Cosplaying for fun and non-profit

By: Jyllian Roach, Managing Editor | Photos By; Scott M. Roberts

Justice League of American – N.M. releases inner heroes

New Mexico is no longer at the mercy of mon­sters, villains and other ne’er-do-wells — the Justice League of America has opened a headquarters in Albuquerque and the group is ready to take on the state’s deadliest supervillains.

The Justice League of America – New Mexico is a not for profit group. The members dress up as the iconic D.C. comics super­heroes for whom they are named, said Miles “Batman” Blackman. The group attends charity events and makes public appearances, said Blackman.

“We’re just a bunch of geeks and we want to give back to the community,” said Blackman.

The current roster includes Blackman, Noel “Flash” Green, Tye “Green Arrow” O’Dell, Danielle “Wonder Woman” Prince and CNM English major Keith “Green Lantern” Decker. The group has recently inducted a Hawkman as well. The group formed in 2011, when Green first met Blackman, he said.

Both wanted to form a group similar to the national Justice League non-profit group, but wanted to limit the group to one member per character, rather than the looser regulations of that orga­nization which allow multiple portrayers of the same charac­ter, said Green.

“We love costuming and doing charity work,” said O’Dell. “We all relate to our chosen characters.”

The league has been working with the New Mexico chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and hopes to have an event coordinated with the foundation before the end of fall, said Blackman. O’Dell and Blackman will go to Artesia at the beginning of August to spend some time with a little boy named Mateo who has cancer, said Blackman.

“Anything to make the kids smile,” said Blackman.

In terms of public events, the group will be in costume at the Century Rio 24 this Thursday from 10 p.m. to mid­night for the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Members will also attend the “Who’s Your Superhero?” event at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum in August, said Green.

The JLA is currently looking for new mem­bers – Superman, Aquaman, Captain Marvel, Hawkgirl and Black Canary. Anyone interested can apply via the group Facebook page, face­

Tye “Green Arrow” O’Dell

Why did you join?

“I wanted to join because it’s elitist. I love the idea of being elitist and being THE Green Arrow of New Mexico.”

Why did you choose this character?

“Green Arrow’s awesome.”

What’s your favorite comic book moment of Green Arrow?

“There’s a bunch. It’s hard. When he and Hal Jordan join forces and get their own book together. That was great. Anytime he and Bruce Wayne butt heads. I love those moments. When he and Black Canary got married. That’s about it.”

Keith “Green Lantern” Decker

Why did you join?

I didn’t even know about the organization until I went to Free Comic Book Day. I went to Comic Warehouse and they were there looking for a Superman. I was wearing a Green Lantern shirt and they were like ‘He looks like Ryan Reyonlds, we should approach him.”

Why did you choose this character?

It’s just me. It’s who I am.”

What’s your favorite comic book moment of Green Lantern?

When Green Lantern punches Batman in the face.”

Noel “Flash” Green

Why did you join?

“I like the idea of being THE Flash of New Mexico. I liked the idea of taking on the character.”

Why did you choose this character?

“I was watching the Justice League cartoon with my two-year-old and she said ‘Daddy, that’s you.’ I’ve always loved the Flash and I started looking at pictures of him and realized I really do look like him.”

What’s your favorite comic book moment of The Flash?

“I love it any time he ends up saving everybody.”

Miles “Batman” Blackman

Why did you join?

I joined because I wanted to make a difference.”

Why did you choose this character?

I am Batman.”

What’s your favorite comic book moment of Batman?

I would have to say “Nightfall,” because it showed how human Bruce was after Bane broke his back. I mean, he’s paralyzed; it took years for him to get back up. And there’s all this espionage happening. When he was healed, we didn’t know he was healed because he was pretending to be someone else. It was just awesome.”

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