PANAMA CITY BEACH — Spider-Man may be hiding somewhere in the Marvel multiverse, but Bay County’s own local superheroes know where and when to find him: opening weekend at The Grand Theatre in Pier Park, Dec. 17-18.
“Friday will be for a few hours, but Saturday will be during the daytime,” said Dustin “Skip” Skipper, aka Dr. Ehvil Bheard, a local cosplayer and event organizer, cofounder of Spring Break Super Heroes (Facebook.com/SpringBreakSuperHeroes).
A sizable troupe of costumed heroes (and at least one villain) are expected to be on site for the local premiere weekend of the newest Marvel movie, “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” The film is supposed to bring the current webslinger, played by Tom Holland, into conflict with villains from prior incarnations of the Spider-franchise by bringing them into the current Marvel movie universe.
Joining Holland’s version of Peter Parker are Sandman, Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, the Lizard, Electro, Doctor Strange — and potentially other Spider-heroes, who will do whatever a spider can.
As a result, a veritable 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 special surprise villain,” Skipper teased.
They will be on hand for photos and autographs Friday evening and all day Saturday, Dec. 17-18 at The Grand, 500 Pier Park Drive, Panama City Beach. And they could use some help.
“We are looking for any cosplayers — especially if you have a Spider-type character,” to join in the fun, Skipper said. “Dr. Ehvil Bheard will be on hand taking photos for those that want a picture with the heroes and villain. He will also have his Polaroid camera so kids can get a signed photo to take home.”
Anyone else who would like to come out and be involved — whether in costume or to lend a hand — are more than welcome, Skipper added. The group will be watching the movie all together later that afternoon, and the public is also invited to watch it with the super heroes and villains.
Because, for these heroes, it’s all about coming together for a good cause.
“We really do 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 got together and started participating in public events in 2016, Skipper said, with the idea that they would do free birthday party appearances and participate in events to benefit charities or community organizations — and to put smiles on children’s faces.
“That’s what it is for us. We just like making (children) smile,” Skipper said. “Instead of just dressing up, we wanted it to mean something.”
Over the years, they have held a Marvel vs. DC face-off at the library, circulated in the crowds (and volunteered) at Panama City Creative Con, and celebrated the opening of the “Teen Titans GO!” movie at the Grand. They volunteered at KidsFest, a Northstar church event, and Heroes & Sidekicks at Panama City Mall, as well as numerous other public appearances in a variety of costumes over the years.
Skipper, for instance, has been known to don the emerald gear of Green Arrow, the helmet and jumpsuit of Ant-Man, and the red-and-black mask of Deadpool. At the upcoming event, he will be in a new Spider-Man costume.
“This will mark a special occasion since Hurricane Michael and COVID hit us that we’re able to get back to the theater for an event,” Skipper said, noting the last time the local cosplayers met up for such an event was when “Aquaman” debuted in 2018. “We miss seeing all your lovely faces and happy kiddos. It will be an EPIC day to enjoy everybody’s camaraderie and to bring smiles once again to our great community.”
And to battle the forces of evil alongside their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man — er, Spider-People.
Tony Simmons is an author, teacher and editor. His column has appeared for many years in the Entertainer. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source : https://www.newsherald.com/story/entertainment/2021/11/29/panama-city-beach-florida-theater-host-spider-man-cosplayers/8700267002/1168