Marvel Comics is partnering with SOMOS Community Care, a New York City-based network of more than 2500 physicians providing critical care to members of the Black, Latino, and Asian communities in the city to create a special comic book meant to spread awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage readers to become vaccinated.
The special issue, titled Avengers: We Are Resilient, will be distributed alongside posters and other material at events designed to educate people about the COVID-19 vaccine and provide access to it. The events will take place around New York City through Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15 this year.
"Marvel has always told stories to entertain, inspire, and reflect the world around us. As many communities continue to grapple with the effects of COVID-19, it was important to us to help promote vaccine awareness and confidence in New York City," states Dan Buckley, president of Marvel Entertainment, in the announcement. "We are thrilled to collaborate with SOMOS Community Care for this new comic book and campaign to continue to educate and encourage our communities during these trying times."
Marvel has a history of publishing special edition comic books to promote social awareness on specific issues. In the '80s and '90s, many publishers created stories about the dangers of drug use and other common childhood dangers told using their iconic characters to educate readers.
"This road to recovery runs through the immigrant communities of color that have been hit hardest by this pandemic and left behind in a vaccine roll-out marked by inequity and misinformation campaigns," continues Henry. R Muñoz, III, co-founder of SOMOS US and owner of Funny Or Die. "Being able to unite Marvel Entertainment with the trusted voices from the community doctors of SOMOS Community Care in a public education campaign designed to drive awareness is a really big deal. This campaign symbolizes where art meets purpose and shows that people nationwide can come together and build community, and look together to the future."
Along with the special comic and posters, Marvel and SOMOS will produce a 'video comic' featuring the Avengers as they team up with healthcare workers to bring the vaccine to a Hispanic family living in New York.
"This pandemic has made clear that superheroes aren't just in comic books, some wear white lab coats and stethoscopes and put the shots in arms we need to keep our communities safe and healthy during a pandemic that has raged on for nearly two years now," adds Dr. Ramon Tallaj, chairman and founder of SOMOS Community Care. "In the same way our doctors are trusted by the families we have treated for generations, Marvel is embedded in American households and culture – offering community through cultural icons and intergenerational heroes. I am so grateful to my friend and partner Henry Muñoz for uniting Team SOMOS and The Avengers in this mission for the health of our communities."
SOMOS estimates that so far, it has distributed 1.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to people in New York City.
While not likely to do down as one of the best Avengers stories of all time, Avengers: We Are Resilient is at least trying to do good.