Friday, March 1, 2013

Hearing-Impaired Boy Inspires Superhero


NEW YORK (CNN) — Five-year-old Anthony Smith didn’t think superheroes wore hearing aids, until he became one.
His mother, Christina D’Allesandro, says the epic journey began in May, when her superhero-fanatic son, who is deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other, refused to wear his blue hearing aid because “superheroes don’t wear hearing aids” either.
Desperate, she decided to consult the experts. She found a general e-mail address on the Marvel Comics website and sent a message “into the ethers,” asking if there were any hearing-impaired superheroes.
A few weeks later, the mother of two was shocked to get an overwhelming response from Marvel, including comic book art that honored her son.
“When he first saw the comic book cover, he said, ‘Oh my God, it’s me,’ ” she told CNN. “He was very excited.”
“We decided to make him an honorary Avenger,” a member of the Marvel Comics superhero crime-fighting team, said Bill Rosemann, a Marvel editor.
Two artists, Manny Mederos and Nelson Ribeiro, sent the D’Allesandro family comic book covers featuring their very own versions of honorary Avenger Blue Ear, inspired by Anthony, whose blue earpiece gives him the power to hear a pin drop from the other side of a state.
One cover features a younger Anthony and his buddy Hawkeye ready to fight crime. The other shows an older version of Blue Ear perched on a rooftop, tapping into his superpower and listening to a faraway call for help.
On Tuesday, the young New Hampshire boy is being welcomed as a special guest at an event at the Center for Hearing and Communication clinic in New York City, where he will get to meet a fellow crime-fighting partner in the Marvel Universe, Iron Man.
Read more of Kristina Sgueglia's Fox 8 article HERE.
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