Coming as an unexpected but very welcome surprise at the 2022 Brazil Comic Con, the first teaser trailer for the eagerly awaited Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3 has been released. Re-entering a universe that has been without them for some time due to the Blip, the Guardians soon find themselves facing off against a new villain, the High Evolutionary, while also avoiding the wrath of Adam Warlock, who was created by the Sovereign Leader, Ayesha, to destroy the Guardians at the end of the second film.
Following the fun of the recent Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special, Vol.3 has been touted by cast members, and Director James Gunn, as a deeply emotional film, likely to be the final time we will see the current Guardians line up on screen together. One of the film’s key plot points will be a deep-dive into the backstory of Rocket Raccoon, including the introduction of at least one important figure from his past.
At one point in the teaser, Rocket is seen embracing a fellow enhanced animal, who appears to be the comic character Lylla the Otter. In the comics, Lylla is often portrayed as Rocket’s love interest. Here’s everything you need to know about Lylla before the new film arrives.
In the comics, Lylla and Rocket hail from a planet known as Halfworld.
Halfworld is a planet split down the middle, with half inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, and mentally ill but harmless humans known as the Loonies, and the other half by dangerous robots. The animals of Halfworld believe it is their duty to keep the Loonies safe. Rocket Raccoon, Lady Lylla Otter, and Lylla’s uncle Wal Russ are more genuinely committed to this task than most.
Rocket, Lylla, and Wal were introduced in The Incredible Hulk #271, as part of a story for The Hulk’s 20th Anniversary. After being accidentally transported to Halfworld, The Hulk forms an unlikely friendship with Rocket and Wal Russ, and becomes caught up in an adventure to rescue a kidnapped Lylla, and stop the villainous mole Judson Jakes from obtaining Gideon’s Bible, a Holy Book belonging to the Loonies which Jakes believes will help him become the ruler of Halfworld. Lylla is successfully rescued before Hulk departs, but the rest of the story is left unresolved, to be concluded in a later Rocket Raccoon limited series.
Lylla is the sole heir to Mayhem Mekaniks, a valuable Toy Company
Toys are one of the most important and valuable commodities on Halfworld, as they keep the Loonies placid, occupied, and out of trouble. Lylla’s parents founded the company Mayhem Mekaniks to build toys for the Loonies, making them one of the wealthiest families on Halfworld, until they died in mysterious circumstances sometime before the first Halfworld story, leaving Lylla as their only heir.
Throughout the Rocket Raccoon limited series, Rocket must protect his beloved from attempts by both Judson Jakes and the Serpent Lord Dyvyne to force Lylla into marriage, and thereby take control of her company and family fortune.
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As Dyvyne and Jakes are about to plunge Halfworld into a war over the hand of Lylla and control of the planet’s Toy Industry, Rocket obtains Gideon’s Bible. To the disappointment of the villains, the Bible does not allow the holder to rule Halfworld. Instead, it contains plans for the Wonder Toy, a device that cures the Loonies of their madness.
Once the Loonies are cured, they are able to look after themselves, freeing the animals of Halfworld from their obligation to supervise and protect them. With her Toy Company no longer valuable or coveted, Lylla joins Rocket in departing Halfworld to explore the Universe.
A Twist In The Tail
Lylla’s history after departing Halfworld has gone through a number of variations and retcons, although one known factor is that she separates from Rocket sometime after their departure from Halfworld. When they eventually meet again, during the Rocket Raccoon and Groot series, Lylla has married Rocket’s former rival, the mercenary rabbit BlackJack O’Hare. Rocket and Groot help the couple with an issue involving Halfworld’s rebuilt insane asylum, before parting on friendly terms. When Rocket suffers a near-fatal injury in a later Guardians Of The Galaxy story, he experiences visions of Lylla.
Despite her sporadic appearances, Lylla has become a fan favourite, and is still considered Rocket’s soulmate.
Lylla In The MCU
While Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3 will mark Lylla's first physical appearance in the MCU, her existence was confirmed in the first film, listed as an associate on Rocket's rap sheet when the soon to be Guardians are arrested. It has been deduced via expanded universe material that Rocket and Lylla worked together before Rocket teamed up with Groot. At this point, it is uncertain if the Rocket/Lylla reunion scene in the recent teaser trailer is set in the present day, or a flashback as part of Rocket's backstory.
We'll find out more when Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3 hits theatres in May 2023.