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Comic Book Easter Eggs – Rocket Raccoon Easter Eggs!

Every week, I will be sharing with you three comic book “easter eggs.” An easter egg is a joke/visual gag/in-joke that a comic book creator (typically the artist) has hidden in the pages of the comic for readers to find (just like an easter egg). They range from the not-so-obscure to the really obscure. So come check ‘em all out and enjoy! Also, click here for an archive of all the easter eggs featured so far! If you want to suggest an easter egg for a future column, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com (do not post your suggestion in the comments section!).

This week, all the easter eggs involve Rocket Raccoon!

Rocket Raccoon is interesting because his very EXISTENCE is a bit of an in-joke, ya know?

The character is a reference to the Beatles song, “Rocky Raccoon.”

Rocket Raccoon’s first appearance was in Marvel Preview #7 by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen (he was “Rocky” in that issue).

He next appeared in Incredible Hulk #271 by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema.

The title of the issue was…

This is a reference to the opening line of “Rocky Raccoon,”

Now somewhere in the black mountain hills of Dakota
There lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon

Next, we met Rocket Raccoon and his pal, Wal-Rus, almost certainly a Beatle reference (“I Am the Walrus”)…

That Beatles song was a reference to the Lewis Carroll poem, “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” from Through the Looking Glass. Another Lewis Carroll poem from that same book is “Jabberwocky.” In that poem is “snicker snack.” So in the comic…

Next we meet the bad guys, who are searching for Gideon’s Bible (a reference to “Rocky Raccoon”)…

I dunno what the other characters are reference to, if they are references to anything.

Rocket Raccoon’s girlfriend is Lylla, a reference to Lil, Rocky Raccoon’s girlfriend from the song. She is being held captive by Blackjack O’Hare, which I believe is a reference to the Larry Hama character Bucky O’Hare (but as commenter Stephane S notes, while Hama had created O’Hare in the late 1970s, he did not appear in a comic until two years after this Hulk comic, so there is a chance this is NOT a reference to Bucky O’Hare. I still think it is, since Mantlo and Hama worked together for years, but there is a chance that it is not)…

As far as I can tell, that’s it for the references in the Incredible Hulk #271.

Now, in Rocket Raccoon’s mini-series by Bill Mantlo and Mike Mignola, there are plenty. I am just mentioning a couple that were suggested to me by reader Jay S.

First, in #1, the special effects are references to Rice Krispies and DC’s Mad knock-off, Plop (thanks to reader Joe L. for the Plop bit)…

And in #3, Steve Purcell’s Sam and Max make a cameo appearance…

Thanks for the suggestions, Jay!

If you all have other easter eggs from the Rocket Raccoon mini-series (I am sure that there are more), e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

Same thing if you have any other easter egg suggestions! Just e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

25 Comments

Wikipedia tells me that Rocket Racoon first appeared in Marvel Preview #7 in 1976, with the Hulk appearance in ’82. Blackjack O’Hare first appears somewhere in one of those two.
Bucky O’Hare was apparently created in ’78, but not published until ’84.
So, just checking that you’re sure that the connection is as obvious as you say. Lama worked for Marvel during all this, so it’s not improbably that Mantlo would have known about it. Still, it’s odd to make a character which references something that hasn’t been published yet.

Blackjack O’Hare first appeared in the Hulk issue. I have little doubt that Mantlo was familiar with Hama’s Bucky O’Hare project by that point in time. But sure, him knowing about Bucky O’Hare doesn’t mean that he specifically made a reference to Bucky O’Hare, so I’ll make a mention of that! Thanks!

Black Bunny Brigade = Blue Meanies? Y’know from YELLOW SUBMARINE? Also, clowns. Interstellar mechanics preoccupied most of the Beatles at one point or another …

The “Loonies” in that last panel looks like a reference to Looney Tunes, one of the labels used by Warner for their animated shorts (including Bugs Bunny, who might have been what the Black Bunny Brigade was referencing)

Also, a tortoise emploing rabbits puts me in mind of the tortoise and the hare story.

I meant a tortoise “employing”, not “emploing”.

Note to self: proofread, then post.

Was Marvel Preview a black and white magazine….and was that issue the first appearence of StarLord.

This is a treat for me on multiple levels.

I read this Hulk comic when it was new and I’ve read it countless times since then. And it shows.

It’s a very special issue, to me, despite my almost complete lack of familiarity with all things Beatle. Knowing where the references come from kind of reignites my interest. And it seems yet another thing that’s pushing me to find out what all the mop top fuss is about.

Thanks.

intersting to see rocket racoon was already a space adventure long before he become part of the guardians of the galaxy plus since bucky o hare did not hit til the eighties black jack could maybe be larson doing a early version of bucky

@Brian Cronin, @Stephane S
Great article here, Brian, as always!
I wrote a post in my blog (it’s in Portuguese) about these references in Rocket Raccoon some months ago… well, there are lots of stuff I didn’t get when I wrote the post, but I’m glad that the references I found were right… hehe
Anyway, I can add something here.
a) The first appearance of Rocket Raccoon, in Marvel Preview #7, wasn’t in the context we see in Incredible Hulk and its first limited series. There, its name was still ROCKY RACCOON (yes, identical to the song) and it was in another planet, in an alternative future (the future of THE SWORD AND THE STAR… a unfinished work by Mantlo that would be used by himself to explain the origin of the Microverse in MICRONAUTS).
Mantlo never continued that feature, but he said that Rocket Racoon there was the SAME one we saw after. But an explanation about what it was doing in an alternative future was never given.
b) There are another curious easter eggs there (Incredible Hulk and limited series):
Half-World is located at KEYSTONE QUADRANT… Keystone was a company that produce comical silent movies, including ones starred by Charlie Chaplin.
One of Keystone’s main features was the KEYSTONE KOPS, those wacky and clumsy cops running around in cars in silent movies. So, the LOONIES (crazy humans at Half-World) were… the KEYSTONE KOPS!

Rocket Raccoon is a real pool of easter eggs!!

No one caught the reference to PLOP, DC’s wonderfully bizarre humor mag? They even copied the logo!

@ Brian Cronin
Okay, I mistyped the name of the feature in Marvel Preview… it as THE SWORD IN THE STAR.
But there is another “easter egg” there… in Marvel Preview, Rocky Raccoon (its name there) has a COCKNEY ACCENT… maybe referring to the fact that The Beatles were British.
Really fun!

But there is another “easter egg” there… in Marvel Preview, Rocky Raccoon (its name there) has a COCKNEY ACCENT… maybe referring to the fact that The Beatles were British.

Quite likely!

No one caught the reference to PLOP, DC’s wonderfully bizarre humor mag? They even copied the logo!

A reader just wrote me about that in an e-mail a little while ago. Funny stuff.

“Unhand me you… ”

I’m only familiar with this phrase from Lost in Space. As a non-American I ask, is/was it more commonly used in the USA than by Jonathan Harris/Zachary Smith?

Nuclear Rooster

August 2, 2012 at 11:07 am

I might be alone with this, but I really dislike it when creators fill their comics with Beatles references.
I understand you like them guys. I like ‘em too.

…But this referencing does get old real fast.

Would the turtle and rabbits be further Lewis Carroll references? The Mock Turtle and March Hare?

Bill Mantlo + Sal Buscema = Comic Book Gold.

Wasn’t Hulk 271 his 20th anniversary issue? I always thought it was strange to that type of story in a milestone issue.

Bill was on a roll when he created these characters. I might just get that Rocket Raccoon collection of his now.

Man, I almost missed this one. And I sent an email about it a little while ago! Cool stuff.

The name “Uncle Pyko” screams ‘reference’ to me for some reason, but I just can’t place it! Google just lists the comic above so who knows?

Anyone else remember the Blue Meanies’ main weapon in “nuking” Pepperland? The Countdown Clowns? That might be another reference. Or has that stupid movie “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” come out by then?

[...] Comic Book Easter Eggs – Rocket Raccoon Easter Eggs! (goodcomics.comicbookresources.com) [...]

I’ve read Marvel Comics for years. Until recently, I’d never heard of Rocket Racoon. Seriously.

Nothing to do with easter eggs but this run of comics is almost Kirby-like, reminiscent of his bubbling free association in the original Kamandi and OMAC.

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