With Guardians of the Galaxy movie coming out in August 2014, comic speculation for the characters’ first appearance has been going on for some time. If you are just coming into it, I think there is still room for growth for some of the books, especially since very little information has been released except for a trailer that is made from 12 days of shooting. For those who might not be aware, there are 5 heroes featured in the team but my bet is on Rocket Raccoon. Besides my own hunch, I can see that Marvel is pushing this guy hard to be the next Iron Man in terms of popularity. Hence, if I am to bet, I will bet big on Rocket Raccoon.
Rocket Raccoon first appearance: Hulk 271 or Marvel Preview 7
Unlike other characters, there is some argument over the true first appearance of Rocket Raccoon. Technically, the first time Rocket appeared was in Marvel Preview 7. However, marvel preview 7 was in magazine format, with black and white printing. His story also seems to be disconnected to the rest of the Marvel Universe. You can see how it looks like below:
Due to the above, another issue became the contender for Rocket Raccoon’s first appearance: Hulk 271. This was the first time that Rocket (i) appeared in Marvel Universe, (ii) appeared in color and (iii) appeared on the cover. Hence, collectors began to take interest of this issue and have drove up the price of this book to over $90 in near mint condition.
On the secondary market, prices of Marvel Preview 7 is higher than Hulk 271, probably due to a more limited print run and the first to market in terms of being Rocket Raccoon’s first appearance. However, as more collectors and investors realise the value of Hulk 271, I believe it will catch up to Marvel Preview 7 in terms of value. This is especially so when the character is on the cover, which is important in this age of CGC comics where all you can see is the cover LOL.
Other Rocket Raccoon key issues
Besides the first appearance, there are other key issues that you can consider. After all, when a character becomes hot, everything about it will appreciate in price. This includes all the earlier appearances as well his #1 issue.
Below are Rocket Raccoon’s earlier appearances:
Hulk 272: Rocket raccoon’s second appearance in comics.
This is a rather unknown issue as he doesn’t appear on the cover but he did appear in the comic itself. See the image below to see his appearance. This information was gleamed from the comic junkie forum, which you should really check it out if you are into comic investing.
Marvel age 25: Rocket raccoon’s third appearance
This came as a surprise to me as it was relative unknown. Again, the tip came from comic junkie forum. This features a cool cover where rocket raccoon is present. If his earlier issues get hot, this might be worth more than the second appearance due to the cover alone. Currently this is the dirt cheap so if I am buying this for speculation, I will buy the best condition in either NM or NM+.
Rocket raccoon 1: First #1 issue and fourth appearance
This is the first time where Rocket becomes the main character starring in his own series. It also happens that this is this fourth appearance. For this reason alone, it is worth buying a copy. Remember, collectors love issue #1 for god knows why. You can see my article on bronze age issue ones if you want to check out other comics to invest in.
In conclusion, my personal belief is that rocket raccoon will be the breakout character for 2014. I already have most of these issues except for hulk 272 and marvel age 25. If I am to start again, I would buy Hulk 271 first followed by rocket raccoon 1 as these 2 have the most room to grow in value from my perspective. If I missed out any other appearances, please drop a comment and let me know.