365 Reasons to Love Comics #163
Anthropomorphism Week finally gets around to profiling everyone’s favorite comic book character inspired by a Beatles song. I promised it to you, so here it is. Strawberry Archive Forever, man.
163. Rocket Raccoon
Now somewhere in the black holes of Sirius Major there lived a young boy named Rocket Raccoon…
Rocket Raccoon shot in with a boom
Clutching, in his paws, Gideon’s Bible
Rocket had come equipped with a gun
To shoot off the head of a robot clown…vil.
Boy, that’s harder than it looks. And I even lifted the majority of the words wholesale. Oh well. As you can tell, the Rocket Raccoon name is a play on the Beatles’ Rocky Raccoon. That first line of my little ballad up there was the story title of one of Rocket’s first appearances, in Incredible Hulk #271. He was created by Bill Mantlo, Keith Giffen, and Terry Austin, a fantastic cadre of comickers.
Rocket later bounded into his own four issue mini-series written by the magnificent Mantlo and drawn by the megalomaniacal (haw haw) Mike Mignola. Mignola’s soon-to-be-classic style wasn’t very much in abundance on the page, however. The book was drawn akin to a fairy tale storybook, and looked gorgeous. Rocket Raccoon was a genetic experiment guarding a colony (who swore by Gideon’s Bible) of the mentally ill. They did cure them, eventually. And they fought clowns. It was interesting.
I also loved Rocket’s pal Wal Rus, who could swap out high-tech tusks. Genius.
After the mini, poor Rocket Raccoon didn’t get the spotlight often, appearing as second banana to the She-Hulk and then being ignobly killed off, supposedly, by Peter David, who must not have liked the little guy. But we love him, right, readers?
Awesome! ’cause he’s coming back in an upcoming mini that’s supposed to feature Star-Lord, but we all know who the real star is– Rocket Raccoon!
The premise sells itself, really. He’s a raccoon. With rockets. And laser guns. In space. Brilliant. And, frankly, ’nuff said.