Rocket Raccoon of “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” has always maintained that there “aint no thing like me. Except me.” Now we get some background on his tragic origins when the Guardians visit Halfworld. Meet me after the hyperspace jump for my thoughts on “We Are Family.”
Unlike the last episode we actually get a brief explanation for the planet hopping. The Guardians are no longer following a map to find the Cosmic Seed, they are following its trail, as apparently it’s mobile. See what one or two lines of exposition can do? Now it makes a bit more sense for the Guardians to be touring the universe and seeing sights like the Planet of the Symbiotes and Halfworld.
Of course it does raise a question or two. We know that there are people who are after the Guardians because they want the Cosmic Seed, but this also means there’s danger at the other end as well. Not only does it mean that somebody else already have the Seed, but odds are they will not be likely to want to give it up.
Just moments after telling Drax to leave his past in the past and not look back, Rocket discovers that the planet the Guardians are currently checks out is a familiar one. It’s Gruckkuk, the mining planet where Rocket and Groot escaped from in the pre-series mini-sodes. The evil robo scientists easily reacquire Rocket and Groot and return them to Halfworld. On a side note, I wonder if Halfworld was inspired by Alan Dean Foster’s Midworld?
These robots, looking like something out of Portal, are the ones who made Rocket into what he is. The Cosmic Seed made the crystal deposits on the mining world more productive in making regular animals into things like Rocket and creating more slaves. This evolution also made them more rebellious, so the evil robo scientists have a problem.
During the interrogation once Rocket and Groot are on Halfworld, it seems the robots aren’t after revenge on the escapees, they want to know where the rebel base is. And as incentive, they send in Rocket’s mom and sis, now evolved like Rocket. What should be a horrific moment is diffused by comedy. Rocket’s mom is used in much the same way as Falcon’s mom in “Avengers Assemble.”
In the midst of Rocket and Groot busting Mom and Sis out of there, they are in turn rescued by Rocket’s big brother Ranger, the favored son to Rocket, who everyone calls Runt. It’s kind of like on “Red Dwarf,” with Rocket’s Arnold Rimmer to Ranger’s Ace Rimmer an excellent comparison. Back at their rebel base, Rocket learns that not all is as it seems.
The head evolved animal, a turtle named Pyko, is using the minerals just as the evil robo overlords were, to super-evolve the animals to fight back against the robots. First step, he turns Ranger into a monster, followed by his team, a walrus and a rabbit. The Guardians arrive to help just in time to the tune of, and it’s an odd one, “Funk Funk” by Cameo.
Gunplay and slugfest happen as monsters, animals, robots, and Guardians battle. Soon a plan is hatched that devolves all experimented on, save Rocket. It’s a Rocket-centric episode so he has some good moments, especially when he tells his ma he loves her. This was a solid turnaround from recent episodes of the series. I hope this trend continues.
Next: Ego the Living Planet in “Bad Moon Rising!”