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There's a fair bit of history on Rocket Raccoon on the various wikis, but none seem to answer one fairly specific question - why is he a raccoon? Wikipedia gives an out-of-universe explanation, saying "The character was created by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen and consciously inspired by the classic Beatles song "Rocky Raccoon"".

Is there an in-universe explanation as to why an extraterrestial civilization had a raccoon as their guardian?

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    Well, you can hardly expect a "Rocket Raccoon" to be a llama... – A.D Jul 22 '12 at 14:36
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    That's why it would be a cunning double bluff worthy of a raccoon or llama. – dlanod Jul 22 '12 at 21:31
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Rocket Raccoon exists within the Marvel Universe Earth-616 continuity. The character has a complicated in-universe back-story. He first appeared in Marvel Preview #7 (June, 1976). Here is the abridged version.

Rocket Raccoon

  • Alien humanoids settle the largest planet in the Keystone Quadrant star systems.
  • They build a sanitarium to study a variety of mentally-ill patients.
  • The aliens build a robotic staff to help maintain the patients.
  • The aliens lose their funding and leave having the robots remain behind to take care of the facility.
  • The robots chafe caring for their patients and genetically modify animals to take care of the patients so they can leave for other pastures.
  • Ranger Rocket Raccoon is the leader of that group of protecting animals.

And for the scientific purists among you: It is likely he is a raccoon-like organism, not necessarily a raccoon from EARTH. But for the sake of the non-scientific, the difference is minimal. Star-Lord recognized him as a raccoon and that is what he calls himself.

Consider the writers of that era, less than imaginative and leave it at that... Try not to read too much subtext into it. During that time writers were doing whatever they thought might bring in dollars. Scientific purity, aliens, and planetary genesis concepts weren't a consideration. Just run with it.

  • So why is he a raccoon, when it was robots from an alien civilization in another star system that created him? – Izkata Jul 21 '12 at 21:29
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    @Izkata - if YOU were a robot, whouldn't you have created a genetically modified raccoon? :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jul 23 '12 at 0:41
  • @DVK Naaah, foxes are better! <points at avatar> =^_^= – Izkata Jul 23 '12 at 2:01
  • Any idea what happened to the rest of the animals that the robots experimented on? Are there a bunch of Rocket Squirrels and Rocket Donkeys out there somewhere?? – Daft Nov 12 '14 at 17:12
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    @Jeff We have two Fantastic Four fart stains (films), but not one movie dedicated to Squirrel Girl... where's the justice in that?? – Daft Jan 12 '15 at 16:04

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