Ziglet_mir’s review published on Letterboxd:
Rocket Raccoon’s character arc is a concentrated version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The tragedies that befall him are a combination of both the doctor and the monster, in that, everyone he once knew lost their life (Victor) and then becomes the subject of social rejection (the monster). He is constantly berated for his appearance when all he wishes for is connection. It isn’t until now his past is fully exposed and we witness the remaining embodiment of the doctor.
The villain of GotG3 is akin to other villainy of the MCU due to his God complex, but he is different with how he openly implements his plan. The villain denies the existence of God and attempts to play one – pushing science and technology too far – taunting the limits of human capabilities. Ultimately the consequences of meddling with nature are endured and the checklist of human flaws is apparent (grief, hubris, unchecked thirst for knowledge, secrecy and shame). Though these flaws are broad and universal, they specifically apply to Mary Shelley’s masterpiece in obvious ways, as it is later concentrated through some comic book raccoon.
I cannot preach to Gunn’s intent, if it is purposeful or not, and if the messages and literary analysis are meant to be prescient. Wherever he is amid his personal journey, it feels as though he is searching. With my tunnel vision fully engaged, it is refreshing to have an emotional character arc placed in the throes of a gothic horror (in SPACE!). The proceedings are a little messy as comic book renditions often are, yet compared to its previous entries GotG3 suggests that the obsessive search for knowledge transcends nature in obviously wrong ways.
God in pity made man beautiful and alluring after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of yours.
This famous line from the novel reflects the link between doctor and monster; a dissonant relationship with nature. While the raccoon’s life does not end like the monster’s, the film shows he is only connected through the natural world based on his disruption of it.