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Rocket Raccoon

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Rocket Raccoon
RR
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Marvel Preview
(Summer 1976)
Created by Bill Mantlo
Keith Giffen
In-story information
Team affiliations Guardians of the Galaxy
Abilities Master tactician and field commander
Expert marksman

Rocket Raccoon is a fictional character, a superhero in the Marvel Comics Universe. He first appeared in Marvel Preview #7 (Summer 1976). Rocket Raccoon is an intelligent, anthropomorphic raccoon.

Publication history

The character was created by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen and consciously inspired by the classic Beatles song "Rocky Raccoon" which included "Gideon's Bible" (in the comic book limited series it was a book that contained the sum of all knowledge on the "loony colony").

Rocket Raccoon first appeared in Marvel Preview #7 (Summer 1976), in the back-up feature The Sword in the Star. He subsequently appeared in The Incredible Hulk #271 (May 1982). He later had his own four-issue limited series (in an afterword to the first issue, Mantlo himself asserted that this was the same character seen in Preview). This limited series was penciled by Mike Mignola and inked by Al Gordon. Issue #3 was inked by Al Milgrom.

Rocket Raccoon continued his new adventures starting in 2008 as a part of the team Guardians of the Galaxy along with other characters from the Annihilation: Conquest series.

Fictional character biography

Rocket Raccoon acts as the "Guardian of the Keystone Quadrant", an area of outer space sealed off from the rest of the cosmos by the so-called Galacian Wall. Rocket is captain of the starship Rack 'n' Ruin, and he and his first mate Wal Russ (a talking walrus) come from the planet Halfworld, in the Keystone Quadrant, an abandoned colony for the mentally ill where the animal companions were genetically manipulated to grant them human level intelligence and bipedal body construction for many to become caretakers of the inmates. Rocket was Halfworld's chief law officer ("ranger") who protected the colony against various threats.

At one point, someone named Judson Jakes tried to steal the Halfworld Bible, but was thwarted by Rocket and the Hulk. Later, someone named Lord Dyvyne abducted Rocket's friend Lylla, and Jakes began the Toy War. As the Toy War continued, Blackjack O'Hare teamed up with Rocket, and Rocket was reunited with Lylla. The Rack 'n' Ruin was soon destroyed, as Judson Jakes and Lord Dyvyne teamed up to kill Rocket Raccoon. Rocket and his friends cured the Loonies of their mental illnesses, as Judson Jakes and Lord Dyvyne were apparently killed. Rocket and the animals and the robots left Halfworld and took off into space for their own adventures. Some time later, Rocket was revealed to have been a laboratory subject on the Stranger's planet, and escaped his captivity there.

During Peter David's run on the Hulk series, Hulk went into space and David cynically addressed reader requests for Rocket's reappearance by implying that he had been killed by the aliens known as the Troyjans, who had a pelt mounted on the wall that looked like Rocket's. With Rocket reappearing alive after this story, it can be assumed that the pelt belonged to a non-sapient raccoon.

In 2007, Rocket Raccoon returned in the Annihilation: Conquest - Star-Lord limited series. Rocket Raccoon is depicted as a gifted military tactician who is also fearless, loyal, and insightful. It is also heavily implied that he has a case of obsessive compulsive disorder. Rocket's trademark rocket skates are absent.

Rocket later joins the new Guardians of the Galaxy at the behest of his friend Starlord. It is he who suggests that the team adopt that moniker after hearing it mentioned by Major Victory. Later on, when the team almost disbands and Peter Quill disappears (sent into the Negative Zone by Ronan), Rocket keeps the team alive and takes over as leader until they rescue Peter. He also brings in Groot as a member, as the two had become firm friends.

When the team tries to halt the growing War of Kings, Rocket decides to lead the team assigned to make contact with the Shi'ar. However, they are unable to teleport into the Emperor Vulcan's flagship and have to be rescued by the Starjammers and his old friend Ch'od. They are able to bring back the rightful queen of the Shi'ar, but she's killed once Rocket had departed, much to his horror.

Months later, after the Guardians dissolved after Peter Quill sacrificed himself against Thanos, a despondent Rocket Raccoon took up a normal job with Timely Inc.

In the Annihilators miniseries, Rocket and Groot were reunited and tricked into returning to Halfworld: here, he found out his memories of the place were mostly half-truths and deliberately crafted fake memories. In reality, Jakes and Blackjack O'Hare had worked with Rocket in providing security at Halfworld Asylum for the Criminally Insane; Doctor Dyvyne had been Head of Psychology there; and both the anthropomorphic animals and the automaton clowns were deliberately created to work at the asylum, as their appearance would calm the inmates. The crises that Rocket half-remembered had been caused by the psychic supervillain the Star Thief, who had been admitted as an inmate and used his psychic powers to turn the inhabitants against each other. Rocket had turned the warders into a biological "key" to keep Star-Thief locked up, and deliberately altered his mind and left Halfworld so it could never be opened - but he was tricked into returning by the Thief, whose mind had escaped into the asylum after his host body died.

Powers and abilities

Rocket Raccoon possesses the normal attributes of an Earth raccoon, including an acute sense of smell, sight, hearing and touch. He is an accomplished starship pilot, an excellent marksman with the two laser pistols he carries as well as having an affinity for heavy weapons. He's also an excellent military tactician and leader, attributes that see him frequently taking charge of the Guardians of the Galaxy when Starlord is unavailable.

In other media

  • Rocket Raccoon is a playable character in the crossover fighting game Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • Rocket Raccoon, along with the other Guardians of the Galaxy, will be appearing in the second season of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

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