Feisty Rocket Raccoon was created by writer Bill Mantlo and artist Keith Giffen (inspired by the famous Beatles ballad "Rocky Raccoon") and made his debut in Marvel Preview #7 in the summer of 1976. Now, 38 years later, with the Guardians of the Galaxy tentpole looming on the horizon, Marvel feels it's high time the little guy got his due spotlight, just in time for the film's release this August. Coincidence? I don't think so. Artist and writer Skottie Young, whose work we've seen in Marvel's OZ books and variant covers for All-New Marvel NOW!'s Iron Patriot #1 and Daredevil #1, is fully up to the task of bringing Rocket to life with all the fur, fury and firepower he can muster.
Young spoke with MTV about the project and his affinity for the raucous intergalactic raccoon:
"Even though it was just a sliver of Rocket [in the trailer], I couldn't wait to work on this guy even more," Young said. "I think it's going to have a connection to that nostalgic feeling for 'Looney Tunes,' that old animated flavor where everything wasn't squeaky clean, you know? Daffy Duck would get his bill blasted off with double barrel shotguns… That's what I grew up watching, and being able to play around with that in this hyper-superhero intergalactic universe will be a lot of fun."
Rocket Raccoon springs into comic shops and the digital realm on July 2, 2014. Here's a peek at the artwork and Marvel's official synopsis:
As defenders of the cosmos go, Rocket Raccoon has faced his fair share of galactic battles. He's been a hero to the weak, a champion of good, a protector of the innocent, a heartthrob to the many intergalactic female species and now–a raccoon on the run?! ( I'm sorry, I'm sorry, a "formidable-and-expert-Guardian" on the run. Rocket is NOT a raccoon, okay?) Rocket's high-flying life of adventure and heroism may soon be a thing of the past when he becomes a wanted man–and the authorities are not the only one on his TAIL! (We'll definitely be overusing that pun!) Superstar creator Skottie Young brings his A-game as writer and artist on the series we've been waiting decades for.
Think Rocket Raccoon makes a satisfying solo hero, or will he be left groaning for Groot?