Bill Mantlo is a legendary creator known for his work on “Cloak and Dagger”, “The Incredible Hulk” and “ROM: Spaceknight,” but thanks to the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, he’s best known for being a co-creator of the foul-mouthed space rodent, Rocket Raccoon.
Mantlo has also been living in a nursing home since he was injured in a hit-and-run accident twenty-five years ago. Now, thanks to a new deal struck with Marvel Comics, he has been able to move out and into a home all of his own, as reported by his brother Mike Mantlo in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter.
In 1992, Bill Mantlo was hit by a car while rollerblading and was diagnosed with a closed head traumatic brain injury which left him with permanent brain damage. According to his brother, “Bill has never recovered the cognitive skills that were stolen from him.” Several years ago, before the release of the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” film, there was a fan campaign to raise money for Bill’s treatment along with awareness for his role in creating one of the biggest breakout stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The campaign was championed by many industry professionals, particularly writer Greg Pak, and Mantlo received an early viewing of the film at his nursing home, giving it a big thumbs up.
According to Mike Mantlo, “Marvel negotiated and agreed to a very nice compensation package for the rights to use Bill’s characters,” indicating the deal may also include Cloak and Dagger, who debut their own television show on Freeform later this year. Right now, thanks to the new arrangement with Marvel, Mike is preparing to move Bill out of the nursing home and into a brand new house next door to him and his wife. Marvel has also arranged for Bill to receive a viewing of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” on Saturday, May 6.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” opens in the US and Canada on May 5. The movie stars Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, Chris Sullivan as Taserface, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Glenn Close as Irani Rael and Kurt Russell as Ego.