Marvel’s vice president wanted to make sure the man responsible for Guardians of the Galaxy’s foul-mouthed raccoon got to finally see him in action.
1. In 1976, Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen helped create the character Rocket Raccoon for Marvel Comics. Rocket first popped up in the 271st issue of The Incredible Hulk.
MARVEL / Via hicollector.com
2. In 1992, Mantlo was hit by a car while rollerblading. He was comatose after the accident. When he finally recovered, the brain damage the accident caused was irreparable.
3. Mantlo now receives full-time care in a health facility and getting him to a theater to screen Rocket Raccoon shooting up bad guys on the big screen would be pretty tough.
4. So, Marvel decided to bring the movie to him.
5. Bill Mantlo’s brother Michael, who runs his Facebook group, posted about the experience for all of Bill’s supporters.
*****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!
6. According to Michael Mantlo, the men responsible for Bill’s front row seat to Guardians of the Galaxy was Marvel’s attorney David Althoff and Marvel’s Vice President David Bogart.
7. Michael wrote that they were responsible for the happiest day of his brother’s life.
The gentlemen that made it possible for Bill to see his creation, ROCKET RACCOON, come alive in “Guardians Of The Galaxy”, Marvel Attorney David Althoff (far left) and Marvel VP David Bogart (center). Giving Bill this opportunity was a daunting challenge (with all the legal & security protocols that needed to be breached), 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!
8. Not only did Bill Mantlo get a private screening of the movie and, of course, a part in the credits.
9. When Marvel reportedly purchased the rights to Mantlo’s character, it also made a donation to help with his medical care.
10. Thanks for giving America its new favorite belligerent space raccoon, Bill!
11. If you’re looking to help out the Mantlo family, there’s information on donations here.