Guardians Of The Galaxy became the largest August opening of all time last weekend, and part of that success was due to a gun-toting, talking raccoon. Rocket Raccoon was co-created by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen. In 1992, Mantlo suffered permanent brain damage when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver. He lives in a residential care facility and was unable to attend a screening. So Marvel brought the screening to him.
Bill Mantlo’s brother Michael posted some pictures and wrote about the screening on Facebook. Brace yourselves for CAPS LOCK, exclamation points, and all the feels.
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!
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!
If you’re wondering why watching credits roll was such a huge moment, check out who was given an acknowledgement:
Even though Mantlo’s work for Marvel was originally work-for-hire, his brother has said in the past they’ve done quite a bit to help him out and treat him in an “exceptionally fair manner”. Any chance we could get hooked up with some of Marvel’s exceptional fairness? Watching Guardians Of The Galaxy in bed sounds awesome.
Via Bleeding Cool