Note: The author apologizes for the absence of her August column due to the hassles of moving between states, but she is back and better than ever!
What do you get when you cross a cosplay newcomer, an incredible production team, and one of comics’ newest and yet most beloved characters? Answer: instant viral success. Since his first appearance in 2011 Miles Morales’ Spider-Man has been one of the number one inspirations for black and mixed comic nerds alike, and with the recent announcement of famed black nerd Donald Glover cast as Miles’ voice actor for a new Disney animated series, it’s safe to say the fanbase has only continued to grow. Enter cosplayer Nikolas Draper-Ivey:
[quote_simple]”I’ve never done a full cosplay like this before. I’ve always had many options of characters but Miles Morales seemed like the most practical and believable one. The things that appealed to me about Miles were obviously his story in addition to our uncanny resemblance at times. I’ve always been a fan of Spider-Man (like most people) and I was able to connect with him just as I could with Peter Parker. These are two characters that are believable and extremely 3 dimensional for any reader. Whether it’s family issues, financial issues, being able to crack a joke even in dark times, being misunderstood while having good intentions or even being unappreciated, Spider-Man tackles it all in my opinion.”[/quote_simple]
More than just a model of a well-made and photographed costume, Nikolas, who adds that he “find[s] refuge in reading different Spidey stories, especially in Miles’ story,” is an amazing example that representation matters. Period. While he hopes this fame will lead to being cast in a live action web series (pun-intended), it’s clear the impact this cosplayer has made has already reached the level of his favored hero:
[quote_simple]”At first, I just wanted to have fun. However, when I put on this suit and it received an alarming reaction from people all over, it became less about me and more about setting a positive image in times where negativity is all around us. I think that’s incredible because ultimately in the end, that’s what Spider-Man is about. Which is awesome!”[/quote_simple]
But not nearly as awesome as this cosplay. For more pictures from this series, visit Nikolas’ tumblr at this link.