Thursday, May 24, 2012

Marvel's New Deaf Superhero Created for a 4-Year-Old Boy

Image via Marvel from the CBR website
I can't even tell you how big of a smile I had on my face when I read this story about four-year-old Anthony Smith. Anthony has only partial hearing in his left ear and was born without a right ear at all. Some time ago he told his mother he didn't want to wear hearing aids because superheroes don't need hearing aids.

His mom got in touch with the comic book company Marvel and asked them for help. They sent Anthony a picture of Hawkeye, who in the comic books at one time lost his hearing to a sonic arrow. Then they created a deaf superhero named Blue Ear just for Anthony.

According to Marvel editor Bill Rosemann,
The brilliant truth that our founding creators understood was that giving our characters physical and psychological challenges not only made them unique from the ‘square-jawed’ heroes that came before, and not only instantly made them sympathetic and more three-dimensional, but it also gave them the ability to inspire our readers to overcome their own obstacles. The metaphor of the Marvel heroes is the very real idea that all of us–no matter our particular type of challenge–can push back against adversity and use our abilities to help the world around us.

Before I read this I didn't realize that there had ever been a comic book hero who needed to use hearing aids. How neat would it have been if they had made Hawkeye deaf in the Avengers movie?

Anyway, I think this was a really cool thing to do for a little boy!

(via Comic Book Resources and also thanks to my friend Amy for the heads-up)

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