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Marvel and DC Comics crossovers have happened before but Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman getting engaged is certainly new. However, that’s exactly what happened at Motor City Comic-Con in May when Ashley VanSickle, in full Captain Marvel gear, got down on one knee and proposed to her Wonder Woman, Deanna Mascia.
“Part of me almost doesn’t even remember what happened. I was so excited but nervous that I was going to stumble over my words and I had so many butterflies in my stomach and I remember just smiling the whole time,” VanSickle said. “I was almost in tears at one point trying to get this out and it was just like an out-of-body experience because I couldn’t believe it. I was finally able to do this and I was just so happy and it just felt like the best, most perfect moment.”
But despite her nervousness, “it all came naturally” VanSickle said. It was moments before Mascia gave a joyful “yes.”
“And she cried and she just kept nodding and she couldn’t get any words out yet,” VanSickle said. “I just remember that butterfly-in-my-stomach excitement.”
Planning the Perfect Engagement
Ever since VanSickle, 26, and Mascia, 25, began dating a year ago, the Columbus, Ohio, couple has been inseparable. Part of their close bond, VanSickle said, is attributed to their mutual love of comic books. That’s why when VanSickle, who had purchased an engagement ring in February, saw the opportunity to take Mascia to Motor City Comic-Con, she realized it would be the perfect place to propose.
“So, when I found out when we were able to get off work I surprised her with tickets for her birthday, which was in April, and so I knew then that this was going to happen, this was how I wanted to do it,” VanSickle said. “About maybe a month or two knowing for sure I was going to do it at Comic-Con … I got ahold of Susan [Onysko] who did our photos, it was just set in stone; I knew that this was gonna work.”
Onysko is an Ohio photographer currently in the process of creating a project called “Cosplay 50: The United States of Cosplay,” in which she travels across the country capturing special moments in similar events like Motor City Comic-Con. Though Mascia was aware that VanSickle had been in contact with Onysko the day before Comic-Con to capture the both of them in their cosplay — or “costume play” of their favorite heroes — she didn’t know that the two had been emailing back and forth for months to plan the day.
“I had originally thought I wanted to do it in the main exhibit area of Comic-Con around everybody and their costumes. … I was kind of scoping it out like, ‘Where would be the best spot in front of a bunch of comics?’ But once Saturday came around it was just so busy and I didn’t want it to feel rushed and it wasn’t feeling right,” VanSickle said. “So I had Susan’s cellphone number and I texted her earlier that day and was like, ‘Hey, listen, change of plans. Instead of you doing our after-proposal photos, would you be able to capture the whole moment?’ She said, ‘Oh my gosh, absolutely.’ She said that no one had ever asked her to do that before and that she would be honored to do it.”
The two agreed to an appointment time of 3 p.m. and for the rest of the day VanSickle tried to contain her excitement while keeping the surprise engagement a secret. A half hour before the specified time, VanSickle told Mascia she had a surprise for her. When the two got into the studio Onysko was able to capture every aspect of the couple’s special moment.
A Brand-New Adventure
When asked about next steps regarding wedding plans, the fiances plan on keeping a long engagement of a year or two while they save for the ceremony of their dreams. They will, however, in true comic fan fashion, bring an element of the superheroes that brought them so close together into their ceremony.
“We don’t have a location but we do kind of want to keep the superhero theme,” VanSickle said. “I don’t think we want a big everybody wears costumes [event]. We want a traditional wedding but maybe our colors [will] be our superhero colors and incorporate superheroes somehow into a wedding cake so we already thought of that.”
VanSickle said that before all of that happens, though, they both are excited to start the next phase of their lives together. She said she’s most excited about growing together, starting with a big move in June.
“I have my own apartment, she moved in with me, but now we’re moving into our place and we’re going to be making plans for our future together and working together on that is very exciting,” she said. “And I’m very excited for pictures. I love the pictures and so I’m excited to do all of our engagement photos, and we already have ideas of what we would like to do and I’m excited to have fun with it.”