Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 revealed the story of the tragic past of Rocket Raccoon – a core member of the Guards. Before meeting Star-Lord, Rocket was once a test subject of the evil High Evolutionary to create the most perfect species of hybrid between humans and animals. He is also the one who murdered Rocket’s childhood best friends, including the otter Lylla, the walrus Teefs, and the Floor rabbit.
Rocket’s past has been recreated on the screen in a quite complete and emotional way. However, compared to the original comic book, Marvel Studios has removed a lot of interesting details that contribute to the personality of the Guardians raccoon.
Rocket’s Halfworld Hometown
In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Rocket’s first “home” is described as the giant ship of the High Evolutionary. Since then, this character has always nurtured the dream of going to the planet Counter-Earth to have a free life and be able to see the vast sky. However, it turned out that High Evolutionary just considered Rocket as one of the failed experiments and forced destruction, thereby leading to one of the saddest scenes of the whole movie.
In the original, Rocket comes from Halfworld and has no connection to Counter-Earth. Halfworld is a semi-natural, semi-industrial planet located in the Keystone Quadrant star system. This can be considered the home of a race of aliens with mental problems. Rocket lived here for decades as the emotional support animal of several patients until forced to flee and embark on adventures in the vast universe.
Rocket once collaborated with Hulk
Like most members of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics, Rocket Raccoon also makes his first appearance as a supporting character in the Incredible Hulk #271 story chapter by Bill Mantlo, Sal Buscema, Bob Sharen, and Jim Novak . In it, Rocket teamed up with the Green Giant after accidentally getting lost in Halfworld.
In the MCU, Rocket and Hulk first met during the events of Avengers: Infinity War, and went together to New Asgard to convince Thor to participate in Endgame’s time travel plan. Besides, these two characters were also rescued by Ant-Man from the flooded bunker in the final battle with Thanos, but they never really stood side by side in any battle scenes.
Frankie Fat Hands
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 does not clearly explain Rocket’s journey to become an intergalactic criminal. After escaping the High Evolutionary’s control, Rocket stole a spaceship and began traveling across the galaxies. When he accidentally met Peter Quill and Gamora and created the Guardians, Rocket was already a notorious bandit and even a close friend of Groot.
In the comics, Rocket used to struggle to survive, and many times had to search for food in the trash. Before his life reached the bottom of despair, Rocket accidentally met Frankie Fat Hands, an alien creature who later became the person who led the raccoon into the path of crime. Since Frankie was the first person to actually be kind to Rocket, it’s a shame Marvel Studios wasn’t able to exploit the character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 retells the story of Rocket’s past through a series of flashbacks, featuring numerous other test subjects such as Lylla the otter, Rabbit, and Teefs the walrus. While Lylla is a character that appeared in Marvel comics many years ago, Floor and Teefs are creations that James Gunn dedicated to his blockbuster. However, Teefs is most likely inspired by Rocket’s first ally in the original – Wal Rus.
Wal Rus appears with Rocket in the Incredible Hulk story chapter #271. Similar to the Teefs in the MCU, Wal Rus is also an animal genetically engineered to possess immense strength, a pair of metal tusks with the ability to launch lasers and a mechanical arm to grasp objects. Wal Rus is a talented engineer, and also has a much luckier fate than Teefs.
Khevix and the Cuckoo Nest complex
According to the Guardians of the Galaxy #8 chapter by Donny Cates, Cory Smith, David Curiel, and Cory Petit, Rocket has spent a large part of the past taking care of Khevix at the Cuckoo Nest. Khevix is a patient who always considers Rocket as his pet, and is also the last person to be kind to the raccoon before being captured by aggressive robots and conducts many scary experiments.
This tragic sequence perfectly fits Rocket’s tragic past in the MCU. Khevix’s kindness to Rocket is in stark contrast to High Evolutionary’s extreme cruelty, which will make the film’s emotional circuit complete and become more climactic. However, Marvel Studios decided not to dig into that detail.
For many years, Rocket Raccoon has always believed that Halfworld is an extremely good place. The raccoon had many happy, peaceful memories of his home planet, at least until chapter Annihilators #3 by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Tan Eng Huat, Victor Olazaba, June Chung and Joe Caramagna.
This chapter has lifted the veil of secrecy behind Halfworld – an asylum for the mentally ill, run by emotionless cyborgs that have brutally tortured Rocket since childhood. At least in the comics, Rocket has many fond, albeit fake, memories of his childhood. Meanwhile, the MCU version is not so lucky, and the raccoon has been holding deep wounds for many years without being able to tell anyone.
Experimental process of forming perception
Right from the very first scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Rocket’s flashbacks have been tinged with a painfully tragic color. Rocket was a newborn raccoon when he took over the High Evolutionary’s first experiments. After being able to talk to people, as well as get the first emotions, Rocket immediately exclaimed: “It hurts”.
Guardians of the Galaxy #8 has revealed that Rocket Raccoon first gained consciousness after a series of obsessive experiments with robots at Halfworld. This painful “razor chorus,” as Rocket describes it, is just as cruel as the movie version. However, the difference is that Rocket goes through that process as an adult instead of just a kid like on the big screen.
The ship Rakk ‘N’ Ruin
Since Marvel Studios didn’t delve into Rocket’s life after escaping from the High Evolutionary until joining the Guardians, the Rakk ‘N’ Ruin may not have a chance to appear on the big screen. In the original, Rocket, and sometimes even Wal Rus, experienced many interesting adventures on this ship.
However, Rakk ‘N’ Ruin did not last too long, and this is probably also why Marvel Studios decided to skip this ship. However, if exploited properly, Rakk ‘N’ Ruin can completely become one of the best spaceships in the MCU.
The Toy War
Since the inhabitants of Halfworld have a great need for entertainment, toys have become an essential part of their lives, and thus become the most important industry on the planet. The Rocket Raccoon series by Bill Mantlo, Mike Mignola, Al Gordon, Christie Scheele and Ken Bruzenak, followed the raccoon to participate in the Toy War, which took place between two families of toy manufacturers. Biggest game at this place.
Also from this war, Rocket met and helped Lylla. After that, the two left Halfworld together to go on their own adventures. However, Marvel Studios decided to include Lylla in Rocket’s tragic past story, and completely removed Halfworld from the movie version.
The beginning of Rocket and Groot’s friendship
When Peter Quill met Rocket and Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, the duo were already a match in the galactic crime scene. Few people know that Rocket and Groot used to know each other in prison, even sharing a room together. Like many others, at first, Groot could not stand Groot because he could not understand anything that the tree man said.
However, when he witnessed Groot being bullied by a group of soldiers, Rocket was extremely angry and decided to stand up for his roommate. Since then, they have become closer and understand each other, especially when the raccoon understands what Groot is saying. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has somewhat recreated this story through the character duo Gamora and Groot.