Meet the Vitals: Marvel’s new superheroes wear scrubs

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The people who brought you the Avengers honor nurses with comic book

Marvel’s new superheroes don’t wear capes, but they do wear masks. They also wear scrubs and PPE, and they have superhuman endurance.

Meet the Vitals, a collaboration between Marvel Comics and Allegheny Health Network to honor health care workers.

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“Each character and story stems from the experiences of real people who provide healthcare throughout AHN’s 13 hospital facilities in Western Pennsylvania, serving as amalgams of the dozens of nurses who shared their stories,” Marvel posted on its website.

“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 healthcare professionals working tirelessly and courageously to save lives,” said Dan Buckley, president of Marvel Entertainment. “Along with AHN, we are honored to help tell these stories, which we dedicate to the real heroes who are saving the world.”

The comic book has three stories. Story one is titled “Cut through the noise”; story two is “Can’t Stop”; and story three is “Smiling Eyes.”

Marvel has created a superheroes comic book based on the stories of nurses during the pandemic.
Marvel has created a superheroes comic book based on the stories of nurses during the pandemic.

Credit: Marvel

Credit: Marvel

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The World Health Organization designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale and as a way to celebrate the approximately 22 million nurses and 2 million midwives in the world.

“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. “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.”

Who better to judge a comic book than a kid? Children of AHN nurses were videotaped describing their parents, and then given the Marvel comic book, which made for emotional moments.

“You’re a hero,” one boy tells his mom, through tears.

“You’re my hero,” she replies as she kisses him on the forehead and hugs him.

“In our work with AHN, Doner has had a true insider’s view into the world of first responders,” said David DeMuth, CEO of advertising agency Doner, which was also part of the collaboration. “We’ve been continually inspired by the heroism and selflessness of the nurses we’ve met. Through this collaboration with Marvel, we’ve found a powerful and accurate way to bring to life the stories of these real-life heroes.”

No word yet from Thor, Iron Man or Captain America on how it feels to be in such elite company.

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