“It is a mother, but it is every mother. It is a family, but it’s every family.”
Behold. Marvel’s latest heroine is perhaps one of the most powerful ones — a Syrian mother trapped in a besieged town with the superhuman qualities of patience and an unyielding strive for survival. What’s moving is that the stories were inspired by a real-life subject.
Based on the real day-to-day accounts of a Syrian mother of five stuck in the devastated town of Madaya, the new comic Madaya Mom tells what it is like living in a town that was bombarded by Assad’s forces since the July of 2015. The anonymity of this woman perhaps adds on its appeal, as readers will follow her family in their touching struggle for survival. Within this year alone, dozens of people in the town have died from starvation.
This is not the first time Marvel is interweaving social commentary with its stories. During World War 2, for instance, they aptly depicted Captain America punching Adolf Hitler in the face. Keeping on with this tradition, the company has teamed up with ABC News to produce this new and inspiring comic, that is now available online for free.
Madaya Mom describes her children’s stomach pains from lack of food in the comic entry from January 19, 2016.
When their cameras couldn’t enter the town, ABC News “had to get creative” to tell the story of those who live there, said producer Rym Momtaz. The main character of Madaya Mom managed to get in contact with ABC journalists, who then decided to chronicle her fight for survival across numerous blog posts.
“It was actually really heartening because she told me that she loved Spider-Man and she knew Marvel,” Momtaz told The Guardian. “She could not believe that the people who were behind Spider-Man had any interest in her life and had heard of her.”
The first page of the comic features a heart-wrenching caption of the woman saying: “Our bodies are no longer used to eating, my children are hungry but are getting sick, severe stomach pains from the food because their bodies aren’t able to digest and absorb the food because they were hungry for so long.”
via ABC News
Artist Dalibor Talajic, best known for his work on Deadpool, Ghost Rider and X-men, spoke to The National about not sensationalising the comic. “I didn’t want to do a war comic,” he told the publication. “I wanted to make a comic with a civilian point of view, where you’re really powerless. You can’t do anything. You’re just waiting for it to pass or for you to die.”
“Superheroes are not defined by their powers or their physique. Superhero is in the heart. Madaya Mom fits within this category because she finds strength to be human and unhardened,” he added.
You can read the inspiring story of Madaya Mom here.