The year of the ‘blerd’: cosplay edition
Black nerds, or ‘blerds’, have been reimagining their fandoms way before Zendaya’s ‘Spider-Man’ casting
The comic world’s most famous redhead is getting a makeover. Earlier this week, The Wrap reported that actress Zendaya will play Mary Jane Watson, the second most famous comic love interest (trailing only Superman love interest Lois Lane) in the newest Spider-Man reboot Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Predictably, controversy ensued over whether or not Mary Jane should be portrayed by a black woman. But as it turns out, Zendaya is pioneering the big-screen version of what thousands of fans have done for decades — remix their fandoms with their blackness. On the forefront of this movement are black cosplayers — fans known as black nerds, or “blerds,” who are dedicated enough to spend their time and money to embody their favorite characters.
The Undefeated went to Otakon in Baltimore to see these fans in action. Here they are:
The Pokémon first-generation starters
Sarah Fong as Bulbasaur
Maki Roll as Charmander
Byndo Gehk as Squirtle
Tyler Hoover as Peter Parker, Spider-Man
Hilton George as Deadpool
Chauna Lawson as Princess Mononoke
Umbreon and Glaceon from Pokémon
Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Ed from Cowboy Bebop
Harley Quinn from Batman
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Dark Link and Link from Legend of Zelda
Chi-Chi from Dragonball Z
Sesshōmaru from InuYasha
Deathstroke from DC Comics
Wario and Waluigi from Nintendo’s Mario
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