaxy. This time around, I’ll be sticking with that formula the whole time—really just leaning into the shorter stories. I think this helps our book stay open for new readers, offers something a bit different than the other longer arc books from Marvel and will let me give Filipe a ton of different fun things to draw. We all win!”
Andrade’s no stranger to the heroes either, having worked with Young on issues #7 and #8 of ROCKET RACCOON, which featured Rocket on a quest to save a poisoned Groot. Coming off a more serious Secret Wars project, SIEGE, Andrade admits he’s looking forward to the lighter tone of ROCKET RACCOON AND GROOT.
“It feels good to be back,” the artist shares. “Not that I didn’t like [working] on SIEGE, but Rocket and Groot is a more ‘free flow’ and funny type of story.”
“Filipe brings the mother [expletive deleted] pain,” Young exclaims about his collaborator. “This guy is just amazing. Like…amazing. I’ve been a fan of Filipe for so long, and he was one of the first names I brought up when I knew I’d be handing over the art chores. His figures have such interesting shapes and lines; they feel out of this world. For a book that literally takes place out of this world, he’s perfect fit.”
Colorist Jean-Francois Beaulieu also returns to the fold to round out the art team.
“He’s been with me on every book for 10 years,” Young says. “So now, as a writer, it’s great to see him on a book making a master like Filipe sing. I’m a lucky guy.”
But while it’s a homecoming in many regards, other things have changed – for one thing, the title of the comic has grown, as Groot’s role expands.
“[Yes], there will be more Groot,” Young vows. “Issue #5 of ROCKET RACCOON was my favorite, and I’m already thinking on how to top that one.”
Finally, a new editor, Jake Thomas, joins the team.
“When my long-time editor, Sana [Amanat] got promoted to Grand High Queen of All the Stuff, I was left out in the wilderness,” Young explains. “Cold, alone and lacking the proper knowledge of all that juicy Marvel cosmic world stuff. I was in need of a new editor. At the retreats, there’s always a voice that pops up with great solutions when we find ourselves in tough spots. That voice belongs to Jake Thomas. I started my threats like any diva should, and Jake is now on board to edit the series. I plan on tapping his vast knowledge of all the comics. Literally, I’ve seen pictures. He has all the comics. It will make for some fun comics.”
Thomas shares that the first story riffs on movies like “Memento” and television shows like “Prison Break.”
“Rocket Raccoon is a Big Bad Crime Lord, who is running a crime empire but has no memory of who he is or where he came from,” Thomas reveals. “Groot will have a bunch of crazy symbols carved into his bark like tattoos that are clues to who Rocket is and what happened to him to turn him into this.” He promises future arcs will tell self-contained stories that feature “crazy riffs on genre tropes, insane space adventure and snarky bad-guy whoopin’.”
In addition to SIEGE, Andrade also recently contributed his energetic line work and eye for fine detail to Marvel’s FIGMENT comic, both of which gave him the opportunity to explore some crazy environments. ROCKET RACCOON AND GROOT provides the artist another canvas to bring fun, crazy and weird characters to life:
“Sometimes I feel I would like to draw more Marvel characters in urban ambiences, but it’s really great to have the chance to use my vision to create crazy monsters, aliens, or even cities and different environments; in that way, [ROCKET RACCOON AND GROOT] is the perfect comic to [bring out] my concept designer side.”
Andrade enjoys working with Young, a fellow artist.
“I like the way Skottie writes,” he says. “He is an artist too, and I feel a different approach a little bit. Skottie’s scripts always have really fun moments to work on; I think we worked well together on our last two ROCKET RACOON issues. I am just expecting the best for this run.”
“As an artist for 15 years, I know what it’s like to put in that time day in and day out,” adds Young. “So I want to make sure we tell fun, engaging stories that get the reader involved, but also keep the artist excited to get to the table. It’s easy for me to talk with the artists and study their previous work and know what their strengths are. Jake [Parker, who worked with Young on the previous series] is a master of robots, so I wrote him a lot of robots. Filipe is great with scope, funky character design and insanely fluid action, so I try to focus on that for him. Here’s the thing: I love Filipe’s work. I want to write the stuff for him that I want to look at and read. I’m a selfish bastard.”
As for whether Young will contribute any art to the book, he says he’s not on the schedule right now, but to “never say never.”
“I have a lot on my plate right now, one of those things being a newborn baby boy, so I’m trying to keep a balance. Right now I’m just going to be focus on trying to live up to Filipe and make sure he’s happy working on this book with me.”
Take off with ROCKET RACCOON AND GROOT in December, and keep checking back on Marvel.com for the newest updates on All-New, All-Different Marvel!