'Marvel's Hero Project' Recap: Superior Salvador
Salvador wants to bring light back to Puerto Rico, going door to door distributing solar-powered lamps!
Every week on Marvel's Hero Project -- streaming exclusively on Disney+ -- you will meet a new young hero making a difference in their communities and all over the world! In this episode, meet Salvador!
Salvador knew he was one of the lucky people in Puerto Rico whose power wasn’t terribly affected by Hurricane Maria but couldn’t understand why it was taking so long to help those who were not as fortunate. So he put a plan into action to raise money to buy and distribute solar-powered lamps to families on the island still living in darkness. For these heroic acts, he’s a true Marvel Super Hero.
As a kid living near a beach in a lively residential neighborhood in Puerto Rico, Salvador grew up with a lot of privilege at his disposal: a good home, a good school, and a supportive family and community. But Hurricane Maria changed everything. While the winds and flooding were already oppressive, the most overwhelming sight for Salvador was the darkness after the electricity went out. He says, “When you’re in darkness, you’re more vulnerable.” Salvador’s family had a generator, but that didn’t stop his own emotions from swirling in the aftermath. “I was feeling this overload of emotions, and I couldn’t stop [thinking] about people who lost their homes, who couldn’t be in contact with their family members. I knew that I had to act. I thought of light and hope.” His plan: to bring solar-powered lamps and washing machines to the people of Puerto Rico, restoring light and giving them the ability to clean whatever clothing they had.
Salvador had a big idea, but he knew he needed a way to raise money. He turned to crowdfunding, reaching out to a relative on the mainland since communication from home was difficult. Using a number of clever workarounds, Salvador’s “generosity page” was up and running, raising $6,000 in the first day. As the days went on, the money poured in, totaling about $160,000. The effort earned Salvador national press coverage, which only served to give his Light and Hope cause more exposure. Later, the supplies showed up, and Salvador vowed to not just let others distribute the goods, he would go door-to-door himself (with some help from his friends and family). His efforts led him to deliver assistance to 16 towns and about 3,000 families.
Seeing the success of his work only motivated Salvador to do even more. He began speaking out for smarter energy solutions, and he set a new goal to raise money “to purchase and install smart energy systems [in] firefighting stations across Puerto Rico.” This way, if and when another massive storm strikes, first responders will have more resources to communicate and spring into action immediately.
At Marvel’s HQ in New York City, Marvel staffers Stephen Wacker and Kathleen Wisneski began putting together Salvador’s Marvel comic story. They wanted to portray the contrast between the darkness that started Salvador’s journey and the light he brought to his community. They also knew that Salvador had a favorite super power: flight. Salvador’s comic counterpart would not just have the ability to fly, he would be propelled by the light he gave to others as well as the spark of joy that helping gave him. In his Super Hero origin story, Salvador is inspired to bring light to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, flying door-to-door providing his lights – and hope. In the final panel, Salvador soars over an illuminated village.
Now it was time to initiate Salvador into Marvel’s Hero Project! At a gathering of volunteers, friends, and family members, Salvador’s mother opened up the envelope containing the initiation letter, which compared Salvador to another Marvel Super Hero who sought to lift up his community, Miles Morales AKA Spider-Man. After the letter, two of Salvador’s friends arrived with the box. He took out his jacket, and then he found his Marvel comic, starring him. Seeing himself not just flying but in a Marvel comic had Salvador “fanboying” alongside his friends. (“It looks like Iron Man, kinda!” he said.) “It’s a testament to the impact we can have on others, and how our actions and our choices and what we do really, really reaches people.”
To show how much Salvador inspired all of us, Marvel’s Hero Project is making a donation in the amount of $10,000 to Direct Relief in recognition of their work supporting natural disaster recovery efforts.
Now is your chance to look inside the comic that was made for Salvador by real Marvel creators! Writer Chuck Brown and artists Mike Bowden (pencils), Roberto Poggi (inks), and Chris Sotomayor (colors) worked together to shape Salvador’s entrance into Marvel Comics! You can read Salvador’s comic, SUPERIOR SALVADOR #1, for free, right here!
To learn more about Direct Relief, visit www.directrelief.org.
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