PANAMA CITY BEACH – Spider-Man may be hiding somewhere in the Marvel Multiverse, but local Bay County superheroes know where and when to find him: Opening Weekend at the Grand Theater in Pier Park, December 17 to 18.
“Friday will last a few hours, but Saturday will be daytime,” said Dustin “Skip” Skipper, aka Dr Ehvil Bheard, local cosplayer and event planner, co-founder of Spring Break Super Heroes (Facebook.com/SpringBreakSuperHeroes).
A large cast of costumed heroes (and at least one villain) are expected to be on hand for the weekend of the local premiere of Marvel’s latest film, “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” The film is meant to bring the current webslinger, played by Tom Holland, into conflict with villains from previous incarnations of the Spider franchise by bringing them into the current Marvel movie universe.
The Dutch version of Peter Parker joins Sandman, Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, Lizard, Electro, Doctor Strange – and potentially other spider heroes, who will do whatever a spider can.
As a result, a true multiverse of Spider-cosplayers will also emerge locally, including Emerald Coast Spiderman (Michael Waldrop), Ghost-Spider (aka “Spider Gwen”), as well as a local version of the Sorcerer Supreme and a “Very Villainous Surprise Special”. Skipper teased.
They will be on hand for photos and autographs Friday night and all day Saturday, December 17-18 at the Grand, 500 Pier Park Drive, Panama City Beach. And they might need help.
“We’re looking for cosplayers, especially if you have a Spider-type character,” Skipper said. “Dr. Ehvil Bheard will be on hand to take photos for those who want a photo with the heroes and villain. He will also have his Polaroid camera so the kids can have a signed photo to take home.”
Anyone else who wants to come out and be involved – whether in costume or to lend a helping hand – is more than welcome, Skipper added. The group will watch the film together later in the afternoon, and audiences are also invited to watch it along with the superheroes and villains.
Because, for these heroes, it is about coming together for a good cause.
“We really love giving back to the community,” said Waldrop, speaking at a Spring Break Super Heroes event hosted by the Bay County Public Library in the summer of 2018.
The group first met and started attending public events in 2016, Skipper said, with the idea of making free appearances for birthdays and attending events benefiting charities. or community – and make children smile.
“That’s what it is for us. We just love to make (the kids) smile, ”Skipper said. “Instead of just dressing up, we wanted it to mean something. “
Over the years, they’ve hosted a Marvel vs. DC face-to-face in the library, toured the crowds (and volunteered) at Panama City Creative Con, and celebrated the opening of “Teen Titans GO! ” film at the Grand. They have volunteered at KidsFest, a Northstar religious event, and Heroes & Sidekicks in Panama City Mall, as well as numerous other public appearances in a variety of costumes over the years.
Skipper, for example, is known to don Green Arrow’s emerald gear, Ant-Man’s helmet and suit, and Deadpool’s red and black mask. At the upcoming event, he will be wearing a new Spider-Man costume.
To concern: The cosplayers go down to the Grand Théâtre
“This will mark a special occasion since Hurricane Michael and COVID hit us that we can return to the theater for an event,” Skipper said, noting that the last time the local cosplayers met for such an event, it was was when ‘Aquaman’ debuted in 2018. “We miss all your pretty faces and happy kids. It will be an EPIC day to enjoy everyone’s camaraderie and put a smile on our face in our great community.”
And to fight the forces of evil alongside their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – er, Spider-People.
Tony Simmons is an author, teacher and editor. His column appeared for many years in the Entertainer. You can reach him at [email protected]