by Jai Hutchison
We’ve been hearing a lot from the Guardians of the Galaxy lately. We’ve had ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ hit cinemas, as well as a variety of comics; new ‘Thanos’, ‘Star-Lord’ and ‘Gamora’ were released at the end of last year and now ‘Rocket,’ ‘All-New Guardians of the Galaxy’, and ‘I Am Groot’ have hit the shelves too! If like me you love these guys and can’t get enough, then you’ll love all these extras.
‘I Am Groot #1’ stars the loveable Groot in his bambino form; tying in nicely with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ and ‘All-New Guardians of the Galaxy’ where he is also featured in his smaller stature. This first issue sees our guardians getting into trouble when Groot steers them into a wormhole. While the team try to figure out a way back to a part of the galaxy that they recognise, Groot tries to take matters into his own vines and rather than fixing things, he gets himself into more mischief by launching an escape pod and becoming separated billions of light-years away from his fellow guardians. Stranded and alone, but relieved to be alive; Groot discovers another being on this strange planet, Buddy. However, it becomes quickly apparent that Buddy cannot understand Groot but does however appear to be an ally. For now Groot is stuck here in this unknown world that Buddy refers to as Terminal. Is it safe? Is Buddy really an ally? And how will Groot get back to his fellow guardians? I am really looking forward to continuing with this series and finding out.
I had expected to find this comic a little frustrating when I had the realisation that Groot’s well-known and only phrase “I Am Groot” would obviously be all that he would be saying. I wondered if this would work in a comic all about him, and I was curious to see how it would play out. The writer on this series Christopher Hastings said in an interview with Comicbook.com that Groot’s limited vocabulary was one of the things about the little guy that drew him to the character, and that the story really grew and developed from Groot’s limited ability to communicate.
Artist Flaviano does a great job of making Groot’s character work, and gives him a variety of detailed facial expressions and emotions, which provide the reader more in-depth information about each situation enabling us to understand Groot better in each predicament he gets in to. In an interview with CBR, Hastings talks about Groot’s limited vocabulary, creating comics without text and Flaviano’s ability to make this work for the ‘I Am Groot’ series. Hastings draws on skills from his previous training as a Cartooning student at the School of Visual Arts, where in his first year he was prohibited from using words in his comics, encouraging him to focus on the visuals.
Flaviano’s artwork throughout the comic is stunning. It has a psychedelic vibe with intense colours and surreal environments. He draws Groot in a fantastically expressive manner; in fact he draws the entire comic in a beautifully expressive manner that allows a story to unfold with such few words. In an interview with Marvel.com Flaviano talks about what it was like getting to create a whole new world for Groot on this project, one he got to create from scratch and also bring in new and exciting characters; Flaviano calls it a dream come true for an artist. So far we have only had a glimpse into the world he is creating for this series and I’m excited to see what else is to come.
‘I Am Groot’ is a fun and mischievous addition to the Guardians franchise and I really enjoyed the first issue. I am excited to see more superb artwork from Flaviano, and I am also excited to find out how Baby Groot will get himself out of this situation, and no doubt into many more similar if not trickier situations.