When his son was born with Down syndrome in 2010, Chip Reece, a comic book fan, looked for a superhero his son Ollie could look up to. Of course, it was a futile search: Reece quickly discovered there aren’t a lot of heroes with disabilities—and none who had Down syndrome like his son.
“When we found out about my son, I was looking for comics that had prominent characters with Down syndrome, and at the time there was zero, I couldn’t find anything at all” Reece, 36, of Wichita, Kansas, tells PEOPLE. “I wanted him to see a character with Down syndrome that didn’t let that restrict him, that he could still be whatever he wanted to be despite what other people might think were his limitations.”
According to PEOPLE, The comic—illustrated by Kelly Williams—stars a young boy, fittingly named Ollie, who has Down syndrome and yearns to have powers just like his Superman-like father. Since Ollie has heart defects, his father strives to keep him from danger, but Ollie is faced with a predicament when a seedy organization approaches him and promises to bestow him the superpowers he so desires. The story incorporates many themes that families with a member who has Down syndrome might experience. Ollie’s father worries about his safety, while Ollie hopes to be treated like everyone else.”
Metaphase, the name of the superhero, is published by Alternacomics.