Five Disabled Marvel Characters

July marks the 31st anniversary of disability pride month, so I thought that there was no better way to celebrate than to give you a small insight into five disabled Marvel superheroes!

Misty Knight – bionic arm

Villains For Hire cover by Patrick Zircher and Andy Troy

You may know Misty from the Luke Cage tv show, but I’m going to give you a little refresher anyway: Misty grew up in New York and became a police officer with the NYPD. While she was off duty and visiting a bank, she found a bomb and tried to disable it, but she failed, and was caught in the explosion.

The explosion took her right arm, leaving her off active duty and behind a desk. But, when Tony Stark learnt of her heroism, he built her a bionic arm. After receiving the bionic arm, Misty decided to leave the NYPD and create a private investigations business with her best friend Coleen Wing, called Knightwing Restorations.

Maya Lopez – Deaf

Daredevil volume 2 cover by David Mack

Maya, otherwise known as Echo, is a Native American from the Cheyenne Nation. She was born Deaf, and also proved to have the ability to copy any motion she sees perfectly. Over the years, this means she’s been able to exactly copy Daredevil and Bullseye’s fighting styles, copy entire piano concertos, as well as learn multiple languages just by lip reading.

Over the years, Maya has worked with Daredevil and the Avengers, and has possessed the Phoenix Force. She will also be making her MCU debut in Hawkeye.

Charles Xavier – wheelchair user

Old Man Logan volume 2 cover by Jim Lee, Israel Silva and Michael Kelleher

Charles was paralysed during a trip to the Himalayas, when he was attacked by an alien named Lucifer, who dropped a stone block onto his legs, crushing them. During his recovery, he came up with the idea of Cerebro, so he could find them and create his school for gifted mutants.

Sadly, with Charles, he comes with a small disclaimer – Charles is not always a wheelchair user in the comics. For a lot of X-Men continuity, he is paralysed from the waist down, but in runs such as House Of M and Dawn Of X, he is seen to be able-bodied. It generally depends on the writer/continuity. I wish he was always depicted as a wheelchair user in every comic, because the representation is desperately needed, but sadly that is the current ways of comics.

Karma – prosthetic leg

Marvel Voices: Pride cover by Emanda Souza

Karma is of Vietnamese decent and has been part of the X-Men for the last forty years. She has the power to possess people’s minds, create psychic shields, as well as several other mind-related powers.

During the battle of Second Coming, Karma lost her leg after a Nimrod Sentinel attacked her. Since then, she has had a bionic prosthetic left leg.

Doctor Strange – nerve damage

Doctor Strange: Last Days Of Magic cover by Shane Davis

We’ve all seen Doctor Strange’s car accident on screen, and it’s basically the same in the comics – giving him severe nerve damage in both of his hands. Extensive surgeries could not fix the damage, leaving Stephen’s hands shaking and in permanent pain.

Desperate to recover the use of his hands and go back to surgery, Stephen came across the Ancient One, who refused to fix his hands, but taught him the mystic arts instead. Since then, Doctor Strange has become the Sorcerer Supreme, has teamed up with nearly every Marvel character created, and has cemented himself as one of the most powerful people on the side of good.

And that’s my top 5 disabled Marvel characters! There’s a few more that I left out, so if you want a round two, please do let me know!

Happy disability pride month everyone!

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