In Marvel’s latest corporate promotional collaboration, Pfizer has commissioned the comic book publisher to publish a pro-COVID-19 vaccination advocacy story wherein The Avengers’ efforts to save the world from one of their arch foes are equated to individuals keeping up-to-date on their shots and boosters.
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Unveiled by the bio-tech company on October 4th, Avengers: Everyday Heroes centers on an unnamed family who, while waiting in the waiting room of a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, receive world via television broadcast that the super team’s long-time foe, Ultron, is wreaking havoc not six blocks away.
Upon hearing the news, the Paul Allor-penned (Saban’s Power Rangers: The Psycho Path), Paco Diaz-illustrated (Amazing Spider-Man vol. 4) story turns to the family’s older son, who finds himself worrying aloud that the sentient AI could pose a threat to their safety.
“Don’t worry,” his little sister attempts to reassure him. “Captain Marvel will help protect us!”
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“That’s right!” exclaims their grandfather, turning to draw a parallel between Ultron and the COVID-19 virus. “Just like the Avengers have done so many times before! Ultron keeps coming back – keeps changing and evolving – so the Avengers keep adapting and re-strategizing, and they knock him back again and again!”
“The first time Ultron showed up, we had never seen anything like him before!”
“Back then, people didn’t know much about Ultron, did they?” asks the family’s patriarch to his own father, continuing the comic’s thinly veiled analogy. “At first, people weren’t prepared. And he just…wreaked havoc on their lives!
“Well, you’re right,” confirms the grandfather. “The Avengers had to figure out how to face him. They relied on decades of experience along with some new innovations. And they used their combined strength to defend us.”
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Asked by his grandson, “and they used new tools to help?”, the elderly man makes reference to Vision, noting “Another robot, that first time.”
“And it was working…for a while,” he then adds, drawing the synthezoid into his analogy. “Then Ultron got a step ahead again.”
As the battle continues to rage on, in an effort to reassure his family, the grandfather continues to regale them with stories of the Avengers’ past victories over Ultron, until eventually Iron Man puts an end to the situation with an ionized energy cannon.
“Grandpa, how did you know what would happen?” inquires his grandson.
“Because I know them!” he asserts in turn. “And I’ve seen their pattern so many times before. Ultron evolves, the Avengers gather information and take time to innovate and adapt, and then they figure out how to fight it, putting together their existing knowledge and research along with the new information they’ve learned!”
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Just then, the Avengers, returning triumphant from their clash with Ultron, pass-by the grandfather’s room, to which Iron Man acknowledges the man and compliments him on his retirement.
His family shocked, he reveals that he was once a member of Damage Control, and as such regularly found himself working side-by-side with the Avengers in the aftermaths of their many fights.
“And that’s how I know that we can fight back against even tough, ever-evolving enemies if you’re willing to adapt, fight back, and take steps to help protect yourself,” says the man as he winds down the corporate-sponsored PSA. “It’s also important for entire communities to come together and help fight the threat.”
As a nurse appears to call back the family for their booster shots, the grandfather concludes, “The Avengers are doing their part to help keep us safe. Now it’s time for us to do ours – by staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations!”
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Since the comic’s publication, Pfizer’s official Twitter account has taken to hiding all negative replies to their above tweet.
However, unsurprisingly, their efforts have been unsuccessful.
Notably, this is not the first vaccination advocacy comic for which Marvel has been commissioned.
Last year, the publisher worked with the New York-based physician network SOMOS Community Care for Avengers: We Are Resilient, its message roughly similar to the one found in Pfizer’s issue.
Avengers: Everyday Heroes can be read for free and in-full on Marvel Comics’ official website.
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