Rocket was a 70’s throwback created by writer Bill Mantlo and artist Keith Giffen in Marvel Preview #7 in 1976. His inspiration stems from the Beatles song Rocky Raccoon (Beatles fans raise your hands.) Rocket’s second appearance was The Incredible Hulk #271. The Hulk issue also envokes another Beatles’ reference, “Gideon’s Bible”. In the Marvel Universe the “bible” contained the sum of all Marvel knowledge. That’s kinda like having one of the Watcher’s eyes in your possesion.
As one might assume Rocket or Rocky bears a strong resemblance to a raccoon. He’s actually an enhanced animal from a planet called Halfworld which is located in the KeyStone Quadrant Star System. Halfworld was a medical facility that recorded observations in a psychiatric diary. The humanoids running Halfworld ran out of funding for their work. In the process they created robots to assist the humanoids. A nearby star went supernova and the radiation gave the robots sentinence. The robots then found the humanoids illogical and sought to end their slavery. The humanoids were then moved to the other side of Halfworld. The animals that were companions to the patients of the humanoids were engineered to protect the humanoids on the other side of the planet. THIS is the birth of Rocket Raccoon. Rocket became a law officer with expert marksmanship, master tactian and a wise-ass kill all attitude to go with it.
Rocket appeared in the Hulk in 1982 and then in his own mini-series in 1985. He then showed up in Quasar #15 1990. He made a longer appearance in The Sensational She-Hulk #44-46 in 1992. He made several other appearances through out the 90’s including one in the Hulk and She-Hulk again. He showed up again in 2006 in the Exiles. He became a Guardian of the Galaxy in 2007 when he was chosen to accompany Star-Lord on his mission to stop a Phalanx infilration of the Kree Homeworld. The Guardians series began and lasted 25 issues before it was cancelled. The Guardians appeared again in Avengers Assemble #4-8 to create a jumping point for the characters from the Avengers Movie from 2012.
THE GUARDIANS of the GALAXY movie opens August 1st. If you missed the 17 minute preview on July 7th at an IMAX theater, YOU MISSED OUT…The movie looks awesome.