Excuse us, there's something in our eyes. Bill Mantlo, who created Rocket Raccoon with artist Keith Giffen, suffered a traumatic brain injury from a hit-and-run accident in 1992. So today, Marvel found a way to screen the film for him.
Michael Mantlo, Bill Mantlo's brother, wrote on Facebook this morning:
*****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!
He later updated the post with a photo and further explanation:
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!
Given that the movie brought audiences a lot of joy (and brought it to SO MANY), it feels only appropriate that Marvel/Disney would do this. And it's thankfully not the only thing that they've done, as Michael Mantlo told Bleeding Cool earlier this year:
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 toALL,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.