10 Things The Guardians Movies Left Out About Rocket Raccoon’s Past

A collage of Rocket Raccoon from the MCU and his comics version.

The last film of the GotG trilogy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, finally properly explores Rocket Raccoon’s past. Up to Vol. 2, fans knew very little about this hero’s story in the MCU, but Vol. 3 sheds light on his incredibly heartbreaking past and everything that turned him into who he is now.

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Until Vol. 3, all the clues to Rocket’s backstory pointed to a comic-accurate storyline. However, after Vol. 3, it’s obvious Marvel Studios left details from the comics behind. Some of these fragments of Rocket Raccoon’s past inspired other things from the movie, while others were simply ignored, at least until now.

This article contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 ahead.



10 Halfworld

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Vol. 3 established Rocket Raccoon’s first home as the High Evolutionary ship. From here, he thought he would go to Counter-Earth until the villain clarified that he was part of a defective batch in one of the saddest scenes of the MCU. In the comics, Rocket’s backstory has absolutely nothing to do with Counter-Earth. Instead, he comes from Halfworld.

This half-natural, half-industrial planet, located in the Keystone Quadrant, was an asylum for a humanoid race full of people with mental illness. It was also Rocket’s original home. Here, he lived for decades as a companion animal for several of the many patients that lived in Halfworld until he had to flee.

9 Rocket Raccoon’s Team-Up With The Hulk

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Hulk and Rocket in the back of a truck in Avengers Infinity War.

As happens with most of the Guardians of the Galaxy debuts in the comics, Rocket Raccoon first appeared as a supporting character in Incredible Hulk #271 by Bill Mantlo, Sal Buscema, Bob Sharen, and Jim Novak. This comic sees him and the Jade Giant work together after the Avenger ended up in Halfworld.

The MCU completely ignored this storyline. Rocket and Hulk eventually met during Avengers: Infinity War, but they hadn’t teamed up before. These two heroes have a fair share of scenes together. Since they are the smallest and the biggest heroes in the MCU, their interactions are very funny.

8 Frankie Fat Hands

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Frankie Fat Hands holding up a hand in Marvel Comics.

Vol. 3 doesn’t really explain the circumstances that led Rocket to become an intergalactic criminal. After escaping the High Evolutionary’s control, he stole a ship and fled into the cosmos. Years later, he met Peter Quill, and fate turned them into allies, but fans know nothing about what happened in the middle of those two events.

In the comics, Rocket struggled to get back on his feet, searching for food in the trash. Before hitting rock bottom, he met Frankie Fat Hands. This alien became his mentor in the criminal world. The MCU ignored Frankie’s existence, which is a true shame, considering he was the first one to be kind toward Rocket in a long time.

7 Wal Rus

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Wal Rus and Rocket Raccon chatting in Marvel Comics.

Vol. 3 tells Rocket’s story through a series of flashbacks where he meets a group of experiments just like him: Lylla the Otter, Floor the Rabbit, and Teefs the Walrus. While Lylla is a long-standing character from the Marvel Universe, Floor and Teefs are original MCU characters. However, Teefs was inspired by Rocket’s first ally ever, Wal Rus.

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Wal Rus, who debuted with Rocket in Incredible Hulk #271, was an engineer and a scientifically modified walrus just like Teefs. However, contrary to the MCU character, Wal Rus has an actual set of powers, such as metallic tusks that shoot lasers and mechanic arms to use objects. Wal Rus’ fate is definitely better than Teefs’.

6 Khevix & The Cuckoo Nest

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Khevix reaching out a hand in the Guardians of the Galaxy comics.

According to Guardians of the Galaxy #8, by Donny Cates, Cory Smith, David Curiel, and Cory Petit, Rocket spent a great deal of his past living with Khevix, a patient from the Cuckoo Nest who protected the raccoon as his pet. Khevix was the last person to show Raccoon any kindness before the robots took him away and experimented on him.

This traumatic passage of Rocket’s life would have fit perfectly with the harrowing backstory that he got in the MCU. Khevix’s kindness during Rocket’s time as a pet, in contrast to the High Evolutionary’s cruelty, would have only made the film more emotional.

5 The Brainwashing

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Rocket Raccoon holding an oversized weapon on an alien planet in Marvel Comics.

For many years, Rocket Raccoon believed that Halfworld was a kind place. He had these happy memories of his home planet until Annihilators #3 — by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Tan Eng Huat, Victor Olazaba, June Chung, and Joe Caramagna.

This issue follows Rocket as he discovers the truth of Halfworld, an asylum for psychiatric patients led by merciless robots who tortured him when he was younger. At least in the comics, Rocket got to enjoy many fake memories about his past. MCU Rocket wasn’t as lucky. Instead, he has carried the trauma for years.

4 Sentiency As An Adult

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Rocket Raccoon dying in Marvel Comics.

From the very beginning of Vol. 3, Rocket’s past flashbacks are incredibly sad. In one of the first scenes, Rocket is only a baby when the High Evolutionary experiments on him. After gaining sentience, his first word is a distressing complaint: “Hurts.”

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Guardians of the Galaxy #8 revealed that Rocket Raccoon first became sentient after a traumatic process in which the Halfworld robots experimented on him. This painful “chorus of razors,” as he described it, is just as cruel as it was in the MCU. However, the fact that Rocket went through it as an adult is slightly less heartwrenching than the film’s version.

3 The Rakk ‘N’ Ruin

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The Rakk N Ruin traveling through Halfworld in Marvel Comics.

Since the MCU doesn’t delve much into Rocket’s life between his escape from the High Evolutionary ship and his time as a Guardian, the films had no opportunity to include the Rakk ‘N’ Ruin, Rocket’s spaceship from his adventures, both solo and with Wal Rus.

The Rakk ‘N’ Ruin didn’t last long as Rocket’s main transportation, which explains why the MCU ignored it as a part of his story. However, if used correctly, this iconic ship had the potential to be one of the best spaceships in the Marvel Universe.

2 The Toy War

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Lylla the otter holding a gun in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy comics.

Since the inhabitants of Halfworld needed constant entertainment, toys became one of the most important industries on this planet. Rocket Raccoon, by Bill Mantlo, Mike Mignola, Al Gordon, Christie Scheele, and Ken Bruzenak, follows this hero’s involvement in the Toy War, a feud between two toy-makers that became a full-on sci-fi adventure.

By not having Halfworld in the film, Marvel Studios ensured Rocket’s backstory would be one of the darkest origin stories in the MCU so far. However, considering James Gunn’s unique aesthetic, many fans are disappointed that they didn’t get to see his take on the Toy War.

1 The Beginnings Of Rocket Raccoon’s Friendship With Groot

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Rocket firing a weapon on Groot's shoulder in Guardians of the Galaxy 3.

By the time Peter Quill meets Rocket and Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, the two bounty hunters are already close friends. Given this, not many MCU casual fans know that the two heroes met in prison, as they were cellmates. In fact, in the beginning, Rocket couldn’t stand Groot, as he didn’t understand anything the colossus said.

Regardless of this, Rocket once caught a group of guards bullying Groot, which incensed him immediately. After he defended Groot, they bonded, and he became proficient in his language. Vol. 3 was inspired by this moment to depict Gamora and Groot’s relationship.

NEXT: 10 Ways Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Will Shape The MCU’s Future


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