I don’t even know, you guys. This story is too adorable for me to articulate properly, but I’ll try. Four-year-old Anthony Smith can’t hear out of his right ear and has hearing damage in his left, but he refused to wear his blue hearing aid because, as he told his concerned mother, “superheroes don’t wear hearing aids.” She wrote to comics publisher Marvel asking for help, and they came through in the best way: By making Anthony a superhero named Blue Ear!
Out of desperation, Anthony’s mom sent an e-mail to one of Marvel’s general editorial addresses, asking for their advice. First off, they revealed to Anthony that there was indeed a famous superhero who had hearing loss—Hawkeye, who most recently popped up in Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers. But then they went one step further and had two artists actually draw Anthony into the Marvel universe as a new superhero, Blue Ear. There’s the cover you see above, as well as my personal favorite, this drawing of Anthony suiting up with Hawkeye:
So now Anthony is using his hearing aid again, because it’s totally OK to get help when you’re fighting crime. The guy who drew the top image, Nelson Ribeiro, said, “I was so happy to find out that Anthony liked the piece of artwork I created for him. He was the person I was most worried about pleasing. If everyone at work liked it but he hated it, then I would’ve felt like I let him down.” YOU’RE CRYING NOW, RIGHT? I can’t get the Fox News video to embed, but make sure you watch it, because you’ll want to actually see Anthony, who seems like just the sweetest kid.