NEW DELHI, India - Liquid Comics and the Open Hands Initiative, a U.S.-based nonprofit dedicated to public diplomacy efforts, on April 25 announced the launch of the Silver Scorpion animated Web series on MTV Voices.
Billed as the world's first disabled superhero, the wheelchair-bound Silver Scorpion is the brainchild of a group of 26 American and Syrian youths with disabilities who convened for a Youth Ability Summit in Damascus over a year ago.
The hero they envisioned, an Arab teen that loses his legs in a tragic accident, has the power to not only bend metal with his mind, but - the creators hope - “to transform his world… and ours. ”
The Silver Scorpion will come to life on the web in an animated 4-part series on the MTV Voices global websites targeting the youth in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.
“This is not just a comic book; it’s a breakthrough effort in public diplomacy that helps forge lasting bonds and understanding between the youth of the United States and the Middle East,” said Open Hands Initiative co-founder and chairman Jay T Snyder who also emphasized the importance of cross-cultural exchange despite Syria's unfolding humanitarian crisis, while highlighting the issue of disability rights. “This type of people-to-people diplomacy is as important now as it was a year ago when we brought these creative young people together, and it will be even more important in the years ahead.”
The project was also recognized at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative where Bill Clinton highlighted the Silver Scorpion project, stating that the comic book “will help to establish trust and understanding between cultures, to empower young people with disabilities.”
“This project is unique in the way it empowered students from across the world to be the architects of a new superhero that embodies their worldviews and the role models they would like to see. MTV Voices is the perfect platform to share their character with the world,” added Liquid Comics co-founder and CEO Sharad Devarajan.
“MTV Voices is all about giving young people a platform to express ideas, aspirations, concerns about the world in a creative manner”, said Viacom International Media Networks VP of social responsibility, John Jackson.
The Silver Scorpion Web series on MTV Voices will also be promoted globally through iEARN (International Education and Resource Network), which reaches 45,000 schools and youth organizations in over 130 countries.