Marvel Superheroes (and Visa) Take on New Supervillain: Financial Illiteracy

Posted By Arthur Murray on August 11, 2016 at 4:35 pm
Marvel Superheroes (and Visa) Take on New Supervillain: Financial Illiteracy

The latest scourge of Marvel superheroes The Guardians of the Galaxy might not be as familiar as Dr. Doom, Loki, or Hydra, but it’s a real-life evil that affects even more of the populace. Financial illiteracy costs students, parents and other adults big dollars as they navigate everyday life.

How can a roving space scalawag; an accomplished assassin; a brooding, dangerous too literally minded warrior; a fast-talking weapons-bearing raccoon; and a talking tree help? By using their comic-book forum to lay a useful financial foundation for young—and not-so-young—fans. Remember the movie starring these characters grossed more than three-quarters of a BILLION dollars worldwide. That’s some strong financial background right there.

Specifically, Marvel and Visa Inc. earlier this year released an educational comic book that helps introduce readers of all ages about concepts of personal finance. It’s the latest in a series of efforts by schools, companies and nonprofits to teach fiscal responsibility and management. Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket’s Powerful Plan, is aimed at readers in the second through seventh grades and comes with a mini-game activity worksheet, a listing finance terms and more. There’s also a special teacher’s guide.

Entertain and educate to fight financial illiteracy

Marvel and Visa also worked together in 2012 on a comic: Avengers: Saving the Day; that effort resulted in nearly half a million comics distributed worldwide. A prominent Visa official says the entertainment value of the effort shouldn’t be overlooked. “At Visa we believe that financial education is most effective when the public and private sectors work together,” Hugh Norton, Visa‘s head of U.S. financial education, says in a blog post announcing the effort from The Walt Disney Co., Marvel’s parent. “Our partnership with Marvel and the Public Library Association allows us to make financial education entertaining and engaging, while also offering educators a resource that introduces basic money management concepts to the classroom.”

As befits an effort involving Guardians of the Galaxy, the comic doesn’t just focus on financial illiteracy in the U.S.: It has been translated into 16 languages. The popular team, joined by popular Marvel movie heroes Iron Man and Ant-Man, will take on the Collector and Robo-Pests while educating readers on mastering the importance of budgeting, saving and emergency funds, as well as the difference between wants and needs. “Working on this comic was a unique opportunity that enabled us to introduce core concepts about finance and savings using the Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man in a fun, action-packed story,” says Darren Sanchez, Marvel custom solutions editor.

In the end, expect the team of superhero “losers,” so-called because each has lost something, to triumph as financial-services winners.

Or as the powerful talking tree Groot would no doubt say, “I am Groot.”

Arthur Murray
Arthur is managing editor of GoodCall, directing its newsroom. He has nearly 30 years of newspaper and magazine experience. A native of Virginia, Arthur attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with a bachelor's in journalism.

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