Marvel Memorializes Fan in Upcoming 'Uncanny Avengers' Issue

Jacoby Latta Tribute - P 2014
<p>Jacoby Latta Tribute - P 2014</p>   |   Sanford Greene/Marvel Entertainment
Next week's issue of the flagship comic features full-page tribute to three-year-old killed in accident

The 27th issue of Marvel Entertainment’s Uncanny Avengers series, released next week, will feature a tribute to Jacoby Latta, a three-year-old fan of the franchise who died after being hit by a falling tree branch at a church picnic earlier this summer.

The tribute — which features artwork by series artist Sanford Greene — came about after Jacoby’s father, Stuart Latta, reached out to his church community following his son’s death, unaware that Greene was a comic book artist working on the property.

Latta was looking for some way to make his late son’s dream to be a superhero like his favorite characters come true, Greene told WLTX 19 in Texas, “and I'm drawing the book that has all these characters in it, so it was ironic, the very thing they were looking for, I was actually doing for the company.” Greene asked Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso if the publisher could do something, and got the green light for the full-page tribute that appears in the issue.

“I know for the family when they received the original [artwork] it was emotional, I was emotional,” Greene said of the response to his depiction of the three-year-old surrounded by the Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America that appears on the page alongside a memorial from Stuart Latta himself. “There is going to be a lot of people that will see his story and I know it will impact them and tons of other people.”

This isn’t the first time Marvel has done something along these lines. Last year, the publisher transformed another young fan into a superhero after his mother wrote to the company asking for help in convincing him to use his hearing aid.

Uncanny Avengers No. 27 will be available digitally and in comic book stores Aug. 27.