We are thrilled to unveil an exclusive Marvel comic book—crafted for some very special kids by the House of Ideas’ creative agency, Marvel Custom Solutions—starring none other than the world-famous Armored Avenger, Iron Man!
Developed in conjunction with Child Life Council, the custom comic book, which folds open to reveal an exciting poster, hopes to inspire young patients and other kids as they work to overcome adversity. The all-new adventure presents a dramatic clash between Iron Man and his infamous foe, Fin Fang Foom, as a metaphor for the super powers we all have within us that we draw upon to help get us through difficult times. The comic—which features the work of writer Jim Zub; penciler Wellinton Alves; inker Anderson Silva; colorist Guru eFX; letterer Joe Sabino; and cover artist Jee-Hyung—will be a limited edition issue. Only 250,000 copies will be made available in print.
The Marvel custom comic will be included in Disney hospital care packages and sent to hundreds of hospitals around the world. These care packages also include special Disney toys, DVDs, books and Club Penguin memberships.
We recently sat down with Marvel Custom Solutions Creative Director Bill Rosemann, who talked about the experience of working with Disney Citizenship to bring this special story to life.
What was so unique about this partnership between Disney Citizenship, Child Life Council and Marvel? Can you talk to us about your experience?
We hope every comic book we publish entertains the reader and takes them away from their worries… but when we can do that and also create a story that helps children during their stay in a hospital? Now that’s unique! We wanted to let kids and their families know that everyone at Marvel and Disney is on their side—that we recognize the immense challenges they are facing, and that they have the strength within to face those challenges. We may create comics and movies starring super heroes, but they are our true heroes.
Your comic book will be seen and will impact thousands of children across the country. How does that make you feel?
When anyone joins the staff at Marvel, they must raise their hand and swear that “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.” Okay, maybe we don’t, but we do our best to keep that famous Marvel mantra in mind while we work on everything we create. Speaking as a father of a toddler, creating this comic was a true honor, and it represents a wonderful opportunity to live out this metaphor that Stan Lee and so many creators have taught us for the last 75 years.
What do you think the cover represents?
Jee-Hyung’s amazing art presents an Iron Man who is powerful, tough and willing to push through adversity… just like the kids that we’ve created this comic for!
Can you describe the comic book? Any fun/interesting tidbits you’d like to share?
Writer Jim Zub and penciler Wellinton Alves deliver action, drama and an inspiring message all in one three-page story. We start off with the world’s most popular hero doing what he does best—looking good and cracking jokes—then we add in the towering Fin Fang Foom. Yes, our main-event fight is between a high-tech knight and a 100-foot tall dragon! And did I mention that the third page folds out to become a totally cool poster that will look awesome on everyone’s wall?
How has this project impacted your career at Disney?
It’s an inspiring reminder that Disney truly cares about the lives of children, especially those who are going through tough times. At various points in everyone’s career, you’re hopefully lucky enough to have choices of who to work for and invest your time and effort with—so it’s gratifying to work for a company that actively strives to do good in the world.
What message do you hope kids and families will take away from the special Marvel issue you helped develop along with Disney?
Our main message is exactly what Iron Man says on the last page: “Never give up!” Kids may not be able to strap on armor and fight alien dragons. But when it feels like the weight of the world is pressing down upon them, they can look within, dig deep and realize they are strong enough to face any challenge.