Marvel has evidently taken the criticism and recent conversations relating to its lack of diversity and representation to heart. As an example, a new character has recently emerged — Lunella Lafayette, an African American girl, who is now the smartest hero in the Marvel comics.
With the ongoing conversations regarding diversity, it is important for people to see themselves in these heroes, to understand that they are not inaccessible. It’s important to see them as humans and their heroic acts as relatable.
The newest addition to the ever-growing Marvel family is arguably the most important character — and necessary for the times we live in. Madaya Mom takes readers on the journey of a mother living in the Syrian city of Madaya. An area which is mostly inaccessible to the media, ABC journalists had to take a more creative approach in order to get an idea of what daily life is like in the war-torn city.
The series is based off of a real woman (who requested to be kept anonymous for safety reasons). She would text the journalists accounts of her daily life and the life of her family. The journalists, who at first only wanted to get an account of what life was like in the city to share with others, decided they wanted her story to be shown in a more visual way; the comic book which can be read here was born.
This comic is illustrated by Dalibor Talajić, who is best known for his work on “Deadpool.” Madaya Mom tells the true story of a mother struggling to navigate her way through life in an area of the world wrought with terror.
The first published piece describes her one daily meal of rice and bean soup. And it’s direct situations like these that enable readers to see how Madaya Mom truly is a superhero.
In spite of her reality, she still finds a way to provide for her family — amid the ongoing struggles her city faces.
While the character can seem worlds away from many of our realities due to the nature of her struggle and her location, Talajić argues she’s a superhero like any other. “Superheroes are not defined by their powers or their physique. Superhero is in the heart. Madaya Mom fits within this category, because she finds strength to be human and unhardened,” he said.
Read the first issue, available online for free, here.