EDITORIAL: Flarkin' Awesome! 010 - Happy Raccoonatics' Day!

Especially cosmic greetings, all!  Leo Wyld, Raccoonatic Commander, reporting.  This is the tenth installment in my ongoing Rocket-centric series.  That is a significant number to me and would be cause for me to celebrate in and of itself.  And celebration is somewhat the theme today, but not just for the fact this is the tenth issue of Flarkin' Awesome!  No, today, March 22nd, marks the first occurrence of the Commander-proclaimed holiday of the fandom...

Flarkin' Awesome! 010 - Happy Raccoonatics' Day!

That's right, one year ago today, I coined the word.  If you want the details on that check out one of the earlier issue, like Issue 003 (which was a six month celebration), but that is not important for now.  As this was the date the word was created, I have decided that, one year later, this will be a day to celebrate the Rocket Raccoon fans and everything that is awesome about Rocket Raccoon.  I have spent the past issues addressing reasons he is awesome, sometimes only in passing, sometimes more directly.  So, this time, for this celebration for the Raccoonatics, I took a different route...

(More After the Jump)
In the last Flarkin' Awesome! and in a topic on Marvel Heroes forums, I asked you the community, the Raccoonatics (and perhaps soon to be Raccoonatics) why you thought Rocket was awesome.  I may not have gotten a ton of replies, but a number of those I got where well-written.  So, let's take a look... 

FA009 Comments, An Anonymous Poster said:
"Why do I think Rocket Raccoon is awesome? Because everything about his personality contradicts his (somewhat) cute and fuzzy exterior; he's a battle-hardened space adventurer/one-man-army who packs razor-blade wit and some serious heat. The image of a furry little mammal wielding a colossal weapon blasting away the galaxy's baddies never gets old" 

Very well said.  There is a reason I try to get everyone to read the comics, especially Guardians volume 2.  Rocket Raccoon's appearance and even concept does not truly tell you who he is.  Through the comics, there are revealed elements of his personality and history that you simply would not expect by just looking at him. Some of which are quite contrary to what you would expect.

FA009 Comments, Kat said:
Rocket Raccoon #2
"I should tell ya why I think Rocket is awesome eh?
Well I first learned of the badass little guy a long while back, I wanna say around 2001. When I was sick my mom would buy me comic books, and one day I got the flu and she came back from a thrift store with a bunch of older comics. One of them was Rocket Raccoon #2. I didn't really get what it was all about and at the time I just kinda put it away and read Spider-Man or whatever. Later I gave away all my comics. A long while later I re-discovered Rocket through Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. I went out and got that compilation book (Guardian of the Keystone Quadrant) and GotG: Legacy. I've been a fan ever since.
So I guess Rocket is awesome to me because of sentimental value. I dunno.
I just really like unusual characters, Rocket, and all of the Guardians for that matter certainly are unusual."

While Rocket really did not begin a breakthrough to public awareness until the late aughts, he debuted in 1976 and had his first significant comic appearances in the 80's.  While I am more a fan of DnA's take on the hero and the way to re-imagined and explained what really happened on Halfworld, there are some who are more a fan of the 80's stuff, perhaps, and that is fine.  We all have our personal preferences, but it brings up the point that there were Raccoonatics long before I gave them a name. (Just not as many).  And, yes, the Guardians of the Galaxy are quite the motley crew of outcasts.  In a sense, Rocket represents that, almost metaphorically, more than any other member. (And a Spartax guard sort of said as much in an issue of Guardians volume 3)

Not every comment was positive, but I will post one to bring up a point...
FA009 Comments, An Anonymous Poster said:
"I never understood RR, i mean, he's so silly he's almost dumb. What the hell does he do other than overshadow the other members of the guardians that deserve way more attention than he does! Don't get me wrong, i like him, but he's just too silly to go into my favorite heroes category."

Clearly, I disagree with these sentiments, and I believe that most of the readers here would.  I did not post this to debate it, though, or to get you to rage, I posted it because it sounds like another that starts off the same way, but, thankfully, does not end on that note (gives you something to think about)...

FA009 Comments, Another Anonymous Poster said:
"I'm always had a soft spot for talking animals in comics and animation, though when I first find found out about Rocket Raccoon, I really thought the whole concept was dumb and stupid. Reason for that conclusion was probably because at that time (around 2008) I had only read serious, dark and gritty superhero comics, and really thought that was the way the genre was. So having a talking animal in a super serious setting seemed just like a very bad idea.
Then I watched the teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy. My teacher is a huge Marvel fan, and he posted it on facebook along with pictures of Rocket Raccoon. I got interested and check out the Abnett & Lannings run on GotG.
I ended up being a great fan of the series, and I think Rocket is my favorite Marvel character. Why do I like him so much? Like Batman, he's has no superpowers and he's not a tank that can take many hits (like Hulk or Thor), so any story where he's in deep trouble get's exciting. He's funny, always has a witty comment, but also takes dangerous situations seriously and he cares for his friends." 

From what I've seen, it is more likely someone will dislike Rocket if he takes the character at face value.  Is it possible to become familiar with the character and still not like him? Sure. But, again from my experience, it happens far less often.  And this one points out another aspect of Rocket.  Is he a badass? Absolutely. And he does not seem to care much for the rules.  And, yes, he is snarky and can be downright mean.  But beneath all of that, he really does care.  He cares about saving the galaxy and, perhaps more than anything else in his life, he cares about his friends.  Rocket is an emotionally wounded animal with a messed up past, so he tends to usually hide that side of himself, but it is one of the aspects of his personality that really makes him interesting and likeable.

FA009 Comments, my fellow contributor Lokein Lyesmith with a particularly inspired post:
"I think Rocket is awesome because... He's the heart of the Guardians. Whether it's DnA or Bendis, he's the Jimminy Cricket, the Hoban Washburne, the Xander Harris of the group. He's their rock. He's the glue that holds them all together. He's whatever the team needs to him to be. He can take charge when he has to, he can provide counsel to Peter, he gives Groot someone to call family and home, he can be the comic relief when things get too heavy, or the 'bad guy' when tough decisions needs to be made, or when someone needs a good smack in the head. He may be a raccoon, but he's the team's humanity. And that's why I think Rocket is awesome."

There really is not much more to say about this.  I agree completely.  Rocket Raccoon is the heart of the modern Guardians of the Galaxy's team and this post really does a good job of explaining many reasons why.  Peter Quill is the leader, but Rocket has led before and, more often than not, it has almost been a dual leadership.  The act of being a team is even perhaps slightly more important to Rocket than the others.  It was Rocky who insisted on coming up with a team name and, recently, on trying to figure out a battle cry.  This likely goes back to how much he values his friends, they are his world. And some of those latter statements

Marvel Heroes forums, soulandcrime said:
"Why do I think Rocket is awesome? I guess mostly because he is the brain of my favorite Marvel group, the Guardians of the Galaxy. He is the one that named the group, and is also the one that kept it alive when it was about to fall apart. In my opinion he is a better leader than Starlord is."

I hope none of the readers see that last line as hostile. Heh.  Honestly, I do like Rocket as a character slightly more, but I think Peter Quill is a great character. And he is one of Rocket's best friends, so how could I not think he is awesome.  I will say, though, that the act of being on a team is perhaps more important to Rocket.  As the poster said, it was Rocket's insistence on coming up with a team name that led them to being the Guardians of the Galaxy.  And were it not for Rocket's dedication to them being a team, they may have very well fallen apart after Quill's deception.  Even while Quill is the leader, which is usually the case, it is often something of a dual-leadership.  There is plenty of playful jabs between the two, but there is also a whole lot of mutual respect and Pete recruited Rocket in the first place specifically because he trusts his judgment and tactical abilities.

Marvel Heroes forums, Brialt said:
"The first time I ever came across Rocket was in the 25 cent bins at a comic show years and years ago. I found his whole miniseries (paid a whole dollar for all 4) and remember reading it and and tossing it into one of many many Comic boxes never to be looked again... until Annihilation: Conquest. I've been hooked on the GotG since.
Rocket is awesome because he adds that layer of humor into the stories without making it hokey. This is enhanced by the fact that DnA gave his personality layers, so he was more than just a funny-looking animal character. I can't give enough credit to Giffen and DnA for not falling into the obvious trap of making him into a side-joke and actually giving us a character that we not only care about, but have grown to love."

Raccoon Office Fasion
And that is all the good stuff I got from the community. Gonna switch modes for a bit, go back to the Raccoonatic concept.  I was inspired to become a fan of Rocket from the comics, because he was an awesome character, but at the focus of that was my friend DarkBeast and the rest of the community of a game called Marvel Heroes...

And one of the first costumes that me and DarkBeast wanted added to the game, before we even saw what costumes Rocket would end up with, was the outfit he wore while working at Timely Inc.  Our idea was that it would be his chase costume (a special type of costume that was only available as a drop, that idea was tweaked eventually). Spider-man's chase costume was Bagman, for instance, Timely seemed quirky enough to be a good fit for Rocket's chase. (And besides, we just thought it'd be really cool.)  So, I kept pestering Gazillion, sometimes daily, to have it added and the community was quite supportive because most of Rocket's fans thought it was cool.  I even pestered Marvel themselves a bit.  After over a year of campaigning...

It was revealed that the costume was finally approved by Marvel.  This was done by Gazillion posting a preview pic of the costume and promptly summoning me to the forums to see it.  Soon after, the news was included here on this site and I have an update.  I was told by Marvel Heroes Community Manager Ryan "Ryolnir" Collins that the costume would be released in several weeks, barring scheduling issues.  Much to my pleasant surprise, it was released mere days after that first preview pic, on Thursday, March 12th.

It was on Test Center for a couple days before that and the price in G's was listed as 900 (G's are a currency purchased with real money, a set of 1000 G's is ten dollars).  I could have waited for the costume to drop, but costume drops are very rare and, as the Raccoonatic Commander and the person who wanted this costume more than just about anything else, I had to have it day one.  So, I bought 1000 G's.  And I asked if the price would be different when it went live, did not expect it to, but just wanted to be sure.  No response, so I thought it would be fine.  But the best laid plans, etc.... On the day of the update that included the costume, I waited anxiously for the servers to come back up.  They did, I logged on, I was gonna be one of the first to buy the costume, and... I see the price is now 1250 (I had only bought 1000 G's, remember).  I did say what happened on MH forums and that I was upset and saddened by the occurrence.  I had a couple people offer to help me, including a guildmember and then...  in my many years of playing online games, one of the most awesome things that has happened... Jeff "Doomsaw" Donais, one of the main people on the Marvel Heroes team, contacted me on Twitter and told me not to worry, that he would buy the costume for me.  And he did.  It was so amazing.  You want to celebrate this holiday properly, go play some Marvel Heroes, buy Rocket or unlock him with splinters and buy that costume.  These people at Gazillion, who work on the game, are truly some of the most awesome people I have ever met.


As I mentioned in the comments of the earlier costume news, the name "Timely Inc." itself was one of the obstacles that had been preventing the costumes previous release (still not sure exactly why), so the final official title of the costume ended up being "Office Attire" (which is fine, we all still know what it is).  In some more positive news, the pistols are replaced by staple guns and his pistol basics fire glowing staples instead... and it even has accompanying clicky stapler sounds.  I actually posted this guess in the earlier news when they hinted something would happen with the Rocket Pack... the Rocket Pack is, instead, a pair of fire extinguishers!



So, ten issues of Flarkin' Awesome!  That is a nice round number.  If it ended here, that would still feel like an accomplishment to me.  Will it, who knows?  I've already heard one awesome suggestion for a promising potential new issue.  And every time I think I will not think of another idea, I end up thinking of another idea.  Today, though, we celebrate Raccoonatics' Day.  Aside from playing Marvel Heroes, you can play Lego Marvel (Rocket's on there), Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.  Or, even better, read some of Rocket's comic appearances if you have not.  Most of them are available on Marvel's Unlimited service.  Or, if you are totally new to Rocket, read more about him in his section on this site or on my own site The Raccooniverse

My plan: every March 22nd from now on will be Raccoonatics' Day.  Even if I somehow stop reading comics or playing Marvel Heroes, I will take that day to celebrate Rocket Raccoon and this fandom.  But this first one is an important one, this is the year that Rocket is really starting to gain some mainstream attention, the year he is going to get a new series of his own, and, of course, the year of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.  Indeed, there will be other Raccoonatics' Days, but this first one, in the Year of the Raccoon, will likely hold a certain significance.  Me, I wrote this issue for the occasion (admittedly ahead of time), and I am planning to have another one of my artifact giveaways in Marvel Heroes (Watch for a Raccoonatics' Day topic on Marvel Heroes forums).  You, well, if you are on Twitter, wish your friends a #HappyRaccoonaticsDay (pluralized and remember double C, double O).  Whatever you do or don't do to celebrate, I hope your Raccoonatics' Day is a cosmically awesome one.  And, until next time, See Ya 'Round the Raccooniverse!

9 comments:

  1. Happy Raccoonatics’ Day from a fresh-recruited Raccoonatic. I first got to know Rocket and the Guardians half a year ago and was very skeptic about Rocket at the beginning. But the more I learned about him, the more I liked him and meanwhile I became a big fan. Therefore I get my Rocket-Tattoo a month today (I know, I already mentioned that before, but I’m so happy about it ;-) ) and I also named my car “Rakk’n’Ruin”. So, yes, I’m a little bit crazy, but I love it. ;-)

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    1. Sounds like you are a true Raccoonatic! I may have to name my truck 'The Milano'.

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    2. You, indeed, sound like a real fan! Glad to have ya in the fandom,

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    3. Thank you guys! That means a lot to me!

      Cameron, I think "The Milano" is the perfect name for a truck!

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  2. Oh neat, you put in what I said.
    Though I'm not sure why you implied I don't like the newer stuff, especially the reexplaining of the Halfworld stuff. I am a huge fan of the 4-issue 80s run, when I read the whole re-imagining bit I almost squealed that we were returning to Halfworld, even for a little bit. I thought it was a really good way to make the classic stuff fit in the universe.
    Also, now I could say to people: "One time, Rocket Raccoon discovered his past was all a matrix simulation run by genetically modified cyborg woodland creatures and robot clowns, and then after that he was forced to become a TV star with Groot by some fat guy in a spider chair who is really a robot."
    The look on people's faces is the best.

    Oh and congrats on the 10 editorials. Always a fun read.

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    1. Heh, sorry. When I said some people are more a fan of the 80's stuff, I did not mean you in particular, per se. I said that because the era had been brought up in your quote and I have met a few people for which that is the case.

      And thank you. I enjoy writing them, I am glad you enjoy reading.

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