No, not me. Well, not only me. This guy:
From Comic Book Resources news of a big film about a superhero with multiple sclerosis:
Award-winning comic-book writer Mark Millar is empowering people with MS with his envelope pushing latest character Superior, the first superhero ever to be diagnosed with MS. And he is sharing him with the National MS Society (www.nationalMSsociety.org) to help raise awareness for MS and the work of the Society.
The hugely popular comic Superior, which is part of the Millarworld line, follows the tale of a young boy living with multiple sclerosis who’s granted a magic wish. He asks to be transformed into his favourite big screen action hero and uses his new super-powers to right the real world’s wrongs. Whereas most superheroes fight criminals and stop bank robberies, this little boy uses his abilities to end the war in the Middle-East, feed the starving, rescue people from natural disasters and anything else the public wants. But have these incredible powers and worldwide adulation come at a price? This dark, magical tale has been described by critics as Big meets Superman, a unique take on the superhero mythos with a magical element that appeals to Harry Potter fans as much as the traditional superhero audience. The movie rights to this book were snapped up by Kick-Ass and X-Men director Matthew Vaughn with a view to turning this into a Hollywood blockbuster. (via @kelleyeskridge)
I wonder if Superior’s first mission will be visit his wrath upon those who fudge drug trial data? Or those who disseminate said data? Or those who pay neurologists kick-backs for prescribing the drugs so trialled? Or the the national organisations who have, upon occasion, made some poor judgement calls regarding their advertisers and their editorial direction. I would pay to see that story.
But I’ll probably pay to see this story, too. I’m intensely curious about how they’re going to portray a boy with MS. I wish Mark Millar and Matthew Vaughn the best of luck–and hope they’ll consult MS dissidents like me, not just the big organisations with a lot of money in the game.
17 thoughts on “Superhero with MS”
Honestly, given that this is written by Mark Millar, it could either be very good, or very bad. The actual series has seen 5 of 7 issues released, with the big “twist” only just now coming to light in issue 5, and while it's a fairly simple twist, I'm worried that any movie adaptation might take things even further into left field.
So I'm still withholding judgment until after I see how the story turns out on paper.
Unknown, it's not something I read. But the very, very good vs. horrid balance is what I expect from comix, or graphic novels, or whatever it's billed as. I think it's hard to be mediocre visually. But perhaps I'm simply naive regarding this form. (I'm definitely unsophisticated…)
It sounds awesome to me. Most people with disabilities are heroes in their own right for changing the world in positive ways despite the crap they have to put up with every day – all the misinformation and disinterest at best, all the pity and dismissal at worst. All of the best disability advocates I know are people who have disabilities. To me, they're just as much heroes as Superman and Wonder Woman.
Wow. At least it's got the unexpected factor going for it. I love that he fights other badness in the world instead of the typical criminal arch enemy. They better consult with people like you or it will be a massive disappointment and boring failure. But we'll just have to wait and see given that he says how thrilled he is to be working with the MS Society.
Is that a picture of the actual character? Looks more like a man than a boy….
Even if they do a poor job, it has to be a good thing that they will raise awareness, don't you think?
Jo, I think one trap they could fall into with the film is to make it all about the dis/ability dyad, and fighting Bad Guys, instead of having a blast. It might sink under its earnestness. I'd much rather see something like Iron Man, with a cripple.
jennifer, it will be good thing if they make the boy a real human instead of a cut-out figure with MS. That is, if they can avoid cliche. As for the boy/man thing, I think turning into a Manly Hero is part of the transformation, hence the description as of 'Big meets Superman'.
So, should they give him the “get better” pill?
Pia, I guess that depends on what his life was like before he became a superhero–and on how bad his MS is. Me, I'd take it in a hot second. But I don't need to be a superhero to lead an, ah, interesting life…
And what if he got superpowers because he got MS?
Pia, oh, I'm sure, storywise, the two will have to be connected.
Exactly on the “Iron Man w/a cripple”. Current job difficulty is that medicaid only wants to pay aide time for clients to “overcome” some aspect of their disability. Sometimes what the person really needs an aide to do is facilitate them just having fun — but to the abled, it often becomes all about the disability. I have fantasies of a world where the medicaid workers can only devote social time to overcoming a personality flaw . . .
Jo, that's so true. To many, cripples are only cripples, the way queers used to be only queers.
“I think it's hard to be mediocre visually.”
I'm not an artist, but as a lifelong reader of comics, and general observer of representational or semi-representational art, I have to strongly disagree.
Another way of putting this is that the range of quality of art in comics runs the gamut; this is not just a matter of taste. Some artists have been incompetent in many ways, while others are genius. It's no different whatever from writing.
It's not just hacks from the Golden or Silver Age, either. Rob Liefield's anatomy remains bizarre, for example.
I haven't read Superior, but am now intrigued, and typically even the best super-hero films are about 1000th as good as the best versions of the original comics characters and story.
Conceptually, there have been quite a few interest takes on the “what if super heros were real?” question, from Warren Ellis' THE AUTHORITY to Alan Moore's classic MARVELMAN/MIRACLEMAN, and so on; some are brilliant, including the latter.
I'd be curious what you thought of the comics if you read them.
Aside from a couple of other infelicities in my above, I should clarify that intrigued as I'd be to read your review of Alan Moore, I meant in my last sentence to say that I'd be more curious as to what you thought of Millar's actual work, Superior, then some almost inevitably… inferior compromise made by committee and intended for a far wider (less clueful) audience.
I bow to your greater experience on the mediocre thing. You might be right…
…but, hmmm, you might not. Tell you what, I'll read Superior over the weekend and let you know what I think. If it's 'mediocre' then I owe you a drink!
You’ve heard the stories: Man with Two Prosthetic Legs Climbs Mt. Everest, Schizophrenic Genius Teaches at Harvard, Autistic Woman Saves Beef Industry, Blind Man Sparks Scientific Revolution, WheelchairBound Man Wins World War, Woman With TBI and History of Slavery Creates Underground Railroad….the list goes on. I’m not making these up. People with disabilities have overcome their personal obstacles, achieved fantastic greatness, and made evolutionary contributions to society. People with disabilities have changed the fucking world.
And then there’s Superman. He was orphaned at a young age, never quite fit in to the human race, and had Kryptonitis – an episodic disabling condition! But he saved the fucking world, too. He worked full time, had the usual dysfunctional and stilted romantic relationship with a pretty girl, and flew, like through the air, on incredible missions to save the lives of common people. Truly, he was not DIS-abled, he was DIFFERENTLY-abled.
But then he fell off a horse and suffered a spinal injury becoming paraplegic. The world was crushed, but oh-so-ready to watch him fight the good fight, push himself to the limits of human capacity and then beyond, and overcome his disability and walk. Or, better yet, FLY. Everyone was cheering him on and everyone believed it could, would, HAD TO happen. America’s real life Superman – Christopher Reeve – just HAD TO make his way out of the wheelchair and prove that “disability” was a myth, that with the right amount of fortitude and hard work and heart and soul and blood/sweat/tears anyone could pull themselves up by their bootstraps and fucking not only walk but fly through the air like a bird or an airplane. He tried. We all watched him and cheered him on. He never got out of his wheelchair and he used a breathing apparatus. Then he died, sans fluttering cape. Everyone was super disappointed. What a fucking failure.
What a fucking mean and crushing myth – that the only good disabled person is the one that pushes themselves beyond the normal capacity of humans to achieve a superhuman power be it x-ray vision or flying with a spinal cord injury. I’ve watched the movies – A Beautiful Mind, Temple Grandin, blah blah blah. I have to admit I cry at them. I read the books too. I WROTE a book about it. But it’s a myth. The myth part isn’t that people with disabilities can achieve great things, the myth is that people with disabilities SHOULD achieve great things. Everyone celebrates the poverty stricken Mexican who crawled across the desert and slept in the streets of America only to become the dashingly handsome TV star with oodles of money and a hidden disability mitigated by his faithful service dog. Everyone celebrates the woman with MS who fights her way to the summit of Mt. Everest. The message is clear: If you have a disability then you can overcome it and not only be more than a hum-drum mortal but a fucking inspiration to hum-drum mortals. Plus, it’s your duty to do so.
I have a secret I’m going to let you in on. People with disabilities generally don’t climb Mt. Everest. I bet most of us don’t even really want to. People with disabilities just want to do the best they can on any given day. I wonder if Christopher Reeve ever wished he could just sit in the fucking wheelchair and “be.” I wonder if ever he was proud that he made it through another day without killing himself. I wonder if he felt obligated to try to climb Mt. Everest. To be honest, I have no desire to climb Mt. Everest and I am not particularly smart and although I wish I could save the world I only have enough energy to get myself through the day, one day at a time. Sometimes I’m proud of myself for not killing myself. But then, the myth of the disabled superhero pops into my mind and I beat myself up because that’s such a stupid thing to be proud of.
(read entire post at http://sarahsmithetal.blogspot.com)
I hear you. It gets tedious being a cripple in a world of 'normal' people who can be thoughtless.
But I think you do have a superpower: ranting :)
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