Nurses are Marvel’s Newest Comic Book Heroes

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Marvel unveiled its newest superheroes and they come from straight from Pittsburgh.

Allegheny Health Network and Marvel Comics are partnering up to honor real-life healthcare heroes.

“The Vitals: True Nurse Stories” follows actual AHN nurses working during the coronavirus pandemic.

(Photo provided by AHN)

Nurses have one of the toughest jobs during this pandemic. They do it all each day to make sure your loved ones get the best care.

“It’s a very emotional journey. Highs and lows from crying to celebrating someone leaving,” said Michele Tenon.

Tenon is a mother to three boys.

“I was working night shift and being up with the kids for schooling then eventually getting some sleep and starting it all over again the next day,” Tenon said.

She’s also a nurse in the COVID unit at St. Vincent Hospital.

“It’s very difficult having to hold someone’s hand as they are dying, you know, because their family can’t be in the same room. It’s hard on us emotionally. Look at me crying just thinking about all the patients I’ve lost,” Tenon said.

Nurses like her are commonly referred to as real-life superheroes.

“Every facet of that hospital that walk through those doors are heroes. On a daily basis they put their lives on the line,” Andrew Cleary, a nurse at Forbes Hospital, said.

While the nurses don’t have the cape, it doesn’t mean they don’t have the superpowers.

“Definitely, I’m kind of the warm and fuzzy one,” Jessi Showalter, who works at West Penn Hospital, said.

Showalter is one of eight nurses featured in a Marvel comic of the true stories of Allegheny Health Network nurses.

“I think that, ‘why me? I’m not anything special.’ I kind of just come here and do what I love every day and try to help my patients. If that makes me a hero, I guess that makes me a hero,” Showalter said.

The idea behind the art is to pay tribute to each sacrifice, emotionally and physically, the nurses have made since March.

“A lot of these patients need you. A lot are nervous, scared and a lot of the time you go into a patient’s room and it’s just you and you are in full PPE. You have a chance to make a big difference every time you step into that room,” Cleary said.

Those stories will now forever live in a comic strip for these nurses and their families.

“They are super excited. My 5-year-old runs around in costumes all day. One minute he’s Spider Man and the next Hulk,” Tenon said.

Now her son will be able to add his mom to the list.

The project was a complete surprise to all the nurses across the network and was unveiled to them on Thursday morning.

“At Marvel, we tell stories about heroes every day. But this story is special. It tells a story about our everyday heroes – the nurses and healthcare professionals working tirelessly and courageously to save lives.” said Dan Buckley, President of Marvel Entertainment in a release.

“Along with AHN, we are honored to help tell these stories, which we dedicate to the real heroes who are saving the world.”

You can read the comic online now.

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