NOTE: This article contains SPOILERS for Rocket Raccoon #3
While the world waits in rapt anticipation for the Guardians of the Galaxy to dominate the superhero scene for a second time on film… things have been better for them in the current world of Marvel Comics. Before they made their first appearance in Marvel’s Civil War II event series, it was promised that the Guardians would choose a side, and choose they did. But that’s where the problems began, as siding with Captain Marvel saw their spaceship obliterated in the battle that followed – stranding them all on Earth – and the secrets and deception of Carol Danvers saw the entire team disbanded, too.
This is particularly bad news for Rocket Raccoon, considering just how much he hates Earth, humans, and the illogical details of human society. Still, seeing him scramble to survive and escape the planet is enough of a reason to make his own Rocket Raccoon series a no-brainer. And just a few issues in, Rocket is already showing that no matter how believed a corner of the Marvel Universe may be, a little Rocket can take it to a new level. And Spider-Man should be taking notes.
Raccoon Meets Spider
When the series began, it took Rocket a matter of minutes to have the entirety of the NYPD in pursuit of the three-foot, orange jumpsuit-wearing raccoon robbing restaurants and discharging cosmic firearms. Thankfully, an assist from Johnny Storm allowed him to make contact with an old Shi’ar ally, in possession of a lead on how to put Earth in his rearview mirror (interplanetary movement being restricted since the Civil War). Rocket met the contact, but soon found himself in the crosshairs of a group of urban prize hunters making sport of the excess aliens hiding in New York.
Never one to lay low and decrease attention, the aliens in hiding soon saw Rocket as more of a threat than a fellow stowaway, and – not for the first, nor last time, Rocket found himself in a brawl outside of a watering hole. With his leads gone, and a half a dozen aliens taking their shots, the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man swinging by came to the rescue. Well, he intended to, but Rocket soon viciously burst from the group, sending them hightailing it away. A talking raccoon is still too strange to ignore, so Miles Morales comes in for a closer look.
Instantly, he learns two things: Rocket Raccoon is nor ordinary raccoon, and it’s never a good idea to try to take away his guns.
The hard shot to the skull is all Miles needs to stop pushing the issue, and soon lends his help to Rocket in hopes that he’ll leave him sooner as a result. But Rocket remains a refugee on Earth, and at this point, the alien who had also been working to get transportation off-planet that he tried to tail out of the bar is long gone. By first laughing at, then actually following Miles’s advice of following the alien’s scent trail, Rocket takes in the rest of New York, from its fine canine pursuers to its delicious pizza joints (likely paid for with more stolen cash).
And just when Rocket seems to have tracked the alien’s scent to its source, he stumbles into an even stranger situation. As it turns out, the alien game hunter looking to claim his head wasn’t alone. And since Rocket decided to end the threat by blasting a hole through said hunter’s torso, the man’s boss has entered the hunt himself. And in Marvel’s slate of Spider-Man villains… hunting is kind of this guy’s thing.
Hunted By Kraven Himself
It’s not the first time that Rocket has crossed paths with Kraven, so being splattered on the front of his (strangely mural-ed) van is hardly enough to slow him down. After being tossed into the back with the rest of the aliens on the lam, Rocket takes his game to the next level. The good news is that his efforts to flip the van out of control allow the aliens to escape (with some bumps and bruises, we assume). The bad news is that Rocket is now the sole target of the Marvel world’s greatest game hunter. O,h and he’s still stuck on Earth. And Earth sucks.
The chase that follows has to be seen to be appreciated, with Rocket pretending to be a new member of the Avengers to get the NYPD on his side, learning just how terrible Earth’s guns are compared to the rest of the galaxy, and even attempting to execute Kraven in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fashion. On the flipside, Rocket learns that resembling one of the urban wildlife does come in handy… and winds up in his underwear. Whether or not the two things are connected is something we’ll leave unanswered for now.
Points have to awarded to Kraven for showing just how difficult he is to kill at the same time, since Rocket has gained galactic fame for his combat and firearm precision. By the end of the third issue, his attempts to take their feud from the violent to the profoundly cartoonish in scale are further one-upped by Kraven, deciding that if cars and vans aren’t enough to take down his quarry… and a garbage truck is still child’s play… then perhaps the biggest vehicles in New York City will do the trick.
Spider-Man may wind up patrolling a completely different New York when Rocket’s adventure moves on to new surroundings, but writer Matthew Rosenberg and artists Jorge Coelho and Antonio Fabela have delivered three unforgettable chapters so far. They may be small in scale compared to either Marvel’s event books, or the Guardians film. But for those unable to wait for more Rocket Raccoon goodness, his shake-up of the Spider-Man status quo is well worth the price of admission.
Rocket Raccoon #3 is available now.