Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett turns his attention to comics relating to Disability Pride Month and Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.

Pride Month gets all the media attention, and merchandise ,not to mention a flag, but July is Disability Pride Month and Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (May was Mental Health Awareness Month, which I somehow completely missed).  While I don’t expect to spend the entire month writing about either, I find that I have a few things I’d like to say on these subjects.

Back in June (see “Finally, For Pride Month”), I wrote about Archie & Friends: Summer Lovin’ #1 because it featured the story “Carnival Love!’” by Tee Franklin and Dan Parent which introduced Franklin’s new character to Riverdale, bi-racial, plus-sized pansexual character, Eliza Han.  Understandably, the pansexual part got the headlines, but Eliza is also a lot of other things; one of those things being ADHD; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The Center for Disease Control says people with it  “may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.” 

According to the CDC, ADHD “is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood;” millions of children have been diagnosed with it, and its effects on the brain can follow them through adulthood, something I can attest to (as I too have been diagnosed with ADHD).  Supposedly 30% to 40% of Americans are what’s called neurodivergent (a term I’m still getting used to) which is defined as “differing in mental or neurological function from what is considered typical or normal (frequently used with reference to autistic spectrum disorders);"

But, relatively few fictional characters are neurodivergent, and I can’t think of a comic book character other than Eliza Han who canonically has ADHD; though there is a lot of online speculation. Tony Stark is considered by many to be a strong contender (it would explain a lot) and I have my suspicions about Moon Girl. Here’s hoping that Eliza will give other publishers the nudge they need to do  something similar, not because of some kind of representation/diversity/inclusion agenda, but to better reflect reality, make existing characters more relatable and generate new kind of  stories.

And Tee Franklin, who is also disabled, has written her first work for Marvel, a story for the upcoming comic Edge of the Spider-Verse #4. It features Sun-Spider, a disabled character created by Dayn Broder who won the 2020 “Spidersona contest” (something I had no idea was a thing) and appeared in issues of that year’s Spider-Verse miniseries. Being disabled myself, I’m interested in seeing what Franklin does with the character.

And speaking of spiders, when it comes to Mental Health Awareness, I’ve been saying Peter Parker really needs to see a therapist since 2019 (see “Spider-Man: A Suitable Case For Treatment”). And that’s never been more true than since the relaunch of Amazing Spider-Man by Zeb Wells and John Romita. The this series, after a time jump, Peter has done some unspecified yet-to-be-revealed “something” that’s alienated him from both the superhero community, friends and even his Aunt May.

And, as writer Amer Sawan pointed out in an online piece from March, Son of Kal-El really needs a therapist as well. Along with trying to fill his father’s boots, dealing with endless crisises, and coming out as bi-sexual, poor Jon Kent spent ages 11 to 16 trapped in a volcano, left to the mercies of the sadistic Ultraman of Earth-3.  That’s a lot, and I think it would be a good idea if he started to unpack some of it.

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of