Marvel will pay tribute next week to Jacoby Latta, a 3-year-old who died May 31 after being struck by a falling tree limb during a church picnic at Community Park in Irmo, South Carolina.
Known for his infectious smile, Jacoby loved superheroes, particularly Captain America. "He would pretend to be Captain America, he would wear Captain America outfits, everything was Captain America," his sister Jasmine told WTLX.
So Jacoby's father Stuart Latta reached out to church member Sanford Greene, a professor at Benedict College who also happens to be the artist of Marvel's Uncanny Avengers, in hope of making his son's dream of being a superhero come true. He in turn contacted Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso.
"It was a long shot but I knew that it was worth it to try to reach out to them in that sense. His response was -- Axel, the editor-in-chief -- his response was, 'Well, what do we need to do? What would you like to do? What would they like to do?'"
Uncanny Avengers #23, which goes on sale Aug. 27, will include a page dedicated to Joby, with an illustration by Greene depicting the boy with Captain America, Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk. Marvel has provided ROBOT 6 with the tribute to "a fallen Avenger" (below), which also includes a touching ode to Jacoby and his love of Marvel superheros written by Stuart Latta, and photos of the child playing with Captain America's shield.
"I know for the family, when they received the original it was emotional, I was emotional as well," Greene told WTLX. "There's going to be a lot of people to know about it, and I think that's really going to impact them and tons of other people."
A children's garden and playhouse were dedicated in Jacoby's name last month at Community Park in Irmo.