If you were ever bullied as a kid, maybe you fantasized about a protector–somebody bigger and stronger to help you fight your enemies. This October, for National Bullying Prevention Month, Marvel comics and anti-bullying organization Stomp Out Bullying is releasing a series of variant covers that depict a version of this wish. In each image, a Marvel hero comes to the aid of a lonely or targeted teen. The Hulk comforts an under-sized, verbally abused football player and ultra cool Rocket Raccoon shares a lunch table with a not-so-popular boy. There’s also a beautiful illustration of Guardian Gamora chatting with a young loner, who doesn’t quite feel that she fits in. These illustrations stand out, because the super heroes are nonviolent. They could easily bully the bullies; instead, they lend support simply by standing by the victims. They’ll stop a physical confrontation (as Captain America does), but their actions are about prevention, not aggression. It’s a subtle but clear message to anyone who wants to protect the defenseless.
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