Of course, Padgett is already a hero because of his service in Iraq and the Purple Heart he received for battle injuries. But the Marvel series aims to recognize real-life heroes by creating a comic superhero version of themselves based on the amazing things they do.
You can watch Padgett’s Marvel superhero video below.`
Padgett points out that the Purple Heart is the medal that “no one wants to get.” He was blown up by multiple IEDs and suffered traumatic brain injuries in 2007. Padgett served first in the U.S. Marine Corps and followed that up with Army service. He did tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and Asia.
Born in Costa Rica into a missionary family, Padgett moved to New Jersey at age 13 and joined the Marines after high school. Since he completed his service, Padgett has gotten involved with Wounded Warrior Project and helps put on the versions of the group’s Carry Forward 5K race each year in Nashville, Tennessee.
Padgett reveals that his favorite comic book hero growing up was the Incredible Hulk. The Miki superhero incorporates a nod to his Purple Heart, his love of running, his “can’t see me glasses,” his shiny dome and his scraggly beard. There’s a first-aid kit on his left leg and a runner’s banner that says “2003” in recognition of his first combat in Iraq.
Future episodes will feature veterans, caregivers and WWP supporters. If you want to see the new episodes as they roll out in September and October, be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel once you watch Padgett’s video.
The most recent series won a 2021 Webby Award for its focus on essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, including registered nurses, volunteer EMS workers, doctors, teachers, postal workers and service animals. Those episodes are still on YouTube if you’re looking for some positivity online.