In King in Black: Symbiote Spider-Man # 5, Rocket Raccoon secretly joins another Guardians of the Galaxy team years before becoming an official member.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for King in Black: Symbiote Spider-Man # 5, by Peter David, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Frank D’Armata and Joe Sabino of VC, out now.
As the battle to stop Knull from taking over Earth continues in the present, efforts to defeat the god of symbiotes extend into the past. In it King in Black: Symbiote Spider-Man series, the story of Knull’s non-creation began to affect the past of the Marvel Universe. In a time shortly after 1984-1985 Secret wars At the event, the dark villain Mister E was revealed to be another of Knull’s creations, and he embarked on a mission to destroy the Black Knight’s Ebony Blade.
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To stop this, time-traveling Avengers villain Kang the Conqueror joined forces with Rocket Raccoon, and assembled a team to take on Mister E, a team that is revealed to be the first Rocket Raccoon Guardians of the Galaxy that they joined.
In King in Black: Symbiote Spider-Man, Kang the Conqueror became aware of Knull’s attack thanks to his travels through time. Because of this, he tried to stop the villain in the past. As the comic series has progressed, Kang has recruited more and more members to his team. He was first joined by Rocket Raccoon, and the duo rescued the Black Knight. Later, Spider-Man and Monica Rambeau’s Captain Marvel were also recruited, and the entire team traveled to the Knowhere space station, where Mister E hoped to destroy the Ebony Blade.
Aboard the space station, Mister E sought out Ulicia the Troll, whom he believed could successfully destroy the magic sword. Ulicia’s brother Ulik got involved and a great battle ensued once Kang’s team reached Knowhere. Now in King in Black: Symbiote Spider-Man # 5, Mister E is believed to be defeated, but he actually returns more powerful than ever after Knull unlocks all of his abilities.
Mister E returns to face Kang’s team once more, and now they are united and ready to fight the villain. Kang, Rocket Raccoon, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man and Ulik and Ulicia team up against Mister E, just as the villain exclaims that he will destroy the galaxy. And in response, Spider-Man says, “Then consider us the Guardians of the Galaxy!”
Monica Rambeau corrects Spider-Man saying that the name was already taken by another team, but Rocket interrupts her saying “Shaddup! I like it!” And, together, the team can finally defeat Mr. E once and for all.
The Guardians of the Galaxy are a team of cosmic heroes that first appeared in 1969. However, at the time, their roster was very different than the modern version of the team. Thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Rocket Raccoon is known as a member of the team, but in Marvel comics, the talking raccoon first joined the Guardians of the Galaxy in 2007. Before that time, he was in space, doing their own thing.
But thanks to King in Black: Symbiote Spider-Man, we learn that Rocket joined Kang’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” as Spider-Man calls them, to fight Mister E years before he became an official member of the true Guardians.
However, Rocket and the rest of his teammates don’t actually remember their team against Mister E because, at the end of the issue, Uatu the Watcher erases everyone’s memories to preserve the integrity of the timeline. They may not have been the true Guardians of the Galaxy, but they still count as a team of cosmic heroes that Rocket joined decades before he fought in addition to Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, and Groot.
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