With great power comes great responsibility.
And the winners of our Show Us Your Inner Superhero Costume Contest took their responsibility to a whole new level. With a mixture of skill, craftiness and resourcefulness, our readers found a way to transform a villain into a hero, a sweet boy into the God of Thunder, a studious student into a super-cool nerd and a baby into a prince.
Here's how they became heroes:
Reese Hayes, 1, Fort Worth, as Prince William HRH
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My mission: Continuing to be Mommy's prince and hero
Archenemy: Mother Nature's forces
Sidekicks: Reese's mom, Tiffany Hayes, and his grandma Mimi Hanson have a royal wedding obsession. "Ever since Diana's wedding," Hanson says, "we've been watching the royal family." Hayes says Reese wasn't sleeping much in the early hours of April 29 when Prince William wed Kate Middleton "so I got to see the wedding live."
Superpower: Helicopter recues
How I got my power: Reese's rescue ability came from his great-grandfather Ted Shireman, a World War II vet and a Coast Guard helicopter pilot.
How my costume was made: Prince William's nuptials inspired Hayes to look for an outfit for Reese on the Internet but she couldn't find one. So, she found a secondhand red jacket and, with Hanson's sewing skills, came up with the outfit. His "throne" is a family heirloom and the wings on his uniform came from another hero -- his grandfather Ward Hanson, who served in the U.S. Air Force.
Marcus Peña, 7, Keller,
as Dr. Victor Fries a.k.a. Mr. Freeze
My mission: To raise research funds to invent and build.
Sidekick: Brandy Peña encourages her son's love for science, which is why he chose a villain-hero for his costume -- the old-school Mr. Freeze, not the Arnold Schwarzenegger character. Marcus, who is in the Science Club at All Saints Episcopal School in Fort Worth, recently worked on a volcano project.
Superpower: Using my smarts to create cool weapons like an ice gun.
How I got my power: Injured in an industrial accident creating the need for a refrigeration suit and freeze gun.
How my costume was made: "My Mawmaw and I made it," Marcus says of his partner-in-crime, Danell Goss. The suit is made of vinyl and Velcro. Mr. Freeze's dome helmet is a water dispenser for pets. Marcus designed the freeze gun using a papier-mâché letter "F" -- for Mr. Freeze, of course -- markers, spray paint and a wheel from a broken toy car.
Riley Fuentes, 10, Saginaw,
as Miss Mismatched Nerd
My mission: To make reading a fun adventure for everyone and bring all the colors into the world all at once!
Archenemy: Gamerslouch, who just sits around and plays video games all day and never reads.
Sidekicks: Christie Fuentes Morgan says her daughter's creativity is a family trait: "We all have big imaginations." Grandma Donna Standifer says Riley is sweet and unique.
Superpower: The ability to read while flying with clothes that never match
How I got my power: My best friend, Gunner Finn is a bookworm who gave me powers to help teach all kids to read and enjoy books.
How I made my costume: Riley has an aversion to "matched clothing," especially socks. Her costume was made from things that she found at home. She took her sister's fairy wings, a circus hat, clothes and her mom's glasses and "mismatched them." Riley already has an idea of what she wants to be for Halloween and, surprisingly, it's not her hero alter ego. Unsurprisingly, it's Punky Brewster.
Aston Cope, 3 1/2, Flower Mound,
My mission: Save the world from the bad guys (and to be the cutest Thor ever!)
Sidekicks: Aston's mom, Carrie Cope, submitted the photo of Aston as Thor. "When he plays at school, he likes to pretend to be superheroes," says his dad, Jason Cope.
Superpower: "To use his hammer to hit the bad guys," Aston says.
How I got my power: "From being strong," says Aston. Well, of course.
How I made my costume: The costume was made "with the powers of the Earth" from a local store near you.