Kalamazoo has been rumoured to be infested with evil and bad vibes. As the years have gone by, crime rates have risen. However this is no matter to us, because the Kalamazoo Spider-Man is here to save the day.
Loy Norrix junior Brendon Rice, aka the ‘Kalamazoo Spider-Man’ is a celebrity and news sensation in Kalamazoo. Only 17, Rice has gone to hospitals and events to rid the evil and replace it with Spider-Man’s amazement. He may not be able to shoot out webs (yet) or climb walls, but he can use his best power of all: his kindness and generosity.
Taking photos with my friend, Rice, was a blast. Rice has entertained young kids and even some adults who have gotten photos with him dressed as Spider-Man that are posted all over social media. After a couple of photoshoots at Bronson Park and Milham Park, the news came to Spidey. He was on 107.7, Kalamazoo’s Rock Station, WWMT News Channel 3, he even had an interview with Mark Frankhouse, the mid-day host at 103.3 KFR and night DJ at 104.9. Rice is soon to become a local celebrity.
Rice goes to hospitals to see kids that have autism and other disabilities. He is a real hero for those kids as he gives them hugs, reads to them, and even gives out coloring books and snacks. Rice even surprises parents and other adults that love to see Spider-Man.
When explaining why he loves being Spider-Man, Rice said, “Not only does it boost up my confidence, but it boosts up others.”
Being a local superhero is tough work and takes time. Rice feels like this isn’t something he will do unless people want it.
“As soon as I turn somewhere in my mid 20s, I’ll give up and have someone else take my place, but if people want me around a lot longer, I can do that too,” said Rice.
Starting out takes courage, effort, and a suit, a supersuit. Rice wasn’t surprised he would make it this far. Buying a suit and going places, calling events to go to, and setting up collaborations with other local icons. Rice knew his passion and went for it.
“Ever since I was younger I wanted to. Since it was my passion as a child. I assumed I would be in this position when I get older, and look at me now,” Rice said.
Kids have a superhero as their favorite because it brings inspiration and a sense of admiration to their lives. Whether it be Batman or Superman or as outlandish as Plastic Man, your superhero is that person that gives you a reason to believe as they aspire to be that person. Rice does what he does to inspire kids. He gives time, effort, and inspiration through action and words.
Rice tells kids to “[…] mainly be yourself, keep your head up. It’s better to be your own leader than to be a follower.”
Being Spider-Man is a task only some can do, but if you put effort into it, the reward is astonishing. Rice explains how.
“It changed my life for the better as it made me feel like a better person and it boosts my confidence and in myself. That really brings joy into my life.”