Marvel and Disney have been hard at work with hospital child life specialists to create a free comic to be distributed at Children’s Hospitals. The goal of the comic is to include some of the major younger heroes who have resonated with fans and address “topics like teamwork and asking for help when you need it.” Marc Sumerak has been handling the writing on this comic with art by Craig Rousseau and coloring being handled by Carlos Lopez.
This initiative is a great piece of outreach by Marvel that is designed to not only connect with its readers but help some of those who might be in a bad situation. Letting the heroes be just that by working to inspire and communicate with actual kids in need of help. Being able to use the actual ‘Champions‘ is icing on the cake as they’re trying to find ways in the comics to help people that don’t just involve beating them into submission.
When talking about being able to use the ‘Champions’ Sumerak says:
“Marvel has a whole new generation of young heroes, so I see it as quite natural that some of them might occasionally find themselves in over their heads as they explore their own limits. Whether they’ve made it to the big leagues and served on the Avengers—like Nova and Ms. Marvel—or they’ve carved their own heroic paths—like the Totally Awesome Hulk and Viv Vision—these young champions are still in the process of learning what it really means to become a hero and how to work as a team to save the day.”
“The Champions seem like a young group trying to find their own place and role in the world, working together to help each other and others.”
Lopez finalizes that view stating:
“I agree! They are young, and in the process of learning to become heroes. Learning about their place in the world. Children often find themselves in the same situation. And this journey is fantastic!”
All three of the creators agreed that being made available in hospitals was the perfect placement for this comic. Hospital visits aren’t usually made when things are at their best and according to Sumerak who sums it up best:
“I’ve always seen Marvel’s heroes as symbols of hope. When times get tough, they rise above it all and find a way to win. But that doesn’t make it easy. Even heroes have struggles and doubts, and they know they can’t always do it alone. Seeing a hero’s strength, and at the same time recognizing their vulnerability and humanity, can really inspire the readers.”
While all three felt that this was a great project, Rousseau had the most personal story on why he felt having these books available was important:
” I jumped at the chance to work on this, knowing from experience just how much it can make a difference; our youngest has Type 1 diabetes, and when she spent days in the hospital after her initial diagnosis, it was the books and stories she read to pass the time and engage her imagination that helped the most.
I think initiatives like this are important ones. This outreach isn’t something that Marvel had to do but by allowing for children’s hospitals to have more ways for kids to have not only an escape but an educational one is quite important. As a father of two myself, I know the value of reading to and with your kids as well as teaching them positive values at any opportunity. This isn’t the first time Marvel has been involved in such an action, and I commend them for continuing the great work.”
According to Vice-President, Community Engagement and Strategic Philanthropy at Disney Citizenship Kevin Callahan:
We are proud to work with the Marvel Publishing team and child life specialists in creating the fourth custom comic book for children’s hospitals. The message about the importance of friendship aligns well with Disney’s commitment to bringing happiness, hope, and comfort to children and families who need it most.
Are you happy to hear that Marvel is releasing a comic such as this special edition to children’s hospitals? Share your thoughts below True Believers!
Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!