The World of Superheroes with Disabilities

Youg boy looking up to the sky with fist raised and superhero capeIf you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of fun national days through April and May. There’s so many it’s hard to choose! National Truffle Day, National Orange Juice Day, and National Eat What You Want Day. But we’re most interested in the fact that April was also the month of National Superhero Day.  

When you think about superheroes, what do you imagine? You might think of someone who’s incredibly strong or lightning fast. You might even think of someone who can sometimes fly or become invisible.  

Did you know that there are superheroes with disabilities? Of course, you have your Supermans, Captain Marvels, and Green Lanterns. But over time, superheroes have been humanized and given qualities that connect them closer to what it’s like to be a real human.  

One of the best aspects about comic books is that characters can be diverse, reflecting what it’s like to be a superhuman with physical disabilities. Because of this (and National Superhero Day) we put together a list for you of our top three superheroes with disabilities 

Professor X 

He’s the leader of the X-Men, a telepath, and a paraplegic. Really, this man is one of the most powerful mutants in the world. In the comics, he was paralyzed by the alien Lucifer who dropped a huge stone on his legs to block Charles’ attempt to stop him. In the movie X-Men First Class, he was paralyzed by Magneto, who accidently shot him in the spine.  

He’s also got an interesting range of mental powers, including the ability to literally give his powers to another person and to inflict pain into his enemies by a single thought. Talk about having a good head on your shoulders!  

Hawkeye 

While in the Hollywood produced films, he doesn’t have a hearing disability introduced just yet– this might change in the future –, the comics tell a different story. According to the comics, Hawkeye was stabbed in his ears, rupturing his eardrum and making him deaf. (Tony Stark later made him hearing aids.) 

While he doesn’t have any superhuman powers, he has impeccable human capabilities including archery, martial arts, and acrobatic skills, as well as having extraordinary arm strength. Oh, and fun fact – he also rescued a one-eyed pup named Pizza Dog! 

Doctor Strange 

One of the greatest neurosurgeons in the world, Doctor Steven Strange, received major nerve damage to his hands after a car accident. This left it impossible for him to continue as a neurosurgeon. During his story, Strange traveled to the Himalayas to become a student of the Ancient One and in order to learn to live with his disability. He discovered a new use for his hands, wielding magic. After all, he is one of the most powerful sorcerers in the world! 

While representation of superheroes with disabilities is rather limited and handled inconsistently in the general media, these characters can help humanize disability.

What are your favorite superheroes?  

At Golden Rule, we view our Working Partners as superheroes because of their incredible dedication and unique abilities that they bring to the workplace every day. And you can find out more about them and the Golden Rule mission to bring further support to people with disabilities!   

 

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