KAPOW! Vigilante superhero strides into Doncaster railway station

Green Arrow John Hall.
Green Arrow John Hall.

A vigilante superhero will be striding into Doncaster Railway Station on mission next month.

Though the​ Green Arrow will be too busy to tackle fare-dodgers or rescue old ladies from tumbling onto the line - he will be darting through to catch the 9.50am to a convention of sci-fi and comic-book superheroes in Sheffield.

The character created for DC Comics in 1941 is the alter-ego of a wealthy playboy industrialist who dons his hooded green suit to fight crime with his amazing archery and martial arts skills.

But in real life, he’s John Hall, a 24-year-old internet sales worker from Wheatley.

John has been perfecting his Green Arrow outfit for months, customising the fit and adding realistic accessories so that he looks the living, breathing incarnation of the superhero. And the time and place to show off his costume skills is at Sheffield’s first World Of Superheroes Convention (WOScon) from August 1-2.

The interactive weekend spectacular, a fusion of all things sci-fi, fantasy, comic book and gaming, is expected to attract Cosplayers in movie-quality replica costumes from across the country.

John joined the worldwide band of Cosplayers - the word is short for costume players - only this year. But when fellow passengers stare at the hooded man in their midst as their carriage hurtles through Con​is​brough, the masked crusader won’t bat an eyelid. He was virtually born in a dressing up box, as his parents Chris and Mandy set up medieval re-enactment group the Howard Household when he was a baby.

“Getting into costume is no big deal to me. I took part in shows with them for as long as I can remember.” he said.

“In my time I’ve been a lord, a squire and a knight - a superhero is a piece of cake.”

John is currently working on the costume of one of his all-time favourite comic hero, Batman. “I’m building the version as worn by Michael Keaton in the 1989 movie. I want it to be as accurate as possible so sadly it won’t be ready for WOSCon.”

There will be plenty of Batmen from across the eras at the event, though. Thousands of Cosplayers are expected and numerous prizes totalling thousands of pounds will be awarded to the best-dressed - from £500 cash to framed signed artwork and signed superhero photos. Winners will be decided by a panel of celebrity judges, including Rotherham actress Pixie Le Knott, who starred in hit TV series Game of Thrones.

The WOSCon weekend, staged in partnership with Sheffield Students Union, takes place on August 1 and2, 10am-5pm, at Sheffield Students’ Union and Octagon Centre.

Tickets, £12 or £10 for students (free for children under six), are on sale now at www.woscon.com.