Meet Soldier Zero. He is one of the latest of three superheroes by famed creator Stan Lee in collaboration with Boom Studios. What’s so different about Soldier Zero? He spends his time in a wheelchair when not being a superhero.
Soldier Zero is the story of Stewart, a teaching assistant at a college who is in a wheelchair. Stewart talks often about how he is limited by his environment, not just physical spaces that are not wheelchair accessible, but also the attitudes of other people, even the overprotective care of his older brother who raised him. After an alien arrives on earth and bonds with Stewart, he is able to experience an unlimited environment inside the alien manifested armor for short periods of time.
The subject has been handled with extra special care and lots of advice from people in wheelchairs. Paul Cornell, one of three writers for the superhero, explains. “It’s a classic Stan story, which takes a bit of modern bravery—and the advice of wheelchair users—to tell. We’re all aware that there’d be a truly horrible way to approach it, and we all want to avoid that, by tackling the issues head on, without euphemism, and crucially, talking to those in Stewart’s situation and changing the book accordingly.”
The alien that bonds with Stewart creating Soldier Zero is done so merely by accident while it is trying to escape hostile enemies. On the alien’s home planet, it’s usual for this alien to bond with host bodies of another species. The resulting Soldier Zero will project characteristics of both the alien and Stewart. “Soldier Zero is a mixture of human and alien, a symbiotic entity that shares control of, for instance, a larynx. He’s immensely strong and tough, and can use vastly advanced tech to attempt almost anything,” Cornell explained. “The alien is a warrior, but with Stewart aboard, the shared being is a hero.”
Soldier Zero faces many threats along his journey including Stewart’s problems along, another creature that is hunting the original alien, and his new enemy. “There’s a much less principled symbiote hunting the alien, and the intelligence community take an interest, resulting in the creation of a classic Stan villain, the nemesis of our hero.”
At first we willl see Soldier Zero thrown into “an immediate and desperate battle for survival that makes Stewart reassess the people around him, and his own actions,” Cornell said. “He’s a bit of a Peter Parker (Spiderman), a hero in spirit who’s limited by the people he has to deal with.”
The other two superheros compose of a time traveler (The Traveler) and an unwitting heir to an intergalactic empire (Starborn). The news was released yesterday at the Comic Con, an annual science fiction and comic convention in California that is littered with celebrities and everything new tied to the comic industry.
Want to see more superheros in wheelchairs? Another character created by Stan Lee from the past is Professor X from the X Men. You can read all about him on the Marvel website.