Archives September 2007

Zetaman: An unknown Superhero

Originally posted:–an-unknown-superhero/
By Simone
Moving to Portland required some adjusting.
Here baristas are respected like wine connoisseurs. Recycling is more serious than knowing the difference between plastic and glass. A tattoo can mean everything or nothing at all. Home owning is hip. Home renovation is even hipper. Anything bought second hand is better than new. And homeless people symbolize the city just as much as all of the above do.
It’s sad to admit, but at first I was startled. Not since my childhood in New York City had I been around so many homeless people. Surely they would try to take something from me, I thought. And so, I always had an eye out. I planned my walks home around streetlights and late night crowds. I pretended to be on the phone. I did the pitiful money search pat or the apologetic shrug and headshake at the mere glimpse of eye contact. But then, an even sadder thing to admit, I simply forgot about them. They began to go by unnoticed and ignoring their pleads had become as routine as walking to Stumptown on my way to work. So naturally the moment I heard of Zetaman I was intrigued. Zetaman is a self-proclaimed Superhero who traveled the streets of Portland to help the homeless.
I wanted to know who this man was. I wanted to know how he managed the strength to help day after day. I wanted to know where he hung. What he was into. Did his family know? Just how seriously did he take the title Superhero? And perhaps above all, I wanted to know how this man had built up the courage to actually wear a Superhero outfit, complete with a cape and goggles. Was it made out of spandex? Did he have several? Did he have an arch nemesis and a calling symbol? My questions were ready. I found his contact information and quickly sent out an email hoping for a meeting. Zetaman had an email address. How modern.
A couple hours passed and no response. Clearly I was getting too used to the immediacy of offices email responses. I waited longer. With my impatience I began to delve deeper into my background research. Zetaman is a 30-year-old man who lives in Portland. He maintains his daytime job and travels through the streets at night to hand out blankets, at times even giving the shoes off of his own feet. He certainly did not seem like one to let messages go unreturned. After a couple of silent months passed I begin to think differently. Soon I stumbled upon an article that spoke of his desire to remain private. His work, Zetaman said, was done out of goodwill and so he’d like to avoid any media attention that might come his way. Well then what about the cape? The goggles? And why go out of your way to proclaim yourself a Superhero? Who, above the age of seven, would say and wear the things this man does and not want any attention in return?
And then I remembered where I am. I’m in Portland. A city whose motto is to stay weird and this certainly fits that bill.
I decided to take a different approach. I would seek out the people he has helped, rather than him directly. I would go looking for the Superhero. On my first outing I walked directly up to a shelter and began asking if anyone had met this mysterious man in a cape. Within minutes Bill, who worked at the center, came outside. Helpful, I thought. A minute into our conversation I realized if I didn’t make some immediate reference to the fact that I have a bank account, an apartment and am not currently on any prescribed medications, I would soon be shuffled into the building behind him and placed away somewhere amongst the masses. I left Bill. More people, more places. I kept explaining. Yet still, no one seemed to know anything about this Zetaman. It seems I was either on the wrong side of town, in the wrong groups, asking the wrong questions or just as crazy as Bill had pinned me to be. I took a step away.
Maybe the allure of Zetaman is just as good as his actuality. After all, why did I feel the need to see, touch or question him senseless in order to believe in his existence? Couldn’t I find the little reserve of faith and imagination from my childhood? A little belief in the unbelievable. Or had I drained it all like an unsealed tub?
After sometime now, I’m happy to be left thinking that some things are meant to be weird, some things are meant to be secret and some things are meant to be believed in. And so I’ll let Portland remain, along with all its inhabitants, as it wishes to remain: unquestionably weird.

zero hour

Justice Society of Justicewell,another night of patrolling the city.
word is starting to spread about the justice society of justice’s exploits..someone even came up tonight and said “hey,aren’t you those superheroes?”..ahh,the curiousness of it all.
we only ran with a 3 man patrol group this evening,which is kind of dangerous,but we did it anyway (it’s tuesday for chrissake)…Captain Whiskey,instead of fighting along side of us,decided to sleep..(crime doesn’t sleep!)..the Apostolic Avenger,and his wife the Green Discharge had to stay home and study for college exams.Redundo was busy at his job wrangling tards,and Powerful Man had to get up early to do a 12 hour security shift..*sigh*
come on guys…a little more professionalism,ooook?seriously though..good hereos are hard to find nowadays,so i’ll let it slide.
tonight we were fortunate enough to have a surprise visit from Doom Bunny..his military training is always a good thing to have on your side,but fortunately,we didn’t have to use any of our might. (besides almost getting into a impromptu kung fu fight with some mexicans)
i see it this way..
if the streets are quiet and there’s no crime to stop,then that just means we’re doing our jobs well.
the popularity of this thing is going thru the roof..everyone who hears about it instantly wants to suit up and come along with their own moronic character ideas and ridiculous costumes..a good friend of mine who is overly busty has come up with a great cliche patriotic female superhero identity…The TWIN TOWERS.she’s planning on having images of tower one and two over her crime fighting busoms of hope.
Cap’n America would be proud,lord knows i am.
things have gotten strange since i started fighting crime,everything seems so black and white…
i’m hoping that when supervillains start coming out of the woodwork,we’ll be prepared…i’m hoping for more joker style villains than say,lex luthor style…the lex type villain would have lots of money and gadgets at his disposal to further his sinister ends,while the joker type would just be a clown.
and i’ll kick a fuckin clown’s ass anyday.
peace in the streets