Rocket is an intelligent racoon from space. Although this starting point is already rather strange, his origin is even more bizarre if such a thing is possible. An unknown race of humanoid aliens colonises the Keystone quadrant and decides to leave all its lunatics in a space station run by some fully autonomous robots. However, the star that orbits this station became a supernova and the radiation that it emitted gave life and consciousness to the robots, who had no other option than to put into practice the designs suggested to them by the lunatics they were caring for.
Rocket is the result of these experiments: a racoon that’s been genetically, biologically and cybernetically modified to walk upright and be intelligent. Evidently, a colony of this kind couldn’t be sustainable for long, so, after a power struggle between the robots and different animal factions – involving a mole called Judson Jakes who wanted to conquer the galaxy, in a sort of reconstruction of Rebellion in the Farm and an encounter with Hulk – Rocket sets out on his own adventures through space.
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Rocket is characterised by at first doing nothing when he hears a remark, always responding sarcastically with taunts and ironies, which often relate to the low likelihood of survival for his team on any mission. Even so, he can be counted on to do any task perfectly.
Even though his moral compass does not have as clear a north as others’ and has a certain tendency towards mischief, he can be expected to do the right thing and work for the common good. His is very sure of his abilities and for good reason, given that he is very intelligent both technologically and tactically, although this does not mean that he doesn’t get afraid or find himself demoralised when things don’t go to plan. Finally, it’s worth mentioning that he is still a racoon, and this means that, for example, he doesn’t like dogs and he washes his tools and weapons maniacally.
Friends and Enemies
One of Rocket’s characteristics is that he is unique – there really is no-one else like him in the whole universe, which makes it hard for him to find his place in the world. That’s why, when he joins Star-Lord and the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the war against Phalanx, he feels from the beginning that this group of freaks like Frax, Mantis and Gamora could be his new family, because, at the end of the day, they are as alone as him. In any case, he has a special relationship with Groot with whom he forms an almost symbiotic link, especially as he’s the only one able to understand what Groot means each time he says “I am Groot”.
Rocket had not faced very serious enemies before meeting the Guardians, but now, together with them, he is able to intimidate enemies of the likes of Thanos or Magus, and becomes a crucial player in the destiny of the Universe.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
The success of Guardians of the Galaxy in August 2014 (a surprise for many) was a turning point for a more and more brave and daring Marvel Universe. At least, this is one way of describing the decision to put a computer-generated racoon with the voice of Oscar-winner Bradley Cooper as one of the stars of a 110 million dollar film.
However, whether it be a result of including a talking tree (Groot), played by Vin Diesel, or thanks to the prominence of an actor who was new to the big screen like Chris Pratt, or because the public was – and is – totally open to accepting any offering from Marvel, the film was a worldwide success and the team made up by Rocket and Groot was one of the favourites of the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe. If we can trust in the trailer – which according to James Gunn only represents the first 15 minutes of the film – Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will again bring that magic that makes it so special, and Rocket and the now Baby Groot will be centre stage.
Although it might seem it – or not – being a racoon is no superpower. It’s true that Rocket inherits some of the innate qualities of this kind of rodent such as much keener sight, smell and taste than any human. But it’s obvious that Rocket must have something extra to be on the front line of combat together with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Like McGyver, he is capable of building weapons of mass destruction from chewing gum and paperclips (this may be a little exaggerated), which is no bad thing if you bring it together with one of the most brilliant tactical minds of the universe according to Star-Lord himself.
The universe, and especially the Marvel Universe, is full of mysteries to be discovered and extraordinary beings to meet: dark beings from parallel dimensions, daring space pirates, Nordic gods and entities as old as creation itself. And an intelligent racoon.
It seems difficult not to laugh faced with some of the characters that come out of the pages of comics, but over more than 60 years of history, the House of Ideas has had precisely that: lots of ideas. That said, what is for sure is that Rocket is just as touching as he is fun, and his success on the big screen is not only deserved but also very, very welcome. Luck favours the brave and if anything can be said about the Disney and Marvel team – and about Rocket – it is that they dare to be different
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