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Nick Azzaro Installs Life-Sized Comic in New Haven, CT

A red-haired man says There! All the signs are in, now everyone will know our neighborhood is inclusive! in this comic-book style Illustration

Sec­ond-year MFA can­di­date Nick Azzaro spent sev­eral weeks between Hart­ford and New Haven, Con­necti­cut, research­ing the lop­sided racial dynam­ics that per­sist in the areas for his sum­mer travel project. The end prod­uct was a larger-than-life comic that rein­tro­duces Peter Privledge, a char­ac­ter based on unma­li­cious but igno­rant white Amer­i­cans, and intro­duces two new char­ac­ters. It was installed on the south wall of the I‑91 under­pass on Grand Avenue, between Fair Haven and New Haven.

Privledge is a reimag­ined Peter Parker, bet­ter known as Spi­der-Man, who was orig­i­nally intro­duced as a flawed, young white man. Azzaro’s ver­sion first appeared in his Astound­ing Fancy #15 from 2020. The two new char­ac­ters are the Brave Flyer and Suprema-Fist.

The Brave Flyer is a super­hero that rep­re­sents the com­mu­nity of Ypsi­lanti, Michi­gan, where Azzaro lives and works with the local pub­lic school dis­trict. The poten­tial Azzaro sees in the youth despite the chal­lenges of a pub­lic edu­ca­tion sys­tem that allows seg­re­ga­tion and lop­sided resource dis­tri­b­u­tion, among many other hur­dles, is the foun­da­tion of this char­ac­ter. While only a few of the Brave Flyer’s super­pow­ers are dis­played in this story, he uti­lizes one of his great­est: the abil­ity to edu­cate and change perspectives. 

Suprema-Fist is a supervil­lain that per­son­i­fies close-minded white per­cep­tions whose actions and inac­tions affect the lives of many. While he is out­wardly evil in this story, he can also blend in and be unseen, like the struc­tural racism that exists in many of this country’s sys­tems. A brief exchange between the two leads to an epic bat­tle with Peter Privledge in the middle.

View the full instal­la­tion at nickazzaro.xyz.