TORONTO – Superheroes fight crime, gangsters and evil villains, but now Marvel’s buff, brawny characters are taking on bullying.
To mark October’s National Bullying Prevention Month, the comic book giant is teaming up with STOMP Out Bullying, a U.S. anti-bullying organization for kids and teens. They enlisted the help of a string of heroes – Spiderman, Captain America and the Guardians of the Galaxy – who will be addressing bullying in series of special issues.
“The centre of Marvel’s storytelling history is the eternal struggle between good and evil, with many of its greatest superheroes having to contend with – and rise above – bullying, in all its forms,” Axel Alonso, Marvel Comics’ editor in chief, said in a statement.
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It’s true: When he isn’t Spiderman, Peter Parker is a bespectacled teen who’s teased by his classmates. The Guardians of the Galaxy are a team of misfits, and Captain America couldn’t pass the physical exam to enlist in the army.
The emotionally charged covers are likely relatable to victims of bullying. In one instance, Captain America is stopping a bully from beating up his classmate by the lockers, in another, the Incredible Hulk is cheering up a boy as his peers make fun of him across the field. In other cases, the superheroes are there to accompany kids sitting alone in the cafeteria or during recess.
(Photos courtesy marvel广州桑拿网)
Another cover even touches on cyberbullying, with the heroine consoling a young girl surrounded by nasty text messages about her.
“Bullying and cyberbullying have reached epidemic proportions with one out of every four kids being a victim. And bullying transcends race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation,” Ross Ellis, STOMP’s founder and CEO, said in a statement.
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“But just as Spider-Man, Captain America, and Marvel’s many other super heroes were able to triumph and go on to combat evil, so can every one of us be a Super Hero in our own right by standing up and joining the fight to eradicate bullying.”
Read more about the collaboration here.