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Meet the World’s First Comic Book Superhero with Down Syndrome

Meet the World’s First Comic Book Superhero with Down Syndrome

At the end of March, Sesame Street introduced the world to Julia, the first autistic Muppet. At the time, Julia’s puppeteer and mother of a son on the autism spectrum, Stacy Gordon, told NPR, “Man, I really wish that kids in my son’s class had grown up with a Sesame Street that had modeling [of] the behavior of inclusion of characters with autism.”

A similar sentiment might be applied to Lion Forge‘s newest creation. Superb launches in July and will feature the first superhero with Down syndrome–the chromosomal condition that affects roughly 1 in every 700 babies born in the United States, according to the National Down Syndrome Society. NDSS was a full partner in bringing Jonah, the main hero of Superb, to life alongside Lion Forge, whose slogan is, “Comics For Everyone.”

Julia Muppet

“Everyone faces different challenges in life, but those challenges don’t prevent us from wanting to be heroes,” Lion Forge President, Geoff Gerber, said in a statement (via Hollywood Reporter). “Superb is a story about two young people faced with challenges who struggle to understand one another and what it means to be heroes.”

The series is written by David F. Walker (Marvel’s Nighthawk, Luke Cage) and Sheena C. Howard (author of the Eisner Award-winning Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation), who utilized NDSS to help craft characters with life experiences that they personally don’t have. Superb also features art from Ray-Anthony Height, Le Beau L. Underwood and Veronica Gandini.

The cover image below is fantastic. I love its vibrancy and the visual connective tissue it creates between these new characters and a style of comic drawing as old as the medium itself. Obviously Superb is a win for representation in the medium, but it will be even more interesting to see what all Walker and Howard can do with the cool new characters in the comics universe.

Superb Comic

What do you all think? Tell us in comments below?

Images: Sesame Workshop, Lion Forge Comics

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