GOTG Guide To NOOBS! Series: Character Bio: Rocket Raccoon
This is a supplemental article to the "GOTG Guide For Noobs". We focus on Rocket Raccoon, his origins, and his eventual addition to the Guardians.
Rocket Raccoon AKA: Rocky, Ranger Raccoon, Ranger Rocket
Abilities: Heightened Animal Senses, Sight, Agility, Military Tactician
Occupation: “Ranger Raccoon” Head of Security of Halfworld
Weapons: Various weapons & technology, usually twin laser guns or a large laser cannon, and his namesake “Rocket” Skates, early comics he wore a bubble helmet.
Guardians of the Galaxy is fast approaching, and slowly more and more information is leaked about the awesome set of characters that will be making major appearances in the film. Recently, we got a small glimpse of Yondu, played by Michael Rooker, in full makeup, blue skin, and a good close look at the length of his mohawk, which looks like it is no where as extravagant as it is (normally) in the comics.
Among all of the characters that are being showcased, one that's most interestingly strange, and the subject of this character bio, is Rocket Raccoon. For me, he's one of the coolest, equally odd, and most interesting characters that developed from his own strange comic in the late 70's, with an arrival story to the Guardians team that is almost as random, and odd, as are his origins. “Rocky” definitely has some ridiculous beginnings, one that seems only Looney Tunes, Disney, or Hanna Barbera would have designed.
The story begins not so unfamiliar…A long time ago, in a star system far, far away, Sirus Major to be exact. An alien race used this system as a sort of psychiatric observatory. A place to study the insane in an environment free from outside interference, and safety for their “Loonies” as they came to be called. The alien psychiatrists created a variety of robotic entities to aid them maintain and observe their patients. The planet used in this system eventually came to be known as Halfworld. As fate would have it, the psychiatrists were forced to abandon this long term experiment, when their financial resources were depleted, causing their immediate vacating of the planet. Yet, they left a few things in place to see that their work was not completely in vain.
One, they erected a massive force field around the entire solar system. This was referred to In the comic as the Galacian Wall, a massive energy field to secure those inside from everything that was outside, and vice versa. They also left the Robots behind to serve as caretakers for their Loonie residents.
Over time, the robots retreated to a different part of the planet, removing themselves from direct contact with the loonies. To describe the insanity of these people would be to attempt to describe situations that literally can be seen in a cheesy childrens cartoons, hijinks with a mix of mischief, and mental disorder (very child-like mix of humor and idiocy)…The robots grew weary and wanted to completely separate themselves from the exploits of their flawed charge. So they applied some genetic manipulation to the animals that were (also) left behind by the psychiatrists and placed them in watch of the Loonies, deeming them the new caretakers.
This is essentially the origin of Rocket Raccoon, and all of his animal friends. He was a creation of the robots, a tool designed to watch over an insane, and abandoned alien race, that would continue to spread their lunacy to their offspring.
What’s quite interesting is that the Loonies evolved a form of religion based on worshiping the now long gone, seemingly never to return, psychiatrists. This evolved into some strange rituals held by straight-jacketed priests, called “Good Humor Men”, using the various logs input by the psychiatrists as a form of bible. It gets a bit stranger from there as the animal caretaker races eventually got the robots to build “toys” to help keep the Loonies occupied and entertained. With the Loonies out of their metallic-hair, the bots focused on their escape of the planet by building a large, bipedal-mech (in appearance), space craft. Their biggest obstacle was getting outside of the Galacian Wall.
Without revealing too much, understand that the adventures Rocky undertakes brings him with contact with the Hulk at one point, which was absolutely random, among other characters. Especially because of the wall being in place. Aside from this, imagine a world where essentially you have a race of insane people, the Loonies, a race of anthropomorphic creatures, created by a left-behind artificial intelligence, that is tired of caring for these so called loonies.
As time passes, and all three groups evolve, change, and create lives for themselves; Imagine an economy emerging on one side of the planet based on toys being sold to crazy people. Yes, Toys for Crazies...stay with me people! Imagine further that you have various groups of these animal races controlling companies, armies, etc. While another group figures out how to make a toy that can cure the insane race, because all of the descendants of this race are batshit crazy from birth. Can you see where this is going? One group tries to stop Rocket Raccoon, who runs security as a Ranger, from curing the Loonies, with the help of the Robots, and some of his cohorts - mainly his best friend Wal Russ. Because curing them means their profits from toy sales go away. Yes I know how this sounds...Eventually achieving the complete rescue of this insane alien race, boarding the spaceship, Rakk N’ Ruin, with many of the animals, and the robots in tow. Finally helping all leave to the stars for "further adventures…" --- Only from reading through the GOTG Series, and later Annihilators #1-4 will you come to understand Rocky's true origins, and who he really is.
For now, this is Rocket Raccoon in a nutshell, his story get’s a bit stranger when connecting him directly to the Guardians. His re-emergence in the comics after his exit of Halfworld has him being a captive of the Stranger, ultimately escaping and returning again with another group that meets and follows Star-Lord, Peter Quill, to deal with a threat on the Kree home world. Star-Lord is very important, but we'll talk about him in his own character bio article.
From this meeting and team up, Rocket Raccoon accomplishes a few things. One, he becomes close friends with Groot, another important member of GOTG that will gain a separate article as well. Rocky brings Groot into the group that ultimately becomes the Guardians. Based on some moments with a character named Major Victory, who used the term "Guardians of the Galaxy" Rocky then suggests the group adopt this name for themselves. He even leads them for a period of time when Star-Lord was sent to the Negative Zone by Ronan the Accuser.
There are individual comics specific to just Rocket Raccoon, but if you follow my previous guide, you will get all the pertinent info to this characters exploits with the guardians, and much of the events I mentioned above, post-origins, in Annihilation: Star-Lord & the War of Kings story arc I listed in that guide. The very early GotG Volume 2 (2008) comics listed on that guide (as well) has more of the focus of the stories dealing with Rockies arrival and his eventual naming of the group.
If you want to read more about Rocket Raccoon, Pre-GOTG, his first appearance begins in Marvel Preview #7 (1976) as part of the "The Sword in the Star" feature. He appeared again in The Incredible Hulk #271 (1982) and got a four part series issued in 1985 titled Rocket Raccoon
Keep an eye out in the next few days for additional character bios of all of the major players of the upcoming GOTG film. I'll connect them all to the guide referenced in this article.
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