Rocket Raccoon on the cover of
Annihilation: Conquest - Star-Lord #2
Art by Nic Klein
|First appearance||Marvel Preview #7 (Summer 1976)|
|Created by||Bill Mantlo|
|Place of origin||Halfworld|
|Team affiliations||Guardians of the Galaxy|
|Notable aliases||Rocky Raccoon, Ranger Rocket|
Rocket Raccoon is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Bill Mantlo and artist Keith Giffen, the character first appeared in Marvel Preview #7 (Summer 1976). He is an intelligent, anthropomorphic raccoon, who is an expert marksman, weapon specialist and master tactician. His name and aspects of his character are a nod to The Beatles' 1968 song "Rocky Raccoon". Rocket Raccoon appeared as a prominent member in the 2008 relaunch of the superhero team Guardians of the Galaxy.
The character has appeared in several media adaptations as a member of that team, including animated television series, toys and video games. He appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). In these appearances, Rocket Raccoon is voiced by Bradley Cooper, with motion capture provided by Sean Gunn.
The character was created by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen, and inspired by the Beatles song "Rocky Raccoon". Other references to the song were featured in Rocket's appearance in The Incredible Hulk #271 (May 1982), which was titled "Now Somewhere In the Black Holes of Sirius Major There Lived a Young Boy Named Rocket Raccoon" and saw the Hulk help Rocket stop a villain trying to steal "Gideon's Bible", which in the Marvel Universe was a book that contained the sum of all knowledge on the Loonies colony.
Rocket Raccoon first appeared in Marvel Preview #7 (Summer 1976), in the back-up feature "The Sword in the Star", under the name "Rocky". He would next appear in The Incredible Hulk #271 (May 1982), where it is learned that "Rocky" is short for "Rocket". In 1985, he received his own four-issue limited series and in an afterword to the first issue, Mantlo himself asserted that this was the same character seen in Preview, penciled by Mike Mignola and inked by Al Gordon with Al Milgrom. Rocket appeared in Quasar #15 in 1990 and later appeared in three issues of Sensational She-Hulk in 1992 (#44–46). The character only appeared in a total of ten comic books in his first thirty years of existence.
Besides a brief appearance in a 2006 issue of Exiles, Rocket Raccoon was next seen in 2007's Annihilation: Conquest and Annihilation: Conquest - Star-Lord limited series, and their spin-off series, a new volume of Guardians of the Galaxy. He remained a regular member of the series cast until it was canceled with issue #25 in 2010, also appearing in the follow-up limited series The Thanos Imperative. Along with fellow Guardian Groot, Rocket starred in backup features in Annihilators #1–4 (May 2011 – August 2011) and Annihilators: Earthfall #1–4 (November 2011 – February 2012 ).
Rocket Raccoon, along with the other members of the Guardians, appeared in issues #4-8 of Avengers Assemble, a series intended as a jumping-on point for fans of the film The Avengers. He appears prominently in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3, a part of the 2012 Marvel NOW! relaunch.
In February 2014, it was announced that Skottie Young will be the writer and artist for a Rocket Raccoon ongoing series. The series began in July 2014, with the first issue selling over 300,000 copies. Jake Parker replaced Young as the artist beginning with issue #5. The series ended in May 2015 as one of many titles to be cancelled for Marvel's Secret Wars event. A new volume, titled Rocket Raccoon and Groot, began in January 2016 as part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel relaunch.
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 Rus (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, Judson Jakes tried to steal the Halfworld Bible, but was thwarted by Rocket and various animal associates. Later, Lord Dyvyne abducted Rocket's friend Lylla Otter, 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 Raccoon and his friends cured the Loonies of their mental illnesses, as Judson Jakes and Lord Dyvyne were apparently killed. Rocket and the animals as well as 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.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Rocket Raccoon resurfaced as a member of the team chosen to accompany Star-Lord on his mission to stop a Phalanx infiltration of the Kree homeworld. Rocket is depicted as a gifted military tactician who is fearless, loyal, and insightful. It is heavily implied that he has a case of obsessive compulsive disorder. Rocket's trademark rocket skates are absent.
Rocket joins the new Guardians of the Galaxy at the behest of his friend Star-Lord. It is he who suggests that the team adopt that moniker after hearing it mentioned by Major Victory. Later, when the team almost disbands and Peter Quill (Star-Lord) disappears (sent into the Negative Zone by Ronan), Rocket keeps the team alive, and brings in Groot as member, as they had become firm friends. Rocket takes over as leader until they rescue Peter and save the Earth from an alien invasion. When the team tries to halt the growing War of Kings, Rocket leads the portion of the team assigned to make contact with the Shi'ar. They are unable to teleport into the Emperor Vulcan's flagship and have to be rescued by the Starjammers and Rocket's old friend Ch'od. They are able to bring back the rightful queen of the Shi'ar, but she is killed after Rocket departs, much to his horror.
After the Guardians disband, Rocket Raccoon takes up a normal job with Timely Inc. He and Groot were reunited and tricked into returning to Halfworld: there, he found that 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.
When the Guardians of the Galaxy title was relaunched in 2013, Rocket was again a member of the team.
All-New, All-Different Marvel
During the crisis in Avengers: No Road Home when light itself was nearly destroyed by the ancient Greek goddess of darkness Nyx, Rocket was one of the heroes who were inadvertently assembled to fight her, including Hawkeye, Hercules, Hulk, the Scarlet Witch, Spectrum, the Vision, Voyager, and Conan the Barbarian. Once Nyx was defeated, Rocket mused that this would allow him to cross "being an Avenger" off his bucket list.
Powers and abilities
Rocket Raccoon possesses the normal attributes of an Earth raccoon, including speed (which has been additionally amplified by his training), and an acute sense of smell, sight, hearing and touch. Sharp claws allow him to scale walls, buildings, and trees with ease. He is an accomplished starship pilot, a brilliant engineer and technician, and an expert marksman with the two laser pistols he carries as well as having an affinity for heavy weapons. He is a master military tactician and leader, attributes that help him take charge of the Guardians of the Galaxy when Star-Lord is unavailable.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2019)
- Blackjack O'Hare - An anthropomorphic rabbit that has clashed with Rocket Raccoon.
- Lylla - An anthropomorphic otter. Lylla is the C.E.O. of the biggest toy making company in the universe, Mayhem Mekaniks on the planet Halfworld. She is also the friend and lover of Rocket Raccoon. She inherited the company after her parents were murdered by Judson Jakes who wanted control of the company. The only way for Lylla to gain full control was through marriage. Lylla soon came under threat not just through Jakes, but also through Lord Dyvyne as they both wanted to control her toy company. Luckily Rocket Raccoon came to her aid and with the help of their friends, WalRus and Uncle Pyko, defeated both parties. Lylla traveled with Rocket afterwards to start a new life together. These events were later revealed to be false. Lylla, along with the rest of the halfworlders, were actually service animals who cared for mental patients on their planet. She was also apparently married to Blackjack O'Hare. She has not been seen since, and her marriage to Blackjack seemed retconned as he reappeared as a deadly mercenary and enemy to Rocket.
- Wal Rus - An anthropomorphic walrus. Wal Rus is an engineer who aided Rocket Raccoon in his fight in the Toy Wars of which his niece, Lylla, was the center of conflict. His metallic tusks were interchangeable and he could be used as tools or weapons. His adventures with Rocket were later retconned when Rocket and Groot visited Halfworld and discovered that the halfworlders were actually service animals for mental patients. Wal Rus served as one of the security guards who worked for Rocket and had to once again help his friend when one of the patients mental powers began to manifest after years of waiting. This was retconned, yet again and he was recently seen working for Rocket and Groot in rescuing Princess Lynx and fighting Blackjack O'Hare, his brigade and Lord Dyvyne.
In other media
- Rocket Raccoon appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Michael Korvac", voiced by Greg Ellis.
- Rocket Raccoon appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, voiced by Billy West (in the episode "Guardians of the Galaxy") and later by Trevor Devall (for subsequent episodes). In the episode "Guardians of the Galaxy", he is shown as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Sam Alexander's trainer. Spider-Man and the Guardians save Earth from Korvac's Chitauri army. In the episode "The Return of the Guardians of the Galaxy", Rocket Raccoon was with the Guardians of the Galaxy when they land on Earth to repair their spaceship at the time when Titus leads the Chitauri into targeting Sam's Nova helmet. The episode "Return to the Spider-Verse" Pt. 2 features a pirate version of Rocket Raccoon that lives in a pirate reality. He and Cosmo the Spacedog assisted Howard the Duck in a mutiny against Web Beard the Pirate when he claimed the treasure for himself. With help from Spider-Man and Kid Arachnid, the mutineers and Web Beard got back together even when helping Spider-Man and Kid Arachnid into fighting the Kraken.
- Rocket Raccoon appears in Avengers Assemble, voiced initially by Seth Green in "Guardians and Spaceknights" and later by Trevor Devall in "Widow's Run".
- Rocket Raccoon appears in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "It's a Wonderful Smash", where Seth Green reprises the role.
- Rocket Raccoon appears in the Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers episode "Guardians of the Galaxy", voiced by Fumihiro Okabayashi.
- Trevor Devall reprises his role in the Guardians of the Galaxy series. His history with Halfworld remains intact here.
- Rocket Raccoon appears in the Christmas TV special Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Frost Fight!, voiced again by Trevor Devall. In order to afford money to repair their ship, Rocket Raccoon and Groot take on the bounty to obtain Santa Claus and end up meeting Mrs. Claus.
- Rocket Raccoon appears in the Rocket & Groot shorts, voiced again by Trevor Devall.
- Rocket Raccoon appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes - Guardians of the Galaxy: The Thanos Threat, voiced again by Trevor Devall.[better source needed]
- An adaptation of the character appears in the live-action Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy, portrayed by Sean Gunn via motion capture and voiced by Bradley Cooper. His real name in the film is 89P13. In addition to being genetically altered, Rocket is shown to have cybernetic implants within his body. He is only referred to as Rocket in the film, and asks "What's a Raccoon?" when told of his resemblance to the animal by Peter Quill. He serves as the team's pilot and technical expert, providing the weapon that Quill uses against Ronan the Accuser in the final confrontation and piloting a Ravager ship in the final assault against Ronan's fleet. Rocket also displays a talent for engineering jailbreaks. Having previously escaped from 22 prisons, he devises and executes a scheme to free his eventual teammates from a Nova Corps prison. Screenwriter Nicole Perlman has stated that early drafts of the film did not include the character due to "a little bit of a fear that he would come across as cartoonish because he's a raccoon." Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was persuaded to approve Rocket's inclusion in the film. A live raccoon named "Oreo" was used on set to help animators accurately capture the motion and behaviors of it for their CGI model. Director James Gunn took Oreo to the film's European premiere.
- Cooper and Gunn reprised their roles for Rocket in the sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, released in 2017. In the film, he causes the team to get chased by the Sovereign after stealing their anulax batteries. He is left on the planet where they crash landed (as a result of him and Quill fighting over the controls) to guard Nebula with Baby Groot after the rest explore Ego's planet. When captured by the Ravagers, Rocket and Yondu bond over their similarities and manage to escape the ship alongside Groot and Yondu's right-hand man Kraglin. They assist the other Guardians in combating Ego's forces. When Yondu stays behind to save Quill from the planet's destruction, Rocket gives him equipment and welcomes him as a member of the Guardians. He is saddened by Yondu's sacrifice in the climax. A running gag in the film includes Rocket winking with the wrong eye, being mistaken for different animals, being angered when called a raccoon and being criticized for his rude behavior.
- Cooper and Gunn reprise their roles in the film Avengers: Infinity War. In this film, Rocket joins with Groot and Thor in helping to forge Thor's new weapon Stormbreaker. In addition, Rocket Raccoon helps provide Thor a prosthetic eye to replace the one that he lost in his fight with Hela. He later joins the other Avengers and Groot on Earth in the battle of Wakanda. After Thanos wipes out half the universe, Rocket is the only remaining Guardian alive on Earth, with Nebula surviving on Titan.
- Cooper and Gunn reprise their roles again in Avengers: Endgame (2019) Three weeks after Thanos snapped the gauntlet, Rocket is living with the surviving Avengers at the Avengers headquarters. After Captain Marvel rescues Tony Stark and Nebula and brings them to the headquarters, Rocket and the others accompany her in going to the planet that Thanos is living in hopes of using the stones to bring everyone back. After they find out Thanos has destroyed the stones, Thor decapitates him. Five years later, Rocket has joined the Avengers and has been working alongside Nebula and helping those in need while reporting back to Natasha. After Tony and Scott Lang find a way to travel through time, Rocket joins them and goes back with Thor to Asgard in 2013. While there, Rocket gets the Reality Stone from Jane Foster and the two of them return to the present. Rocket helps Tony and Bruce Banner make a gauntlet and place the stones in it. Bruce puts on the gauntlet and snaps, returning all of the fallen heroes. The Thanos from 2014 appears in the present day and begins to attack the Avengers headquarters in which Rocket gets stuck in the rubble along with Bruce and James Rhodes, until they are rescued by Lang. Rocket then joins the Avengers in their final stand against Thanos and his army. Tony uses the Infinity Stones to disintegrate Thanos and his army, but is killed in the process. Rocket attends Tony's funeral, along with the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy (except Gamora), and they leave Earth with Thor shortly after.
- Cooper and Gunn will reprise their roles in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
- Rocket Raccoon appears in a brief non-speaking cameo in the 2018 Walt Disney Animation Studios film Ralph Breaks the Internet. He can be briefly seen talking with Zootopia character Judy Hopps when Vanellope Von Schweetz is being chased by First Order Stormtroopers from the Star Wars franchise.
- Rocket Raccoon is a playable character in the MMORPG Marvel Super Hero Squad Online. He is in the Rocket Box.
- Rocket Raccoon is a playable character in the crossover fighting game Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, voiced by Greg Ellis in a Cockney accent.
- Rocket Raccoon is a playable character in the MMORPG Marvel Heroes, voiced by Steve Blum.
- Rocket Raccoon is a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by John DiMaggio.
- Rocket Raccoon is a playable character in the Facebook game Marvel Avengers Alliance.
- Rocket Raccoon is a playable character in Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Nolan North. He also appears in Disney Infinity 3.0.
- Rocket Raccoon is a playable character in Marvel Contest of Champions.
- Rocket Raccoon is a playable character in the mobile game Marvel: Future Fight.
- There two playable-combined character versions ("Most Wanted" and "Awesome Mix Volume Two") of Rocket and Groot in Marvel Puzzle Quest.
- Rocket Raccoon appears in Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, voiced by Nolan North.
- Rocket Raccoon appears as a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, with Trevor Devall reprising his role. He is assisted by Groot during gameplay.
- Rocket Raccoon is a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2, voiced by Mikey O'Connor.
- Rocket Raccoon is a playable character in Marvel Powers United VR, with Trevor Devall reprising his role.
- Rocket Raccoon appears as a pet in Fortnite Battle Royale Chapter 2, Season 4, which has been titled Nexus War.
- A Rocket Raccoon action figure was available as part of a Guardians of the Galaxy three pack in 2011 as part of the Marvel Universe toyline.
- Rocket Raccoon is a Build-A-Figure in the Marvel Legends toyline released in 2013.
- A Rocket Raccoon and Groot figure set with a "Dancing Baby Groot" was released by Hot Toys.
Newspaper comic strips
- Rocket Raccoon began appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man newspaper comic strip in December 2016, in a story where Spider-Man and Mary Jane discover him in a spaceship that has crashed upon the Earth.
Theme park attractions
Rocket appears in the ride Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! at Disney California Adventure with Bradley Cooper reprising his role from the films. He and the rest of the Guardians were captured by the Collector to be put on display, but he manages to escape and enters the room the guests are in through a vent (where he's an audio animatronic) and hijacks the video to explain his plan on rescuing his friends. The guests will use their access passes to enter the gantry lift while Rocket rides on top to blow up the generator so that the Guardians, as well as the other creatures in the collection, can escape. The Guardians will then reunite with Mantis so that they can escape.
Dominic Lerose of The Daily Cardinal wrote that "audiences love not only for his cuteness and humor, but for his saddened soul and desire to fit into the dramatic universe of Marvel." LeRose cited the "underdog" nature and the "emotional pain" stemming from a "sad backstory [that] makes us as an audience root and care for him." In addition he stated that audiences like his relationship with Groot.
- Rocket Raccoon: Guardian of the Keystone Quadrant (hardcover, Aug. 2011, ISBN 978-0-7851-5527-0) collects: The Incredible Hulk #271, Rocket Raccoon Vol. 1 #1–4, and the story from Marvel Preview #7 ("The Sword in the Star!: Stave 2: Witchworld!").
- Rocket Raccoon & Groot: The Complete Collection (softcover, April 2013, ISBN 978-0-7851-6713-6) collects: a story from Tales to Astonish #13, the story from Marvel Preview #7, The Incredible Hulk #271, Rocket Raccoon Vol. 1 #1–4, Annihilators #1–4, and Annihilators: Earthfall #1–4.
- Rocket Raccoon: A Chasing Tail! (hardcover, March 2015, ISBN 978-0785193890) collects: Rocket Raccoon Vol. 2 #1-6.
- Rocket Raccoon: Storytailor! (hardcover, August 2015, ISBN 978-0785193906) collects: Rocket Raccoon Vol. 2 #7-11.
- Rocket Raccoon & Groot Vol. 0: Bite and Bark (softcover, October 2016, ISBN 978-1302902186) collects: Rocket Raccoon Vol. 2 #1-11, Groot #1-6, and material from Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow's Avengers #1.
- Rocket Raccoon & Groot Vol. 1: Tricks of the Trades! (softcover, August 2016, ISBN 978-0785199731) collects: Rocket Raccoon & Groot #1-6.
- Rocket Raccoon & Groot Vol. 2: (softcover, November 2016, ISBN 978-0785199748) collects: Rocket Raccoon & Groot #7-10, TBD.
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Rocket was a punchline, putting in brief comic-relief cameos in titles like Incredible Hulk and She-Hulk; he appeared in 10 comics total over 30 years.
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I understand that orders for Rocket Raccoon #1, the new comic from Mister Skottie Young that received such a strong showing for Free Comic Book Day, is close to topping 300,000 pre-orders from Marvel Comics.
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During Secret Wars, Rocket Raccoon is cancelled and replaced by Groot.
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Skottie Young and Filipe Andrade continue the exploits of these two Guardians of the Galaxy in their own spotlight series!
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Kevin was a big fan of Rocket, and I'm so glad because I really felt like that was necessary and that was needed.
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We needed a raccoon to study how he looked and his behavior, so that our on-screen raccoon, which is generated through CGI will be realistic. Our Rocket is based on a combination of our voice actor, Bradley Cooper, our on-set actor, my brother Sean Gunn, the movements and behavior and look of Oreo [the raccoon], as well as my own animation.
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