Ultron, the Marvel Universe supervillain, stands in for COVID-19, while the Avengers represent Pfizer and its vaccine partner BioNTech in a new publication titled “Avengers: Everyday Heroes.”
In this comic book, the superheroes and supervillains aren’t the only ones who wear masks. The “everyday heroes” are represented by a masked family awaiting their COVID-19 vaccinations who learn that Ultron is battling the Avengers nearby.
A Pfizer tweet announcing the partnership summarizes the story that follows: “When Ultron wreaks havoc, the Avengers act as the first line of defense. People can help protect themselves by staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations.”
Much of the comic is taken up with the family discussing the history of Pfizer vs. COVID-19…er, we mean the Avengers vs. Ultron:
“He attacked overseas, spreading his terror across the world. No one saw that coming. Not at the time.”
“The Avengers had to figure out how to face him. They relied on decades of experience along with some new innovations. And they used their combined strength to defend us.”
The comic blatantly applauds the work of Pfizer and BioNTech:
“Ultron evolves.The Avengers gather information and take time to innovate and adapt and then…they figure out how to fight it, putting together their existing knowledge and research along with the new information they’ve learned.”
The 16-page comic book opens and closes with “a word from our sponsors.” Above Pfizer and BioNTech logos, readers are encouraged to get their vaccine shots and boosters. “Everyday heroes don’t wear capes,” reads one ad, “but they do wear a small bandage on their upper arm after they get their latest COVID-19 vaccination.”
“Avengers: Everyday Heroes” is currently available free online at marvel.com/pfizereverydayheroes. Print copies will be available later this fall at doctor offices and pharmacies that order them, Pfizer told Marketing Daily.
This isn’t the first time The Avengers have battled COVID-19, by the way. In August, 2021, according to a New York Times report at the time, New York City healthcare provider SOMOS Community Care teamed up with Marvel on print copies of “Avengers: We Are Resilient,” which were given away to children 12 and up who received their first vaccine dose at one of three city-run sites.
“COVID is like Thanos,” then-mayor Bill De Blasio told the Times, referencing another supervillain, “out to hurt millions of people around the globe.”
The Somos tie-in is online at somosvaccinations.com.
Pfizer and BioNTech are launching the comic book as COVID-19 vaccines prepare to enter the private marketplace when federal funding for free shots runs out in early January. One of Pfizer’s chief rival in the U.S. COVID-19 vax competition, Moderna, recently filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Pfizer.
Kalorama Information on Friday said that vaccine sales of all kinds will reach $202.6 billion this year, with two-thirds of that coming from the COVID-10 market. That represents a 59% rise from $127.6 billion in 2021and a nearly sixfold increase from $34.1 billion in 2017.