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Tens of thousands of children in public schools across America soon could be getting a free comic book, one that extols the virtues of the United Nations and its agenda through the words of a kids’ hero, Spider-Man.
The United Nations has confirmed reports it is working with Marvel Entertainment to enroll children in the U.N.’s campaign against “poverty, disease and conflict worldwide.”
The effort is being led by French filmmaker Romuald Sciora and is not the first time a children’s forum, such as comics, has been used for such an effort: During World War II Captain America was used to battle Hitler.
Sciora specifically said the project is to target school-aged children with the message of the U.N.
“These comics, featuring favorite Marvel characters such as Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, will … tell the story of how the United Nations fights the challenges of poverty, disease, and conflict worldwide,” the U.N. announcement said. “By making the complex U.N. system accessible to youth, the partners hope to teach children the value of the international cooperation, and sensitize them to the problems faced in other parts of the world.”
The U.N. project forecasts the free distribution of the comic books to over 1 million children throughout the U.S., with eventual plans to have them translated and distributed overseas.
Sciora, who earlier released a series of short documentaries about former U.N. leaders Kofi Annan, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Javier Perez de Cuellar and Kurt Waldheim, has been honored by the U.N. for his work in “informing the public, and particularly the world’s young people, about the United Nations…”
The U.N. said the comic books will be distributed through “thousands of schools in the U.S.”
Kiyo Akasaka, a U.N. communications and public information executive, told U.N. Radio that the work will make the U.N. “more accessible” to young people.
“The comic book will showcase Spider-Man lending a helping hand to the United Nations,” he said. “It will be distributed in thousands of schools with accompanying games and documents to explain the role of the United Nations. This comic book will undoubtedly contribute to helping young people gain a better understand of our world.”
“[Young people] will get excited if they know their heroes like Spider-Man will work with the United Nations to address these issues, peace and security,” he said.
Camille Schippa of the U.N. Office for Partnerships told the Financial Times a storyline is due to be approved within weeks and apparently will be set in a war-torn fictional country. The cartoonists are working for free.
The image of the U.N. in the U.S. has not been sparkling in recent years. John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the organization, once said, “If the U.N. building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”
“This is beyond lame, and Marvel should be ashamed,” wrote bluecrabboulevard.com. “This is a waste of a perfectly good fictitious superhero. … The U.N. has to resort to fiction to bolster its image because a book about the U.N. doing any good would by definition have to be a work of fiction.”
“This is surreal,” added louminatti.blogspot.com.