Injured co-creator of Rocket Raccoon, Bill Mantlo, gives "big thumbs up" after seeing Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy flick.
Fresh off of a record breaking opening weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy movie is on track to be one of the biggest hits yet for Marvel Studios. Unfortunately, it seemed unlikely that the co-creator of one of the film's biggest stars would get the opportunity to see his comic book creation brought to life onscreen. That apparently changed over the weekend, with Marvel setting up a special private viewing of the film for the brain injured writer.
Back in July of 1992, Bill Mantlo, co-creator of Rocket Raccoon, was the victim of a hit and run accident while on his way home from a routine rollerblading trip. The impact left the former Marvel writer in a coma from which he was eventually able to recover, but not without suffering irreparable brain damage. As a result, Mantlo now resides in a dedicated healthcare facility, where he receives around the clock care from the staff, as well as his brother, Michael.
Due to the severity of his injuries, Mantlo was unable to make the trip to a theater in order to see the big screen debut of his creation in Guardians of the Galaxy, prompting execs at Marvel to do the next best thing and bring the movie to Mantlo. According to a Facebook post left by Michael Mantlo to his brother's official page, Marvel Attorney David Althoff and Marvel VP David Bogart came by to not only visit Bill Mantlo, but also brought with them a digital cut of Guardians of the Galaxy so Mantlo could join in the excitement and celebration of the movie which his vision helped to create.
Regarding Mantlo's reaction to the viewing, his brother Michael posted the following 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!"