Rocket Racoon was always the heart of the Guardians of the Galaxy team in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Bradley Copper’s performance as Rocket Raccoon was really impressive and made us absolutely adore the character. The hardened creature of Halfworld suffered a lot in his past, and frankly, his comic book counterpart didn’t fare better. However, although Rocket always seemed unapproachable to others, his tough demeanor only covered his real character – the one who truly cared for his closest friends.
Rocket Racoon first appeared in the comics in 1976, and since then had many allies, some becoming his true friends. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Rocket was involved in many big missions and crossovers, from which he also made great friends. We will list ten characters from comics and MCU who are considered Rocket Raccoon’s closest allies but, most importantly, closest friends. Beware of spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 movie.
10. Wal Rus (Comics)
If you watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, you would know how the movie presented us with Rocket’s origin story – simply, it was brutal and extremely emotional. We learn that during all the torture, Rocket lost his friends, one of them being Teefs.
In Marvel Comics, Teefs is called Wal Rus, an engineer who helped Rocket Raccoon on his adventures. Of course, in the usual Rocket way, the Raccoon constantly bickered with the talking walrus, but to this day, Wal Rus is considered one of the first allies of Rocket Raccoon in Marvel Comics. Thankfully, Wal Rus is alive and healthy in the comics, which cannot be said for his Earth-199999 counterpart.
9. Mantis (MCU)
Mantis was always considered a strange character since her upbringing mostly revolved around her helping Ego, her father, sleep and being isolated from the rest of the galaxy. When she first met Guardians of the Galaxy in the second movie, she immediately felt connected to her eventual teammates, who helped her build the courage, to tell the truth about Ego and his plans.
Rocket and Mantis’ beginnings were hilarious since the woman thought the Raccoon was simply Guardians’ pet. However, since then, their relationship evolved tenfold, and they became close friends, which was closely depicted during GotG 3 when Mantis literally wept for her injured friend. That whole movie had no right to be that emotional. We could put someone like Drax in her place, but Mantis and Rocket’s relationship seems more “tight” in the MCU.
8. Blackjack O’Hare (Comics)
As with Wal Rus, we saw a Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the character called Floor was also killed during the group escape from High Evolutionary, which was the catalyst for Rocket Raccoon’s cynical outlook on life. In Marvel Comics, Floor is called Blackjack O’Hare, a mercenary who is mostly portrayed as selfish, but despite that, he always does the right thing when it’s needed.
Rocket and Blackjack usually bump heads, but in the toughest moments, the anthropomorphic rabbit is one of our Raccoon’s biggest allies and best friends; Rocket takes his friend on the most intense missions and, in most cases, trusts him.
7. Thor (MCU)
Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame had some great moments, but Thor and Rocket were definitely one of the best parts of both movies. Their bickering and constant “one-upping” each other entertained us through the most intense moments.
Infinity War brought us the unusual dynamic trio of Groot, Rocket, and Thor, who were part of the most epic battle scene in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and even after the Snap happened, Thor lived with the burden of not “aiming for the head.” Rocket was one of Thor’s former allies who actually reached out for him in the Endgame. Rocket and Thor were always a joy to watch in the MCU, and Thor’s constant calling of Rocket “the rabbit” didn’t change the fact that the Raccoon and God of Thunder became great friends and allies.
6. Hulk (Comics)
As we already established, Rocket Raccoon had a really interesting life journey in the comics. From an experiment on Halfworld to his homeworld’s ranger, Rocket met powerful beings and, among them, a green monster from Earth, Hulk. In the 1980s, Ranger Rocket and his friend Wal Rus met Hulk, who Galaxy Master transported to Halfworld. After taking a liking for two strange beings, Hulk helped them defeat the powerful tank called Robomower.
Hulk later helped defeat more enemies with Rocket and Wal Rus, and since then, the Raccoon considered the green monster one of his closest allies. Rocket first debuted in the Incredible Hulk comic book issue in 1982. One of the friendships on this list that is a certified “blast from the past.”
5. Nebula (MCU)
Nebula’s story in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is extremely emotional and beautiful if we take everything into account. Once a normal being, the adopted daughter of Thanos was brutally tortured by her father, who would replace her body parts with machinery “for upgrades” every time she would lose to her sister Gamora in a fight.
Nebula evolved from Guardian’s enemy to their reluctant ally and eventually part of their family. Especially with Rocket, with whom Nebula shared the curse of being alive after “the Snap.” One of the most emotional scenes in the aftermath of Thanos’ deed was Rocket and Nebula grieving everyone they lost. Since then, Nebula and Rocket have been “thick as thieves” and one of closest friends.
4. Gamora (Comics)
Gamora and Rocket were close in the MCU, but their comic book counterparts have more stories to share. Moreover, Gamora from the comics “flirted” with the idea of being an opponent to her team, like in the Infinity Wars storyline, for which she apologized in many ways.
Rocket and Gamora might be different, but during one storyline where Rocket is slowly dying and secretly distances himself from the Guardians, Gamora is the team member that watches over her sick teammate. They also bonded during the Dark Olympians storyline when Star-Lord dies (he doesn’t), when they both felt they betrayed their closest friend.
3. Star-Lord (MCU)
We could definitely list Star-Lord from the comics as one of Rocket’s closest friends, but we chose MCU for this list. Rocket and Star-Lord first met when Quill convinced the Raccoon to join him in acquiring the Orb for massive profit. However, since then, Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon have bonded in many ways, leading to them forming Guardians of the Galaxy.
Rocket and Quill were really close even though Rocket mostly teased Quill with his jabs, and the man tried to get him back every time. During the Guardians of the Galaxy tenure, Rocket and Star-Lord became great friends, which led to Peter leaving the leadership of the new generation of Guardians of the Galaxy in Rocket’s hands. They had a great friendship, and hopefully, we will see it again in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
2. Lylla (Comics)
Another character that tragically died in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 movie, Lylla, is actually well and alive in Marvel Comics. She is Rocket’s soulmate and one of his best friends. She debuted in the Incredible Hulk comic book run in 1982 and has been one of Rocket’s most important “people,” or in her case, an otter.
She was involved in joined efforts to defeat Judson Jakes, a talking mole from Halfworld that killed her parents, and in the aftermath, Rocket and Lylla departed the planet to start a new life. Lylla is very important to Rocket, and if the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 didn’t prove that, the comics will.
1. Groot (MCU)
Finally, we have Groot, and we could easily put the comic book version of the character in the first place as well, but their relationship in Marvel Cinematic Universe is also wholesome.
We already discussed how Groot and Rocket met in the comics and MCU, and both times we saw slow beginnings that turned into great friendships and partnerships. Rocket even “raised” Groot after Flora colossi’s almost death/rebirth, and the little tree even considered Rocket, his parent. Rocket and Groot are probably one of the best friendships in Marvel Comics, and I would argue the best in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.