Marvel Comics has a new character with a unique inspiration—a little boy. Four-year-old comic book fan Anthony Smith was born without a right ear and only partial hearing in his left. He needs the help of a hearing aid. But one morning he woke up and told him mom he didn't want to wear it anymore. Why? Because superheroes don't wear hearing aids, he declared.
Perturbed, Smith's mother emailed comics giant Marvel, inquiring about characters that might have share Anthony's struggle. The next day, they presented him with a picture of a hero called Hawkeye, who also sports a hearing aid. And they went even further, inventing a brand-new hero based on Anthony named "Blue Ear," the same moniker Anthony and his mom have always used for his hearing apparatus. They sent him a drawing, and he was so encouraged that he's been keeping his hearing aid in ever since. Kind of makes you want to give the guys at Marvel a big ol' hug. [Fox, Thanks @KoryFerbet!]