In Maple Valley, Washington, two teenage brothers have created their own comics to fundraise money for a prosthetic arm. The Bionic Kid’s storyline mirrors the real world as the 13 year-old writer Zachary Pamboukas depicts a superhero with a missing limb.
When Zachary was younger, he received a prosthetic arm given to him by Limbitless Solutions, a nonprofit organization that specializes in free prosthetics for children. His parents had given him a bionic arm themed like Spider-Man, his favorite Marvel hero. Zachary has since received other bionic arms themed to popular characters such as Master Chief and Optimius Prime. Previously bombarded with classmates asking about why he didn’t have a hand, he started to be asked about where he got his arm from. Zachary recounted the moment, saying, “Instead of asking, ‘What happened to your hand?,’ They ask me, ‘Where did you get that?’ It shifts questions just because of the hand.”
As originally reported by Kiro7, Zachary and his brother Christo have written two issues of an original comic titled The Bionic Kid, with the intention of raising money for a new prosthetic arm for another child. Having received his own bionic arms as gifts, Zachary had been unaware of how much they could cost. After realizing one arm could cost $10,000, he wanted to make a way for another kid to experience what he had, so he began to consider his options. The teenage brothers embarked on a creative journey to create their own comics with the assistance of Limbitless Solutions, leading to the first issue getting published in 2018. In July 2021, the second issue released, continuing the initiative. By the end of the year, they officially reached their goal by raising $11,000 in donations and sales, which is enough for Limbitless Solutions to gift another child with a prosthetic arm.
After first receiving the comic in print form, Zachary said, “I’m just like, speechless. It’s in my hands, it’s just like the coolest thing.” Speaking about the comic, Zachary said, “The story is about a kid with a limb difference who deals with a bully and gets a bionic arm and some cool super powers along the way.” The brothers’ comics have garnered the support of people online, including celebrities such as actor Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville) and Dominic Sherwood (Modern Family). Encouraging the young comic book writers’ act of charity, followers made their dream into a reality.
While the initial goal has been reached, The Bionic Kid’s first two issues can still be purchased online. Limbitless Solutions is still taking donations to ensure more children might be able to receive a bionic limb. Zachary and Christo Pamboukas’ future comics remain yet to be announced.