Rocket Raccoon is a Marvel Comics character created by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen, first appearing in Marvel Preview #7 (dated Summer 1976).
Partially inspired by the song "Rocky Raccoon" by The Beatles, Rocket mostly served as a joke character for the majority of his existence in the Marvel Universe, only appearing in ten issues over thirty years.
It wasn't until the Annihilation: Conquest event that Rocket would gain some prominence, showing up as a supporting character in the Star-Lord tie-in series. His role there then segued into the rebooted Guardians of the Galaxy title, where he'd establish himself as a prominent member of the team, appearing in just about every iteration of the lineup ever since.
Rocket is notable for his deceptively scrappy attitude, extensive knowledge of weaponry, and plentiful connections in the cosmic underworld. He's also become synonymous for his friendship with sentient tree Groot since Annihilation: Conquest, and they're rarely seen apart from one another.
Because of his popularity with audiences, Rocket appears in most interpretations of Guardians of the Galaxy in other media. He made his first appearance outside of the comics in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! on Disney XD, where he was voiced by Greg Ellis. He also appeared on the Guardians of the Galaxy cartoon on Disney XD, voiced there by Trevor Devall, while Nolan North portrays him in Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series. Rocket is also voiced by Bradley Cooper (with motion capture performed by Sean Gunn) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, making his debut in their 2014 film of the same name. Cooper and Gunn reprise the role in its 2017 sequel, as well as Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Rocket Raccoon appears in:Notable Comics
- Rocket Raccoon (Classic):
- Annihilation: Conquest - Star-Lord (2007)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (multiple volumes):
- vol. 1 (2017 — 2018) note
- vol. 2 (2008 — 2010)
- vol. 3 (2013 — 2015)
- vol. 4 (2015 — 2017)
- Rocket Raccoon (multiple volumes):
- vol. 1 (2014 — 2015)
- vol. 2 (2017)
- Rocket Raccoon & Groot (2016)
- Rocket (2017)
- Infinity Countdown (2018)
- Avengers: No Road Home (2019)
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (2014 — present), voiced by Bradley Cooper & portrayed by Sean Gunn:
- Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: BREAKOUT! (2017), voiced by Cooper
- Super Hero Squad Online (2011)
- Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (2012), voiced by Greg Ellis
- Marvel Heroes (2013), voiced by Steven Blum
- Marvel Puzzle Quest (2013)
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (2014), voiced by John DiMaggio
- Marvel: Avengers Alliance (2014)
- Marvel: Contest of Champions (2014)
- Disney Infinity (2015)
- Marvel Future Fight (2015)
- Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series (2017), voiced by Nolan North
- Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite (2017), voiced by Trevor Devall
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 (2017), voiced by Mikey OConnor
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order (2019)
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! (2010-2012), voiced by Greg Ellis
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2015 — present), voiced by Trevor Devall
Rocket Raccoon provides examples of:
- Alliterative Name: And yes, Rocket Raccoon is his real name.
- Amazon Chaser: He develops a thing with Gatecrasher of Technet during his 2017 miniseries. Nothing comes of it, thanks to some unfortunately timed words.
- Ambiguous Disorder: In Annihilation: Conquest - Star-Lord, Rocket apparently has an obsessive compulsive disorder, frequently washing his hands. This was quietly ignored afterwards.
- Anti-Hero: Even at his best he's mostly motivated by either profits or the thrill of shooting things. In more recent comics he's a borderline sadist, but still hangs out with heroic characters.
- Arm Cannon: After being taken over by the Venom symbiote, he becomes able to transform his arms into multi-barrelled biomechanical guns.
- Badass Adorable: Despite being the smallest and least physically imposing member of the Guardians, he packs a lot of firepower and is very tech-savvy.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: His Guardians of the Galaxy uniform lacks boots. This trope gets averted in later appearances, where he seems to frequently sport space boots of different kinds. Generally, whether he's barefoot or not will depend on the artist.
- Big Guy, Little Guy: The little guy to Groot's big guy.
- BFG: Rocket's gun of choice is anything unfeasibly large and destructive.
- Cyborg: He's a genetically-engineered cyborg raccoon.
- Dress-Coded for Your Convenience: His costume is the same uniform worn by most of the team.
- Drink-Based Characterization: He's a hard-drinking raccoon, is this one. According to Rocket, his preferred beverage is a Gargle Blaster. This inadvertently fouls up a plan when he's supposed to be in disguise.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Before his reintroduction to Marvel Universe in 2007, Rocket appeared as a cameo in a issue of Exiles in 2006.
- Enemy Mine: He's worked alongside Blackjack O'Hare almost as often as the two have opposed each other.
- Evil Counterpart: Blackjack O'Hare. Especially in Rocket's 2014 ongoing. To compare, both are anthropomorphic critters from Halfworld, both were romantic interests of Lylla, both are extremely proficient strategists and marksmen. The main difference is that Blackjack is a lot more shameless with who he will work for and is not above sadistic revenge plots.
- Fake Memories: Everything he thinks he knows about his past up until he first comes to Earth is a lie. He had his memory rewritten (on his own orders) to keep himself from returning to Halfworld in order to keep a dangerous telepath from causing massive damage across the universe.
- Fantastic Racism: While he often does so in a sarcastic manner, he doesn't think much of the backwater ball of mud known as Earth or its inhabitants.
- Fire-Forged Friends: He, Star-Lord, Groot, Mantis and Bug. They didn't particularly get along or even like each other at first, but over the course of the war with the Phalanx, they've become extremely close - especially Rocket and Groot, and Rocket and Peter.
- Flanderization: During the Marvel Now run by Bendis, everyone is fairly out-of-character, but Rocket gets this the worst by far. He's gone from being The Lancer who really, really likes his guns but being otherwise a friendly and good person, to suddenly becoming a Sociopathic Hero who enjoys hurting things, shouting "Blam! Murdered you." and has suddenly decided that he's not a Raccoon anymore, after decades of calling himself one. He also has developed a great deal of racism for Humans and contempt for Earth, despite previously being depicted as a good friend of Quill and Corsair. This has been tempered somewhat, with the disturbing nature of the 'Blam! Murdered you' Catch Phrase being lampshaded, and his dislike for humans generally being restricted to an utter bemusement as to why everybody is fighting over Earth and an understandable annoyance at Tony Stark's habit of stealing his stuff. Thankfully by the 2019 and 2020 Guardians series, Rocket was dialed back to his pre-Marvel NOW personality.
- Furry Reminder: Throughout Guardians vol 2, mention is given that Rocket is very much a racoon, and still has the instincts and habits of one, as Moondragon learns when she's relaying his thoughts.
- Gatling Good: The larger the gun, the more he likes it.
- Got Volunteered:
- He was imprisoned because he was seen as an affront to Kree racial superiority (and parking tickets), and was drafted into Star-Lord's suicide squad, which would eventually transform into the Guardians of the Galaxy.
- He didn't want anything to do with the events of Avengers: No Road Home. The Hulk grabbed him as they were being teleported away, and it's very difficult to argue with the Hulk.
- Guns Akimbo: When he's wielding a gun that's small enough to hold in one hand, he's bound to have a second one for the other- though he's usually seen with massive two-handed guns instead.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Groot and Star-Lord.
- Hidden Depths: On occasion, Rocket's temper and snark hide a lot of bitterness, and a longing to go back to the more innocent days he spent on Halfworld.
- Humongous Mecha: He has one, which he uses to force Thanos to let go of Star-Lord.
- Hypocrite: He claims he thinks a lot of the reason he distrusts Cosmo is that he's an "anthropomorphic freak".
- Industrial World: He hails from Halfworld, so named due to half the planet being industrialized and populated by robots.
- Informed Ability: He's allegedly a tactical genius, but most of his plans involve firing guns. Admittedly, those plans do work, most of the time. Granted he has shown off her tactical prowess such as when he stopped Gladiator through trickery, knowing his power is based on his own confidence.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He can be a sarcastic prick but he is still good-hearted. He genuinely cares about his teammates and will never give up on them.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": As a connoisseur of weapons, he's amazed when the Guardians encounter Major Victory, wanting to try out the man's version of Captain America's shield. Indoors. In a confined space.
- The Lancer: Second in command of the Guardians (in as much as anyone "commands" the Guardians).
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: All his memories of Halfworld were erased when he left. He recovers them when he returns.
- Lovable Rogue: Even with his moments of short-temperedness, wise-cracking snarkiness, and over-confident nature, he's resurging from obscurity to popularity since becoming a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Loyal Animal Companion: He's one of the only members of the team to never quit.
- Mood-Swinger: When written by Bendis, he goes from being almost-timid to hyper-aggressive seemingly at random.
- More Dakka: His impressive and massive arsenal.
- The Napoleon: Being a humanoid raccoon, he's pretty much the smallest of the Guardians. It does not diminish his ego or his temper, and he really doesn't like it when people poke fun at his size.
- Number Two: Because of his tactical mind and their long-standing history, Star-Lord consults with Rocket first on major plans, and trusts him to lead the team when he's gone or when they split up.
- Odd Friendship: Both with Groot and with Star-Lord.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He's able to hold guns more than three times his size and fire them without any harm to his body.
- Pop-Cultured Badass: According to Guardians vol 2, Rocket is more savvy on Earth, it's culture, and its heroes than anyone else. He even shops on eBay.
- Pungeon Master: He semi-frequently cracks puns about being a raccoon.
- Ramming Always Works: In one of his more impressive attacks, Rocket takes control of Knowhere, the massive space station held in the severed head of a Celestial, and rams it into the base of the Universal Church of Truth.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Star-Lord and Groot's Blue.
- Retcon: In Annihilation: Conquest, his given reason for being in prison was A: being a "lower life form" to the Kree, and B: Parking tickets (he insists he was framed, and the space hadn't been properly sign-posted). In Rocket, it's stated the parking tickets thing was a set-up by his old flame, Otta (an otter).
- Sarcastic Devotee: He'll make plenty of cracks in Star-Lord's general direction, but he'd follow him to the end no matter what.
- Secretly Dying: In Guardians vol 4, his cybernetics are giving out.
- Shout-Out: His name and many elements from his original mini are all blatant shout outs to the Beatles song, "Rocky Raccoon". Including the main MacGuffin being called Gideon's Bible.
- In his original mini, when learning the truth behind Halfworld, one of the loonies is seen holding toy versions of Sam & Max. Interestingly the issue in question was released 2 years before the first official Sam and Max book was published as the book's artist, Mike Mignola, was good friends with Steve Purcell.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: It's with cosmic slang, but he sure says "flark" a lot. After Bendis takes over, it switched to Symbol Swearing.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Cosmo.
- Sociopathic Hero: In the Bendis series, he enjoys shooting at people a bit too much.
- Space Police: His job when he first appeared.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad/Wolverine Publicity: He ended up an extremely popular character, appearing in Marvel VS Capcom 3, being the first member of the Guardians to join the cast of Marvel Heroes and has received significantly more merchandise than the others on the team.
- The Strategist: Described as one of the best tactical minds in the Marvel Universe. During Guardians of Infinity, the villain even tries stealing his brain for this exact reason.
- Take Up My Sword: When Star-Lord and Richard Rider sacrifice themselves to seal Thanos in the Cancerverse, the Guardians are left disbanded and leaderless. Refusing to stand for this, Rocket decides to travel the galaxy with Groot, righting wrongs and saving people as best they can, claiming they have the "legacy of the Guardians of the Galaxy to live up to".
- Talking Animal: He's as eloquent as any other member of the team, and he's a raccoon.
- Titled After the Song: His name comes from The Beatles song "Rocky Raccoon". Add Rocky as his nickname and this intro◊...
- Trademark Favorite Drink: According to Rocket (2017), it's the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. Alarmingly, Rocket can drink several without any ill-effect.
- Uplifted Animal: He's from Halfworld, a planet populated by genetically-augmented and cybernetically-enhanced sentient animals.
- What Would X Do?: When he's in charge, Rocket spends a lot of time asking "What would Peter do?".
- You Can't Go Home Again: After having his memories altered, Rocket is no longer able to go back to Halfworld, for fear of setting an extremely powerful telepathic criminal loose.