In today’s world of hardcore shipping and toxic fandom, the comic book community can be an unpleasant place sometimes. Yet, for one family, they got the best that it had to offer. On Leap Day this year, a man named Ryan took to Twitter on behalf of his nephew, Anthony. This brave young man is a big fan of comic books, their stories, and the characters. However, the response that he got was incredible. At the time of this writing, his message earned almost 3,000 retweets, nearly 30,000 like, and more than 450 replies from all over the community. All to cheer up this boy who had brain surgery.
Just wanted to share a request. @Marvel @DCComics #Superheroes My 12 year old nephew is a huge fan. He just had emergency brain surgery on Thurs and I know he’d be ecstatic if a hero out there could send a get well. I just want to do something for him. #help pic.twitter.com/fLqMV3swWF
— Ryan C (@MMFQDEATH) March 1, 2020
Comic book artists and writers like Tom Taylor, Will Sliney, and others all agreed to send him care packages. Mikel Janín sent a personalized message from the Dark Knight to cheer up the boy and help him beat brain surgery recovery like one of the Riddler’s riddles.
Get well soon, buddy! pic.twitter.com/Pgtxq7Vlya
— Mikel Janín (@mikeljanin) March 2, 2020
Of course, movie stars also got in on the well-wishing. Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, sent a message of support. War Machine, also known as Academy Award-nominated actor Don Cheadle, also sent a message. TV stars LaMonica Garret (the Monitor/Anti-Monitor from the Arrowverse), Seamus Deever of Titans, and perennial Batman Kevin Conroy also sent shoutouts. However, Deadpool’s best friend Ryan Reynolds went above and beyond. He sent Anthony a 30-second video that, according to one of his parents, absolutely floored him.
“Anthony! It’s Ryan Reynolds. I just wanted to send this video and let you know that I am thinking about you. But, more importantly than me thinking about you, you have so many people that love you, and so many people that are in your corner that are rooting for you and needing and wanting you to get better. And I am one of them! And I am very happy to be one of them. Sending you tons of love, buddy, and I hope I get to meet you in person one of these days. I’d really like that. All right, pal, hang in there.”
Nothing to see here.
Just Deadpool (aka @VancityReynolds) sending a get well message to 12-year old Anthony, after he survived brain surgery and his family asked if anyone at Marvel/DC could help cheer him up.
When Ryan found out, he sent this within minutes.
— Goodable (@Goodable) March 3, 2020
Reynolds is right. Because along with all of these famous folks, hundreds of fans, artists, and cosplayers also joined in. Everyone wanted to cheer up the boy during his recovery from brain surgery. One Twitter user photoshopped Captain America’s shield, the Infinity Gauntlet, Aquaman’s trident, and the bat-symbol on his photo. A pair of dogs even got in on the fun. A service dog named Sampson and Bunsen the Science Dog (or their humans, more likely) sent him photos of these very good boys. A number of cosplayers shared images of them in their outfits, including an Iron Man who does a very passable Robert Downey Jr. impression. A woman even shared her own history with brain surgery (and a message to do what his nurses tell him to).
Many of these folks called Anthony a hero, and they are right. Not only because he’s a young man facing something that is trying and scary. He’s also a hero for what he pulled off. Fandom and social media can be an ugly mess for many folks. But Anthony helped to bring out the good in everyone, and that’s a real-life superpower.
We at Comic Years wish Anthony and his sidekicks (meaning his folks and family) all the best and hope his recovery goes smoothly. Feel free to reply to the original tweet with your own well-wishes.
Featured image via Twitter
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.