I Am Groot comes from writer Chris Hastings (Gwenpool, The Unbelievable) and artist Flaviano. The series sees Groot at less than full size and stranded on a desolate planet billions of light years away from the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy and follows him as he tries to make his way home.
ComicBook.com spoke to Hastings via email about his plans for I Am Groot.
In a broad sense, what is the story you're telling in I Am Groot?
Chris Hastings: I'm excited to take the very cute, very small Groot and completely remove him from the comfort zone of the Guardians of the Galaxy (which is already kind of limited, comfort wise). He's stranded in an extremely strange land and must find a way back home, with no way for anyone to understand him.
What is it that most interests you about Groot as a character?
CH: The immediate initial draw is that this little Groot is super cute and really funny. But it really was his limited abilities to communicate that the story grew out of. I started thinking about the Zelda games that Link doesn't talk in, and why they manage to have such rich worlds and stories all the same, how to take something like that mute first person character experience and translate it into a comic.
As a character, how does Groot alone compare to Groot as 1/5th of the Guardians of the Galaxy? Which is more his comfort zone?
CH: He's certainly more comfortable with this "family" (as dysfunctional as that family may be). Without Rocket to translate for him, we actually get to see a bit more of Groot since it's not being told through another character's perspective.
Will Groot be alone through this series, or will we see him building up a supporting cast of his own?
CH: Oh, he'll certainly be meeting other denizens of this planet along the way. Flaviano just sent in sketches of a simultaneously adorable and disturbing pug-like creature that befriends Groot, for starters.
How does Groot's size effect the tone of this series?
CH: Everything is bigger and scarier than him, but sometimes he just doesn't really care. So it's a very creepy world, but this funny little twerp just runs right through it.
What can you say about the series' antagonists? Or is this more of a "man vs. wild" kind of scenario?
CH: The conflict is more comfort and stagnation vs. growth and fear. The denizens of this new planet are fine with its decrepit state, and not uncovering it's potentially dangerous or life-saving secrets. Groot's showing up to just mess ALL of that up.
Groot is an interesting character when it comes to dialog. We've seen some creative approaches to dealing with that in past Groot series. How have you approached it?
CH: I think very carefully about which part of "I am Groot" gets bolded. Okay, that's not the entire solution. There's a lot of character acting! Flaviano draws Groot very expressively, and I'm very comfortable writing comics where plenty of story happens, but not a lot of words are said.
What can you say about the setting of I Am Groot?
CH: It's a planet that none of the Guardians (or readers for that matter) have ever seen before. There are hints of a society that has been long forgotten, and Groot will have to unlock the planet's secrets in order to get home. Those interested in keeping things the way they are will be fighting him the whole way.
What is Flaviano bringing to the series in terms of style, tone, and storytelling compared to other artists?
CH: Flaviano has a very good eye for the strange and specific design of this sci-fi/fantasy world. And his characters are very expressive, which is so important with the language barriers involved with Groot. Also, his Groot is ADORABLE.
Are there any last teases you'd like to leave readers with?
CH: Comic readers are always way too good at guessing twists and secrets, but I will be VERY impressed if anyone guesses the secret to the world Groot lands on before it is revealed.
I Am Groot #1 goes on sale in May. Official details and the issue's cover, by Marco D'Alfonso, can be found below.
I AM GROOT #1
CHRISTOPHER HASTINGS (W) • FLAVIANO (A)
Cover by Marco D'ALFONSO
Variant cover by Jay Fosgitt
VARIANT COVER BY TBA
HIP-HOP VARIANT COVER BY TBA
YOUNG VARIANT COVER BY SKOTTIE YOUNG (NEW)
YOUNG VARIANT COVER BY SKOTTIE YOUNG (ORIGINAL)
NIGHT NIGHT GROOT VARIANT COVER ALSO AVAILABLE
GROOT IN HIS OWN SERIES, SMALLER AND BETTER THAN EVER!
When the Guardians of the Galaxy get caught in a wormhole, a smaller-than-normal Groot is separated billions of light-years away from the team. Falling to a planet below, Groot discovers he is on an entirely alien and unknown world full of strange creatures and societies. Seriously underdeveloped and with nobody who can understand him, Groot will need to make the journey to the center of this world and find the way back to his family!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99