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CSBG Archive

The Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – R

We continue our tour through the alphabet, with a different cool comic book item each day, from A to Z!

Today we look at one of the best comic book characters based on a Beatles song!

Rocket Raccoon was a fairly throwaway character introduced by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen in an issue of Incredible Hulk.

The character, of course, is named after the song “Rocky Raccoon” by the Beatles. His first appearance was filled with little Beatles’ in-jokes.

Rocket was considered off-beat and quirky enough that he was actually given his own mini-series, which was drawn by a young Mike Mignola, who really did a magnificent job on the artwork, making the mini-series well worth picking up.

Then Rocket, sadly, fell into disuse for decades (save for an appearance in the pages of no other than Quasar…


Recently, Rocket’s co-creator, Keith Giffen, was doing an Annihilation Conquest mini-series starring Starlord. The gist of the series is that Starlord puts together a sort of motley crew of little-used alien characters, and Rocket is one of the characters used!

A triumphant return!

Rocket’s return was so well received that when Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning began a new Guardians of the Galaxy title starring a team formed by Starlord, Rocket Raccoon was included!

In fact, after the group and Starlord had a bit of a parting of the ways a half dozen issues in, Rocket even became the temporary LEADER of a makeshift version of the team!

That’s where you’ll see Rocket monthly, wisecracking and kicking ass the only way an anthropomorphic raccoon knows how!


Not long after the miniseries came out I got Mike to do a sketch of Rocky for me at a comic shop appearance. Still a prized possession.

I just picked up the three Annihilation hardcovers.
Definitely looking forward to Guardians.

I have had a friend who had pet racoons. THEY HAVE HANDS. They can open anything absolute terrors….and they love chicken. If you drove by a KFC and the raccoon smelled it, they would yelp till they got some. Anyhow rocket raccoon is awsome and I am glad he is getting some screen time.

The best thing about the Guardians of the Galaxy stuff is the interplay between Rocket Raccoon and Groot. It’s so awesome that it keeps me reading even through one ridiculous megacrossover after another.

It should be noted that in a recent War of Kings issue, with an assist from Rachel Summers, Rocket kicks the crap out of Gladiator, one of Marvel’s Superman analogues, with a mop.

Let me repeat that: a mop.

This is why I love comics.

I am Groot!

Rich in Madison

May 24, 2009 at 8:23 pm

I like Rocket Racoon as much as the next guy, and even have a great Mignola sketch of him, but how in the name of all that’s holy could R not be for ROM: Spaceknight. Has any toy so horrible spawned nearly as many great comics?

Hooray for Rocket Racoon! One of the best Marvel characters ever.

Love that original miniseries. It came out of nowhere, and then disappeared into glory. No hype, no crossovers with other titles, just a deeply weird story drawn by some guy named Mignola. It was awesome.

nice to see marvel does not let their characters not even one a litlte silly as rocket racoon stay dormant for ever. for having him with the guardians of the galaxy new incarnation is cool not to mention he kicked gladitors butt with a mop gladiator will not live that down for a while

Anyone who went to school at Queen’s University in Canada knows the industrious nature of the racoon. I sure as hell appreciated the character a lot more after four years there. :)

I don’t suppose anyone’s ever made an RR action figure? That’d be too much to hope for, I think.

I haven’t read the recent “Guardians of the Galaxy” series yet, but the scene of Rocket Raccoon SPITTING at Groot in the “Starlord” mini-series ( which was part of Annihilation : Conquest ) was PRICELESS .

Strider Tag… if you loved that *one* scene in the mini-series, you are doing yourself an unforgivable injustice by not picking up the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Indeed. GotG is one of Marvel’s best current series.


May 25, 2009 at 4:56 pm

Great use of text as an element in the cover art on that Quasar cover…

I can die in peace: Quasar has been mentioned. In passing, yes, but mentioned.

johnny the boy

May 27, 2009 at 8:51 am

thnaks rwe1138, but now i have to pick up war of kings, a series i have to this point been ignoring. rocket raccoon RULES!

It’s interesting that 5 years after the comments about Rocket being such a cool character that he and Groot are the break-away characters in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie of 2014.

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