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Marvel Comics creates superhero in honor of hearing-impaired boy
May 24, 2012 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Marvel Comics created a hearing-impaired superhero in honor of a hearing-impaired boy. Anthony Smith, a 4-year-old boy, told his mother he did not want to wear his hearing aid anymore because superheroes don't wear hearing aids. His mother e-mailed Marvel Comics and described her son's situation and hoped for help.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl (48 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
They must have already forgotten that Hawkeye 80% deaf in one ear.
posted by Critical_Beatdown at 11:57 AM on May 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


Or maybe they didn't. Jesus, who can follow comics anymore? They change everything...
posted by Critical_Beatdown at 11:58 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


What a cutie! Good on Marvel.
posted by jquinby at 12:01 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dammit. Someone beat me to the Hawkeye trivia.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:02 PM on May 24, 2012


That someone being the main link in the FPP?
posted by brundlefly at 12:03 PM on May 24, 2012 [12 favorites]


Dammit. Someone beat me to the Hawkeye trivia. ... which is explicitly mentioned in both links.

Awesome story.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:03 PM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Please tell me that Four-Eyed Girl is on the same team.
posted by darksasami at 12:03 PM on May 24, 2012


Hawkeye hasn't been deaf since Franklin Richards re-created the Avengers from his own memories. He didn't remember Hawkeye being deaf, therefore his hearing is a-okay now.
posted by FritoKAL at 12:08 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please tell me that Four-Eyed Girl is on the same team.

She would be if she'd wear her damn glasses!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:08 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


See, my mom would have just said "Well, you're not a super hero, so wear your damn hearing aid." and that would have been that.

Here's to awesome moms everywhere.
posted by bondcliff at 12:09 PM on May 24, 2012 [23 favorites]


See, my mom would have just said "Well, you're not a super hero, so wear your damn hearing aid." and that would have been that.

Here's to awesome moms everywhere.


And being a smart-assed kid I would have responded, "What? I can't hear you Mom, I don't have my hearing aid in!"

Here's to smart assed kids everywhere.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:11 PM on May 24, 2012 [13 favorites]


It's weird that Marvel forgot Echo, who is currently being heavily featured in the Moon Knight book.
posted by oddman at 12:12 PM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Echo wouldn't quite address the issue. She is 100% deaf so she doesn't wear hearing aides.
posted by VTX at 12:19 PM on May 24, 2012


I'm guessing the superhero isn't a major proponent of Deaf Culture. Which would be an interesting-in-it's-own-right sub-plot for a superhero that was deaf.


They must have already forgotten that Hawkeye 80% deaf in one ear.

and, uh, Hawkeye's partial deafness IS mention in the first linked article btw.
posted by edgeways at 12:19 PM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


and second
posted by edgeways at 12:20 PM on May 24, 2012


I'm "Too Much Crying Man".
posted by ColdChef at 12:21 PM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm "Too Much Crying Man".

None dare cross The Weeper!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:23 PM on May 24, 2012 [12 favorites]


They need to create a RTFA-man.
posted by empath at 12:29 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I dunno - don't fear the Weeper!
posted by item at 12:30 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


My mom contacted Marvel and they created Applying-to-Law-School Man.
posted by horsewithnoname at 12:33 PM on May 24, 2012 [16 favorites]


Damn you Item!
posted by wheelieman at 12:37 PM on May 24, 2012


Blue Elmer Cult
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:38 PM on May 24, 2012


I have a buddy in his 40's who's lifelong love of comic books began with Daredevil for similar reasons. He's blind in one eye and it was a character he could instantly identify with.
posted by cmfletcher at 12:47 PM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


They need to create one about me at work: The Metafiltor!
posted by etc. at 12:49 PM on May 24, 2012


Fantastic story. It's a shame that there's not a present-day representative to come out. It's not like the Marvel universe is small. So why not revisit Hawkeye having to deal with just this in the present-day?
posted by inturnaround at 12:51 PM on May 24, 2012


This is awesome, though not as altruistic as you might think:

Rosemann said the mail account gets a lot of traffic, the majority of which are messages from fans about specific issues or stories.

“I must admit that we get our fair share of negative letters, often insulting a creator’s efforts. On the other hand, occasionally we will receive a personal letter...


Imagining what else probably normally comes to that email address, I'm sure doing this good thing is preventing the person who typically reads the reader feedback emails from becoming a complete misanthrope.


But seriously, the idea of a superhero who can't hear without a hearing aid but with one can hear so much that they know if someone is trouble is such a good one that I'm surprised it didn't already exist -- it's just seems so much like the best parts of Marvel.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:54 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I got hearing aids when I was this boy's age, also. I started reading comics a few short years later. My older sister got hooked, too, and collected The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. I loved paging through those and imagining what the different heroes were like - I came across Hawkeye's entry and was wowed that there was a superhero with hearing aids. Hawkeye became my favorite superhero and I started collecting West Coast Avengers, which he was sorta the star of. I still have those comics and love to break them out for some good, clean soap-operatic fun.

And yeah, the Franklin Richards thing struck me as awfully lame when it happened (although I was partially just glad that Hawkeye was alive again). Why can't a superhero have hearing aids, for goodness sakes?
posted by Slothrop at 12:56 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


To be fair, "You can be a real superhero, just like Hawkeye" isn't exactly the most inspiring thing to tell someone...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:07 PM on May 24, 2012 [10 favorites]


For non-superhero-inspired kids, they started to make hearing aids a few years ago that just look like cool headphones. I've known more than one (presumably non hearing-impaired) hip person wearing headphones as an always-on accessory. So, I recommend this strategy for the hearing impaired kids who are concerned about coolness!
posted by ignignokt at 1:13 PM on May 24, 2012


To be fair, "You can be a real superhero, just like Hawkeye" isn't exactly the most inspiring thing to tell someone...

Are you saying that Hawkeye isn't "real" because he's a fictional character? Because that's legit. I get that.

But are you saying that Hawkeye isn't a real superhero? 'cause I gotta tell you man, I used to give Hawkeye that kinda shit, too. Then I took an arrow in the knee.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:48 PM on May 24, 2012 [12 favorites]


Here are six of the comments above, in sequence:

- They must have already forgotten that Hawkeye 80% deaf in one ear.
- Dammit. Someone beat me to the Hawkeye trivia.
- That someone being the main link in the FPP?
- ... which is explicitly mentioned in both links.
- and, uh, Hawkeye's partial deafness IS mention in the first linked article btw.
- and second


Marvel needs to create a superhero who suffers from anosognostic illiteracy.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:56 PM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have a young friend (early teens) who has a cochlear implant and one day we were talking about Hawkeye and I said next time your at the specialist see if he can bump your gear up so you can hear subharmonics and other frequencies that hearing people can't... His Mom, who is my age, gave me the "Don't encourage him" look... He did ask, but the Doctor wouldn't. Next time we spoke I told him to make sure to learn electronics so adults can't harsh the super powers.
posted by mrgroweler at 2:00 PM on May 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


OMG. I saw the FPP and immediately thought of Hawkeye and said so before reading the article. The mention of Hawkeye in the article was immediately voiced. Is this issue not settled until those of us who had a thought related to the FPP before reading it all take an arrow to the knee?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:01 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a buddy in his 40's who's lifelong love of comic books began with Daredevil for similar reasons. He's blind in one eye and it was a character he could instantly identify with.

The heart-warming story of a mom asking Marvel to help her with her partially blind son and Marvel responding by dumping radioactive waste on him from a truck while he crossed a street one day is still making its way through the courts.
posted by Sangermaine at 2:34 PM on May 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


I got my first hearing aid when I was about the same age as this boy. This is so sweet.
posted by desjardins at 2:35 PM on May 24, 2012


To be fair, "You can be a real superhero, just like Hawkeye" isn't exactly the most inspiring thing to tell someone...

I'd imagine Hawkeye's stock would be pretty high right now in the under 5s demo
posted by Sparx at 2:36 PM on May 24, 2012


The way everyone is referencing the same ancient plot point that was mentioned by the first person('s link), as if no one else was aware of it, and telling the same video game jokes over and over makes this feel just like a conversation at the local comic shop.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 2:38 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


They need to create one about me at work: The Metafiltor

Metafiltor: Able to snark large posts in a single comment!
posted by Mikey-San at 2:48 PM on May 24, 2012


I wrote to Marvel about my irritable bowel syndrome. They said that Galactus has the same problem. It really helped.
posted by orme at 2:53 PM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


My mom contacted Marvel and they created Applying-to-Law-School Man.

I thought Harvey Dent was with DC?
posted by ersatz at 3:30 PM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Get off Ollie's lawn.
posted by vrakatar at 6:31 PM on May 24, 2012


Yeah, well, my parents encouraged the creation of The WhenWillYouGrowUpAndGetALifeAndGrandchildrenWouldBeNiceTooYouKnow Avenger...
posted by Samizdata at 8:25 PM on May 24, 2012


You know who else has a deaf ear?


actually, so did you-know-who, after the von Stauffenberg plot
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:35 PM on May 24, 2012


It would've been kinda awesome if Hawkeye in The Avengers had been shown with a hearing aid! I loved it as it was, but I would've been so thrilled at that.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 10:47 PM on May 24, 2012


I was wondering what was inspiring the girls at my kid's junior high to wear hot pants and high heels. It all makes sense!
posted by Brocktoon at 11:00 PM on May 24, 2012



It would've been kinda awesome if Hawkeye in The Avengers had been shown with a hearing aid!


I think that they kept it a secret because of the possibility that enemies would exploit it. There was a one-issue subplot where the Avengers went on David Letterman and Hawkeye got a copy of Letterman's questions beforehand, but got thrown off when Letterman started improvising.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:42 AM on May 25, 2012


Biclops, a superhero with glasses!

"He's kinda afraid of girls."
posted by Exploding Gutbuster at 6:12 AM on May 25, 2012


For non-superhero-inspired kids, they started to make hearing aids a few years ago that just look like cool headphones. I've known more than one (presumably non hearing-impaired) hip person wearing headphones as an always-on accessory. So, I recommend this strategy for the hearing impaired kids who are concerned about coolness!

Man, if someone was trying to have a conversation with me while wearing headphones in public I'd feel like a real douche after I reflexively slapped them off their rude skulls and then found out it was actually a hearing aid. That's like making a walking aid for mobility-restricted youth and then disguising it as a pair of jeans sagged below the knees.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:05 PM on May 25, 2012


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