By Evan Dickson
The Guardians of the Galaxy movie is nearly here and so far all signs point to awesome. The movie features Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel and, most importantly, Bradley Cooper in the starring role as Rocket Raccoon.
As his name implies, Rocket Raccoon is an anthropomorphic raccoon with a jet pack. He has all the makings of a hero: he’s sassy, furry, favours giant guns and his ex-girlfriend is an otter. Why Marvel didn’t give this guy a solo origin film is beyond me. He has a long history of badassery that stands up to anyone in the Marvel Universe.
Before the movie cements his reputation for all time, let’s take a moment to pay tribute to the heart and soul of the Guardians and reflect on some of the most badass moments in this little maniac’s life.
Let’s start with an easy one. If this doesn’t convince you of Rocket Raccoon’s greatness you might as well just turn in your heart and brain at the front desk and leave. Hospitals put this frame on the ceiling of their nurseries to stimulate chest hair growth among babies. Never let a real life raccoon look at this image in case it incites some kind of animal uprising. You want context? Irrelevant! BRAKKA BRAKKA BRAKKA needs no set-up.
Once upon a time, Star-Lord redesigned the Kree Warnet, a massive integrated military intelligence system that tells one of the galaxy's most fearsome military forces what to incinerate. Think Skynet from the Terminator movies, but less psychotic and a million times more powerful. Except when it gets taken over by a race of sentient machines called the Phalanx, then it becomes more psychotic and, I don’t know, a trillion times more powerful. The point is Rocket and crew are trying to evade the most sophisticated target tracking system known to mammal, so Peter Quill (a.k.a Star-Lord) is rightfully dampening his trousers.
Rocket Raccoon, on the other hand, is not.
That’s right, not only does Rocket have a bigger gun than you, he’s also smarter. I’m talking to you, Iron Man.
Billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, genius inventor … I'm sure that business card pulls all the tail you can handle back on Earth, Tony, but out here in the galaxy you're just not that impressive. Just listen to the raccoon and maybe you'll learn a thing or two.
You got that, Stark? Just put the thing in the thing. You know what? Maybe you should go back to the Avengers. It doesn’t take much to look like a genius next to Thor and the Hulk.
Gladiator, aka Kallark (get it?) is essentially Superman if, instead of being raised by a kindly American couple after his planet was destroyed, Supes murdered his entire race on the orders of the ruthless galactic emperor he's sworn to serve. Gladiator has all the powers Superman with none of his farm boy morality—plus a bitchin' mohawk.
When Rocket went up against Gladiator he kicked that punk wannabe’s ass … for about two minutes.
You see, Gladiator's kryptonite is his self-assurance. His powers are psionic, which means as long as he believes he's stronger and tougher and has more lasery eyes than anybody else, he is and does. Given that Gladiator was confident enough to kill off every other member of his species, who had exactly the same powers he does, you can imagine how often he experiences self-doubt. To take this guy on you'd need some kind of super gun designed specifically for killing members of his now-lost race, right? Yeah, well...
That right there is a Xarthian Quantum Cannon. Custom designed to take beings as powerful as Gladiator by tearing them apart at the molecular level. Just kidding, it's really just a mop and an illusion.
Heh heh … whoops. So, the raccoon's toast now, right? He's just pissed off the single most powerful mortal in the Marvel universe. He's a hard look away from being a pile of burnt fur and gamey meat. This is where Rocket breaks out his most powerful secret weapon of all: cute overload.
Look, just because all you hear is "I am Groot" over and over, that doesn't mean that's all Groot has to say. I mean, the guy is king of Planet X. His family’s probably loaded and got him the best education money can buy. (Or ... bark can buy? I'm not sure what they use for currency on Planet X.)
It takes a genius of equal calibre like Maximus of the Inhumans to recognize Groot's true potential. Or Maximus is as crazy as a bag of spanners. It might be that.