With the upcoming release of Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios is putting the spotlight on the obscure comic property in a big way. There are rumors that Marvel is developing a new animated series focusing on the cosmic team of outlaws, and now it appears that fan-favorite Rocket Raccoon is getting his own spin-off series this summer.
Comic book writer/artist Skottie Young is putting the Guardians of the Galaxy’s expert marksman and master tactician front and center in the new series. Since Rocket and Groot are pretty much BFFs, the tree-like alien companion Groot will also be along for the ride. According to Young, the series will not follow Brian Michael Bendis’ ongoing series or the events of the new movie, but will rather be a complete, one-off story. Young told MTV:
‘I like any of the humorous characters, any of the ones I can have fun with,’ Young said. ‘And around this time Guardians of the Galaxy was getting restarted, so I said if there was any of way of doing some sort of Rocket Raccoon story that would be fun too!’
The story will feature Rocket Raccoon on his own turf in the Keystone Quadrant and will feature some of the weird aliens that inhabit that part of the galaxy. Just based on Young’s artistic style, uoi might assume the new series is aimed at kids, but Young contends that it’s not.
‘I’m not going to go crazy where we’re going to go extremely vulgar or anything, but I did want to play with a bit of that edge,’ Young said on the tone of the book to MTV. ‘If you have a character that carries a big gun, a ridiculously, cartoonishly big gun you’ve got to be willing to shoot it.’
It makes sense that Marvel would want to put Rocket Raccoon in the spotlight. Even without speaking a line, he’s a big standout in the first Guardians trailer, and he’s already a fan favorite months before the movie hits theaters. It’s easy to see why a talking raccoon who liked big shiny guns is so appealingly silly. Here’s Marvel’s official description of the new Rocket series:
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.
Young also mentioned the Warner Bros./Looney Toons vibe that Rocket exudes, and how he’s depicted in the comic book and new movie. Of course, marketing a cute talking raccoon to kids couldn’t hurt Guardians of the Galaxy‘s chances at the box office, even if the character isn’t nearly as cuddly as his appearance suggests. “Daffy Duck would get his bill blasted off with double barrel shotguns,” says Young. “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 has certainly been one of the more popular members of Guardians of the Galaxy, and if Marvel and director James Gunn play their cards right, he could be as popular as the Hulk was in The Avengers.
Rocket Raccoon hits comic book shops on July 2 from Marvel Comics, while Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters everywhere on August 1. Check out some of the comic book’s unfinished panels below.