Rocket Raccoon has a new costume in Avengers: Endgame - and it looks to be inspired by a classic uniform he wore in the comics. The entire cosmos suffered when Thanos snapped his fingers and erased half the life in the universe, but nobody lost more than Rocket. He had to watch his beloved Groot crumble to dust before his eyes, and he won't have heard anything from the rest of his friends either; Rocket is literally the last surviving member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Avengers: Endgame Super Bowl TV spot gave viewers their first glimpse of Rocket, entering a wooden cabin. It was a brief shot, with absolutely no context, so it's impossible to say where Rocket is or why he's there. It's possible the dejected Guardian has chosen to settle down on the coast following his losses and that this is the place he now calls home.
Equally interesting, though, is the fact that Rocket appears to have a new look. It's difficult to distinguish details at first glance due to the backlighting, but if the trailer's contrast is adjusted, it becomes clear that this is lifted straight from the comics. Rocket is wearing some sort blue jacket with piping down one side and red patterns running across it, as well as long gloves that run all the way up to his elbows. This is an outfit he adopted in the comics back in 2008, as part of a Guardians of the Galaxy relaunch headed by writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning; the costume was designed by Tim Green and carried forward for several years.
Not just a famous look, this is actually one of the most important comic book runs in the history of the Guardians of the Galaxy. In 2006, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning were at the forefront of an effort to up the profile of Marvel's cosmic range. The "Annihilation" event was an interstellar adventure that united heroes and antiheroes like Nova, the Silver Surfer, the Super-Skrull and Ronan in an effort to contain Annihilus, an invader from the Negative Zone. It was the beginning of a two-year adventure that drastically reshaped the balance of power in the wider Marvel Universe. And it was a tremendous success, leading Marvel to launch spin-off comics off the back of it - including, in 2008, a new Guardians of the Galaxy series starring what would become a very familiar lineup. This was the book Abnett and Lanning had been hoping to write for years, and it proved very popular indeed; in fact, the first and second issues both sold out.
Marvel Studios has always kept a careful eye on the comics, using them to see what resonates well with readers and inform ongoing stories. That's why they greenlit Captain Marvel shortly after Kelly Sue DeConnick's run gained popular and critical acclaim; it's undoubtedly also why they decided to go ahead with Guardians of the Galaxy. Signposting that fact, although James Gunn switched things up a lot, he still used the core team Abnett and Lanning assembled, even if some of the iconography and costumes were changed.
With Avengers: Endgame, everything's gone full circle; the culmination of the MCU as we know it sees Rocket taking on a look that honors this classic comic book series. The question is, will he keep it for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019