Michael Mantlo, Brother and Caregiver of Rocket Raccoon Creator, Has Passed Away

Michael Mantlo, the brother and caretaker of beloved comics writer Bill Mantlo, has passed away. His cause of death is not yet known, but friends, fans, and supporters are in mourning after years of knowing Mantlo as the man who took on the task of caring for his brother following an accident that left the Invasion! writer in need of round-the-clock care in 1992. His wife shared the information on a Facebook page that she and Michael maintained to share news about Bill's well-being and provide fans with a place to comment on and share fond memories of Bill Mantlo's work in the comics industry before his accident.

Michael is well-known by fans of Bill's work, not just for helping to take care of his brother but for the larger-than-life efforts he has gone to in order to keep Bill's legacy in comics alive. Michael was a driving force in persuading Marvel (with the help of director James Gunn) to set up a private, advance screening of Guardians of the Galaxy for Bill, who was not capable of going to the theater.

News of Michael Mantlo's passing is starting to make its way through the comics community through TV and comics writers Christos Gage and Marc Guggenheim, who shared the news on Twitter shortly after Gage discovered it on Mantlo's Facebook page. Michael himself, usually a prolific Facebook user, has not posted new content on his personal page in about a week.

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(Photo: Michael Mantlo (Facebook))

"Thank you for everything Mike, thank you for being part of our lives," wrote Marbeth Ayala on Facebook, in a post that is visible on Mantlo's wall. "Your family from Mexico loves you, always for us you were and will remain an angel because that's how you behaved with each of us. Rest in peace brother in law dear."

Ayala's Facebook icon is a black ribbon -- the same image shared on Bill Mantlo's Facebook page last night by Michael Mantlo's wife.

In 2016, when The CW used Bill Mantlo's Invasion! comics event as the inspiration for one of the network's line-wide superhero crossovers, Guggenheim -- an executive producer on the crossover and co-creator of Arrow and DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- teamed with ComicBook.com to raise money for Mantlo's care by auctioning off a signed scriptbook that the producer had specially printed for the occasion.

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There is no information yet on who will take on the care of Bill Mantlo. If those details become public, we will share it with our readers.

Our sincere condolences go out to the friends and family of Michael Mantlo at this difficult time.