Comics

Rocket: Behind Bars

Al Ewing takes us inside the confines of Colon to catch up with our hero!

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After falling prey to the siren song of an old flame, Rocket starts back down the not so righteous path of stealing from the rich and, well, keeping it for himself mostly. But he gets played by a pretty face and ends up trapped deep within the bowels of the Colon where the clock winds down. Can he escape before the metaphorical—or possibly literal—crap hits the fan?

ROCKET #3 takes us inside one of the worst penitentiaries space has to offer on July 12 and we spoke with writer Al Ewing to give you all the lay of the land before setting off on this daring escape mission.

Marvel.com: Give us a quick run down of The Colon, what it’s like on the inside, how Rocket ended up there and why it’s called that?

Al Ewing: I’m so glad you asked me this question. What is it like, inside The Colon? In the hot, cramped confines of The Colon? How did Rocket end up in The Colon? Some would say that, in a real sense, Rocket entered The Colon the moment I began work on the character. Anyway, to answer your question: The Colon is a dark place, where the squeeze is on and something somewhere stinks. There’s a network of tough guys there—a ring of muscle, if you will—and Rocket has to navigate the twists and turns of The Colon in order to escape through the rear exit. It’s very much a bum note in his life.

Anyway, it’s named after the punctuation mark, clearly.

Marvel.com: Rocket’s been behind bars before; how does this joint stack up to other prisons and how is he handling life on the inside? What does he miss most?

Al Ewing: Silly name aside, this one’s pretty grim. It’s owned by a big corporation, and the shareholders like it when the prisoners are brutally and inhumanely punished; there’s a lot of “prison shouldn’t be a holiday camp” thinking in the richer parts of space. The prisoners are put to work making the space equivalent of license plates all day—and if they don’t, they go to The Hole, which is basically a pay-per-view gladiatorial arena that makes money for the prison through illegal gambling. Oh yeah, and every prisoner has a “punishment implant” attached to them that can deliver pain in various different ways for the most minor infractions. It’s a hellhole, essentially.

Marvel.com: I’m sure Rocket is already coming up with an escape plan—what can you tell us about it and how does the execution of said plan go?

Al Ewing: At first, Rocket’s keeping his head down, getting the lay of the land—but then he learns that there’s a deadline, and if he doesn’t break out immediately, he’s screwed. So the countdown is on, and it involves taking everything The Colon throws at him and turning it into an asset. We put all the puzzle pieces in place, and then we watch Rocket put them together. Not that his escape is a certainty; it’s well within my power to have him get all the way to the end, get a stroke of bad luck, and end up in an even worse situation. Maybe I’ll do that, maybe I won’t—I’m a capricious god.

Marvel.com: Does Rocket have any help/meet anyone while he’s there? Any interesting new characters to tease?

Al Ewing: Well, this might be the sensational character find of 2017: Rocket’s cellmate, Gasbag, a living sentient gas in a kind of rubber gimp suit. Also we have the usual complement of alien creatures, all with their own laws, customs, and bodily functions and all wonderfully illustrated by Adam Gorham.

Marvel.com: If Rocket taught Prison Life 101 what would be on the syllabus? What are Rocket’s three rules for surviving the slammer?

Al Ewing: As we see in the issue, Rocket’s first rule is to learn the lay of the land and find out the individual peculiarities of this particular hoosegow. Learn who his friends are, learn who his enemies are, learn the routines. Somewhere in that knowledge is the map to the exit.

The second rule is to make sure you get the top bunk. That’s the plum position in any cell. Norman Stanley Fletcher had the top bunk. Seriously, Rocket will fight you.

And the third rule is that there are no rules! Psyche!

Marvel.com: What is your favorite scene in issue #3?

Al Ewing: Well, without spoiling too much, there’s a wonderful bit that happens in the vacuum of space. Again, Adam’s work is superlative here; he really conveys the feeling of weightlessness, the terror of being in airless space with only a very fragile means of survival. Another favorite bit is when Rocket has an exchange with an old lag, a wizened inmate with vital information on the prison setup; Adam draws a wonderful rhinoceros person, which I think readers will probably end up falling it love with.

Marvel.com: Is there anything you can tease about what’s in store for our furry weapons crazed friend?

Al Ewing: Well, from here, he’s meeting up with a very special guest star—your friend and mine, Deadpool—and together, they’re going to get deep into the gangster life, with tommy guns, bursting out of cakes, and a heist aimed at a particularly vicious space mobster. Adam wanted a space Kingpin—and I put my thinking cap on and gave him one that’ll hopefully be a presence in Marvel Space for a little while to come.

Be sure to catch all the face palming, snarky remark making, prison life action in ROCKET #3 out July 12, written by Al Ewing with art by Adam Gorham!