New Marvel comic book celebrates nurses as health care superheroes

ByMallika Kallingal, CNN
Sunday, December 6, 2020
New comic book celebrates nurses as health care superheroes
Marvel Comics and Allegheny Health Network say they have collaborated to celebrate real-life health care heroes with a new comic book.

PITTSBURGH -- Move over Superman, Spiderman and Batman, there are new superheroes in town! And they're wearing scrubs, not capes!

Marvel Comics and Allegheny Health Network (AHN) say they have collaborated to celebrate real-life health care heroes with a new comic book. It's been developed with advertising agency Doner.

In a year where the coronavirus pandemic has overshadowed everything else, health care workers have emerged as real-life superheroes, risking their own health every day to save the lives of others.

The True Nurse Stories comic book focuses on nurses and their heroism. Each character and story stems from the experiences of real people who provide health care throughout AHN's 13 hospitals in Western Pennsylvania, serving as amalgams of the dozens of nurses who shared their stories, Marvel comics said in a news release.

"Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been in awe of the courage and resourcefulness of our nurses, who put their own health at risk to care for these vulnerable patients," said Claire Zangerle, chief nurse executive at AHN.

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Jessi Showalter, who works at West Penn Hospital, is one of eight nurses featured in the comic books, according to CNN affiliate KDKA. "I think that, 'why me? I'm not anything special.' I kind of just come here and do what I love every day and try to help my patients. If that makes me a hero, I guess that makes me a hero," Showalter told KDKA.

The project was a complete surprise to all the nurses across the network and was unveiled to them on Thursday morning, according to KDKA. The comic books are a tribute of thanks to the sacrifices nurses have been making throughout this pandemic.

"We are so proud of them, and we want to make sure they know how much we appreciate their exceptional work. We hope that in seeing themselves as real Marvel Comics Super Heroes, they can take a moment to look back in pride on their exceptional work and compassion during an exceptionally difficult time for our communities," Zangerle added.

AHN's website showcased a video of the nurses featured in the comic books. In the video clip, their children talk about how they have not seen their parents much this year because they are busy in the hospital and how they worry they might get Covid-19. Some of the nurses teared up while reading the comic book to their kids.

"At Marvel, we tell stories about heroes every day. But this story is special. It tells a story about our everyday heroes -- the nurses and health care professionals working tirelessly and courageously to save lives," said Dan Buckley, president of Marvel Entertainment in a news release. "Along with AHN, we are honored to help tell these stories, which we dedicate to the real heroes who are saving the world."

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