In 1992, Bill Mantlo, legendary comic book writer and co-creator of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’s Rocket Racoon, was involved in a tragic hit-and-run accident that left him comatose. He woke up, but suffers irreparable brain damage that has left him in institutional care ever since. And while going to a movie theater would be nearly impossible for the writer, Marvel made sure that Bill got to see his creation come to life by bringing the movie to him.
Michael Mantlo, Bill’s brother and legal guardian, posted on Facebook:
*****WHAT AN INCREDIBLE DAY FOR BILL MANTLO*****! Marvel hooked Bill up with a PRIVATE VIEWING of “Guardians Of The Galaxy”, and my wife Liz and my beloved cousin Jean assisted Bill throughout, enabling him to sit back, relax and relish in the AWESOMENESS of what is going to be, in my humble opinion, Marvel’s GREATEST AND MOST SUCCESSFUL FILM EVER! Bill thoroughly enjoyed it, giving it his HIGHEST COMPLIMENT (the BIG “THUMB’S UP!”), and when the credits rolled, his face was locked into the HUGEST SMILE I HAVE EVER SEEN HIM WEAR (along with one or two tears of joy)! This was the GREATEST DAY OF THE LAST 22 YEARS for me, our family, and most importantly, BILL MANTLO!
Bill Mantlo even made an appearance in the credits:
Michael Mantlo thanked Marvel Attorney David Althoff (far left) and Marvel VP David Bogart (center) with making sure his brother got to see his the film and giving his brother the “happiest day of his life”.
Guardians of the Galaxy smashed box office records, taking in over $90 million in its first weekend, and fans have taken to Facebook to thank Bill for creating one of the movie’s most memorable characters.
“It is so inspiring to see your creations making it to the big screen and we were thrilled to read that you were able to see the movie. I hope it brought you a small portion of the joy that you brought to us comic readers over the years. God bless you all!” wrote Kevin Neal.