Rocket Raccoon’s Unseen Backstory Makes Him The MCU’s Most Tragic Character

Rocket Raccoon's unseen MCU backstory as an anthropomorphic caretaker may be the most tragic backstory in the entire Marvel cast of characters. Rocket is often an overlooked character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, partly because of the status of the Guardians of the Galaxy as the franchise's second team. And even within the Guardians team itself, the focus is usually on Star-Lord and Gamora.

In general, Rocket feels like more of a supporting figure, with what little story focus he gets dedicated to his relationship with Groot or the rest of the crew - meaning that insight into Rocket's backstory and origins hasn't really happened in the film franchise so far. This is slightly atypical, given that the other Guardians have seen greater focus on their backgrounds - as Peter's is covered in their debut film, Gamora's childhood with Thanos is shown at the culmination of the Infinity Saga, and Drax speaks of his murdered family frequently. Other than hints of experimentation, there's arguably been more shown of Adam Warlock's origin than Rocket Raccoon's, and there's only been a sliver of coverage of him in the MCU so far.

It's a shame, because of the group's members, Rocket Raccoon actually has the most unusual and impactful backstory, which has already been hinted at in the MCU. In the comics, Rocket started out as a genetically engineered creature given sentience by robots that had been tasked with taking care of a planet of mentally ill patients. Seeking to leave the planet, the robot caretakers engineered animals until they could fill their directive, and then went to the other side of the planet, stripping this half bare while mining for resources. This planet - the "Halfworld" - is where Rocket is shown to come from in Guardians of The Galaxy, courtesy of his criminal record, suggesting that this part of his life is the same in both the comics and the MCU. And if that is the case, fans could be set for the franchise's most devastating backstory.


Rocket's Tragic Comic Book Backstory


On top of the tragedy of Rocket's origin in the comics, James Gunn also appeared on a panel in 2017 and stated that Rocket's MCU backstory is "a little bit more horrible than what it is in the comics", suggesting that being abandoned by robot creators is not the worst of what he went through. It seems likely that this is in reference to the fact that Rocket either finally snapped as a result of the consistent scientific experiments done on him and did something terrible, or that perhaps his creators did something to him that left him permanently damaged.

Either way, it seems clear that the Rocket that is shown in the first Guardians film is still very much living with the scars of his past close to the surface. While it's easy to deem his aggressive nature and proclivity to violence as inherent traits, it's more likely that these are a result of him viciously rejecting the caretaker role he was experimented on to try and fit. This would also go a long way as to explaining why Rocket finds it so difficult both in Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to try and trust his friends and show open affection for them - as his history means he never fully learned how until the events of the movies.


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