Tag civitron


May 1- Project Bread

civitronposter(Boston, MA) This Sunday, May 1st 2011, Civitron and the Secret Society of Heroes (SSH) will join thousands of heroic men, women and children dedicated to ending hunger in our communities.
Project Bread’s annual Walk for Hunger is a 20-mile benefit walk through the heart of Boston. Money raised through this massive event helps support emergency food programs statewide. Project Bread also advocates systematic solutions that prevent hunger in children and that provide food to families in everyday settings.
This year’s event is especially important. We live in troubled economic times. Many families must choose between things like medicine, fuel or food. Often, it’s the children who suffer the most. The SSH hopes to help. Will you join us?
Please, show your support for hungry families and the efforts of Project Bread by visiting the team’s walk page at http://www.projectbread.org/goto/heroic100 and make a donation.
Together, we can truly make a difference in the lives of hungry people. Thank you for your support!
About The Walk for Hunger
Since 1969, Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger has provided critical resources for hungry children and families in Massachusetts. Today, The Walk for Hunger is the oldest continual pledge walk in the country, and the largest annual one-day fundraiser to alleviate local hunger.
Money raised through The Walk for Hunger funds more than 400 food pantries, soup kitchens, food banks, and food salvage programs in 135 communities across Massachusetts.
The Walk for Hunger is held on the first Sunday in May every year. The 20-mile Walk route weaves through Boston, Brookline, Newton, Watertown, and Cambridge.
About Project Bread
As the state’s leading antihunger organization, Project Bread is dedicated to alleviating, preventing, and ultimately ending hunger in Massachusetts. In addition to organizing the annual Walk for Hunger and supporting emergency food programs statewide, Project Bread also advocates systematic solutions that prevent hunger in children and that provide food to families in everyday settings.

Not-so-super superhero movies

Originally posted: http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2011/04/03/not_so_super_superhero_movies/
By Ethan Gilsdorf
What makes a superhero super?
Comic books came first, then Hollywood, bearing stories about humans, mutants, and others — Hulks, X-Men, Fantastic Four — who got irradiated or experimented upon, or landed on Earth from far-flung planets. As a result, the freaks can leap tall buildings, deflect bullets, shape-shift, and get mad.

But what about unconventional superheroes, the more powerless ones? Hollywood has also covered them. In the category of “superheroes with no real superpowers,’’ there’s the jet-pack powered “The Rocketeer’’ (1991), Shaquille O’Neal in the laughable “Steel’’ (1997), the recent “The Green Hornet’’ and “Iron Man’’ films, and any of the “Batman’’ incarnations. These less-than-super heroes use strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom, charisma, and, naturally, super access to cash and gadgets to bring justice. In the case of “The Phantom,’’ he’s a ghost, which is close enough. In the animated “The Incredibles’’ (2004), we see retired superheroes forced to hide their powers.
Stretch the definition further to include any do-gooder who takes to the streets to deliver justice, and you’ll find action figures straddling that hero/antihero divide: Charles Bronson vigilante types, be they cops or just grim dudes in trench coats. Some are darker than others: “The Punisher’’ (1989, 2004) ticks off a roster of human rights violations — murder, extortion, torture — to punish his foes.
Forget about supervillains.
But what about the rest of us? Everyday Joes and Jills frustrated with crime and tired of lame Neighborhood Watch programs? Folks keen to try out the superhero lifestyle, without any true super powers at all? In the real world, a few nationwide organizations like Superheroes Anonymous (www.superheroesanonymous.com) and Real Life Superheroes (www.reallifesuperheroes.org) embolden this fantasy. In cities across America, brave souls take on personas like Terrifica, a New York City-based hero who prevents inebriated women in New York City from being hit on by men, and Mexico City’s Superbarrio, who uses his costumed character to organize labor rallies and lead petition drives. Locally, there’s New Bedford’s Civitron, “a symbol of creative altruism,’’ and Runebringer, an “empowerment activist’’ from Waterbury, Conn.
As in James Gunn’s “Super,’’ these protagonists “aim to do good in the world and inspire others,’’ according to the Superheroes Anonymous website. They wield mundane weapons. They take small bites out of crime. And we salute them.
But before you join them, before you wear the mask and don the cape — and certainly before you engage in some diabolical experiment to alter your DNA — you might want to check how Hollywood advertises the job description. What follows is a roundup of mere mortal beings who nonetheless act big.

In the meantime, dream of the hero you really want to be. Dog Whisperer? Wonder Nurse? Really Good Bookkeeper? Me, I’d settle for Super Unstressed Guy

HERO AT LARGE (1980): This film might have kicked off the ordinary-guy-as-superhero genre. John Ritter plays a struggling actor hired to dress as Captain Avenger at comic book stores and conventions. When he stops a real robbery, life gets complicated. He becomes embroiled in city politics, then redeems himself when he rescues a kid from a fire.
THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO (1981-83): This ABC television series featured William Katt as a special-education teacher given a red suit and cape by aliens, which give him superhuman abilities. Remember the theme song? “Believe it or not,/ I’m walking on air./ I never thought I could feel so free-ee-eee. . .’’ Believe it or not, that ditty became a Billboard hit.

CONDORMAN (1981): Maybe it was Ronald Reagan’s can-do, American spirit, but the early ’80s brought another DIY superhero story. A comic book artist (Michael Crawford) becomes his creation, Condorman, in what the movie’s tagline calls “an action adventure romantic comedy spy story.’’ Siskel and Ebert pronounced “Condorman’’ one of the worst movies of the year.
DARKMAN (1990): Reportedly stymied in his efforts to film “The Shadow’’ or “Batman,’’ Sam “Evil Dead’’ Raimi came up with his own superhero. The premise: after a disfiguring fire and experimental medical treatment, scientist Liam Neeson develops synthetic skin that lets him look like anyone. He also senses no pain, has super-strength, and flies into rages. Hence, he takes revenge on the mobsters who blew up his lab and turned him into the monster he became, the masked vigilante Darkman.
MYSTERY MEN (1999): In this hilarious spoof on the genre, lesser superheroes with unimpressive super powers must save the day. Blue Raja (Hank Azaria) throws forks, the Shoveler (William H. Macy) shovels, Bowler (Janeane Garofalo) wields bowling balls, Mr. Furious (Ben Stiller) has anger management issues, and Spleen (Paul Reubens) is superflatulent. Super-silly all around.
UNBREAKABLE (2000): Security guard Bruce Willis reluctantly realizes he’s got super powers. In a twist on the genre, Samuel L. Jackson plays his archnemesis — a superweak polar opposite nicknamed “Mr. Glass,’’ because of his brittle bones. Jackson’s character also happens to run a comic book art gallery. Clunky, but effective. From M. Night “Mr. Surprise Ending’’ Shyamalan.
DEFENDOR (2009): In a stretch for Woody Harrelson, he plays a mentally ill construction worker who at night gets into his alter ego, Defendor, thanks to a homemade costume decorated with duct tape. With unconventional weapons like marbles and paper clips, he hunts for his enemy, Captain Industry, whom he blames for the death of his mother. Like “Super,’’ a comedy. Except when it’s not.
KICK-ASS (2010): In this film adaptation of a comic, a wimpy comic book-reading teenager (Aaron Johnson) decides to remake himself as a masked superhero named Kick-Ass. Cops, drug lords, and an 11-year-old vigilante named Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz) all enter the plot. Apparently a lot of filmmakers and screenwriters read comic books as kids. Like a snake eating its tail, “Kick-Ass’’ represents the self-reflexive endgame of the do-it-yourself crime fighter.

Wir sind Helden

Originally posted: http://auslandsjournal.zdf.de/ZDFde/inhalt/6/0,1872,8126150,00.html
Die Bewegung der Real Life Superheroes in den USA
Sie nennen sich Silver Dragon, Civitron oder Knight Owl. Sie sind Superhelden zum Anfassen. In bunten Kostümen kämpfen sie auf Amerikas Straßen für Gerechtigkeit, setzen sich für Arme und Hilfsbedürftige ein. Gerade in Krisenzeiten sehnen sich die Amerikaner nach solchen Helden des Alltags.
Civitron ist voller Tatendrang. Gemeinsam mit Knight Owl begibt er sich auf seine nächste Mission: Obdachlose mit Essen versorgen. Die sogenannten Real Life Superheroes kaufen Lebensmittel im Supermarkt und verteilen sie an die Obdachlosen im City Hall Park in Providence. Die Kosten tragen die beiden Helden im Latexanzug natürlich selbst. Sie wollen Vorbilder sein und die Welt verbessern. Wie Superhelden aus Hollywoodfilmen eben, nur als reale Helden des Alltags. Gerade jetzt scheint das Land solch selbstlose Helfer zu brauchen.
Superhelden ohne Superkräfte
Seit der letzten Wirtschaftskrise ist der Optimismus in den USA geschwunden. Die Zahl der Arbeitslosen liegt bei rund zehn Prozent, von der Wirtschaftskrise hat sich das Land noch nicht erholt, viele Menschen haben den Glauben an die Politiker verloren. Die Real Life Superheroes wollen den Menschen Mut machen, dass es trotz der schwierigen Zeiten weitergeht – ganz ohne Superkräfte. “Es hilft schon, wenn man einfach nur mit den Menschen über ihre Probleme redet. Wir wissen, dass wir nur einen kleinen Beitrag leisten können, um traurigen Menschen den Tag zu verschönern”, sagt Knight Owl.
Auch wenn viele Obdachlose bei der ersten Begegnung zumeist skeptisch sind, fassen sie schnell Vertrauen zu den maskierten Wohltätern. “Als ich eben hier saß und die beiden sah, dachte ich, die sind nicht ganz dicht”, sagt der Obdachlose Chris Tibedo. “Aber dann merkte ich, wie menschlich sie sind. Diese Jungs hier helfen uns, sind nett. Und vor allem behandeln sie uns mit Respekt.”
Die Gesellschaft wachrütteln
Die Real Life Superheroes wollen auch andere pflichtbewusste Amerikaner dazu bewegen, Bedürftigen zu helfen. “Wir sind so etwas wie bunte Hinweise darauf, dass man sich um sein Umfeld kümmern sollte. Durch unsere Kostüme schreien wir quasi ‘sieh dich um, sieh dir an, was los ist.’ Wir rütteln die Leute wach. Raus aus ihrer Selbstgefälligkeit”, sagt Civitron.
Gerade in Zeiten wirtschaftlicher Krisen und politischer Instabilität sehnen sich die Amerikaner nach Helden wie Civitron und Knight Owl. In den 30ern – zu Zeiten wirtschaftlicher Depression und Krieg – wurde der erste Superhelden-Comic verlegt. Die Botschaft der Comicstrips: Mit Tugendhaftigkeit und Eigeninitiative lässt sich Amerika neu erfinden. In den 80ern zu Beginn der Automobilkrise tauchten vermehrt selbsternannte Superhelden in den USA auf. Und auch jetzt scheint Amerika Helden zu brauchen.
Civitron ist sich sicher: “Das ist nur der Anfang dieser Superhelden-Bewegung. Umso mehr wir auf die Straße gehen und umso härter wir arbeiten, desto mehr Einfluss bekommen wir und desto mehr Menschen werden wir inspirieren.”
Mit Material von ZDF
English Version
Loosely translated by Artisteroi
The movement of the Real Life Super Heroes in the U.S.
They call themselves the Silver Dragon, Civitron or Knight Owl. They are super heroes to be touched. In colorful costumes, they are fighting for justice on America’s streets set, supports the poor and needy. Just crave in times of crisis, Americans for such everyday heroes.
Civitron is full of energy. Together with Knight Owl, he embarks on his next mission: to provide the homeless with food. The so-called Real Life Super Heroes in the supermarket to buy food and distribute it to the homeless at City Hall Park in Providence. The costs are the two heroes in the latex suit itself, of course you want to be role models and improve the world. As superhero movies in Hollywood just as only real heroes of everyday life. Right now the country seems to need such selfless helper.
Superhero without super powers
Since the last economic crisis of the optimism has waned in the United States. The number of unemployed is approximately ten percent of the economic crisis the country has still not recovered, many people have lost faith in politicians. The Real Life Superheroes want to encourage people that it continues despite the difficult times – with no superpowers. “It helps if you are just with the people talking about their problems. We know we can only make a small contribution to sad people to beautify the day,” says Knight Owl.
Although many homeless people are often skeptical at first encounter, they hold fast to trust the masked benefactors. “When I was sitting here and saw them, I thought that were not very close,” says Chris Tibedo homeless. “But then I realized how human they are. These guys are helping us are nice. And above all, they treat us with respect.”
The company shake
The Real Life Super Heroes will also move other conscientious Americans to help those in need. “We are like colorful signs that you should take care of their environment. Our costumes we cry quasi ‘to look up, look up to you what’s going on.” We the people shake awake. Get out of their complacency, “says Civitron.
In times of economic crisis and political instability, the Americans long for heroes like Civitron and Knight Owl. In the 30’s – at times of economic depression and war – the first superhero comic was published. The message of the comic strip: With virtue and initiative can invent new America. In the 80s at the beginning of the automotive crisis appeared to increase self-proclaimed superheroes in the United States. And now America seems to need heroes.
Civitron is certain. “This is just the beginning of this superhero movement all the more we take to the streets and the harder we work, the more influence we have and the more we will inspire people.”
With material from ZDF And photos courtesy of Perter Tangen

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

Originally posted:http://www.datelinezero.com/?p=6095
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 rlsh-manual.com 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 reallifesuperheroes.org 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.

‘Superheroes Anonymous’ director gets personal with Valencia Voice

Originally posted in the Valencia Voice at  http://www.valenciavoice.com/
Copy of Valencia Voice
Ben Goldman sets out to unmask real life community crusaders
By: Victor Ocasio
[email protected]
As children, so many wished for the chance to soar above the clouds like Superman, or take to the streets vanquishing evil like the dark knight Batman.
But what if that world of wonder and bat-shark repellent bat-spray wasn’t so distant?
For many around the world, who are part of the Real Life Superhero Movement, it isn’t.
They come from all over, don myriad unique costumes and all, in their own way, seek to better the community around them.
Many provide aid to the less fortunate through charity, while others still insist on ol’ fashioned street patrols to stop crime in its tracks.
In 2007, a project was started, in an effort to understand the realities of real life superheroism and to organize the first official gathering of these individuals in history.
Documentary film- maker Ben Goldman and co-director Chiam Lazaros set out to unmask the world of these real life community crusaders, in their first film, “Superheroes Anonymous.”
A Valencia Voice phone interview, with Goldman, offered in- sight into the ongoing project.

Valencia Voice: Where did the idea for a film about real life superheroes come from?
Goldman: I came to him (Chiam Lazaros) in 2007 with the basic concept of ‘Hey wouldn’t it be cool if there were superheroes in the real world,’ and we did some investigation and quickly discovered the real life superhero movement.
Valencia Voice: How many real life superheroes have you met during filming?
Goldman: A few dozen.
Valencia Voice: Are there any heroes that stick out in your memory?
Goldman: There is a superhero named Civitron who’s located in New Bedford Massachusetts and through out the course of documenting him we’ve been there on Christmas day with him and his family, we’ve met his parents, we’ve spent weekends over there and he’s just an all-around good hearted guy.
Valencia Voice: Would you say that you have made friends through out filming?
Goldman: Its hard not to become friends. You also have to realize that the real life superhero movement is so ripe for exploitation from people who don’t quite get it, that is kind of necessary for us to really cultivate friendships with the superheroes. The subject itself is under such enormous scrutiny and there are so many people that want a piece of this real life phenomenon, that the heroes are very wary of outsiders.
Valencia Voice: In your documentary, there is a scene with real life superhero, Dark Guardian confronting a drug dealer at night. How did it feel being behind the camera watching that unfold?
Goldman: That was probably the craziest experience I’ve had filming the real life superheroes. I don’t condone that style of superheroism, but I’m filming, so its not my place to step in. Dark Guardian is a martial arts expert, but even so you never know what’s going to happen in a situation like that. As it was happening, I remember thinking that I had to have a game plan if something happened, like what was I going to do if a knife or gun was pulled. This is where it gets controversial from a documentary perspective– the unknown part of that story was that I actually wore a lavalier mic and walked around the park, to find out where the drug dealers were. Dark Guardian was listening to the audio from 100 ft away, I came back and pointed out who had tried to sell to me and film him walking up to the guy. And that’s—that’s kind of stupid, and unconventional for a documentary.
Valencia Voice: What can you tell us about million dollar playboy turned humanitarian, Peaceman?
Goldman: How do you describe someone like that? I’m not sure real life superhero is the right word. Peaceman is an interesting guy. He originally was a banker, the son of a banker and a guy who created a banking empire but that never really was for him, he was always kind of hippie at heart or a peace loving guy at heart. After his father died he retired with hundreds of millions of dollars, and wanted to pursue a career in music, and to create a charity. So he created the Peaceman Foundation. He has secret corridors in his house, which is actually a castle. He mostly does humanitarian work, and he’s a really fun, fast-living party kind of dude. He is definitely one of the most interesting characters we’ve met.
Valencia Voice: Has this changed your outlook on life?
Goldman: I’ll tell you that its changed my outlook on life, not so much because of the superheroes, but because of the public’s response to the real life superheroes. There are people out there everyday, volunteering their time at homeless shelters who don’t wear capes, and most of them do more good than the real life superheroes. But the reason the real life superheroes are so resonant is because the public is looking for symbols of good, even if they are symbols of everyday good. People really respond to the idea of everyday heroes, of everyday people that have a hidden superhero inside of them.
Valencia Voice: When do you expect the film to be completed?
Goldman: We are currently working with another documentary crew and combining forces. I started this project without having been to a single film class when I was 19. We didn’t have any plan or budget , and just grabbed a camera and started shooting. We were amateurs and some of that shows in the earlier footage. I can’t say much about them, but they are a big documentary team, and I would say within the next few months you guys will see a trailer I theaters.
Valencia Voice: Whats your next project?
Goldman: Well now that I’ve done a documentary on real life superheroes I might want to do a documentary on real life zombies. Who knows? Maybe it just requires a Google search and I’ll uncover a whole movement of zombies.

Heroic100 Strike out Hunger

Civitron's Heroic 100

Civitron’s Heroic 100

Dear Super-Friends,
On Monday, November 15th, I, Civitron and the superheroes of The Heroic 100 will be bowling to Strike Out Hunger with Project Bread!
We’re participating in Strike Out Hunger because today, thousands of people in Massachusetts experience hunger because they cannot afford adequate food. Local families are struggling even more this year to put food on the table because of a recent rise in the cost of everyday food and the high cost of living in the state. In fact, many families and individuals who never thought they’d need to ask for help are now having to decide between paying rent, getting medical care, or buying food. In this land of plenty, hunger is intolerable.
I’m sending this email to all of you today because in my opinion, you all represent in your own way what’s truly awesome about the real life superhero movement and have made a tremendous impact on my life. Together, we can truly make a difference in the lives of hungry people. Thank you for your support!
Please visit www.projectbread.org/goto/heroic100 for ways to help Strike Out Hunger on November 15th.
Click here to visit my personal page.
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:
Click here to view the team page for The Heroic 100
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:

You Can Be a Real-Life Superhero

Originally posted: http://www.tesh.com/ittrium/visit/A1x97x1y1xa5x1x76y1x2455x1x9by1x245ax1y5x1bf69x5x1
By John Tesh
Who’s slower than a speeding bullet, less powerful than a locomotive, unable to leap tall buildings in a single bound, yet still doing whatever they can to save the world? According to CNN, a growing number of regular citizens are volunteering their time these days to become real-life superheroes. Some dress up in elaborate costumes, while others work anonymously. Some have fancy names – like Mr. Xtreme, Civitron or the Dark Guardian! Most real-life superheroes go by less colorful names – like Direction Man, Camera Man, and The Cleanser. While none of these people have any real super powers, they’re all finding small ways to help make their community better.
For example: Direction Man walks around the streets of New York, offering help to complete strangers who look lost. Meanwhile, The Cleanser scours city sidewalks and parks, picking up trash. Others use their superhero alter egos to help raise money for the homeless, to feed needy children, or to hand out fliers in high-crime neighborhoods. This new superhero movement began several years ago, when a handful of comic book fans bonded with each other on MySpace. Today, there are nearly 300 real-life superheroes working around the world, and the worse the economy gets, the more people want to help.
That’s the word from Ben Goldman, a self-proclaimed “superhero historian” who keeps track of all these crusaders through his website: SuperheroesAnonymous.com. He says there’s been a growing interest in becoming a real-life superhero during the economic downturn, as people start to put more value in what they can do for others, rather than in how many possessions they have. That’s very good news to Stan Lee. He’s the comic book legend who created many fictional superheroes – like Spider-Man and the X-Men. Lee says the urge to do good deeds has always been the #1 calling card for superheroes. So when all is said and done, you don’t need to fly through the air, bend steel, or have x-ray vision to make a difference. Anyone who volunteers their time to help others in their own unique way deserves to be called a super-hero.


By Tea Krulos
Since it was Father’s Day yesterday, I decided to take a look at some real life superheroes and their superhero children. Unlike Hit Girl in Kick-Ass, real life superhero kids tend to be mild mannered and trained in how to use butterfly knives.
Many real life superheroes that have children cite them as a reason for what they do- they want to make an attempt to make the world a better place for their children and inspire them.
The offspring inspire their super parents in return.
Silver Sentinel, for instance created his persona based on a superhero story he and his daughter created together.

OWL’S WELL New Bedford’s Civitron (right) has some potent super genes — his six-year-old son is also a superhero: Mad Owl.

OWL’S WELL New Bedford’s Civitron (right) has some potent super genes — his six-year-old son is also a superhero: Mad Owl.

Kid Civitron
Civitron is from New Bedford, Massachusetts and his 6 year old son has adopted two different hero personas- Kid Civitron and Mad Owl. Civitron explained the origin of Kid Civitron in a phone interview.

“When he was three he was playing with these two little Lego action figures and one of them wore a little helmet and the other was red with black hair. And these two little guys were going on an adventure. And he was playing by himself and I was in the doorway watching him, and he was playing out the adventures of his dad, Civitron, and his dad’s friend, Citizen Prime (a RLSH from Salt Lake City). That afternoon he comes up to me and says ‘Dad, can I be Kid Civitron? My powers are I can run really fast and I can climb mountains.’ I was really shocked, I was really amazed, I never even really thought about it.
He designed his own costume and drew it out. His original suit was yellow, with a red cape; he said ‘when you think Civitron, you think fire!’ So he picked fire colors. He has a mask with a light bulb on it, because he has good ideas. So I got him a cape with fire on the back, and he became Kid Civitron. After that, he found another mask that looked like owl eyes or bird eyes that were angry and he became the Mad Owl and that became his superhero persona. And the Mad Owl became the defender of animals. Any animal in trouble any animal lost.”

Mad Owl got to live out his mission with a stranded turtle at the park.

“We were out on a water bottle mission to the park and he found these two little girls by the pond. And he ran up to them and said, ‘what are you two doing?’ They said, ‘we found this turtle in the parking lot, and we’re trying to get it out of the parking lot and back into the water.’
“They didn’t want to push it or pick it up, or hurt it. And he said, ‘well, I’m a superhero, so I can help.’ They came up with the idea that they would all walk together and take really tiny steps behind the turtle. And as they walked, I don’t know how long it took them, a very long time, taking tiny little steps behind the turtle to get it back into the water from the parking lot.
It’s funny, I think of the scope of accomplishments and the perspective of age, talent, whatever, and he’s done a lot more than I have, just by doing that!”(Laughs)

I asked Civitron if he hopes that Kid Civitron will continue to be a RLSH as he grows up.

“It is up to him. If he wants to do it, that’s great, but the costume part, the superhero part, that’s personal. I don’t want to force that on someone if it is not truly them. I don’t want to be that crazy pageant parent with training and stress. I want to treat it as something positive that could enrich his life. Not something weird and out of the ordinary, but something positive.
It is ok to be creative; it is ok to take that power and control of your personality. Be true to yourself, and do the things you think are important and not think it is weird or odd. I think it has worked. He is really, surprisingly sure of himself. Even where he feels that if he’s not good at something, he is comfortable and confident enough to feel that to know that, and he is ok with it.”

watchmanDanger and Wonderboy
The Watchman, my hometown hero here in Milwaukee, decided to get his sons involved with his superhero act, letting them participate in charity events. They thought of their own names- Danger and Wonderboy. The trio delivered a supply of toys together to the Gingerbread House, a non-profit that gives low income families donated gifts for the holiday season. The Watchman told me about this in person and in an e-mail filling me in on how his end of the 2nd Annual Great Lakes Heroes Guild Christmas toy drive challenge was going.

“I’ll have about $100 to buy toys with. I’ll probably be dropping them off either (December) 19th or 20th. I’m still planning on taking my boys along for the drop, but I have to come up with costumes/uniforms for them. The oldest is sticking with the “Wonderboy” name, while the other one has chosen “Danger” as his name.”

He chronicled the mission in a YouTube video, panning over the stock of My Little Ponies, X-Men, Iron Man, and Star Wars action figures, Barbies, G.I. Joes, iTunes gift cards(“older kids often get overlooked” Watchman noted) and video games .
From his lair in his basement, Watchman described the charity.

“The gingerbread house takes care of needy families. They donate toys to families whose parents don’t have enough money to provide toys as presents for their children. This year they served 600 families. That is up quite a bit from last year. I was fortunate this year in that I was able to triple what I was able to do for them last year.” He also introduced Wonder Boy and Danger.
On their very first mission, they helped me donate the toys, they helped me carry them in a dropped them off at the gingerbread House. Good job kids, I’m very proud of you.”

“I think it is important to help out, especially around Christmastime. You’re never too young or too old to be a hero.” Wonder Boy says to camera.
“It’s good to give to people who don’t have enough. I hope we made a difference.” Danger adds.
Blue Girl
BloodRaven is a 21 year old from Waldorf, Maryland. She is trained as an EMT and going to school for criminal justice. She described her transformation into a superhero in an e-mail interview.

“I became a masked hero during the summer. My boyfriend decided he didn’t have time for me, so I became preoccupied with other things and as a consequence, almost forgot about him, LOL. Learning everything it takes to be a productive RLSH distracted me from problems in my own life and switched the focus to the world in general. I’ve always been interested in justice work, super heroes, comics… it was a natural switch.”

Besides patrolling her campus, she does litter pickups with her two and a half year old daughter, Blue Girl. As a single mother, it is clearly about connecting in a fun way and establishing a mother-daughter bond.

“(One of the most rewarding things is) teaching Blue Girl what’s right and what’s wrong. She won’t ever litter. She picks it up and puts it in the trash if she sees it. She’s two and a half. She knows about bad guys and that heroes are good.”
Getting kids involved, even at this small level, could do wonders for crime rates and litter rates in the future. The problem is that kids don’t really care these days. No one explains why something is wrong, or why something is right. They don’t get that littering is bad because it kills plants, or that it could hurt animals. They’re just too lazy to find a trash can. I wanna do something to change that. Break the cycle. Kids are much too spoiled these days.”

I asked BloodRaven if she would like to see Blue Girl grow up to be a RLSH.

“I’m not sure. I definitely want Blue Girl to be involved in the community, no matter where we are living. All kids should be. I wish my parents had brought that on me as well.”

I think this will be a great follow up story for my future self- will these kids grow up to be real life superheroes like their parents- or will they pull an “Alex P. Keaton” choosing an opposite path…like the path of a supervillain?! -dun dun DUN!