Guardians of the Galaxy comics fan Drew Melbourne from Astoria, New York, is circulating a petition on Change.org asking Disney to cover the medical expenses of comic book writer Bill Mantlo. Bill Mantlo is the writer and co-creator (with artist Keith Giffen) of Rocket Raccoon.
The Guardians’ Rocket Raccoon is one of the classic albeit lesser known characters (voiced by Bradley Cooper) in this summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy sci-fi adventure film by Marvel Studios. The talking space raccoon was actually created back in 1976 by Mantlo and Griffen for Marvel Preview # 7. In fact, Rocket Raccoon was even the star of his own comic book mini-series in the mid-80s by Mantlo and a young artist named Mike “Hellboy” Mignola.
Unfortunately, in 1992 Mantlo, whose other comic-work includes issues of Marvel’s The Spectacular Spider-Man, The Invincible Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Avengers, Micronauts and ROM: Spaceknight, was struck by a hit-and-run driver while rollerblading. He suffered permanent brain injury for which he now requires ongoing full-time medical care. (Those interested in learning the details concerning Mantlo’s condition as well as the numerous challenges he currently faces may peruse this 2011 online article.)
Melbourne, a Rocket Raccoon fan and admirer of Mantlo’s work, believes that “in a year when Marvel and Disney will be making millions off of Bill’s character (both from the movie itself and from Rocket Raccoon-themed licensing), it would be a great gesture for them to give Bill’s family some piece of mind by agreeing to cover his medical expenses. While they are under no obligation to do so, it would be the right thing — the super-heroic thing — to do.” He reminds the public that the petition was not started by Mantlo’s family or anyone who would profit by Disney’s cooperation in this matter.
Guardians Fan Petitions Disney For Writer’s Medical Expenses