When 4-year-old, hearing-impaired Anthony Smith began balking at the prospect of wearing his hearing aid, which he and his mother referred to as “blue ear,” Smith’s mother, Christina D’Allesandro, turned to Marvel Comics for help. Her son didn’t want to wear his “blue ear” because he was sure superheroes didn’t wear hearing aids. After assuring her son that some superheroes, just like some people, wear hearing aids, D’Allesandro wrote to Marvel Comics, whom her son loves, asking for help.
She initially received an image of a 1984 comic book cover featuring superhero Hawkeye wearing a small hearing device after his hearing was temporarily destroyed by a sonic arrow, but at least two other artists were inspired to create an entirely new and original character for Anthony.
Production artist Manny Mederos began eagerly sketching a character named The Blue Ear, but then realized instead of an adult, The Blue Ear should “be a young kid himself” so that he could grow up and work with Hawkeye and The Avengers one day. Anthony later received the completely original artwork, including images of Blue Ear and Hawkeye together, and has since worn his blue ear with little complaint. D’Allesandro says her son is now proud to wear his hearing aid, like Blue Ear, and share the good news with others and his school for children with hearing loss.
For a super(hero) warm fuzzy, watch this video.