Autism advocate Iman Wan thanks Stan Lee, who co-created Marvel Comics, for portraying characters with autism in its comic books.
Wan listed five Marvel Comics characters with autism – Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic), David Haller (Legion), Dean Boswell (Dummy), Goblyn Dean (Goblyn) and Johnny Do – on his Instagram account (@adamsautismfamily) as a tribute to Lee, who passed away on Nov 13 at age 95.
Wan, whose 16-year-old son Adam has autism, has been using social media as a platform to create awareness about autism, garnering more than 260,000 Instagram followers to date.
In an interview with Star2, Wan shares how he sees a parallel between Marvel Comics’ X-Men, which Lee co-created, and people with autism.
“Autism is very much like the X-Men. A form of mutation in the real world. The masses do not know how to relate to people with autism,” says the 52-year-old, who first got into Marvel Comics in the 1970s.
“It’s a lifetime cognitive condition that affects the livelihood of the individual as well as his or her family. People with autism need to be trained and taught to survive in this world from as young as possible.”
X-Men is a team of humans born with superhuman abilities, or mutants, cared for and led by Professor X.
“I wish there was a Professor Charles Xavier of autism in the real world. A home and centre for all autistic people to learn and live their lives, where they will be taken care of and protected from the mean world we live in.
“Autistic people are super pure and naive but with very special gifts that we may never know.”