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Marvel's Hero Project Turns Kids Into Real-Life Heroes at NYCC

Real life just got a little more superheroic. Ahead of its premiere on Disney+, Marvel's Hero Project touched down at New York Comic Con with a special preview of the premiere episode. Executive producers Sana Amanat, Stephen Wacker and Sarah Amos were also on hand to discuss the new series and answer audience questions.

"Marvel's Hero Project is all about young, real-world heroes who are changing communities for the better, and this our chance to spotlight them," Amanat explained. "It's a really special project for us... represents everything I think we stand for, what Marvel stands for."

"What makes a Marvel hero is that moment in a character's life... that moment where they've been given a gift... and they could do something selfish or something selfless... and they do something selfless," Wacker added. "That's all of these kids personified."

"We have 20 kids from across the country," Amos said. "Really, a lot of the thanks has to go to our producer on this... They scoured the country for us. There are so many amazing stories out there... It's not about just featuring kids who have already been out there... it's about kids who are committed to helping others... it's about giving them a platform."

"It's all connected," Wacker joked. He added, "We take real people and we give them powers and they have real powers and we make them part of the Marvel Universe."

"We worked with some of Marvel's best editors and we've used them to tell their stories. Each kid gets their own #1 comic," he said.

"You're going to be able to read each issue on Marvel.com," Amos revealed. The comics will represent each child with a "superhero spin."

"Being able now to bring these kids into the Marvel universe, into the page, is just a wonderful circle," Amanat shared. "It was an awesome experience."

"I think it all goes back to the world outside your window, which is so much of what Marvel is," Amos said. "With all of that legacy has also come 80 years of everyday people and ways that Marvel has inspired the world that we all live in... this is the first of, I hope, many shows... It's really exciting to show the influence Marvel has had in people's lives."

"It's a really great show to watch with your entire family... It's something you can bring to your children and say, 'Look, you can do great things too,'" Amanat added. "It has so much positivity and it's so inspiring."

Following this, the first episode of Marvel's Hero Project premiered.

"I cry every time, and I've seen that episode a lot through the edit process," Amos shared.

"It's incredible but so hard to watch these because I get so emotional so quickly," Amanat added. "Jordan is incredible and all these kids are."

"It was really great to hear the laugh lines," Amos said.

Jordan Reeves, the star of the first episode, joined the executive producers on stage. Asked about the glitter in her in her Unicorn Project prosthetic and how it got everywhere in the episode, she said, "It'll probably never go away."

"I had no clue really what was happening," she said. "It just seemed so cool that something so big saw me as doing something. That's really weird!"

"I was in Chicago during the winter and he was like, 'You know what we're going to do? We're going out and sit on the water... and you're going to sit on the water and freeze,'" she recalled.

"Jordan celebrates this idea of unique differences and making those differences into a super power," Amanat added.

"Jordan was already a hero. We just got the opportunity to tell it," Wacker said.

Asked what makes a hero, Reeves said, "I think really just making an effort to do something in the world and make a change. I think that's all that matters."

She said her family is her hero. "I'm going to say my family, because I've done a lot of stuff and they've been so supportive to help me through the way, even when I'm mean," she shared. "They've just always been there to push me out of my comfort zone."

She also has some new projects in the works. "Well, my book came out... I also helped Mattel come out with a Barbie with a prosthetic leg to spread awareness, always good," she revealed. "I am now coming out with a consulting thing, called Make Just Right." Make Just Right will consult during the design process."

Nevertheless, her goals are pretty grounded: "Make it through middle school." However, she'd like to skip high school and go straight to college.

"The fact that we're showing our age isn't holding us back. We don't have to wait for adults to do it for us. We can change the world, and it doesn't matter who you are," she shared.

Marvel's Hero Project is executive produced by Joe Quesada, Stephen Wacker, Shane Rahmani, Liza Wyles and Sarah Amos for Marvel and Maura Mandt and John Hirsch for MaggieVision Productions. The series debuts on Disney+ Nov. 12.

UPDATE 10/7/2019: An earlier version of this article misattributed quotes to Liza Wyles, when they were in fact issued by Sarah Amos. The article has since been updated.

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