Marvel Studios Countdown: Vin Diesel's 'Guardians' Spinoff Talk, Plus: A Rocket and Groot Holiday Guide

Marvel Studios Countdown: Vin Diesel's 'Guardians' Spinoff Talk, Plus: A Rocket and Groot Holiday Guide

Dec 06, 2016

Baby Groot Ravager Suit

Some may question why a studio would pay Vin Diesel to voice one line (“I am Groot”) when that one line is going to be so altered digitally that it no longer sounds like Diesel but instead sounds believable coming out of the sapling version of Groot, but, hey, he’s Groot and that’s that. Diesel is so invested, that he teased to Screen Junkies that he’s delighted at the mere suggestion of a more Groot-centric movie than the ensemble Guardians films. “I think it’s highly possible!” said the movie star to Screen Junkies; a movie star who has teased us before with Marvel news that didn’t pan out (with a possible leading role in The Inhumans, which is no longer a movie).

Diesel goes on to promise that one day Groot will fight Hulk on a poster, so make space on your walls now. He’s obviously Team Groot and it’s a good time to be Team Groot. Marvel’s next big crossover event for 2017 is Monsters Unleashed, and since Groot started as an intergalactic monster in 1960’s Tales to Astonish, the Guardian of the Galaxy will be playing a role in that series. It’ll really be the first time in a long time that Marvel has acknowledge Groot’s, for lack of a better word, roots.

Guardians of the Galaxy is in the unique position of having not one, but two, comic relief computer-generated characters, so where does this leave Rocket Raccoon? Why isn’t Bradley Cooper doing press and dropping bombs about everyone’s favorite Raccoon-like alien gunman? And perhaps most importantly, who steals the new trailer - Rocket or Groot?

(The answer is clearly Drax.)

But we aren’t here to talk about Drax! It’s easy to see tiny Groot as new and adorable but there’s something adorable about Rocket attempting to be a parent to Groot as well. This kind of protective relationship was inspired by the comic books, and it’s nice to see it maintained on film.

We have discussed the Guardians comics at length in the past, but not so much on the solo adventures that came out after the film was a box office smash. You’ll want to start with the Rocket and Groot Ultimate Collection (featuring early work from Hellboy’s Mike Mignola). This contains all of their earliest appearances, before they ever partnered up with the Guardians, and reveals just how far they’ve come to establish themselves as major players in the Marvel Universe.

From there, jump to Rocket Raccoon Vol. 1: A Chasing Tale, a raucous adventure from illustrator Skottie Young. Rocket is framed for a crime he didn’t commit and has to fight to clear his name. This is followed by Vol. 2: Storytailer, as Rocket discovers the truth about his own origin, and whether he truly is the last of his kind. Rocket’s name may be on the covers, but there’s a healthy dose of Groot in there too.

On the flipside, there’s a good amount of Rocket in Groot Vol. 1 too. In Groot’s solo series, he goes looking for a kidnapped Rocket, leading him across Marvel’s cosmic universe, even meeting the Silver Surfer at one point. Though intended as a regular monthly series, Groot’s solo adventures capped out at six issues. Maybe there is only so much you can do with a character who can only say three words.

So, why not team him up with Rocket officially? Rocket Raccon and Groot Vol. 1: Tricks of the Trade finally and officially pairs the duo instead of having the best buds as guest stars in each others’ books. Skottie Young returns to the characters as Groot tries to figure out how and why Rocket has adopted the alter ego of evil emperor Lord RakZoon.

Consider this your unofficial “Holiday Buyers’ Guide” to more Groot and Rocket than you are humanly capable of handling. Read them slowly; savor them, because May 2017 is so far away and it’s gonna be a long, hard winter without that movie in front of our eyeballs.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, a James Gunn film starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, is coming May 5, 2017. There are 149 days until release.

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