When I saw the episode of Ultimate Spider-man that featured the Guardians of the Galaxy, I was bothered by a couple things. Among these was Rocket eating from garbage, as well as Rocket's voice, which we now know is essentially his new canon voice. What bothered me most of all was that Nova explained to Spidey that Rocket Raccoon is not a raccoon, but a member of an alien race that happens to look like them (and yet "Raccoon" is part of his name). I thought it was a facepalm-worthy explanation. I was not super concerned, though, at the time. Ultimate Spider-man is clearly set in a different universe. Sam Alexander is depicted on that episode as having been a main member of the Guardians team, which is not true at all in the 616. Certainly, the Rocket origin was a simplification for the kiddies, so they wouldn't have to get into talking about an interplanetary insane asylum and genetic modification.
Then we recently found out about Rocket's loss of the accent in canon, and I thought the other changes might be prepared for the 616. With NYCC, I saw an opportunity to find out for sure. My Tweeted question:
This question was tweeted for an earlier interview with Marvel's Editor-In-Chief, but as soon as I asked it during that interview, Marvel Live lost its internet feed. So, during the closing segment for Live, hours later, I re-asked the question, and AgentM summarized the answer that had been given in the earlier interview, that I had not gotten to see, by saying "alien race".
I am fairly new to reading comic books. Been over this story before but, basically, starting reading them to learn about Rocket Raccoon in preparation for being accepted into the Beta for Marvel Heroes, last October. I suppose it is something of a rite of passage for a comic fan, this was the first time a hero I cared about was a victim of a major retcon.
I am still not, nor will I ever, be truly happy about this change, but my initial reaction was particularly intense. I ranted on the Marvel Heroes forum, first in a topic that was about forum moderation, then later in my dedicated topic for Raccoonatics. I tried to say the real Rocket was dead. I tried to declare the Raccoonatic fandom disbanded because the term could no longer apply to a character who was not a raccoon. Made some big comments and declarations on Twitter, as well. I'm not great at hiding emotion.
Anyway, I finally realized that, even if this non-raccoon named Raccoon is the Rocket Raccoon we have in volume 3 or even in future Marvel comics, we will always have the Abnett and Lanning Rocket, and the crazy 80's stuff. And, really, most of Rocket's merchandise reflects his v2 era blue and red costume. Even on Marvel Heroes that is his default costume. I was a bit annoyed that his Cockney accent on Marvel Heroes was now out of sync with the current canon, now I find it a pleasant connection to the v2-era representation of the hero.
I'm sure some of you out there, who are longtime comic readers, have experienced a retcon gut punch. So, this really is not anything new, but it is very new for me, and as the number one fan of Rocket Raccoon, it was a fairly big deal to me.
Rocket once said, "Never doubt a raccoon." That is an awfully interesting sentiment to be expressed by someone who is not a raccoon. Just sayin'.
(Just to clarify, the Raccoonatic fandom is not gonna disband and the Raccoonatic Commander is going nowhere. I just may choose to focus a bit on the past. And, hey, it's ok if you disagree or don't understand the significance of this, not everyone can be as obsessed about Rocket as I am. Heh.)