The Ballad of Rocket Raccoon

With so many fun and interesting characters in Marvel's newest film Guardians of the Galaxy, it's hard to choose a favorite. I personally love anything that makes me want to hug it despite its potty mouth and obsession with guns, so my choice for favorite is easily Rocket Raccoon. As a genetically and cybernetically enhanced raccoon, Rocket is a wholly unique character.

Whatever you do, don't call him a rodent.

 

Part of what makes Rocket so unique is his name. Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen, who created the character back in 1976, just so happen to be fans of the Beatles. The group's song entitled "Rocky Raccoon" (a folk ballad involving a young boy from the black mountain hills of Dakota, a copy of Gideon's Bible, and a love triangle) served  as inspiration for the character's name.

It makes sense that one of the weirdest/coolest Beatles songs would be involved with the creation of one of Marvels weirdest/coolest characters. In fact this name origin is referenced in The Incredible Hulk #271 when Rocket and Hulk hunt down a thief who stole a Gideon's Bible.

Also, there was a time when Rocket Raccoon had another sidekick beside The Monarch of Planet X, aka Groot.  

Rocket used to jump across the galaxy with this guy:

Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics

Yup, that's a talking Walrus, named Wal Rus.  

 

But Wal Rus and Rocket are not the only highly intelligent mammals jetting around our galaxy.

*Minor spoiler alert for Guardians of the Galaxy*

Remember that dog in an astronaut suit seen briefly in the Collector's er, collection?  His name is Cosmo and he was a Russian Cosmonaut sent into Earth's orbit in the 1960s.  After drifting in space he somehow ended up in Knowhere.  There he was mutated until he became super intelligent.  In the comics he eventually ends up acting as liaison for the Guardians of the Galaxy.  With a resume like that I'd let this pup lick my hand any day of the week.

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