Hearing Impaired Hero
Marvel Comics artists create character to help encourage youngster to wear his hearing aid.
Artists at Marvel Comics are drawing inspiration from a New Hampshire boy. W
ith the help of the 4-year-old’s mother, they're helping him deal with a disability.
There are endless tales of heroes with superhuman powers, but when Anthony Smith couldn't find anyone in the comic book pages who struggles the way he does, his mother went right to Marvel Comics.
Anthony can’t hear out of one ear and has limited hearing in the other ear.
“We found the right guys who could answer the call,” said Christina D'Allessandro, Anthony’s mother.
Christina D'Allessandro's son didn't want to wear a hearing aid called Blue Ear.
“’Because superheroes don’t wear Blue Ears,’ I think it was both like, ‘What are we going to do? He’s not going to wear the hearing aid,’ but it broke my heart. It was the first time he’s kind of said, ‘I’m different,’ So I said, ‘Oh no, they do,’” D'Allessandro said.
Daredevil is blind, Jericho can't speak, and Hawkeye lost some of his hearing fighting evil in the ‘80s -- but you have to really scour the racks to find an everyday superhero.
“The hard part with superheroes is a lot of them can be paragons. Good to look up to but hard to relate to,” said Tim Pendergast.
So D'Allessandro wrote to Marvel Comics asking where to find a superhero her son could relate to. And then, they sent her something out of this world.
"When danger makes a sound, the Blue Ear answers the call. Anthony Smith is Blue Ear," the comic cover says.
The image has changed the way Anthony sees himself and with Blue Ear in, he's soaring to new heights.
“From here, anything is possible. And that’s the way he’s looking at it,” said D’Allessandro said.
The Blue Ear comic was made just for Anthony Smith, but the 4-year-old has been showing it off at his school for hearing impaired children where it's giving a lot of others kids a little extra courage.