After being introduced to a new character in the latest episode of Hawkeye, we learned that Echo, also known as Maya Lopez, was born deaf and with photographic reflexes that allow her to copy any physical movement, even if after only seeing it once.
Is she the only Marvel character with a disability? No, and far from it. With the introduction to Maya, and Hawkeye slowly losing his hearing, we bring our list of the top five Marvel characters with disabilities.
5. Moon Knight
Yes, the upcoming star of his own Disney Plus series, Moon Knight⏤who also goes by Marc Spector⏤has DID, also known as Dissociative Identity Disorder.
As the comics would have it, Spector, who was a mercenary, was left for dead. Before he passed out, he encountered the Egyptian god of the moon, Khonshu, who promised to save his life as long as Spector served him. Upon acceptance, Spector was granted superhuman abilities under the light of the moon. However, due to Spector’s disorder, he also had three other identities: Marc Spector (his real persona), a wealthy persona named Steven Grant, and cab driver Jake Locksley. While in the comics these identities give him an advantage, he also developed schizophrenia.
One thing is for sure: with Moon Knight coming to Disney Plus in 2022, fans are eagerly awaiting to see how Marvel will handle this character.
Perhaps one of the most notable characters with a disability, Daredevil/Matt Murdock’s full scheme of disabilities has never been brought to light. Apart from being blinded by radioactive waste, which most fans know about, his other disability has yet to be fully realized in his non-comic incarnations, even if it’s hinted at.
Daredevil suffers from severe depression after being abandoned by his mother and witnessing his father’s murder. Most of his girlfriends have wound up either being insane, killed, or have tried to kill him. Karen Page⏤one of his girlfriends⏤sold his true identity for drugs, which lead to Kingpin, who then tore Matt Murdock’s life apart.
3. Professor X
Any Marvel fan knows that Professor Xavier, the leader of the X-Men, has “TV paraplegia” which is a form of nerve damage that completely paralyzes the legs. Whilst in the films Xavier’s cause of paraplegia changed from the original three films to the recent three, his cause of paraplegia was very different in the comics.
Though one of the most powerful mutants, Xavier has sometimes been portrayed rag doll-like if he is separated from his chair. It would be interesting to see in the MCU films how Xavier’s disability is portrayed and how Marvel has the other characters treat him.
One of the most important Avengers in both the comics and films, Hawkeye is deaf, and though this idea was only recently introduced on his Disney Plus show, the comics have always had the sharpshooter portrayed as deaf. Readers have therefore been given a glimpse of what it’s like for the character to have to read lips and decipher the world around him.
One thing is certain: future scenes between Hawkeye and Echo, with one being completely deaf and the other only recently suffering from hearing loss, should be very interesting.
Perhaps one of the most interesting characters from the comics who still has yet to be introduced to the MCU, Sentry⏤commonly known as Robert Reynolds⏤was once a meth addict who broke into a laboratory looking for drugs. Reynolds suffered from agoraphobia and anxiety disorder and also ingested a substance that was revealed to be the Golden Sentry Serum. In turn, he was imbued with the power of a million exploding suns, resulting in the death of everyone in the room at that time.
In the comics, Reynolds soon began fighting crime under his superhero identity The Sentry, becoming the superhero of the people⏤at least until his dark side manifested and he became known as The Void, a new persona who killed over a million people. The comics tried fixing this by getting Reed Richards and Dr. Strange to erase everyone’s (including Reynolds’) memories of his existence. As fate would have it, it didn’t last long until his memories came back, and with it The Void. Thanks to his power as the Sentry, his disabilities only intensified.
With all the exciting characters already coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, can we expect more superheroes with disabilities? Sound off in the comments.