Marvel Comics Creates Custom Super-Hero For Hearing-Impaired Boy


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Super-heroes are strong, fearless and don't wear hearing aids right? Wrong! That's what 4-year old Anthony Smith from Salem, New Hampshire has discovered, thanks to Marvel Comics sketch artist Manny Mederos.

Born with Mosaic Trisomy 22, a rare genetic disorder, Anthony suffers from many physical ailments including a weak heart. While that is scheduled to be fixed with surgery this summer, the one impairment that he will have to live with forever, is hearing loss - He has no hearing whatsoever on his right side and a mild loss on his left. He therefore, has to wear hearing aids on both ears.

But one recent morning, the young boy who lives and breathes super-heroes set aside his left hearing aid, nicknamed 'Blue Ear', and informed his mother Christina, that super-heroes do not wear hearing aids.

She tried to convince him that Captain America wears one under his helmet, but when she could not get him to budge, Christina decided to write an e-mail to the editor of Marvel and ask if any of the company's cartoonists would take up the challenge to draw Anthony a hearing impaired superhero.

She was not really expecting a response so you can imagine her surprise when she received a reply with the image from a 1984 comic book cover that featured Hawkeye with a small hearing device. In that week's issue, Hawkeye's hearing had been temporarily destroyed by a sonic arrow, causing him to need a little aid. Bill Roseman, the editor who had responded to Christina's e-mail asked her to print it and give it to the little boy and also let him know, that wearing his Blue Ear, would make him an honorary member of the Avengers team.

Grateful to be able to show something concrete to her little guy, Christina thought the matter was closed, until she received another image. Entitled Hawk Eye and the Blue Ear, it featured the superhero and his young friend, who happened to be . . . . . . You guessed it - Anthony Smith!

Turns out that after sending her the old comic cover, Bill had also forwarded Christina's e-mail to all the artists. When Manny Medros saw it, he knew he had to do something for this little fan. Initially, he began with just creating a super-hero named The Blue Ear. But as he was sketching, he had a brain wave - Why couldn't Anthony be Hawk Eye's super-hero partner? In the comic strip he sent, The Blue Ear is responding to a help plea by mouthing the words:

"Thanks to my listening device, I hear someone in trouble," Underneath, in comic book letters it says "When DANGER makes a sound, The Blue Ear answers the call."

Anthony, who has become the envy of his classmates now of course has no qualms wearing his super-hero Blue Ear.

What's interesting is that the hearing impaired Blue Ear fits in quite well with Marvel's other super-heroes - Daredevil is blind, Thor's human alter ego has a lame leg and uses a cane, while Iron Man as we all well know, has a weak heart.

These impairments are not accidental.Martin Goodman who founded Marvel in 1939 had always aimed to create characters that are not perfect, in order to send kids a message that the true superhero is one that can overcome any challenge and do something worthwhile in life. Young Anthony, A.K.A. Blue Ear seems to be heading in that direction, quite rapidly.


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  • bibliophile
    bibliophileTuesday, December 9, 2014 at 4:31 pm
    • 56steps
      56stepsWednesday, November 19, 2014 at 2:54 pm
      I love Marvel does not just care about money, it cares about its fans too. When I first read this I felt like Marvel is awesome for doing this but then when I read this the second time I was like the mom was the one who sent the letter to Marvel to make her son happy. Family is valuable thing.
      • nikukyu
        nikukyuWednesday, November 12, 2014 at 11:47 pm
        That's so sweet
        • Luxar10Monday, November 10, 2014 at 5:36 pm
          wow this must of been very encouraging for him
          • tejas1231Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 3:35 pm
            This is a really nice thing to do for this little kid! It's so sweet that these artists made this little guy feel better by creating a superhero for hm. It goes to show you that you don't have to have super powers to be a hero like these artists did!
            • marvel33
              marvel33Monday, May 12, 2014 at 8:02 am
              im a geek so i know alot
              • 323499
                323499Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 10:20 am
                I don't like Bue ear he is just a kid and the other super hero are stronger and better than Blue ear but it is just my opinion.
                • 323499
                  323499Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 10:18 am
                  I know that is really cool
                  • kell-bell
                    kell-bellWednesday, April 9, 2014 at 6:35 pm
                    ohhh... so sad and sweet!
                    • NameTuesday, November 26, 2013 at 6:35 am
                      That is so cool that they made him a super hero.