As the old theme song goes, Spider-man can do anything a spider can.
He can spin webs that catch thieves like flies, he’s strong and he can swing through the air on a thread.
Oakland Meadow School student Jacob Mongtoya is getting a chance to test out those claims about Spider-Man after Central Gwinnett High Schools students helped turn him into the Marvel Comics hero for Halloween as part of the Magic Wheelchair program. Mongtoya got to reveal his costume to his classmates during a presentation at the school on Friday afternoon.
“This year’s Magic Wheelchair build is one of our most challenging and exciting builds to date,” Central Gwinnett teacher and Magic Wheelchair program leader Michael Tarver said in a statement before the unveiling. “Our students and advisors had many interesting engineering and logistical challenges to find solutions for.
“It is true every year that without the help of the visual arts department our builds would be missing the ‘magic’ in Magic Wheelchair, but this year in particular the visual art students and their teachers worked to make this our most magical build yet.”
Magic Wheelchair is a nonprofit organization that works to ensure children in wheelchairs get to have memorable Halloween costumes. Central Gwinnett’s theater and visual arts students have participated in the program for several years now. Each year, they build an elaborate costume for an Oakland Meadow School student that fits that student’s interests.
It didn’t hurt that Spider-Man, who was already popular from his comic book and animated television series, has enjoyed expanded popularity over the last 20 years due to a series of films starring various actors playing Spider-Man. The latest films, starring Tom Holland as the character, are part of the popular Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.
And, a new film in that franchise, “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” is set to be released in theaters later this year.
Given the popularity of the films, and the fact that a new one is about to be released, it may not be too much of a surprise that Tarver said Central Gwinnett’s students jumped at the chance to envision the character for a wheelchair costume.
The costume is designed so Mongtoya is Spider-Man while the person pushing the wheelchair plays one of the hero’s enemies, Doc Ock. There are also two towers that travel separately from the piece of the costume that surrounds the wheelchair, but wires connect all three parts, transmitting power between them.
“Our students got very excited about Spider-Man, and really came up with an ambitious design,” Tarver said. “This is our first build that involved multiple different rolling structures. All three parts needed to be able to travel independently, but still have power and be able to communicate with each other. We told our students to dream big and they came through in a big way.”