Marvel is teaming up with the Children’s Hearing Institute in New York to create a brand new superhero that inspires and educates hearing-impaired children.
As ABC News reports, the heroine, Sapheara, is hearing-disabled herself. But like Matt Murdock or Tony Stark, she won’t let her disability get the better of her. With cochlear hearing implants and a sidekick, The Blue Ear, who wears hearing aids, Sapheara will show that hearing disabilities are nothing to be ashamed of.
Alongside their caped adventures, Sapheara and The Blue Ear will educate children how to properly use and care for hearing devices like cochlear implants and hearing aids. The comics will reach up to 150,00 children throughout the state of New York.
The new duo comes from Dr. Ronald Hoffman, the director at the Ear Institute at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. After searching for different ways to empower the hearing disabled and educates their familes, Hoffman realized that comic books and superheroes were the tools he was looking for.
"Having Sapheara as a resource for entertainment and education could help many more patients receive the evaluations and care they need to lead active and engaged lives," Hoffman told ABC.
The special one-shot comic has Saphera and The Blue Ear teaming with Iron Man on a special caper. By showing that the hearing-disabled have the same amount of potential as world-saving superheroes, the comic aims to boost the confidence of children who are bullied for wearing hearing aids and implants.
"We wanted the pediatric patients to really revel in the experience of having a super hero all their own," Melissa Willis, executive director of the Children's Hearing Institute in New York, elaborated to ABC.