Real Life Superheroes

Originally posted:
Originally posted By MrSunshine
Published: Jun 18, 2011
The world is need of superheroes. It is easy to get a sense of hopelessness as we hear about the terrible
things happening around the world. We all watched the tragedy in Japan; we all remember the attacks on 9/11.
I cannot help but imagine how much different things would be if the world was stuck between the pages of a
comic book. Superman could have saved the towers. Aquaman could have prevented to Tsunamis in Japan.
While it is obvious that Superman doesn’t exist, and that no one in this world has powers like him, there
are real life superheroes.
Nadine Bells, a columnist for Yahoo! News, says that real life superheroes are becoming fairly popular in
New York. Several vigilantes have banded together to form the New York Initiative (NYI.) They patrol the
streets of New York at night, mostly to prevent drug deals from happening.
The NYI is a branch of Real Life Superheroes (RLSH), a superhero agency that operates in many different
countries. There are countless other superheroes that are not part of RLSH, ranging from the Crimson
Fist in Atlanta to Menganno in Argentina. Almost every country has their own masked crusader, and some,
like Norway’s Geist, have become national heroes.
This celebrity that some heroes have found has sparked some controversy. People have accused Geist and
others of being glory seekers, and getting the way of the real heroes, policemen.
Andrea Kuszewski, a neurologist for The Institution for Emerging Ethics and Technologies, says that
heroes may not be as good as we think. “As crazy as it sounds, there may be a closer link than than most
people would think between the extreme-altruistic personality and sociopathic personality. Would it shock
you to know that two people, one with the traits of extreme-altruism (X-altruism) and the other the traits of a
sociopath, could be related? Even siblings?” She goes on to point out that people trying to stop law breakers
often end up breaking laws themselves. That brings up another interesting point. How do policemen
and other authorities feel about real life superheroes? They’re not necessarily fans, but they’re not
condemning it.
Police in Seattle, Washington don’t really take the men in tights seriously. In fact, they released an office
memo making fun of them. They also say that being a vigilante is very dangerous, but nothing wrong with itif
rules are followed. “There’s nothing wrong with citizens getting involved with the criminal justice process — as long as they
follow it all the way through [by calling 911 and attending court],” said Jeff Keppel, spokesman for the Seattle
Police Department.
There have been in incidents where a member of RLSH has been sentenced to prison time. In 2008 a hero
(not named) shot a man trying to break into a car. The man didn’t survive the shot, and the hero served nine
months in a Washington prison for manslaughter. Questioning someone’s motives for doing something
is easy, but if what they are doing is good, should there be any question at all? Does it matter why someone is
doing something, if they’re doing the right thing, or helping others? I guess it comes down to what you would
want for yourself.
If you were being robbed or beaten, and a super hero came to your rescue, would you accuse them of
being a glory seeker, or would you thank them for their services?

Real life superheroes

Dynamic-DuoOriginally posted:
Costumed crusaders shine a light on Atlanta’s homeless situation
On a Friday afternoon in a Downtown Atlanta parking garage, a couple of superheroes step out of an SUV and prepare to embark on their latest mission. They look as if they’ve stepped out of a comic book, ready to storm a supervillain’s hideout. But today’s objective doesn’t involve death rays or alien invasions. Instead, they’re about to walk through Woodruff Park and check on the many homeless Atlantans who congregate there.
Just another day on the job for the Crimson Fist and his sidekick, Metadata.
When The Sunday Paper tags along, summer temperatures are still causing dehydration on the Downtown streets, so the dynamic due brings four cases of bottled water.
“And then I believe 80 packs of crackers, and something like 48 packs of fruit snacks to hand out,” the Fist says, adding that as they distribute the water and food, they’ll  “just walk around, talk to people, make sure everyone’s doing OK.”
They hoist shopping bags filled with bottles and snack packages over their shoulders and set off for the park.  When the bags are empty, they’ll return to the parking garage to restock and make another circuit.
The Crimson Fist’s maroon-and-white uniform draws a few stares as they begin the two-block walk, as much for the striking logo—a red fist inside a black star—as for the incongruous pairing of red gloves and sneakers. Metadata collects a few look-overs of her own, clad in a form-fitting Lycra bodysuit and huge black lace-up boots.
The Crimson Fist—named for a comic book he created as a child—doesn’t mind. A little gawking comes with the territory.
Since he first began, “people have kind of warmed up to the idea,” he says. “Especially in areas like this, areas that I go to quite a bit, they get used to seeing me. I mean, it’s Atlanta, so you get used to the weird stuff after awhile.”
The pair are part of a loose-knit community of real-life superheroes that stretches across the country and as far as Mexico, Brazil and the United Kingdom, keeping in contact via sites like and
These heroes refer to themselves as crime-fighters, activists or, in the Crimson Fist’s case. humanitarians. Some, like Atlanta fixture Danger Woman, advocate for a particular cause (she champions the rights of the disabled). Others simply act as a kind of colorful neighborhood watch, armed with first aid kits and video cameras—and maybe some pepper spray for protection. Still others work to, say, drive drug dealers out of local parks. Almost all engage in some form of public service—whether it’s visiting children’s hospitals, collecting items for toy drives or reaching out to the homeless.
The Crimson Fist has tried the crime-fighter-on-patrol route, but “I don’t focus on it as much anymore, because I’m a lot more focused on trying to be more on the humanitarian side of things,” he says. “I try to make sure I stay on my side of the fence as much as possible. I find that I just get more out of helping people than hurting people.”
He knows a thing or two about the latter. “I did a lot of things in my life I wasn’t necessarily proud of, did a lot of bad things and hurt a lot of people. So I kind of decided to try to give back, to try and help stop the problem that affected me when I was younger.”
Once that decision was made, his evolution a couple of years ago into the Crimson Fist “just kind of came naturally. As a kid I wanted to be a superhero, you know? And I just one day decided, I might as well bite the bullet and just go for it. And it worked out a lot better than I expected.”
His partner, a recent college graduate and freelance artist, is new to Atlanta; this is her first time going on a handout with the Crimson Fist. She started out in another city, volunteering for other real-life superheroes as an operator, or “Oracle,” named for the support role assumed by comic-book character Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) after she was shot by the Joker. Just as Oracle helps  Batman behind the scenes, Metadata, in real life, helped heroes with directions or other remote assistance as they conducted handouts or patrols.
“I had heard about real life superheroes in a psychology class,” she says. “I did a little research on it and really liked what I was hearing from people, and I really wanted to help.”
It’s taken a bit of negotiation to allow a reporter and photographer to come along. The Crimson Fist knows his outfit attracts attention—that’s why he wears it, after all—but he’s been disappointed by media reports on his work in the past. His hope is that the sight of a man in a colorful costume will inspire onlookers to explore what they can do for others.
“I fully understand that there’s a bit of silliness to the superhero thing,” he says. “But there’s much more important things to focus on than how silly I look in the costume.”
Atlanta’s homeless population is what he’s chosen to focus on. It’s certainly a community in need of help. According to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs 2009 Report on Homelessness, on one night in January of that year, about 21,000 people were homeless in Georgia—and more than half didn’t even have a place to stay in a shelter, or were in peril of not having shelter space. The Metro Atlanta Tri-Jurisdictional Collaborative on Homelessness, which surveyed the city of Atlanta, DeKalb County and Fulton County, found 7,019 sheltered and unsheltered homeless people, accounting for at least a third of the state’s homeless population. of those, 87 percent—6,131 people—were located in Atlanta. About 2,000 were on the streets.
The Collaborative’s survey shows  a 6.5 percent increase in homelessness over the last six years, even as DeKalb and Fulton Counties’ populations grew by about 17 percent over the same period, with more respondents without a full-time job in 2009 than in previous years.
“A lack of affordable housing in our area contributes to the issue,” says Vince Smith, executive director of the Gateway Center, a homeless services center that provides housing and programs to help get people out of homelessness. “With job losses and foreclosures, many people we’re seeing now are homeless that have never experienced homelessness before. With this Great Recession we’ve been in, there’s also more stresses on familes and individuals, and that’s certainly true of my colleagues at other agencies that deal with homelessness, as well; the stress level is extremely high.”
On the bright side, Smith says, hard times have encouraged others in the community to get involved.
“Anecdotally, I have seen an increase in the community’s response to the needs of others,” he says. “I can tell you that my phone rings more frequently now than it did three years ago with people wanting to do something to help others.” And local agencies, he says, “are working together more collaboratively with the community at large today than in recent history.
“Homelessness isn’t some ethereal concept,” he continues. “It’s our brothers and sisters, our nieces and nephews, our children and parents. It is us. The community response has been overwhelmingly encouraging.”
Back in Woodruff Park, the homeless response to the curious-looking do-gooders in their midst is a mixture of gratitude and wariness. Cries of “Hey, superhero!” precede requests for water. Several onlookers take pictures with their phones. One shabby-looking individual asks for an autograph. “I’m not tripping, right?” he asks.
Metadata approaches clusters of wary men with a water bottle and an engaging smile. More than a few times, a small crowd gathers around her. But she’s not fazed.
“They just want a little help,” she says. “I don’t see anyone attacking me for bottled water or a fruit snack. When you get down to it, they’re just people.”
The Crimson Fist acknowledges that approaching destitute strangers can be a foolhardy endeavor, especially dressing the way he does. “I mean, there’s always a risk,” he says. “That’s why I carry some protection, just in case something should happen. But I care enough about the people out here to take that risk.”
Not everyone in the park this afternoon is homeless or even destitute, but the heroes don’t discriminate. “You never can tell who needs help,” Crimson Fist says. Still, he makes a point of asking each person if they’re OK or if they need anything. “It’s a sensitive situation for some people. Sometimes they can get offended if they don’t need help. But generally speaking, most people are just happy to have something.”
“Can I join your organization?” someone calls as they pass.
“Just help people out,” the Crimson Fist replies. “That’s all you gotta do.”
“I don’t want to hold you up,” one grateful man says. “I know there’s a lot more people that have to be saved.”
By 2:30 p.m.—two hours after they’ve started—140 bottles of water have been handed out, and the snacks are all but gone.
“It went really well,” Metadata says of her first Atlanta outing. “I’m glad we got as much as we did. I wish we had enough to give to everyone.”
The Crimson Fist says he attempts to conduct handouts about once a month, setting aside money when he can to devote to supplies—something that became harder due to a recent stretch of unemployment.
“I think we spent about $40 today,” he says. “If I’m out here by myself, I’ll usually spend $25 or $30.” During the summer, that money largely goes to bottled water. But in the colder months, he expands his focus to clothing, blankets and other ways to keep warm, rummaging through thrift stores and even going through his own clothes to see what he can afford to give away. “I just save as much as I can, try to find the best deals I can,” he says.
No matter how much he saves, “I always think I’ve brought enough stuff, and there’s never enough. It’s overwhelming sometimes to see just how big a problem there is, but it’s always nice to help at least a small portion of that.”
Both agree that while they enjoy the one-on-one interaction, their ambitions go beyond handouts.
“I like being able to directly hand something to somebody when they need it,” the Crimson Fist says. “But you always want to do more.”
Metadata adds that they’re aspiring to more than distributing food and water.
“We’re also trying to get a community outreach going, get other people involved, get businesses involved,” she says. “We want to make sure that years from now, when maybe we’re starting to get to a point where we can’t do it anymore, like on a physical level even, that the community can take care of itself.
“It’s just a matter of connecting with people and saying, ‘This is what we’re about,’” she continues. “‘It’s not about going out and dressing up, it’s really about helping people, and here’s how you can do it and here’s how you can reach us.’”
The Fist sums up: “It’s not so much that we want to draw attention to us doing [this], as we want to draw attention to the problem and to show people that anybody can do this. It doesn’t take an actual superman to help solve the problem.” SP

Parties interested in helping the Crimson Fist with his mission can contact him via e-mail at [email protected].

“I mean, it’s Atlanta, so you get used to the weird stuff after awhile.”—The Crimson Fist
“The community response has been overwhelmingly encouraging.”—Vince Smith, executive director of the Gateway Center
Call 2-1-1 anywhere in Georgia to find or give help for homelessness and other problems, or visit
Gateway Center
275 Pryor St. SW
Hands on Atlanta
600 Means St., Suite 100
Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless
1035 Donnelly Ave. SW
Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless
477 Peachtree St.

Real Life Superheroes…with Capes

Originally posted:
In North America exists a team of superheroes. They don’t have their own comic book or 3D movie or long running TV series, but what they do have is the drive help those around them. They are on a mission of “activism and altruism.” In crazy costumes.
They are the The Real Life Superheroes, and they roam the streets of New York bestowing good deeds on those who need them.
There is Nyx, who focuses her efforts on aiding the homeless in New Jersey.
There is The Crimson Fist who tends to addicts in Atlanta.
And there is Life, my personal favorite, who hands out essential toiletries like toothbrushes to those on the streets of Manhattan. He is also the co-founder of Real Life Superheroes.
Here’s a short clip with Life, who explains why he does what he does. Mask and all:


This is such a fantastic idea, and one that could very easily be a project for children. Who better to participate in such a project than kids who are already way into superheroes, but also the perfect age to establish a lifelong trend of philanthropy. Your little caped crusaders could volunteer to walk dogs at the local shelter. Your daughter could register to run a fundraiser-for-charity 5K and run it in a mask and cape. The possibilities are innumerable, and what a fun way to instill a charitable mindest in a child.
Who knows, maybe for Halloween your second grader will want to be Connie the Canned Food Collecting Crusader.
LITTLE REMINDER: Modest Needs is in 4th place in the Pepsi Refresh Project, and your daily vote will be the only way we can move up and secure $250K for the unemployed Gulf oil spill victims. A click and you’re out. Thanks so much for your time and support!

The Real Life Super Hero Project

Originally posted:
By Shaun Manning, Staff Writer
With heroic names like Life, KnightVigil, the Crimson Fist and Thanatos, the subjects of photographer Peter Tangen’s latest project might sound like new and exciting additions to the Justice League, or members of a new superteam spinning out of the Avengers. In fact, these and other heroes are members of a community that patrol the streets of New York City, Atlanta and Vancouver to give aid to the homeless, mentor at-risk youth and perform other charitable deeds – in real life. “The Real Life Superhero Project” is a collection of portraits, videos and movie-style posters created by Tangen and a team of volunteers, designed to celebrate the men and women who, for several distinct reasons and to many different effects, put on a costume in an effort to improve lives in their communities.
Tangen is a Los Angeles-based photographer whose primary business is shooting promotional materials including movie posters for films and television shows with the iconic posters of “Spider-Man” and “Batman Begins” among his works. The artist, who discovered the real-life superhero culture on the internet as he was looking for a project to undertake independently, told CBR that the culture has existed perhaps for decades but is experiencing a reemergence now. Most of the heroes do not know each other personally, but there is an active online community.
“Because I’ve done so much work within the genre of superhero movies, the idea that these people exist really appealed to me,” Tangen said. “I began to do a lot of research and discovered there’s quite a large community of people who are referred to by the media as ‘real-life superheroes.’ I decided I wanted to do a photographic essay on them.
“I went to Vancouver to do a photo shoot for a client, and I reached out to a man up there who goes by the name Thanatos,” Tangen continued. “At the time, he was a 61-year-old man in Vancouver and his short story is that he was going out at three o’clock in the morning in civilian clothes, just giving food and supplies to people who were living on the streets and not getting into the shelter system. He felt, after doing it for three years, that he wasn’t being especially effective. The people he was helping wouldn’t recognize him from previous visits and he wasn’t really creating any sense of awareness of his efforts.” Awareness, Tangen explained, was not for Thanatos’s benefit but to create a sense of continuity, to give the idea that a certain person cares rather than simply being one of a succession of anonymous, one-time givers who might never think of the beneficiary again.
“He wanted to take it a step further. The local police department had indicated to him that the only thing that people on the streets of Vancouver have to look forward to is death. So he decided to take on the identity of Thanatos, which in mythology is the god of death,” Tangen said. “What he’s discovered since deciding to do this a year and a half or so ago, maybe two years now, is that the people he helps remember him. I’ve been on the streets with him at three o’clock in the morning, doing a homeless outreach, and I’ve seen people that have never met him before and I’ve seen people he’s helped for quite some time. There is a different reaction because of the appearance than you would have if he were in civilian clothes.
“He’s effectively marketing good deeds. For people who are living on the streets, who have no real community besides those on the streets with them, he creates in them a sense of belonging, that there’s someone looking out for them, which is impossible to do in civilian clothes because you’re not easy to remember,” the photographer continued. “So the work he does up there is really quite extraordinary and he does it all self-funded. And he gives people his business card when he meets them – which is, you know, a business card for Thanatos and on the back of it, it says ‘Friend.’ I’ve learned that what he’s trying to do is just make a difference in the world in a small way, but the effect he has is that can identify with them in a way that is much more impactful for someone on the streets that he may be helping. Because there’s one person helping them on a regular basis, instead of the anonymity of passing strangers, what he’s done is remembered.”
Thanatos was the first to be photographed, and his stature within the real-life superhero community made him an effective advocate for Tangen’s project, which the photographer hopes will be a departure from the way the community is normally presented in the media. “In my research, I learned that stories about these people are being treated in three ways by the media: the first and most common reaction the media has is to exploit them or mock them or do a light-hearted puff piece that isn’t in any way serving them,” Tangen told CBR. “Second to that, and less common, is an investigative journalism approach, just looking at what these people are and what they do. It’s a little bit more intellectual, but it is still without opinion: this is what they do, you make up your mind whether they’re crazy or not. It also doesn’t really react to the effects that they have on the world around them.
“On rare occasions, people in the media have discovered this culture of people and understood that in fact the stories they tell and what they stand for can actually be very inspirational. Because, in effect what they stand for is the idea that one person can make a difference. And I can tell you countless stories of how that’s actually the case,” Tangen continued. “I decided that I wanted to tell a story that was inspirational. Once you get past the idea of their costumes and you actually see what they’re doing, you realize that have actual real power that we all share. So I began to assemble my little plan with a group of collaborators. A couple weeks after I photographed Thanatos, we had 19 people from all over the country come into LA for a one-day photo shoot. It was quite an extraordinary event.”
Tangen noted that the day of the photo shoot was a significant even within the community itself, as it was the first time many of the heroes had met each other. “These people who came from across the land had the opportunity to meet people they’d been in communication with for several years but had never actually met. They had the chance to get together and talk about what they do.”
About thirty volunteers from the photography and film industries, using donated equipment and services, came together to work on the photo shoot. “Everybody that was there, was there because they had heard about these people and were inspired by the story. The impression people had at the end of the day was that it had been an amazing event,” Tangen said. “People said they felt they were literally better people for having been there and experiencing that event. If we had been hired to do what we did that day, not including the cost of actually flying people in, the photo shoot itself would have cost easily $100,000 to execute, but we did it for next to nothing because of the volunteer basis of everybody that was there.”
Tangen said the posters were designed to show the heroes “not how they see themselves, but how the people they help see them,” and were created in the style of movie teaser or character posters to portray a series of individual stories. “Generally speaking, it’s a rule of thumb that a really good movie poster tells a story. It may not be the story of the movie from start to finish, but it tells a story enough that it piques the interest of the viewer and tells enough about what the movie is that they understand what they’re going to go see,” Tangen explained. “The content of the movie poster is typically three different elements: one is the visuals, whether photographic or illustrative or a combination of those things. Another is the copy that might be tied to the poster. And then the third is just the title of the movie. Each of those elements should add to the overall narrative of what the poster is. So if you have a Tom Cruise movie about a secret agent and it takes place during wartime, you don’t want to tell all of that in a line of copy. You want to have the visuals and the title of the movie add up to that information.”
Taking the example of the “Life” poster, the first to appear on his Real Life Super Hero Project website, Tangen walked through the thought process. “Since he’s so much in the street, he rarely goes anywhere without granola bars or something that would enable him to help someone who’s helpless or needy, we decided that we would have him reaching into a group of people that could use his help. It’s a very visual tool to get that message across. And because he’s so much in the streets of New York City, we chose a New York City location for the background image. Since he was raised a Hasidic Jew, we decided we were going to use the Hebrew text for the word ‘chai,’ which is translated into ‘life,’ for what would be in other posters the title of the movie. Then for the copy line, we further express the idea that, where people make an effort to help others, there’s a further opportunity for those who are being helped to have hope,” Tangen said. “Those elements together talk about him, where he is, what he stands for and the optimism that he inspires in people that he serves.”
In addition to the movie-style posters, Tangen and his crew created a series of other photographic pieces. “We did a couple of group shots that are very definitely an homage to Alex Ross; straight up, out of the box, we’re not ripping him off – we’re honoring him. The other thing done is [we created] a series of portraits, which you can see a few of on the website,” he said. “As much as the posters are meant to show them as they are seen by the people they help, the collection of portraits was shot very much in the same style, with the intention of having the viewer look past the mask, perhaps identify with the real human being behind the outfit and and hopefully discover themselves the relatability of that person as a regular person and find in themselves a hero they may have not known existed.”

Good News Friday: Superheroes Anonymous

Friday October 9, 2009
Apparently “Superheroes” are not just for the movies or comic books anymore. Motivated by difficult economic times, high crime and homelessness, a new movement of real life “Superheroes” has sprung up across the country.
Real life “Superheroes”….for real? Yep, and some of them are even dressed in tights.
One of these masked men is Mr. Ravenblade, a former Microsoft employee who was laid off who now helps to fight crime in Seattle. According to “Superheroes Anonymous,” based in New York, there are hundreds of Superheroes out there today doing what they can to help out in theri communities. According to the World Superhero Registry, in order to be a “Real Superhero” one must be “committed to doing good for the benefit of mankind” above and beyond the call of duty.
Some of the other SuperHeroes on the streets today are:
– Mr. Xtreme, who patrols the streets of San Diego.
– The Dark Guradian, a martial arts teacher committed to giving back in New York.
– Crimson Fist, who fights homelessness with food and water on the streets of Atlanta.
– Chaim “Life” Lazaros, of Superheroes Anonymous, who helped raise money children at St Mary’s Hospital and provides supplies to theri local homeless.
Here’s the Real Life Superheroes Creed: (I love this!)
We are Real Life Superheroes.
We follow and uphold the law.
We fight for what is right.
We help those in need.
We are role models.
We will be positive and inspirational.
We hold ourselves to a higher standard.
Through our actions we will create a better brighter tomorrow.
Don’t you just love these people! It makes me want to run out and get a costume.
What about you….is there a Superhero inside of you? So here’s my question:
If you were a Superhero, who would you be and what would be your cause?
I’d love to hear your comments.
See photo gallery of real life Superheroes for a little creative inspiration.
Peace and Blessings and May the Force Be with You!
posted by Deborah Price @ 3:34pm

Atlanta's Superhero Helps Homeless

ATLANTA — You’ve seen them in the movies and on TV, but have you ever seen a real-life superhero, costume and all?
Over the years, a growing network of crusaders on a mission to make their communities a better place has emerged across the country, including one right here in Atlanta.
A lot of movie superheroes get their extraordinary human powers from an experiment gone awry or a bite of a spider.
Our Atlanta superhero doesn’t have that kind of back story, but he does have a desire to help those in need.
He created his alter-ego from a comic book character he dreamed up years ago and he does all his work in costume.
This superhero is known as The Crimson Fist.
“I don’t really like to use that term [superhero] because it makes people think I’m crazier than I am, but I’m a guy who dresses like a superhero, yes,” said The Crimson Fist.
The Crimson Fist said he started his mission several years ago, after a few years of drugs and alcohol.
He realized instead of hurting himself, he could help others.
Crimson is an IT programmer by day, superhero by hobby.
And while his outfit may look a little strange, he says the mission is what counts.
He spends a few days a month doing charity events and helping the homeless.
Sure, he gets the stares and tough questions.
“A lot of people thought I was crazy. I sometimes question it myself,” said Crimson.
“I have something now, but this will help me later on and I’m just so grateful,” said Jesse about a gift from Crimson.
The Crimson Fist said superheroes really do live among us.
“Just hearing someone say thank you is really the best part of this,” said Crimson.
He said his girlfriend thinks what he does is a little strange.
There are over 200 registered real-life superheroes on something called the world superhero registry, so The Crimson Fist is certainly not alone.
Copyright 2009 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.