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Comic Book / Rocket (2017)

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Rocket is a Guardians of the Galaxy spin-off, published by Marvel Comics. It is written by Al Ewing and drawn by Adam Gorhan.

Rocket Raccoon is a racoon with a problem. An old friend has come to him to with a job. She needs someone to break into a high-tech vault and recover some land deeds from her homeworld, to protect them from the evil Beavertron corporation, and Rocket's the best man... er, racoon for the job. Of course, a job like this would require more than just a devastatingly cunning and fuzzy racoon, it'll need a crew. But in such a crazy cosmos of oddball bounty hunters, space otters and raccoons, nothing can be trusted for long.

Rocket contains examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: The narration of Issue #4 notes how Cordyceps Jones has an unusual name for an alien. Not many aliens called "Jones", after all.
  • Affectionate Parody: The courtroom scene in Issue #2 is a knock on the Silver Age antics of Daredevil.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: The Echomalians, a reptilian species who have no eyesight, but highly trained senses that allow them to function as a Living Lie Detector, and therefore a good fit for lawyer work. All except Murd Bludrock, who was hit by a truck of radioactive originum as a child, which cost him his echo senses. However, as a result of that accident, he gained a mysterious ability that allows him to know what expression the judge is making, as if he could see it somehow...
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Things with Otta do not work out, and thanks to her overhearing something Rocket said, they don't work out with Gatecrasher either.
  • Exact Words: The Securimax vaults are proofed against all known explosives. Solution? Unknown explosives.
  • Fantastic Racism: As much as Rocket likes humans, he sure as hell doesn't want to be one. He still impersonates Max Sekuri to get to a meeting with Gnawbarque.
  • A Fool for a Client: With his lawyer having run off to go fight ninja, Rocket decides to represent himself. Unfortunately there are a few details no-one bothered to tell him, so he winds up pissing the jury off so badly they demand he be given the harshest punishment possible.
  • Foreshadowing: In issue #5, it's mentioned that Max Sekuri, presently turned into Rocket Racoon, was thrown in his own cell and found dead the next morning.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Joyboy manages to exchange Rocket and Max Sekuri's bodies. Which also indirectly kills Sekuri, as the switch reverses after Rocket's shot - Sekuri gets his own body back, plus three bullet wounds.
  • Hellhole Prison: The Colon, proud product of Securimax Industries, a privately run prison designed to be as awful as possible.
  • How We Got Here: Used throughout the story, showing one event then back-pedalling to show the context.
    • Issue #2 shows Rocket in court, with his lawyer in complete despair. Because Rocket has inadvertently nuked his own case.
    • Issue #4 begins with Deadpool leaping out of a cake and shooting people. It's a party for Cordyceps Jones he and Rocket are crashing, and this was their way in.
    • Issue #5 has Otta shooting at Rocket. Because she realized he was in disguise as Max Sekuri and shoots him.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Deadpool's problem, thanks to Secret Empire.
  • ...In That Order: Numbers's skills are brilliant calculation of the odds, and being a total coward. In that order.
  • Jackass Genie: Joyboy of Technet's powers. He'll give someone what they wished for, but not how they want it.
  • Karma Houdini: Otta tries to kill Rocket and destroy her hometown, but Rocket knocks her out. While this does leave her with an executive she's just knocked out, they both figure when he comes around she'll be able to calm him down.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The narration points out how Technet's powers, even by Cosmic Marvel standards, are utterly bizarre.
  • Loophole Abuse: Gatecrasher notes a little loophole in their deal with Securimax that means they're employed in perpetuity. She decides this means they can help bust Rocket out of any prison he's sent to, then recapture him for the bounty, for as long as they like (or until Rocket becomes worth more dead than alive).
  • Meaningful Name: Cordyceps Jones, so called because he's like Cordyceps the fungus - he takes over anyone who breaths him in.
  • Mister Big: Cordyceps Jones is introduced as a Little Green Man, with his heavies towering over him. It turns out the real Cordyceps Jones is even smaller.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Explored in Issue #2, which notes humans are an oddity for swearing on things people like, rather than horrible things. The situation gets bad enough that Rocket actually borrows human swears.
  • Punny Name: An otter named Otta. A prison boss named Max Sekuri. A beaver named Castor Gnawbarque.
  • The Reveal: Otta wasn't trying to steal the deeds to protect her people, she was trying to steal them for Beavertron.
  • Rewrite: Rocket's first meeting with Peter Quill, back from Annihilation: Conquest, had him apparently arrested by the Kree for parking tickets. Here, the first issue reveals that was what Otta set Rocket up for.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Rocket's drink order is a gargleblaster. Max Sekuri, on the other hand, drinks Tharg's Original.
    • The guards at Rocket's trial dress like Judges.
    • There's a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of the Doctor having tea with Gatecrasher (the Technet ultimately having their origin in Alan Moore's run on the kind-of-in-Marvel-continuity Doctor Who Magazine comic strip). Later, Rocket quotes Stien from "Resurrection of the Daleks": "I CAN'T STAND THE CONFUSION IN MY MIIIIND!"
    • The otter-people come from Tarka's World.
  • Spotting the Thread: Rocket disguises himself as Max Sekuri to get into Gnawbarque's office. It all goes swimmingly, until he sees Otta's in there. Even though Rocket's in human form, she's able to recognize the way he walks, and then a rattled Rocket orders his preferred drink order rather than Max's. At which point Otta shoots him.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: According to Otta, the simple people of Tarka's World considered her too clever for her own good, and stifled her ambitions for a better life. This is what motivates her to betray them to Beavertron.
  • Technical Pacifist: Rocket's trying to make a point of not murdering folk. Having Joyboy turn them into a dead ringer for him, and have them dragged into their own prison, on the other hand, is alright.
  • Tempting Fate: Rocket's lawyer assures him his defense, Murd Bludrock, is the best lawyer around... unless he randomly runs out of the courtroom for no readily apparent reason. Then a lizard-woman in red appears in the back holding a sign saying "come fight ninjas"...
  • Wardens Are Evil: The Warden of the Colon, who tortures inmates for talking, then throws them into a sensory deprivation tank, to film and make more money. Rocket notes he was deliberately hired to invoke the trope.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Caster Gnawbarque is a business executive driven by two things; profit, and knowledge his emotionally abusive father would never approve of him.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: As Deadpool opens fire on Cordyceps Jones's goons, his narration assures us that he's been reliably informed they were very terrible people. Lots of puppy kicking.
  • White Void Room: The Colon has one serving as its isolation room. Prisoners tend to go insane from it, which the guards film to sell for money.