Art by @Z_Leo_B (on Twitter)
Cosmic Greetings! I am Leo Wyld. The Raccoonatics are the fans of Marvel's Rocket Raccoon. Raccoonatic is a combination of raccoon and lunatic and the word is pronounced as such (rah-koon-uh-tik). Shortly after I first used the term, in early 2013, I searched and found a few Facebook pages and a small news site but no true fansite for the character. His fandom was much smaller then and it was certainly not organized. As a big fan, I felt the need for the role of an organizer, to unite these Rocket fans both through a site but also under a name. I stepped into that role. The fandom became the Raccoonatics and I became Raccoonatic Commander. This is my site and this is our fandom. As our battlecry says, "Raccoonatics Unite!"
Since Rocket Raccoon debuted in June 1976's Marvel Preview #7, June 15th is Rocket Raccoon Day, a day to celebrate Rocket and this fandom.
Navigating the Raccooniverse - About the links
Home - Returns to this page
D'ast Racccoonatics - About my Champions Online Supergroup (of the same name)
Fandom Roster - Some notable Raccoonatics & info about joining
Contact Me - Various ways to contact me about Rocket, the fandom, or anything else. Note: Anything not listed on this page is probably not my creation - a lot more fans these days (but contact me if you are not sure)
It's not in the link buttons but one of my more active followers on Twitter (@RocketRaccoon00) decided to create a page to spread the word about us (I no longer use Facebook, myself) Link to his page
Who is Rocket Raccoon?
He is a Marvel Comics character, first, of course. Originally, written/created by Bill Mantlo, inspired by the Beatles song Rocky Raccoon. Originally, he was a genetically modified raccoon and was aware and proud of the fact. Recently, he has been said to be a genetically modified lower life form that only happens to exactly resemble a raccoon and Rocket is vehemently dismissive of being called a raccoon. The remainder of his history is portrayed similarly inconsistently. Sometimes his origin is tied to working at the Halfworld Asylum, sometimes as a caretaker, sometimes as security chief. Needless to say, a bio would be meaningless right now...
What We Do Know...
Rocket Raccoon is a genetically modified (sometimes cybernetically enhanced) lower life form of some sort that at least resembles a raccoon. He is only a few feet tall, his official Marvel.com data says four feet but nearly all visual depictions indicate closer to 2.5 feet.
He may or may not have enhanced senses as a result of what he is, recent depictions have really not made much mention of these, though. He is a tactical genius, the Kree once said his cunning approaches instinctive levels. Again, recent depictions have focused less on the level-headed tactician in favor of a somewhat psychopathic shoot-first-ask-questions-later persona.
He is fiercely loyal and values his teammates (the Guardians of the Galaxy) and friends, perhaps more than anything else, though generally hides this behind snark, meanness, and other defenses -- he's had a pretty rough life, given how it started, and it has left him emotionally tough and cynical. His best friend since his modern reintroduction has been Groot, a treelike being from Planet X. Rocket is one of the few who can understand the woody giant and their connection runs deep even sometimes seeming symbiotic. Both Rocket and Groot have been members of the Guardians of the Galaxy since the modern version of the team was formed. The team's leader, usually, is Star-Lord Peter Quill, also a good friend and arguably Rocket's second-best friend, overall. Rocket and Pete's friendship is far more one of mutual respect and they've often butted heads and disagreed on certain matters. At times Rocket Raccoon has been leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy himself, once in Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2 and again in the upcoming All-New All-Different Guardians of the Galaxy. Other former friends include Wal Russ (a modified walrus) and Lylla (a similarly modified otter) from his homeworld of Halfworld, the latter was once a romantic interest.
One of the few consistent attributes to the character is his fondness for guns. Even in his very first appearance in Marvel Preview #7 in 1976, Rocky had a blaster. Since his modern age reinterpretation, he prefers considerably larger weaponry. Much to the bafflement of others, due to his small size, Rocket has one of the largest and most impressive arsenals in the Marvel Universe and he loves to show it off. Though some of his heavier weaponry would be difficult to miss with, anyway, Rocket is an expert marksman and has shown impressive precision when using blaster pistols.
Early on, Rocket was more a creature of the battlefield and did not show much technical expertise, in recent portrayals, however, he has shown to be a very talented enginer and tech expert, perhaps even genius
Where to Find Him...
All over the Marvel Universe these days. But if we are talking about comics, I have a couple recommendations...
Rocket Raccoon & Groot Collection - Even though it is not a great representation of the character 2013+ Rocket has become, this collection greatly represents his origins (or at least the original canon) and a couple more modern stories set after the DnA Guardians of the Galaxy run. These really are a good representation of the character I became a fan of, and it is still my go-to recommendation for introducing anyone to Rocket.
Origin of the Modern Guardians of the Galaxy - There are a couple runs in this era I'd recommend. Annihilation: Conquest (especially the Star-Lord arc and conclusion issues). Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (no, not the movie, this volume 2 was eight years before that. Heh). GotG v2 is when the modern team officially formed, it was written by the brilliant team of Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (known to fans as DnA). GotG v2 remains my favorite comic run. Thanos Imperative Immediately follows and helps wrap up some of the story elements from GotG v2 (which, despite its brilliance was canceled at 25 issues) and sets up Annihilators (which does not feature the modern Guardians, aside from the Rocket side story). It should also be noted that there was some story overlap with War of Kings/Realm of Kings and GotG v2 (in fact, it was in an issue of War of Kings that Rocket uttered his iconic line "Never doubt a raccoon!". My recommendation, get Marvel Unlimited for a while and read as much of this as you want. (They even have the cosmic stuff that led up to Annihilation: Conquest - but it doesn't include Rocket; A:C Star-Lord #1 was Rocket's introduction to the modern era)
2013 and Onward - There was a time I could just say NOW and onward but it is no longer so simple (with NOW returning again in 2016). Rocket had a several issue guest appearance in the 2013 NOW's Nova series. There was also Brian Michael Bendis' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. GotG v3 was the introduction of the meaner, more impulsive/violent Rocket we have today - but the series has some good moments so I would recommend it. Rocket Raccoon vol. 2 - Skottie Young's take on a Rocket Raccoon solo series. It is, as to be expected with Skottie, wacky and over-the-top but also an entertaining ride.
There was also a Free Comic Book Day one-shot Rocket Raccoon story written by Joe Caramagna. Doesn't necessarily fit anywhere specific in canon but it is a fun story. Once the Guardians movie approached, Rocket (and other Guardians) spread everywhere in Marvel; cameos, crossovers. Rocket had a couple other one-shot type stories not mentioned here. There was a Guardians team-up book. Following the conclusion of Rocket Raccoon v2 was Groot's own series, then the Rocket Raccoon & Groot series, and now the upcoming new Rocket Raccoon solo for the new NOW written by Matthew Rosenberg (I guess it would be Rocket Raccoon v3, maybe). And there was also GotG v4, with Bendis returning, where Rocket Raccoon got to be leader of the team (the modern Guardians have broken up after v4, following events during Civil War II)
It is hard to imagine that a character that once had a twenty year gap between comic appearances is now popping up in more books than I can count, but that is what has happened. If you really want to read every appearance of Rocket (a much much easier task when I started this Raccoonatics thing), I'd recommend a Marvel wikia site or something of that nature. And again, Marvel Unlimited can be a great resource for catching up on any or all of it. I would absolutely say read at least what I have bolded to see his origins and his emergence in the modern era.