Superman. Wonder Woman. The cast of The Walking Dead. These are all run-ins one might typically hope to have when attending Comic-Con. But this year, the annual comic-inspired convention saw a real-life hero — civil rights icon John Lewis — lead an inspiring march right through the middle of the festivities.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, roughly 1,000 people joined Lewis as he made his way through the San Diego convention on Saturday. And as the group snaked through the cosplayed-up crowds, some chanted "No justice, no peace."
Forget special effects and men in tights... this was truly a sight to behold.
The march came on the heels of a panel discussion Lewis led with his co-creators — Andrew Aydin (co-author) and Nate Powell (illustrator) — about their trilogy of graphic novels, March. How apropos, no?
Understandably, convention-goers who recognized the Georgia Democrat stopped to shake his hand or simply say, "Thank you for all that you've done," as one man told THR. Upon entering the room for their discussion, Lewis, Aydin and Powell were met with a standing ovation.
Rightly so too. Lewis' long history of social activism and civil rights advocacy provides the inspiring material for the March series. As the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, he was one of the legendary Big Six leaders — which included Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — who organized the 1963 March on Washington.
Lewis is known as a pivotal voice in the civil rights movement and its path to ending legalized segregation in this country. As such, he's had a front-row seat to some of the most character-defining moments in American history, many of which play out in the pages of March.
Now Lewis' life story is calling new generations to action. "Dr. King inspired me to get in trouble: What I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Now more than ever before, we all need to get in trouble," he told the crowd, which included many elementary school students. "When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation, a mission and a mandate to stand up, to speak up, to speak out and get in trouble."
That's the kind of comic book hero we can all get behind.
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