New Bedford Spider-Man Grants an Interview to WBSM
Recently, we reported on New Bedford’s Spider-Man, who was seen climbing the Acushnet Cemetery gates and other structures.
But did you know there are actually two New Bedford Spider-Men?
In my efforts to track down the Spidey that was spotted in Acushnet and New Bedford a few weeks ago, I also happened to make the online acquaintance of the other Spidey, via his “Scarlet-Spider” Instagram account (@nb_wallcrawler).
I invited him on to my radio show, where he gave us some insight into why he dresses up as Marvel’s signature superhero – all while keeping his secret identity, well, a secret.
“I kind of just want to make people happy,” he said as his motivation for being a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. “It always makes me so happy when a kid is happy to see Spider-Man. It makes my day, honestly.”
What we did learn is that this particular Spider-Man is actually a sophomore engineering student at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech, and it was a classroom project that inspired him to become the wall crawler.
“In my shop, we do a lot of stuff with circuits, and I thought it was be cool to create LED lights for a Spider-Man suit,” he said, noting he was inspired by a Spider-Man painted on the shop teacher’s door.
Although the LED suit is still a work in progress – when completed, he said the eyes will glow and the suit will be silhouetted in lights – he did go forward with becoming the web slinger. He said last December, he started dressing as Spider-Man, going to the hurricane barrier and walking around in his first suit.
“Then I stopped doing it for a while, but I just picked it up again after my friend said I should just do it,” he said.
He said only a couple of friends, his mom, and his girlfriend (who he said is “iffy” on the whole thing) know about his Spider-Man identity, and that one of those friends alerted him to the fact that New Bedford has another Spidey.
“I was in my room and getting frantic calls from my friend Evan, saying, ‘Dude, dude look at your phone,’ and I saw his Instagram message with a photo (of the other Spider-Man) and he said, ‘I this you?’” Spider-Man said. “I said, ‘That’s not me, I don’t have that suit’ and then he said, ‘Dude, you have competition.’”
However, the two Spider-Men have since become friendly with each other, although neither knows the other’s identity.
“No, we don’t know each other, he doesn’t know what’s under (my mask), I don’t know what’s under his. It’s just, like, kind of a trust,” he said, although he said his best guess is that the other Spider-Man is also a teenager, likely a recent high school graduate.
The two recently appeared together at a Voc-Tech football game, and our hero nearly got found out by some of his friends and even his own little brother, who has no idea who was actually under the mask.
“My friends showed up to talk to Spider-Man and they didn’t know it was me,” he said. “So did my little brother, that’s the funny part. He was like, ‘Yo, it’s Spider-Man’ and I was like, ‘Oh, oh, hi.’ It took me back a little bit, but the other Spider-Man did all the talking so I was like, thank God.”
Unlike the other New Bedford Spider-Man, this one doesn’t like climbing all over buildings and other structures while in his Spidey suit.
“I’ve done a lot of climbing for my urban exploration hobby, but I don’t like to climb stuff in costume because with these masks, you can’t see too much and I don’t want to slip and fall,” he said.
Instead, he opts for just showing up where there might be some kids or even adults who want to meet Spider-Man, such as when he showed up at a friend’s birthday party in costume. He also plans to help out at the United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Hunger Heroes Food Drop on Saturday, November 13.
The best part, he said, is when kids come up to him looking for a fist bump or a conversation with their favorite superhero.
“They think that I’m actually Spider-Man and I’m actually going to fight crime,” he said. “I don’t know if there’s a Green Goblin (in New Bedford), but if there is one, that’s a fight that has to happen.”
He also said that while he dresses up as a way to feel good about himself, he also hopes he can inspire others as well.
“It’s fun, and it makes me happy and it makes others happy, so why not do it?” he said. “But then sometimes, people do need somebody to look up to, and maybe that can be me.”