LIMA — Does Batman smile at his wedding or not?
It’s a question on Josh Luke’s mind, as he’s the one taking up mantle of “The Bat” during Wednesday’s wedding between Batman and Catwoman — a special Heroes 4 Hope event to be held at noon at Alter Ego Comics on North Main Street.
The Heroes 4 Hope group comprises 17 comic book fans, including Luke, who have decided to be heroes for the children who may see them at the many events they end up attending throughout the region.
“We sort of go wherever we’re needed,” Alter Ego Events Coordinator Amanda Gesler said. “We’re not trying to save the world. We’re just trying to give people some hope.”
This Fourth of July, they’ll be involved in the mock wedding to give comic book fans an alternative to the standard Independence Day activities. Batman and Catwoman’s wedding is something of a cultural event for many superhero fans who have been waiting roughly 80 years for the two to get hitched after a very rocky relationship, Alter Ego Owner Marc Bowker said.
But the Heroes 4 Hope do more than drink sparkling cider and eat wedding cake.
Luke himself has participated in the March of Dimes in downtown Lima, Healthy Kids Day, local Christmas parties and Halloween events. He said his goal is to provide that special moment for kids when they get to meet their heroes in person.
“They love to come and get their pictures taken with the heroes they see in comic books and movies,” he said.
Gesler said the Heroes 4 Hope isn’t currently a nonprofit organization, but they are working to get that designation. All they ask if someone requests their group to come to an event is that the organizers donate money to a separate nonprofit group.
Once that’s done, organizers can request a host of superheros to descend onto their event – from the relatively unknown Booster Gold to the more standard Wonder Woman, Deadpool and Captain America who are gracing today’s silver screens.
Besides Batman, Luke also appears as Peter Quill (Starlord) and the Star Wars baddie, Kylo Ren.
Luke said each member of Heroes 4 Hope takes special care with their costumes. Known as cosplayers, individuals purchase custom-made clothing and accessories to put together their own particular costumes. Many pieces need additional painting and tailoring to fit the character and the person underneath, Luke said.
The final effect is a representation of a character that, Luke said, should align with not only the character’s looks but also his or her actions. As the brooding Batman, he doesn’t plan on smiling in a single photo.
But he might reconsider during the wedding.
“He started to become a little more light-hearted,” Luke said. “We’ll see where it might go. Every now and then in his history, he might have smiled.”
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.