Not everyone’s favorite superhero pairing got to take place during the crowded super-mixer that was Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War. And that applies to the pairings favored by the heroes themselves, because even though Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther didn’t get to hang with the closest thing the Avengers have to a real panther (Rocket Raccoon), he did get to make up for it afterward with a photo op.
Boseman recently posted a selfie of himself and the not-Rocket Rocket that serves as the CGI stand-in for the Bradley Cooper-voiced procyonid, though he wasn’t keeping it to himself. He tagged Star-Lord actor Chris Pratt in the post, which meant Rocket’s co-Guardian of the Galaxy got to riff on the creature’s more deviant proclivities:
Watch those hands, T’Challa, even if that’s not the real Rocket (whose mitts are constantly yoinking body parts from comrade and foe alike). Of course it’s not the real Rocket because, as Star-Lord and Black Panther got snapped into dust during Infinity War, the only Rocket Raccoon that exists in whatever disinte-verse they’re living in is a puppet. Obviously this is the canonical answer.
I assume this is a major component of James Gunn’s freshly completed script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which will follow Avengers 4’s May 3, 2019, release date at some undisclosed point in the future. But perhaps, by then, the Black Panther and the Space Raccoon will have gotten to meet for real.