Rocket Raccoon And Groot #8-10: Civil War II, Gwenpool, And Baby Powder

I find it interesting to see how different writers portray characters. They may choose to focus on certain aspects of their personality and leave other portions out. Spider-Man, for example, is portrayed as a jokester in a great deal of his appearances, but also as a mentor or a newbie, depending on who he is teaming up with. Deadpool is another good example. An author might write him in purely for a quick chimichanga or fourth wall gag and never use him again. Wolverine has  been written in many different ways, such as a rage machine, regretful and reluctant hero, grumpy jerk, or even a wise mentor to younger heroes. Given Gwenpool’s unique status as a Deadpool-type character, I thought it would be fun to review her guest arc in the final issues of Rocket Raccoon And Groot to see Nick Kocher’s interpretation of the character.
The three-part arc has Rocket Raccoon and Groot completely ignoring Captain Marvel’s orders so they can settle a personal grudge. On the way to catch a baby powder-nabbing alien crook, they meet up with Gwenpool. This scene from the second part sums up the arc’s actual connection with Civil War II quite nicely.

Fun fact: Captain Cannon and Lady Fodder are going to be introduced and die in Marvel's next summer event.
Personally, I have no problem with the tie-in not having a lot to do with Civil War II. It’s a fun way to introduce new readers to Rocket Raccoon and Groot, as well as an excuse for shenanigans with characters interacting who might never meet in an ordinary situation.

All in all, the trilogy is pretty funny, with Rocket and Groot going off on their usual shenanigans, but having to deal with Gwenpool’s interference. I love seeing Captain Marvel’s increasingly frustrated reactions to Rocket’s idiocy and some jokes made about a certain Marvel writer. The ultimate villain of the story starts off rather annoying, but becomes fairly credible by the end. I do have some issues with a few of the jokes, however. At one point, Gwenpool’s costume gets destroyed and she begins insulting the author for promoting violence against women. I think I understand the point that Nick is trying to make with the panel, but it still feels awkward. I also don’t like a brief dysmorphia reference in regards to Rocket Raccoon because it comes off as mean-spirited rather than poking fun at Rocket.

To lend some context to my complaints, the joke making fun of the trend of having female characters end up in skimpy outfits doesn't really do much to negate it. Instead, it's briefly commented on, and then Gwenpool ends up in that same outfit for much of the next issue, until she hastily buys a t-shirt at an airport. I think it would have been funnier and more subversive if, in the case that the accident still had to rip her costume, there would be ostentatious censor bars. Alternately, maybe it would blow Rocket's fur off, reversing the situation. Then Gwenpool could make some comment about it being like a cartoon.

As for the dysmorphia joke, all three issues have a running joke of Rocket Raccoon recounting highly inaccurate flashbacks about previous events. Instead of looking like a standard Earth raccoon, he's presented as looking like Steve Rogers, post-transformation. It's just meant to be a joke about Rocket's inflated ego and sense of self. After the most recent flashback, Gwen comments, "So he's definitely got some body dysmorphia issues, huh? Because he is not nearly that muscular." The comment turns an innocuous running joke into a mildly tasteless comment about real-life sufferers of the condition.

I’ll miss having a buddy comic starring two of the weirdest Marvel characters in the galaxy, but the upcoming Rocket solo series looks to be fun.

Rocket Raccoon And Groot issues 8-10 can be found at your local comic book shop. The arc is penned by Nick Kocher and drawn by Michael Walsh.

Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or Harry Potter books.