If this turns out to be true and Marvel ends up contributing towards the medical costs for Bill Mantlo in light of the usage of his Rocket Raccoon character in the Guardians of The Galaxy movie and subsequent merchandise (Along with Bug, for that matter; Mantlo was the original writer for Marvel’s Micronauts, where the character first appeared), that’d be great news. Surprising, to my cynical soul, but nevertheless really welcome, really good news.
For those unfamiliar with Bill Mantlo, he was a mainstay of Marvel Comics throughout the 1970s and ’80s, working on such big-name titles as Thor, Spectacular Spider-Man and Incredible Hulk in addition to the work on licensed titles that arguably made his name, ROM and Micronauts (both of which he brought to comic life; he also wrote the first couple of issues of Marvel’s Transformers series). He was hit by a car while rollerblading in 1992, and spent several years in a coma afterwards as a result; although he woke from the coma, the brain damage from the accident meant that he’s needed full-time medical care ever since. There have been a number of fan-led fundraisers to help his brother, Michael, with the costs of such care throughout the years, but neither Marvel nor DC (for whom Mantlo scripted Invasion! back in 1989) have made any significant contribution towards financial assistance… until now, perhaps.
The Bleeding Cool source suggests “a five figure sum” is being offered. Maybe Marvel could put out a few Mantlo-centric collected editions (If only they could get the rights to ROM back; I can’t imagine that wouldn’t sell more than a few Essential collections) to work out another way of contributing, even if only in terms of royalty payments.