A new feature to the Outhouse! Read about one of the Outhousers' favorite characters in the weekly Character Spotlight! This week, we look at Rocket Raccoon!
In an Internet filled with overwhelming negativity and pointless hatred of frivolous stuff, it's sometimes necessary to take a step back, take a deep breath and remember why we enjoy comics in the first place. Character Spotlight is a new weekly feature showcasing some of the Outhouse's favorite characters that epitomize why we read comics in the first place. Maybe you'll learn something, maybe you won't, but regardless we hope you enjoy the Outhouse's Character Spotlight!
Character Spotlight: Rocket Raccoon
Origin Story: Rocket Raccoon, whose name a play on the Beatles' Rocky Raccoon song, was originally the guardian of Halfworld, an outer space colony of the insane. Rocket Raccoon, along with various other anthropomorphic creatures, were created by a group of sentient robots to take care of the mentally ill inhabitants of the world. While Rocket's first appearance is set 10,000 years in the future (in Marvel Preview #7 calling himself Rocky the Raccoon), Rocket appears in Incredible Hulk #271 where his Halfworld origin is established and supporting characters (such as Wal Russ, Blackjack O'Hare and Lylla the Otter) are introduced.
Years later, in the Annihilation: Conquest mini-event, Rocket Raccoon found himself a prisoner of the Kree during the Phalanx Invasion, where he meets up with Peter Quill and ends up founding the Guardians of the Galaxy. Rocket's tactical prowess and loyalty to his friends prove to be one of the glues holding the tumultuous team together.
Character Appeal: Rocket reminds me in many ways of a furry, animal version of Peter Parker. Both are quick with a joke, think their ways out of hairy situations, are astoundingly loyal to their friends and work great in a team setting.
Also, the friendship and team of Rocket Raccoon and Groot, the treelike monarch of Planet X, was an inspired move, leading to one of the best and most raucous buddy stories in recent comic history.
Finally, he's a raccoon who likes to carry big guns. If there's a visual more fitting for comics, I can't think of one.
Top storylines: Rocket Raccoon became a breakout character in Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's Guardians of the Galaxy series. Between his friendship with Groot, rivalry with Cosmo, a former Cosmonaut dog that gained psychic powers during his travels in space, and the tactical role he played in assisting Peter Quill's team, the book was as much about Rocket as it was about Peter Quill.
Also, his initial Rocket Raccoon limited series was penciled by Mike Mignola, which automatically makes it awesome.
Rocket Raccoon Can Even Beat Superman...or some: Rocket faced down Gladiator, the leader of the Shiar Imperial Guard with a Superman-esque skillset during the 2009 series War of Kings. With the help of Rachel Summers (the future psychic daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey), Rocket was able to hold Gladiator at bay using only a mop, which Gladiator thought was a gun capable of killing him.
Where the character is today: Rocket Raccoon returned to Halfworld with his buddy Groot in a four part backup to the main story in the Annihilators miniseries. Rocket and Groot will be back in the next Marvel cosmic miniseries, Annihilators: Earthfall, which will be out this September. Also, keep an eye out for Rocket's television debut in the second season of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes along with his fellow Guardians.
Written or Contributed by: Christian Hoffer