Robot 6

‘This was the greatest day of the last 22 years for … Bill Mantlo!’

Bill Mantlo and his brother Michael Mantlo (photo courtesy of Michalel Mantlo)

Bill Mantlo and his brother Michael Mantlo (photo courtesy of Michalel Mantlo)

While audiences packed theaters over the weekend, propelling Guardians of the Galaxy to a record $94 million North American opening, Marvel arranged a private screening of the film for Rocket Raccoon co-creator Bill Mantlo.

Long known as Marvel’s “fill-in king,” the prolific writer of such comics as ROM: Spaceknight, Micronauts and Cloak & Dagger suffered irreversible brain damage in 1992 after being struck by a car. Now 62, Mantlo lives in a nursing facility, where he was able to watch Guardians of the Galaxy on a laptop with his brother Michael, Michael’s wife Liz and their cousin Jean.

“Bill thoroughly enjoyed it, giving it his HIGHEST COMPLIMENT (the BIG ‘THUMB’S UP!’),” Michael Mantlo wrote Sunday on the Bill Mantlo Facebook group, “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!”

There are more photos of Bill Mantlo and his family on the Facebook page, including pictures of the writer winking (above), draped in a Rocket Raccoon shirt, and giving the thumbs up. Michael also posts a shot of the film’s end credits, which feature the line, “Rocket Raccoon created by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen.”

Michael also singled out David Althoff, Marvel’s principal counsel, and David Bogart, senior vice president of business affairs and talent management, for setting up the screening. “Giving Bill this opportunity was a daunting challenge (with all the legal & security protocols that needed to be breached),” Michael wrote, “but these two FINE MEN made it happen, and Bill had the HAPPIEST DAY OF HIS LIFE! I will NEVER be able to thank them enough for all that they have done for Bill!”

Anyone who wishes to contribute to Bill Mantlo’s care can do so through the “Donate” button on Greg Pak’s website. Cards, letters and donations can be sent to:

Mike Mantlo
26364 East Pintail Road
Long Neck, DE 19966
Checks should be made out to Michael Mantlo, Bill’s legal guardian

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Comments

9 Comments

Roberto Photos

August 4, 2014 at 9:20 am

Ok, Marvel, you are on my good side.

Hopefully that also came with a royalty check.

@Micheal
I pulled this off the Bleeding Cool article which quoted his brother:

Bill was treated in an exceptionally fair manner by Marvel/Disney, and on his behalf I can say with the utmost confidence that we are very pleased with the negotiated contract. And, unbeknownst to ALL, Marvel has made incredibly generous gestures apart from this particular contract (which ONLY pertains to the rights to the character Rocket Raccoon) to assist in Bill’s ongoing care & rehabilitation.

Talmidge Mcgulliger

August 4, 2014 at 10:19 am

Bill Mantlo was such a great talent. Not only did he create Rocket but he also has the best Hulk stories and the best Spiderman stories ever in my opinion.

Jeff Cunningham

August 4, 2014 at 10:46 am

Having just finished Marvel:The Untold Story, I truly hope Marvel gives Bill Mantlo a decent “bonus”. Only a few ever received due credit for their years of service.

Well done, Marvel.

The best story of the year.

Now if only we could get a Micronauts movie based on Mantlo’s first 12 issues. Either in the Marvel Cinematic U or not. Yes, before you jump on me about who has/hasn’t got the rights, just let me say this was wisful thinking and praise for Mantlo rather than a thing I think could ever happen.

I wish the Randy Queen story had 8 responses and this had 100+. This is a wonderful story of a great creator being happy. Let’s just appreciate it.

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