Archives November 2010

Milwaukee GLA Toy Drive

Date: December 17, 2010
Where: People Serving People.
614 South Third Street  Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415
From Razorhawk:

The GLA toy drive is taking monetary donations at our site there is a donation button on the left side of the screen. All donations recieved will be split between the Minnesota and Wisconsin branches of the team. We are accepting donations up until Dec. 10th as the Minnesota group consisting of Geist and I, hopefully Legacy and Celtic Viking as well will need to deliver the toys to People Serving People on December 17th.


Real life superheroes

Originally posted:
By Kevin Kaber

Real Life Superheroes are protecting communities like Riverwest for the greater good. The red mask-wearing Watchman and the secretive Blackbird patrol the streets during bar time in Riverwest and other Milwaukee areas.
Real Life Superheroes are similar to members of neighborhood watch groups. They keep an eye on any suspicious activities and help those in need. More specifically, they resemble UW-Milwaukee Safe Walkers in super hero garb.
“They might not be actual superheroes, but at least they are trying to do something instead of sitting on their ass, watching TV, and whining about how awful everything is,” said Tea Krulos, a local author.
Krulos is writing a book on the Real Life Superheroes. He first met with The Watchman in 2009 and his “life has been fantastically weird ever since.”
The Watchman, as his name implies, is a man that watches for the safety of citizens, albeit he does so while in costume.
“What I do really isn’t that different from what anybody could be doing,” Watchman said. “Anybody could take an interest in their neighborhood; anybody could give to charities or do more in their communities.”
Watchman and heroes like him patrol bar-scattered areas as well as places with a history of crime. His utility belt includes a maglight, some pepper spray, a first aid kit, and perhaps most important, a cell phone which is used to call for professional backup when needed.
“It’s [normally] boring,” Watchman said. “Occasionally something interesting will happen.”
The Watchman started patrolling neighborhoods dressed as a superhero in the early ’90s. Around the same time, he found himself homeless, then enlisted in the Army. Afterwards, he put the super hero life on the backburner while he got married and started a family.
“Saving the world starts at home,” Watchman said. “That’s the highest priority.”
Only a few close family members and friends know his secret identity, though some have figured it out from pictures and videos.
Lately, The Watchman has received considerable attention from local media outlets. Along with a surge of comic book movies being released, people everywhere have been gaining interest in these caped crusaders.
Along with his counterpart, the wildly mysterious Blackbird, Watchman invests a considerable amount of time in giving back to the community. The duo has organized charity efforts such as toy and food drives. The Watchman claims that his superhero persona garners publicity for these missions.
“Obviously, you don’t dress like this unless you’re looking for attention,” Watchman said.
The Watchman says he will continue his mission as long as he’s needed. He may not be saving Riverwest from a hipster mad scientist’s plot to steal the neighborhood’s supply of Pabst, but he is making it a better, safer place.
“I haven’t had a single person in Riverwest come up to me and say; ‘I don’t want you here, what you’re doing is stupid,’” Watchman said. “I’m not a vigilante. I’m out there to watch.”

Real-Life Superheroes Could Be Protecting Your Ass At This Very Moment

Originally posted:
Real-life superheroes have become a big phenomena. So big,in fact, that some police departments are asking officers to familiarize themselves with the who’s-who of their city’s crime-fighting crusaders.

Photo by Brian Jacobson

Photo by Brian Jacobson

Two things have been in short supply in recent years: 1) An actual sense of protection. 2) Sincere acts of heroism.
Lets face it, police brutality have become so commonplace that instances don’t usually warrant news coverage. The politicians in Versailles DC are good for nothing. And the Dept of Homeland Security, which includes the TSA, seems to have declared war on We the People.
Where to turn for real help, security, and heroism?
Real-life superheroes have begun to spring up everywhere. In fact, there are so many real-life superheroes running around the city of Seattle that the local police have been encouraged to study up on the real life superhero movement to familiarize themselves with a growing trend.
Many in Seattle have even formed an organized group called The Rain City Superhero Movement. This includes Thorn, Buster Doe, Green Reaper, Gemini, No Name, Catastrophe, Thunder 88, Penelope and Phoenix Jones the Guardian of Seattle. All masked, they carry Tasers, nightsticks, pepper spray, but no firearms.
The Seattle PD were informed that Captain Ozone and Knight Owl are not part of the movement. Good to know where these caped crusaders stand.
While this has gotten big enough in Seattle to get some media attention, it’s becoming something of a phenomena all across the United States.
This is not a trend, it is a movement. This movement could also go world-wide. (Naples, Italy, already has at least one steadfast protector. )
Local police are beginning to ask real life superheroes, or RLSH, to be careful. Seattle PI reports that on one occasion “police say a caped crusader dressed in black was nearly shot when he came running out of a dark park.” In another case, a witness on Capitol Hill saw the crusaders wearing ski masks in a car parked at a Shell station and thought they were going to rob the place.
A police bulletin has been sent to all Seattle officers this week, requesting they look at the Real Life Super Hero national website to get an idea of what they are dealing with.
The secret identity thing could become an issue, unless something is done to allow RLSH to work more efficiently with police. Seattle police were called out to Phoenix Jones and his team, who were apprehending a violent man swinging a gold club. But because they refused to identify themselves using their legal names, the police couldn’t take statements and the aggressor walked free (minus his club).
Phoenix Jones was later identified as a local 22-year-old black man who is driven around by a female friend who stays in the car when he gets out in his black cape, black fedora, blue tights, white belt and mask. He had agreed to be interviewed by police; and when he arrived at the station only partly dressed, he apologized. The rest of his outfit was being repaired because he was recently stabbed by a drug dealer.
Thank goodness Phoenix Jones is also wearing body armor, and a ballistic cup under his outfit.
Wikipedia has an article on RLSH, which explains: “The term Real Life Superhero is variously applied to real-world people who dress and/or act like comic book superheroes. Sometimes, this label is bestowed upon them by those whom they have helped or the media, while at other times, the aspiring superheroes apply the label to themselves.”
A real life super hero website at responds:

That’s what Wikipedia reports and – to a certain extent – it is true. Officially, a Real Life Superhero is whoever chooses to embody the values presented in superheroic comic books, not only by donning a mask/costume, but also performing good deeds for the communitarian place whom he inhabits. You don’t necessarily need to engage in a violent fight to be a crime fighter – you might patrol and report whatever crime you see. So basically, terms like “good deed” or “crime fighting” are open to various interpretations.
Many of the Real Life Superheroes retain peculiar characteristics, abilities, special training and paranormal faculties that make them even closer to their comic book counterparts.


  • Crime fighting patrols and/or reporting illegal actions to Police.
  • Fliers asking for help with specific unsolved crimes.
  • Missing person’s fliers.
  • Promoting social/environmental awareness.
  • Helping the homeless with food/water/blankets.
  • Donating blood

There’s another great RLSH website at that seems to be updated with regular news, offers a registry for superheroes, and much more. The registry alone (where I obtained the RLSH images that you see) makes visiting the website well worth it. I only wish there were more entries; but I am sure that will change as more superheroes join the movement.
Perhaps a growing lack of faith in government is helping to fuel the RLSH movement. Perhaps it is the inevitable outcome of a whole generation of people who grew up on superheroes. Maybe it’s simply due to a lot of people being out of work, and seeking something meaningful to do with their time.
It’s probably all that, and more.
At any rate, this could be just the beginning of something very large and very strange. I, for one, am looking forward to looking up at the sky one night and seeing a superhero signal being activated over my city.

A night with Seattle's superheroes

"Phoenix" strikes a pose during an interview in Seattle.

“Phoenix” strikes a pose during an interview in Seattle.

Originally posted:
By Luke Duecy
In the middle of our interview in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, a scream in the distance sends Phoenix sprinting across a parking lot and peering down onto a street below.
He takes stock of the fight happening a block away, but quickly determines that it’s just a couple of friends yelling and shoving each other at a hot dog stand.
“It’s not something I need to prevent,” says Phoenix, who is wearing a mask, cape and hat.
Welcome to the world of Seattle superheroes.
There’s Buster Doe, No Name, Troop and their leader, Phoenix. We don’t know their real names, but almost every night they suit up and set out with Kevlar and stun guns for protection.
They say their mission is to patrol city streets and stop crime.
“I don’t go around and look for people who park their car wrong,” Phoenix says. “I do acts of violence — I physically saw you assault another person and I intervened.”
It all started years ago after one of Phoenix’s close friends got beat up outside a bar.
“There were like 70 people outside and no one did anything. No one called police, 911, nothing. They just stood there.”
On this night, under a full moon, I went along to see Phoenix in action. He has a wife, kids, a 9-to-5 job and a Facebook page. He also patrols cities all around Puget Sound five nights a week.
He says he wears the mask to protect his family from bad guys who may want revenge. But what about the costume?
“Surprisingly enough the easiest thing to hide bullet proofing under and be recognizable for police so I don’t get shot, is a super suit,” Phoenix says.
For Phoenix, being a real-life superhero is part feeding the homeless, part public relations, and nothing like the comic book heroes we all knew as kids.
“I’ve had a couple guns pulled on me,” says Phoenix, adding that he’s been shot and stabbed while stopping fights.
It isn’t all that exciting.
In an alley in the city’s International District, Phoenix confronted two men after hearing that someone was selling drugs in the area. He spoke to them and asked if they were selling, and the two men walked off.
While Phoenix says he’s just out to help, Seattle police would rather he not intervene directly.
“We would recommend and we would prefer that if people see a crime, witness a crime, have knowledge of a crime, that they pick up a phone and call 911,” Detective Mark Jamieson said. “We don’t want anyone to get hurt and certainly people that are dressed-up their intention might be mistaken by other people.”
Officials are concerned that these superheroes might take the law into their own hands. But Phoenix isn’t planning to sit around.
“I’m definitely not going to let my fellow citizens be assaulted when I can say ‘no,'” he says. “If I walk around and find nobody, that would be a good day. The fact is that I’m finding people – that’s bad – you shouldn’t need me.”
And then I saw what police are concerned about. At the end of our night, Phoenix stops a man who he thinks is trying to drive home drunk.
“Just back up!” Phoenix yells as the man rushes him. He warns the man to stay back or he’ll use a telescoping stun gun he just pulled from under his cape. “Stay back, stay away — I don’t want to have to Tase you!”
One of Phoenix’s colleagues calls 911, and police arrive to defuse the situation. But, the officers are worried.
“I know who you guys are, I know what you’re doing,” an officer tells the costumed group. “But, somebody drunk all of a sudden having people in their face with masks on… now it’s not the norm.”
Did the superheroes escalate the problem? For Phoenix the answer is no.
“We never had an issue with you,” Phoenix tells the man he tried to stop. “We just wanted you to get sober and get home safe.”
It’s just another night of crime fighting.

Seattle's real-life superheroes: An instant guide

Originally posted:
A group of self-described “superheroes” have been prowling the streets of Seattle claiming to save people from crime. Who are these costumed crusaders?
Move over, Watchmen. A real-life collective of costumed superheroes has taken to the streets of Seattle to fight for law and order. The Rain City Superhero Movement prowls the city late at night performing good deeds. But Seattle police worry that the amateur crime fighters could end up being seriously injured. Here’s a quick guide to what the caped vigilantes are doing:
Who are these masked men and women?
Seattle investigators have identified nine costumed individuals: Buster Doe, Catastrophe, Gemini, Green Reaper, No Name, Penelope, Phoenix Jones the Guardian of Seattle, Thorn, and Thunder 88. Phoenix Jones, a 22-year-old man who patrols the street in a black cape, fedora, white belt, and mask, revealed his real identity to Seattle police in early November. He is normally driven around by a woman who, wearing no costume, stays in the car while he performs his superhero duties. “So far, no confirmation if this is actually his mom,” says Alison Nastasi at Cinematical.
What do they do?
For the most part, they appear to drive around the city looking for fights to stop. One pair of “heroes” wearing ski masks was spotted in a parked Kia Fate that was later traced to the godmother of one of the “characters.” Another group of vigilantes were discovered by police “dealing with” an angry, golf-club-wielding man. The cops confiscated the club, but none of the anonymous superheroes wanted to press charges for fear of being identified.
Do they have any formal training?
“Everyone on my team either has a military background or a mixed martial arts background,” the man known as Phoenix Jones told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “We’re well aware of what it costs to do what we do.” Jones told police he regularly wears body armor and a bulletproof vest when patrolling the streets. Other members of the “Movement” carry Tasers, nightsticks, and pepper spray. They say they do not carry guns.
What do the police think?
“Seattle police think they’re silly at best, dangerous at worst,” says Curtis Cartier at Seattle Weekly. One masked vigilante was almost shot by cops after running out of a darkened park, for example. Police say they would rather the costumed avengers help testify against criminals than put themselves in danger.
How do they find out about crimes?
That remains a mystery, says Cartier at Seattle Weekly. “They may have police scanners, they may have inside sources, or simply Internet access to the SPD police blog.” What they don’t have, yet, is a “skyward pointed spotlight of any kind.”
Who are they?
No one knows, but it hasn’t stopped some Seattle types from guessing. Like Bruce Wayne (aka Batman) and Tony Stark (aka Iron Man), “could the men behind the masks be local Seattle millionaires?” wonders the Belltown Blogger. “It’s interesting to imagine Bill Gates or Paul Allen doling out a bit of vigilante justice in our neighborhood.”
Sources: Seattle Post-Intelligencer (2), Seattle Weekly

Why Be A Do Gooder?

Why be a do gooder, at my present age of 44 or any time? Society is in Recession/Depression mode so why not ” do me ” and forget do gooding?
I’m a do gooder now because I’ve always been one.
After taming past shyness, connecting with other’s needs occurs more often. Now, I don’t feel I’m intruding upon privacy nearly as much as intruding upon hunger; conflict or despondency.
As a do gooder I’m doubly blessed by what Leigh Anne and Sean Toohy ( of ” Blindside ” movie fame ) call ” Popcorn Theory ” which “…is about noticing others. It starts with recognizing a fellow soul by the roadside as kindred…it’s about acknowledging that person’s potential and value. It’s about seeing him, instead of looking past him…Like with popcorn…the hot ones just show up. It’s not hard to spot them. ”
That’s my approach encapsulated. My Capt Black outreach is where I give food; clothing and crime prevention efforts away whenever possible.
It makes no sense for people to be hungry or cold amid plenty; suffering while surrounded crowds and buildings. In a similar vein, lack of basic safety amounts to a civic plague of stupidity.
October 2010 witnessed near-daily food giveaways as over half my sneaker string budget strategically went to others. Don’t try this at home ( lol ) unless you are fully committed.
You won’t regret it but it may make loved ones worried.
These giveaways happened outside the New Orleans Main Library where the homeless gather among other patrons. It wasn’t unusual to feel ten feet tall afterward! ( lol ).
This month I gave a warm white bomber jacket to a gent outside there I call my ” regular client. ” Despite area warmth, when it’s cold it becomes bitterly so! The jacket literally begged me for weeks to be donated and I felt like jumping for joy when I did it. Still do as a matter of fact.
Why be a do gooder? Because it helps others and helps you free personal, much needed good inside.
Especially these days, we could all use some extra good in our lives.
NADRA ENZI AKA CAPT BLACK promotes crime prevention and self-development.

Inside the world of real life superheroes

Originally posted:
LYNDHURST, N.J. – November 22, 2010 (WPVI) — Superheroes have been a part of our popular culture for generations. But you may be surprised to know that an actual real-life superhero community exists.
At first you might be quick to judge them. But once you hear their tragic backgrounds that mirror many of the fantasy figures we’ve come to love and their powerful missions you might think twice.
One says: “My name is Phantom Zero; I chose it because I have a love of cinema.”
Another says: “The name Nyx came from the Greek goddess of the night, which was the only time I could go out which was at night.”
We don’t know their real names, and we’re not allowed to show you their true identity. That’s because Nyx and Phantom Zero are living double lives.
“I read my first comic when I was 13 and I just kept thinking there has to be people that are doing this, obviously they don’t have super powers, but there still has to be people who want to do something good for the world,” explained Nyx.
Nyx discovered the Real Life Superheroes online community 5 years ago. It’s a community that stretches all over the world bringing strangers together with one common goal.
The secret society hopes to open the doors of their world to the public by allowing one man to tell their stories.
“I did quite a bit of research and discovered that the vast majority of media coverage was more exploitation only, they were looking for the humor in this story,” filmmaker Peter Tangen said.
Tangen is part of a team putting together a documentary about real life superheroes. He said he quickly learned that what these men and women are about is no laughing matter.
“I hope that as people learn about these individuals that they can look at their own lives and make a positive difference in the world around them,” Peter said.
Nyx says some of the heroes, including her, got into this to help fill a void.
“When I was 13 my mom died and that motivated me to want to do more with my life because she had never really gotten to live,” Nyx said.
Nyx also revealed she grew up in a strange religious sect forcing her to fight crime in the streets of Kansas City strictly at night.
“I couldn’t let them know that I was going out being a superhero and trying to help people.”
Nyx soon found her escape through Phantom Zero and moved to New Jersey. Like her, he too dealt with a tragic loss.
“One of the major motivations of me doing this was the death of my father,” said Phantom Zero.
Together they don’t fight crime but they do offer help to the homeless in New York and New Jersey.
But how are they received?
“Usually the people you’re helping don’t really care about the attire; they’re more than willing to accept help,” said Phantom Zero.
Nyx and Phantom Zero understand they will still have critics. But their hope is this:
“It’s very hard to convince the common man to pay attention to things, certain plights certain problems, in doing this we kind of standout and direct attention to those things,” Phantom Zero said.
For more information:
The Real Life Superhero Project
Real Life Superheroes
Superheroes Anonymous
Peter Tangen, Photographer
A site that challenges individuals to become heroes by undertaking various pro-social projects…
Superhero forums:

Real-Life Superheroes in Seattle

Originally posted:
Here is an interesting article on the recent emergence of a superhero-movement in Seattle. They call themselves “Rain City Superheros  movement”, and claim to be part of a US-wide network of similar alliances. With names like Thorn, Buster Doe, Green Reaper, Gemini, No Name, Catastrophe, Thunder 88, Penelope and Phoenix, the group patrols the city by night looking for crime and danger.
The national website of the costumed heroes works as a sort of manual of the trade, as well:
The term Real Life Superhero is variously applied to real-world people who dress and/or act like comic book superheroes. Sometimes, this label is bestowed upon them by those whom they have helped or the media, while at other times, the aspiring superheroes apply the label to themselves.
Some media reports have focused on an Internet-based community that’s developed around creating superheroic identities and helping others. These people wear masks or otherwise disguise themselves in order to perform “heroic deeds” like community services or fighting crime when they come across it
Yes, these people are real. Apparently MySpace works by augmenting the movement through a communication network amongst the caped crusaders around the world. ( if in need of a local vigilante, happy Hunting in MySpace.) According to Rain City Superhero Movement”- website, they do this, because “somebody has to do something”. And also, “they get a kick out of this”- which is understandable. Every time my Monday looks rainy and grey, I just slip on the Silk Spectre- outfit, perform a few kicks in front of the mirror while the soundtrack plays on the background and feel all powerful -a warrior woman. But these people go a bit further in they pursuit of action and justice.
The police in Seattle are worried that the heroes might hurt themselves, or someone else in the process.
In one instance a man dressed in black costume was nearly shot when running from a dark park. In another case, an innocent bystander mistook the heroes as robbers (sitting in a car with ski masks by the gas station does that to you, don´t think otherwise) and called the cops. The owner of the parked heroe-mobile claimed her godson just drives around going “good deeds”. Nice godmother, lending her Kia Fate for such heroic activities. Not many would understand, such a cruel world we live in.
Seattle police discovered the true identity of “Phoenix”, a mysterious character who is driven around the city by a civilian young woman (read: not into costumes). Phoenix was interviewed by the detectives and arrived to the station in most of his costume (parts were being repaired after an intervention to a drugtrade). In his usual attire, the character wears body armor, ballistic vest, arm and leg trauma plates and a ballistic cup. All this safety helped in stopping a bullet during a previous action incident last year. Note: all our heroes in the alliance do not carry firearms, just plain old pepper spray, tasers and nightsticks.
Seattle police state that there is nothing wrong in ordinary citizens getting involved in the criminal justice process – as long as they exercise caution, call 911 and remain as witnesses.
Call it what you might, I still find it incredibly impressive that these people are trying to do their part in stopping crime. Somewhat crazy, maybe, but incredibly sexy. In the utmost theoretical sense.

I Can Be Your Hero, Baby

Originally posted:
By Kim Voynar
I was checking up on the weather forecast and school closings this morning, and this story about real-life superheros in Seattle caught my eye. Apparently the Seattle group, which calls itself the Rain City Movement, is part of the larger national group “Real Life Superheroes.”
With films like Kick-Ass and Super, which depict average people deciding to become superheroes, and the popularity of the superhero genre generally, I guess it’s not really surprising that normal folks would decide to become crime-fighter/vigilantes, though I’m not sure how smart an idea it is for your average person with a flashlight and mace to be going up against criminals armed with guns and knives.
One of the things I liked about Kick-Ass is its fairly realistic portrayal of what can happen in a situation like that. Kick-Ass gets his ass kicked. Even the seemingly invincible Big Daddy and Hit Girl find they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. Reality meets fantasy and smacks it around, hard.
On the other hand, I can understand the desire of people to feel like they’re doing something to take back their streets and neighborhoods from criminals. The police aren’t always effective, and I suppose it can feel empowering to be a vigilante fighting crime and making the streets safer … until you get shot or stabbed. Myself, I think I’ll keep my own costume-wearing tendencies safely confined to cons. But what about you? Would you ever consider being a Real Life Superhero? And what would your superhero be?

Does the World Need Superheroes?

Originally posted:
by Niesey
There’s been a lot of hype lately coming from my hometown of Seattle.  Apparently there’s a group of people there who refer to themselves as “Real-Life Superheroes” from the “Rain City Superhero Movement”, and they’re claiming to be part of a nationwide network of crime-fighters.  They’re regular people (who perhaps have read a few too many comic books), that take to the streets in costumes with code names and try to fight crime. The Seattle Police Department has understandably stated some concern regarding the “superheroes”.  According to the Seattle PI article, there have been some events that have led to one “superhero” almost getting shot, and others being mistaken for criminals by citizens:

In one instance, police say a caped crusader dressed in black was nearly shot when he came running out of a dark park. In another case, a witness on Capitol Hill saw the crusaders wearing ski masks in a car parked at a Shell station and thought they were going to rob the place.

The self-proclaimed leader of the Rain City Superhero Movement is a 22-year-old man, that goes by the name Phoenix Jones.  He dresses in black with blue tights (what superhero costume is complete without tights?), and patrols the Seattle streets with his friends…  in a Kia owned by the godmother of one of the “superheroes”…  I guess “Real-Life Superheroes” use economical transportation.  No high-tech Batmobiles for them.
Reading the article on piqued my curiosity.  Are there really other “Real-Life Superheroes” in other parts of America, and perhaps the world?  I was amazed to find that indeed there are, and some of them have websites to share their philosophies, list their services, and ask for donations to fund their superhero ways.  There’s Captain B.L.A.C.K. of Savannah, Georgia, Knight Owl from Ohio, and Zetaman from Portland, Oregon.  But I also found that this superhero movement isn’t all that new of a concept.  London also had a “superhero” for some time in Angle-Grinder Man, who said in 2002 “I may not be able to single-handedly and totally cast off the repressive shackles of a corrupt government – but I can cut off your wheel-clamps for you.”  Maybe not all the “superheroes” keep completely within the realms of the law, but it seems that the majority are trying to make a difference in their communities by helping the less fortunate, and doing charitable work.
For people interested in becoming “superheroes”, there are plenty of websites and books to help them. recently listed a workshop in Brooklyn, New York, to assist people with creating their superhero costumes.  It cost $20, but included “free beer for those 21 and older.”  Or you could buy the book, How to be a Superhero.
What do you think about the superhero movement?  Are they necessary in today’s society, or are they just another case of a Neighborhood Watch Program getting out of hand, and turning into vigilante justice?  Would you ever consider taking on a new persona and running around in the night in tights? Or should we just stay at home, and let the police do their jobs?