Superheroes are often considered fantasy characters, unattainable ideals of a better person. However, some writers have decided to showcase heroes that are just as human as the rest of us. To give some of us hope, there have been numerous characters throughout the years with disabilities. These heroes serve as a beacon of hope with people with similar disabilities and serve as role models for us all. Several of these characters have reached mainstream success and have even been featured in movies and television shows. Gathered below are 8 of the coolest superheroes with disabilities, many of whom have already been portrayed in a live action version or whom I hope we will see reach the screen, big or small, in the near future.
Daredevil is easily one of the most recognizable superheroes with disabilities around. Most recently we've seen Daredevil in his own Netflix show, which is set within the MCU. Matt Murdock, Daredevil's secret identity, was blinded when he was a child in an accident involving dangerous chemicals. It is actually his disability that led him to become a superhero. He uses echolocation to make his way about and fight crime. If that doesn't inspire us, not much else will!
2. Professor X
The leader of the X-Men, founder of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, and extremely powerful telepath, Charles Xavier (in the movieverse) was accidentally paralyzed by his friend Erik (better known as Magneto). Since then, he's been in a wheelchair, but instead of letting his disability hold him back, Professor X dedicated his life to helping others. We've seen Prof X portrayed on screen in the Fox's X-Men series by both Sir Patrick Stuart and James McAvoy.
As a child, Echo was believed to have a mental disability, it was only later in life before anyone realized the reason she wasn't replying or listening was because she wasn't able to. She joined the X-Men (because Professor X was not a discriminatory person) and was a key member of the team. Later, she took on the moniker of Ronin, a highly skilled swords-maiden and a bit of an anti-hero. We haven't seen Echo on the big screen yet, but if more X-Men movies are going to be made, I wouldn't count the possibility out. Even after everything Echo went through, she continued to an inspire those around her as she reminded us that even the unlikeliest of people can be heroes.
4. Vengeance Moth
Disability: Muscular Dystrophy
Though not an instantly recognizable character due to her comic series 'The Movement' being short lived, Moth is a character that overcame her hereditary disability to prove anyone can be a hero. Muscular Dystrophy is an inherited condition that is marked by continuous weakening of muscles and progressive degeneration.
5. Doctor Strange
Disability: Loss of the use of his hands
Doctor Strange was one of the most skilled and sought after surgeons in the world, but that all changed when he got into a car accident resulting in nerve damage. This nerve damage made it impossible for the surgeon to continue his work, and his pride wouldn't allow him to serve as a consultant, so he went on a search for a cure. It was this search that lead Doctor Strange to magic and soon led to him becoming the Sorcerer Supreme. We're set to see Benedict Cumberbatch bring Doctor Strange to the big screen in his own movie in November 2016.
6. Oracle (Barbara Gordon)
This former Batgirl was paralyzed after an extremely unfortunate run-in with the Joker. However, instead of giving up fighting crime, she sought to help Batman in the best way she could as the Oracle. We've seen Barbara Gordon and Batgirl in the movies before, but we've yet to see the Oracle. Perhaps we'll see her in one of the upcoming films based on DC's comics. Batgirl didn't let her injury affect her ability to fight crime, her dedication to justice should really inspire everyone!
After a horrendous accident in his parents' lab as a child, Cyborg was covered in experimental technology to protect him. Cyborg often struggles with his own humanity as he is, at this point, mostly machine. He relies on his own gadgets to provide him life support. However, these gadgets also enable Cyborg to fight crime as part of the Teen Titans and later as part of the Justice League. We're set to see Cyborg in a cameo role in the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Hawkeye is easily one of my personal favorite superheroes. He's been a member of nearly every iteration of the Avengers and founded the West Coast Avengers with his wife Mockingbird. He's a highly skilled marksman and martial artist, and he accomplished all of this while being deaf. It seems as if Clint Barton can't ever escape being deaf, it's being revealed that due to abuse received from his father Clint always had partial deafness.
He was further deafened by the villain Crossfire but was healed by Franklin Richards. However, shortly thereafter, Hawkeye's enemy the Clown forced two of Hawkeye's arrows done his ears. Being deaf on and off for several decades, Hawkeye is currently deaf in his team up with Deadpool and utilizes sign language and lip reading in order to talk to other people. We've seen Hawkeye in Thor, Avengers, and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and we're set to see him in Captain America: Civil War. However, at this point in his live-action career Hawkeye still has his hearing, but perhaps we will see this change.
All of these heroes, remind us that even heroes have issues, but instead of letting these disabilities hold them back and prevent them from achieving their dreams they overcome them and fight crime. If disabled crime fighters don't inspire you, not much else will.