For Marvel Comics, the phrase “With great power comes great responsibility“It’s more than a catchphrase for one of its iconic characters; it’s a mission statement to reach its audience on important real-world issues. Over the years, the publisher has advocated for many societal issues that directly affect readers.
The war on drugs, world hunger and the prevention of child abuse are just some of these problems that heroes cannot eliminate; instead, use education and information to help those in need. Some of these attempts, such as Daredevil’s warning about the dangers of gasoline when fighting the personification of danger in the form of the villain Vapora. Still, while many of these public service comics may seem over the top, in the end, it’s the message that matters.
10 Remembering the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
The world was shocked on the morning of September 11, 2001, when two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City while another hit the Pentagon in Washington DC The attack on the World Trade Center left 2,977 dead and 6,000 more injured . This attack not only left wounds in the country but also in the Marvel Comics universe, which based its stories and adventures in the New York metropolitan area for more than 60 years.
Seeking to honor the true heroes of the attacks and give its readers hope afterward, Marvel used its characters to help real-life heroes. In Amazing Spider-Man # 36, Spider-Man and others assisted the first responders at Ground Zero. Marvel would also publish Heroes Y A moment of silence, raising more than a million dollars for the Twin Towers Fund.
9 Captain America fights for asthma awareness
When he’s not fighting the Red Skull or Hydra, the country can breathe easy as Captain America is known to suffer from the respiratory condition of asthma, a disease that causes the airways to narrow and swell, making it difficult to breathing for both children and adults. In 1988, Captain America met Daniel Tylervin, The Asthma Monster, in a story written by Louise Simonson and art by Alex Saviuk and a second time in the 1989 sequel by Howard Mackie and artist Mark Bagley.
In the second issue, it is revealed that The Asthma Monster is a man who wants to spread asthma to everyone so that they will be like him. In 1995, Cap took over exercise-induced asthma in Captain America: Playball by Mindy Newell and art by Colleen Doran.
8 The X-Men Battle World Hunger
In 1985, hunger in the world was at the forefront after the devastating famine that ravaged the country of Ethiopia. The idea for the project came from artists Jim Starlin and Berni Wrightson, who presented the idea to then-Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Jim Shooter. Once the green light is given, the Heroes for Hope The project, starring the X-Men, will feature many memorable creative teams including Stan Lee and John Buscema; Stephen King and Bernie Wrightson; Moore and Richard Corben, and many more.
The problem found the X-Men facing an entity that fed on psychic misery, tracing the source of the attack to Africa. The X-Men come across the horrific scenes of deprivation and famine, which after defeating the entity that is attacking them, they stay and help distribute relief supplies.
7 The Incredible Hulk and AIDS Awareness
For 12 years, Peter David wrote The incredible Hulk title and had no qualms about including social activism in their stories, such as gun control, domestic abuse, and AIDS. Published in the early 90’s, The Incredible Hulk # 420 discussed the issue of AIDS, which at the time was a highly stigmatized disease. The story revolves around Jim Wilson, who was initially introduced as a replacement for Rick Jones, although this would only be a short-lived partnership. Years later, Wilson would reappear in the comic when Rick found him working in Los Angeles at an HIV / AIDS clinic.
Jim reveals to Rick that he has AIDS, which would later be considered when Jim seriously cuts himself, and Rick is hesitant to help him. Later, Jim would beg the Hulk to give him a blood donation to save his life, which the Hulk refused to do. The issue ended with a column of special letters written by comics professionals about how their lives had been affected by HIV / AIDS.
6 Spider-Man fights against child abuse and bullying
The National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse has partnered with Marvel several times over the years to address the issues of child abuse and bullying. In 1984, Spider-Man and The Power Pack discussed abuse when Spider-Man reveals to a boy he rescues from an abusive babysitter that he was sexually abused by a boy who he thought was a friend. In the story, Peter tells his uncles about the incident, which many consider to be an event of continuity in Peter’s life.
Marvel would join forces with the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse in the 1990s and 2000s to address other issues of bullying and peer pressure. Spider-Man would continue to be the go-to character while also including the X-Men Jubilee, which was the age of the PSA comic’s intended audience.
5 Captain America goes to the war on drugs
Captain America has included in the wars he fought in the War on Drugs in the 1991 story written by Peter David art by Sal Velluto and again in 1994 when he teamed up with the New Warriors. The 1991 story had Cap trying to save a teenager who has a promising career as a baseball player and has a drug abuse problem, making the moral of the story that drug use can ruin your future. The topic ends in a strange way suggesting that a sequel would continue the story.
In 1994, writer George Caragonne and art Colleen Doran teamed up with Captain America with the New Warriors to take on The Drug Lords: Crack, Ice (Yoshi Nagai), Ms. Fix (Felicia Beyer) and Weed led by the alien Tzin. .
4 Spider-Man and an anti-drug message
In 1990, writer Dwayne McDuffie and artist Alex Saviuk brought the web head to Canada in the anti-drug public service comic Spidey follows Electro to Canada on a major drug bust, while teaching some kids to make the right choices when they offer them drugs. The first issue includes an appearance by African-American hockey legend Herb Conegie, who brings the anti-drug message home.
The second installment, also written by Dwayne McDuffie and Herb Trimpe on artistic duties, found that the Chameleon caused trouble and was published in Canada alone as one of five collected stories written for the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police with other groups such as the right wing. . Riders Bicycle and Road Safety Program and Alliance for a Drug-Free Canada, among others.
3 Flash Thompson and the Wounded Warriors Fund
Writer Marc Guggenheim and artist Barry Kitson recounted the journey of war hero Flash Thompson in Amazing Spider-Man # 574 and his tour of duty in Iraq that caused him to lose both legs. The story tells parallel stories of Thompson’s military service as Peter Parker fights crime as Spider-Man in New York. The creative team dedicated the issue to “The men and women who serve, have served, and will serve in Iraq and Afghanistan with courage and honor. (With special thanks to Sergeant Jeffrey Guerin, US Army 25th Infantry Division).”
Venom: Space Knight Writer Robbie Thompson partnered with The Wounded Warrior Project to tell the Flash’s story about getting his legs braced and dealing with his new limbs and handling rehab. Dan Nevins, a Wounded Warrior Project spokesman and double amputee, provided information on these topics.
two Spidey, Storm, and Power Man battle teen smoking
Spider-Man, Storm, and Luke “Power Man” Cage teamed up with the American Cancer Society for a free comic that warns kids about the dangers of cigarette smoking. The villain of the story is Smoke Screen, who tries to control the underground gambling scene and had the power to drown his victims with the toxic vapors of cigarettes. Throughout history, the science behind the effects of smoking and what it can do with your physical abilities has become clear. Not only do they thwart Smoke Screen’s ambitions, but they can also convince the young athlete that smoking is wrong.
1 Marvel Team-Up: Spider-Man Meets Planned Parenthood
In 1976, Spider-Man and Planned Parenthood teamed up for one of the strangest partnerships. After noticing that the teens were being abducted, Spidey discovers that the teens are being abducted by a man who tries to convince them that it is okay to have unprotected sex, reporting information about venereal diseases and the risks and consequences of sex. Fortunately, Spidey intervenes and reveals that The Prodigy is an alien disguised as a human who is searching for new child laborers for his home planet. While the presentation and idea may be overdone, the importance of the message remains.
NEXT: DC Comics: 10 Times DC Heroes Stand Up For Real-World Causes
The 10 most dangerous villains Spider-Man fought against
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