More real life superheroes donning costumes to fight crime

Originally posted:
By Peter Stone
Over the past few years, there has been a rising number of real-life comic book style superheroes. Real people are putting on costumes and going out to perform charitable works and try to fight crime. Costumed crusaders were the subject of “Superheroes,” a documentary that was shown at the Slamdance Film Festival.
Caped crusaders break out of comic books
There are real life superheroes patrolling city streets all over North America, performing a wide variety of functions to serve the greater good. Many belong to an organization called Real Life Superheroes” a registry and database of civilians who don capes, masks or any other costume they see fit and go out into their communities to perform civil services. Many of them don’t physically confront criminals, according to MSNBC, but they patrol areas to encourage community awareness of crime and other social problems. Many of these real life caped crusaders focus on charitable works. Portland, Ore., based Zetaman, creator of the Real Life Superheroes website, often goes out distributing food, blankets and other supplies to the homeless.
Documentary calls attention to phenomenon
A documentary about real life superheroes titled “Superheroes” recently debuted at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where the Sundance Film Festival is held every year. The film is creating some buzz and calling more attention to the services that the Real Life Superheroes perform. They do encounter danger; a superhero in Seattle, Wash., called Phoenix Jones appeared on “Good Morning America” after he received a broken nose while trying to break up a street fight.
Not the first of their kind
The Real Life Superheroes are certainly attracting attention, but community responsibility and involvement is not new in the United States. Since the 1970s, an all-volunteer neighborhood watch group called the Guardian Angels has been patrolling communities all over the world, and they do intervene with crimes in progress. The group, according to Reuters, has lately been very active in cities such as Camden, New Jersey, that lost police officers to budget cuts. The Guardian Angels, founded by Curtis Sliwa, are now located in 144 cities across 15 countries.
Real Life Superheroes
Monday, February 14th, 2011 by

Peter Stone