espnW’s IMPACT25 Honorees Get Marvel Superhero Treatment

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By Karen Valenzuela, @VictoriaNoir89

In 2014, espnW put together a list of 25 athletes and influencers who made the biggest impact in the world of women in sports for that year. The list included then 13-year-old Mo’Ne Davis, the first girl to pitch a shutout in Little League World Series history, as well as Becky Hammon, the first full-time, salaried, female coach in NBA history. The list isn’t just about women who set out to break down barriers, however. It’s about women who had goals; not “women’s goals”, just goals. And it’s about women who strive to be the best—whether they’re athletes, coaches, teachers, et cetera—and just so happen to make huge waves in the sports world in the meantime.

This year, espnW will release their IMPACT25 2015 list on Monday, December 7 here: espnW.com/impact25. But this year is going to be a little different than IMPACT25’s inaugural year. They’re going the extra mile to show just how super these women really are.

Marvel has teamed up with espnW to present these women as real life superheroes. Each honoree will be immortalized with a drawing that displays their respective impact that they’ve had, and it also looks like they’ll be paired up with Marvel superheroes! It’s going to be a whole comic series!

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The series is going to debut with United States Women’s National Team soccer star Carli Lloyd, who not only led her team to a World Cup trophy but also scored 3 goals in the final match against Japan (including the one she scored from 54 yards out), alongside fan favorite Carol Danvers—THE Captain Marvel. The debut series image of Carli Lloyd and Captain Marvel is the product of the combined efforts of artist Emanuela Lupacchino (X Factor, Thor: God of Thunder) and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg (Nightcrawler, X-Men Legacy).

According to Entertainment Weekly’s exclusive announcement, Marvel Director of Content and Character Development, Sana Amanat, said about this new series, “Marvel’s mission is to celebrate the hero’s journey—and espnW’s IMPACT25 is a uniquely incredibly way to do that. Like our powerful heroes, the IMPACT25 have made a remarkable impression on the world and this is our salute to them. By merging this exceptional group of women with our mighty Marvel artists we are able to truly capture their super human feats in a program that brings together talent from on and off the field.”

This is a monumental partnership, and an incredibly important project. In the last two years especially, the visibility of women in sports has been increasing, both in the media and on television. The FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada this year had millions and millions of fans in the stands, and even more fans watching on television across the globe. Marvel and espnW have just made that extra leap to make women in sports even more visible, through the comic book industry, no less. This is huge for the sports world, and I think it makes quite the statement about where Marvel stands on gender equality in sports.

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Here’s my wallet, espnW and Marvel! Take it!

In addition to the new comic series, the hosts of the Women of Marvel podcast will be guests on the popular sports podcast “espnW Presents: Be Honest with Cari Champion”.

And don’t forget, nerds! The full list of superheroes…erm, athletes and influencers…will be up on espnW’s IMPACT25 site on December 7th! Buy the series when it’s released and support women in sports! Marvel does!


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