Each week, Disney+ plans to highlight the company’s first non-scripted reality series which is set to follow the journeys of “young heroes” in the spirit of Marvel comics. Each episode will follow different kids and their stories through a custom comic book that takes place within the confines of the current Marvel Universe. Each comic iteration will be available for free in the form of a digital download.
Steve Wacker, VP of development at Marvel Entertainment, commented ahead of the series’ premiere that “seeing these kids light up when they see themselves on a cover made the entire project worth it.” Through a series of interviews by THR, several of the kids form Marvel’s Hero Project were interviewed about their lives and shared the same sentiment.
Veronica Watt, mother of Adonis Watt and also a former NFL cheerleader, was the first to be interviewed for the project, stating:
Coming from a passionately athletic family, Adonis Watt’s eagerness to get in the game and play football began at an early age. It has never wained, even after he lost his eye sight at age five and was diagnosed with a rare condition of congenital glaucoma. What could have been a threat to his athletic dreams transformed into an opportunity for both Adonis and his family. He would not let it go. People ask me are you afraid that he plays football and I say I would be afraid if he came to me and said, ‘I don’t want to play.’ Then I would be scared.
After scoring two touchdowns as his high school’s quarterback last September, Adonis has consistently been humble about his achievements despite his challenges dealing with blindness, giving his “love for the game” the reason for his motivation. Through his comic book persona, Adonis can be seen hanging out with Black Panther and Iron Man as the “Unstoppable Adonis” who has both “athletic strength and increased senses.” The story is also the first full-length story by Marvel to be printed in braille for other blind readers.
Another hero was found in Elijah Lee, who became a social activist after he learned that a classmate of his had suffered from abuse. Through his church, the 11-year old hosted sermons and organized child abuse awareness marches in his hometown gaining the attention of State senator Erica Smith. In Lee’s comic book iteration, the youthful activist is turned into the “human torch” and has the powers to “brighten any room with his motivational words and positive outlook.”
“I really love the details of the comic,” Elijah commented. “The front cover has me with a yellow light behind me. That really meant a lot to me because it showed I’m a kid who has empathy for things, who sees when there’s a problem … That helped me understand that you don’t have to have super strength or a magical hammer to be a superhero.”
Meanwhile, in Jordan Reeves Marvel’s Hero Project episode, the 13-year-old discussed how she felt because of her differences, she “had the ability to teach people.” Reeves gained national fame by appearing on Shark Tank and The Rachael Ray Show by promoting her glitter-shooting prostethic arm. She gave the invention the moniker “Project Unicorn,” and has since become an advocate for children her age that have limb differences through her non-profit work.
“The way Jordan is inspiring younger kids is so incredible,” Amos added. “I also love that she is just a normal teenage girl. To watch her with her friends and to watch her have fun and to watch her get to bring that kind of possibility and just teenage exuberance to everything she’s doing when it comes to tech and when it comes to limb differences was so great to see.”
Marvel’s Jordan character is shown in a lab similar to Black Panther’s Shuri, while her costume outfit mannequin has a limb difference similar to her own. Although despite not having a lab of her own, Reeves says she doesn’t have a hard time coming up with inventions regardless. “I’d make a lot of fun stuff,” she explains. “All I am trying to do is spread joy and positivity. That’s one of the big things that everyone can do.”
Below the series’ official trailer can be viewed: