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What Happens When The Internet Turns You Into A Superhero?

Meet Shaquille Dent and Nikolas A. Draper-Ivey. After photos of their cosplay went viral, they realized exactly how powerful the nerdy parts of the internet can be.

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On this week's episode of BuzzFeed's Internet Explorer podcast, we spoke to two young men whose lives changed when their nerdy passions hit the internet in a huge way.

His photos went viral and gained him worldwide attention. Though, he doesn't consider himself a full-fledged cosplayer — just a dude with anime hair.

Shaquille Dent / Facebook

"When I first started doing it, I’m not going to lie — people were shocked,” he told us. But people got used to it. He’s an animation major in art school, and anime has had a big influence on him as an artist.

For Dent, having hair that garners a few double takes is about more than just liking a cartoon. “I really just want people to express themselves freely,” he advises. “If you feel like you can get outside of your circle and try something different, you should do it."


“At the time, there was all this stuff happening in Ferguson, stuff happening with Eric Garner, and all this negative press on people of color. So to see a person of color as a hero, that just did something to people," he said.


Even more amazing! When he found out he'd be sharing the episode with Black Goku, he drew him too! "He looks like a character I would've drawn in my work. So I figured, huh.... what if I DID draw him? Really fun," he wrote.


Nikolas Draper-Ivey was living in Savannah, Georgia, when he took the Miles Morales cosplay photos. An earlier version misstated the city.