The world of superheroes is usually filled with buffed-up, perfect-toned physiques oozing with confidence to take on the world. However, with time legendary comic-book creators developed new superheroes with disabilities to show the world that anyone can be a hero. Here are 7 superheroes with disabilities from the Marvel Universe:
Though the mantle of Hornet has been taken up by five different characters, including Peter Parker, the most famous of them was Eddie McDonough. Born with cerebral palsy, McDonough used his superior intelligence to build a powered suit that would grant him enhanced strength and hide the weakness of his atrophied arm. Apart from being a badass superhero, McDonough was also an extremely forgiving and caring individual, thus establishing himself as a role model for many people with cerebral palsy. Even after losing his super-suit, Hornet didn’t let his heroic spirit retire. During an attack on Stark tower by HYDRA and a mind-controlled Wolverine, McDonough fought valiantly even without his powers till his death.
6. Professor X
Probably one of the most popular mutants and superheroes to exist, Professor X is an iconic role model for people with disabilities. Despite being a wheelchair user, Charles Xavier does not let his disability define him. Apart from being the most powerful telepath in the world, Professor X at the core of his heart is a mentor. A messiah for the ‘rejects’, Charles Xavier is a beacon of hope for mutants, as well as all of us. Kindness doesn’t need to come from a position of power. It has to come from a position of unflinching willingness.
Unarguably the most recognizable icon for superheroes with disabilities, Matthew Murdock was blinded when he was a child in an accident. However, the cause for his blindness enhances his other senses to superhuman levels. His exceptional senses help him navigating the dark and dangerous corners of Hell’s Kitchen while still acting as his first layer of defence against any offensive attack. A lawyer by day and vigilante by night, Matthew Murdock is a role model for thousands of people across the world with blindness. Despite a disability that quite literally makes his world dark, his actions are an inspiration to make the world a brighter place.
Though the MCU decided to bring in Hawkeye’s disability quite late, the super-archer has been deaf in the comics for a long time. Though it is unclear how exactly Hawkeye became deaf, but it is most probably the culmination of all the explosive battles he has been over the years. Nevertheless, his hearing disability doesn’t stop him from putting his life at mortal danger to save the world. Hawkeye’s disability became a central theme of his character during Matt Fraction and David Aja’s critically acclaimed Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon. In the series, not only did they manage to humanize Clint Barton’s disability, but also experimented with depicting hearing disability on the comic-book pages in incredible style.
Having made her appearance in the recently released Hawkeye series, Maya Lopez is the first Native-American superhero also with a hearing disability. Moreover, she also communicates using ASL, serving as an icon for numerous kids with hearing and speaking disability. Despite her disability, Echo is an accomplished fighter who once almost killed Daredevil using her fighting prowess and strategic mind.
Disabilities come in many forms and not necessarily always physically. The son of Charles Xavier, David Haller/Legion is considered by many to be the most powerful mutant in existence. An omega-level mutant, David Haller has dissociative identity disorder. Having potentially limitless different personalities, Legion has a wide range of powers manifesting as per his persona. Though that surely sounds quite exciting, unfortunately, these personalities are not always under David Haller’s control. Considering his abilities can warp time and space, the efforts put into keeping his destructive personalities under control takes a heavy toll on Haller. Fortunately, the character’s mental instability was depicted extremely well in X-Men: Legacy by Simon Spurrier.
1. Moon Knight
Marc Spector aka Moon Knight is another superhero with dissociative identity disorder which affects his life to a great extent. After being brought back to life by the Egyptian god Khonshu, Spector’s pre-existing split personalities often led him to a bloody and bruised path in his crime-fighting career. Though it has been shown numerous times that his disability actually acts as an asset, it only proves that even superheroes are not immune to mental disabilities.