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Comic Book Questions Answered – When Did Groot and Rocket Raccoon Become Best Friends?

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Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com). Here is a link to an archive of all the past questions that have been answered so far.

Today’s question comes from Chris E. and it is a surprisingly good one (I don’t mean this as a shot at Chris, just that I was surprised by how the answer is really not as simple as I first thought):

I really like Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, both the comics and the movie. I was recently reading the trades of the Abnett & Lanning run, and I started wonder:Exactly when did the Rocket & Groot friendship become a big part of their characterization? Now their friendship is a big part of their characterization, everyone associates them with each other, and they even share a series. But in the Abnett & Lanning run, they interact very little. Rocket seems to be closer with Star-Lord than anyone else, really. Is this something that originated with the movie, or are there some issues I’m missing?

Read on for the answer!

If you were to distill it down to its simplest form, the answer BASICALLY originates in the Starlord mini-series that led into Annihilation Conquest. Written by Keith Giffen and drawn by Timothy Green II and Victor Olazaba, the series features Peter Quill being enlisted by the Kree into forming a sort of “Suicide Squad”…


Two of the members are Rocket Raccoon and Groot…




In the second issue, we get basically the answer to Chris’ question – Groot and Rocket Raccoon formed a bond while working together…


Later, Groot is seemingly killed and Rocket is quite upset…


Groot survived in smaller form, so Rocket became HIS ride…


At the end of the series, Groot is back to regular size, and now the team was set to move over to the main Annihilation Conquest (where they and Marvel’s other heroes work together to fight a Phalanx Invasion led by Ultron).


Go to the next page to see Groot and Rocket’s interaction in that series…

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I liked the little back-and-forth sniping between Rocket and Groot in Giffen’s ‘Star-Lord’ series. Sure, I like the ‘I AM GROOT’ Groot from the DnA issues onward as well, but Groot had some great lines in Star-Lord on account of being basically Dr. Doom in tree form.

Nice to see these pages. I wish Marvel would bring these trade paperbacks into print.

I also enjoyed seeing my gal Mantis in action.

interesting for always thought rocket and groot were just friends from the start of their team up or before they crossed paths with quil plus love seeing mantis back in action.

Count me as another one who likes seeing Mantis in action. Been a fan of hers since before Celestial Madonna.

Thirded on Mantis. She’s become a bit of a punchline because of her speech pattern, but she’s got such a varied background (Celestial martial artist?) she’s always been an underused favorite.

Mantis is way underutilized in the current regime, she would make for a great addition in the next Guardians film, hopefully they go for her original skin color with the antenna and powers, I don’t think there is a need to have two green babes on screen.

Personally, I was more disappointed that Bug was nixed from the team rather than Mantis. I’m assuming it wasn’t over a rights issue due to his creation in the Micronauts series since he was an original creation not based on a toy and Marvel has used him numerous times since that series ended.

Wellman, I believe they’ve already cast Mantis for GotG2, so she’ll be there in some color. Considering Drax is green too another color would be fine. (Though she probably won’t be from Earth since Star-Lord is supposed to be the only human).

Pom Klementieff has been cast as Mantis in the new movie. Whoever that is. When I first saw her name, I read it as “Porn”. But never heard of her. And have they announced who Kurt Russel will play?

Pom is has been acting in France, and Half-French-Russian and Korean (not Vietnamese) from French Canada, so seems like a pretty good fit for Mantis, even without the Vietnamese. Especially since she won’t be anything earthly.

Not much on who Kurt would play, but it won’t be Adam Warlock since the movie won’t have Thanos or any gems.

I love that Groot and Rocket are so popular these days, but I kind of miss the way they and Peter were all presented back in this series. They’ve all changed considerably in look, voice, and tone, and it’s just not as appealing as this take. In my opinion, anyway. :)

I haven’t read Guardians since Thanos Imperative, but I thought the movie versions seemed pretty close to how the characters were in the DnA run. Don’t tell me they made Drax dumb again, which is something he got over in his solo prior to Annihilation. That’s probably the worst they could do.

I wasn’t that fond of the movie characterizations in general.

As for Drax, whatever they do could be interesting. After the film was released, the story of the autistic kid that saw Drax as an autistic hero got fairly widespread coverage. Marvel might try to embrace that PR, or to ignore it, and either decision could end up turning out anywhere from good to a downright trainwreck.

When did Groot start speaking only “I am Groot?” He had lines in the Star lord mini series.

Wasn’t the transition played off as a result of his temporary destruction? But I think it’s been retconned so that he and his people always talked like that?

He went from being a floral Doctor Doom to Tree Chewbacca.

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