Originally posted: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Shazam+Real+life+superheroes+rescue/5740438/story.html
By Douglas Quan, Postmedia News November 20, 2011
I’ve been aware of Phoenix Jones for about a year now, since he first began whoring himself out to the media. Claiming he was a crime fighter and protector of the city of Seattle.
His arrogance and dismissal of existing, established RLSH was a bit of a turn off, to say the least.
Since then it’s been one interview after another, one news story, one more incident, he got hurt again? Lets not forget about the bragging, boasting, tooting his own horn and abuse of the media to make himself look better and sound more heroic than he really is. Plus how many heroes has he insulted by putting them down and making himself look better?
These are not the qualities a true hero, a true bastion of hope for the masses. These are the qualities of a shallow, self absorbed, narcissistic and insecure individual. These are the things a bully does. Some of his heroic acts include taking crack pipes from people. He’s claimed well over 100 crack pipes taken away from crack addicts. While I don’t support crack, and think its a hideous, deadly habit that needs to be stopped, this is not the way to do it. How does this help them? Where’s the rehab program? Wheres the support and sympathy? As far as I can see, there is none. “No more crack for you!” Sure, it may sound like an accomplishment, but how many of these crack heads were HIGH when he did this? when you’re loaded up on drugs, it’s kinda hard to fight back. This is just my opinion, that’s how I see it. Again, bully mentality. I’m sure his heart is in the right place, but his mind? his sense of reality, is not.
On another topic, keep in mind a lot of what Phoenix Jones has said has been flat out lies. He once claimed to someone privately that he had super powers, similar to Wolverine’s healing factor. Being shot? stabbed? nothing to back any of that stuff up.
I was once assaulted during an altercation with an individual, recently so was my partner Radnor. I’m sure other RLSH have too, but it doesn’t make headline news. Why? Because it shouldn’t. But I digress.
That whole story about him stopping a vehicle break in was dismissed by Seattle PD like it never happened, most likely because it didn’t.
For the last year, Phoenix Jones has tried to hail himself as the greatest RLSH of all time, which he’s also claimed to be, when he once said that all he had to do was stand around and do nothing, he was doing a better job than any other superhero out there on the streets. Needless to say, that’s a little insulting. Especially to people like Dark Guardian, who has stood nose to nose with armed drug dealers and ran them off the street, or Mr. Xtreme who helped police save a woman from an attempted rape, that perp is in prison for life. Let alone the countless other superheroes who every day and night, risk their lives (for free) to help make their neighborhoods and communities a safer, better place.
So what happens to Phoenix Jones when he tries to take on three guys and puts ONE of them in a headlock? The result is a gun pulled on him, and his nose broken. This was earlier in the year. Now why would PJ make such a stupid mistake like that? Because Benjamin Fodor (renowned MMA fighter, not really) is a GRAPPLER. He does holds and submissions, things like headlocks. Watch some of his fights on youtube sometime, you might see what I mean. He did the only thing he really knows how to do, and thats put someone in a position where its hard for them to fight back. But what about the other two guys? Well, I guess he didn’t think about that. Key word being “think”, and that’s something Ben doesn’t do a lot.
This also one of those types of incidences that completely justifies all of the criticism people give RLSH, in regards to letting the professionals handle this, or how someone is going to get hurt some day. Phoenix, you are not helping the RLSH cause whatsoever, you might just be hindering it.
Which is where I bring up my next point, where Fodor was recently arrested for assault, by pepper spraying several individuals.
And this is where I really feel the need to open my mouth. Sometime in the last two months, Phoenix Jones aka Ben Fodor posted MY video (see below) where my partner Grim and I break up a fight. On PJs facebook page, he accused ME of using excessive force because I brandished my stun gun, warning anyone who tried anything they will be shocked if something else happens. That fight ended peacefully, and no one was further injured as a result of our interjection. And just for thr record, I’ve never pepper sprayed anyone (and I do carry) or used my stun gun on anyone, let alone ever had to assault someone. I’ve grabbed some individuals to get them off of others, or helped the police handcuff people. Other than that? I’ve never had to manhandle anyone. Also that night, the police gave us thanks, respect and appreciation for our efforts that night. Shortly after the fight ended, a fire engine rolling down the street called me BY NAME over their loud speaker system. Can you say respect? Which, sadly is not what I can say for Seattle PDs thoughts of Phoenix Jones. They cant stand the guy. This was the opportunity they had been looking for to get PJ. This is a whole other discussion entirely, some of which I want to touch on. My friend Tea Krulos, who I met at Comic Con this year for HOPE 2011 was eyewitness to the whole debacle (read it <a href=”http://heroesinthenight.blogspot.com/2011/10/statement-on-phoenix-jones-patrol.html“>here</a>. My only problem with this situation is the police are not talking to the people that need to be talked to, like Tea Krulos and it seems Ben Fodors civil rights may have been violated. Thats about the extent I will defend him. But, when you put yourself out there and do the things you do, you make yourself more so a target. Even from the police, especially when you’ve insulted them bef0re, and probably made their job harder than it’s had to be, like in the above circumstance.
Lets look back on how many times he’s claimed he’s gotten hurt. I know of two specific incidences where he’s been legitimately hurt: When he got his nose broken, and when he was in the hospital for internal bleeding. That happened when Jon Ronson interviewed everyone for the GQ article. Plus the other claimed stabbings and shootings. So, iuf PJ is an expert crime fighter, who’s trained in MMA, and believes he should be the only one doing this (because of his “training”) why does he keep getting hurt? Lets look at the police, who have extensive training and procedures for situations. Sure, shit happens and every once in a while a police officer is injured or even killed in the line of duty. Usually due to some chaotic circumstance that no one could have ever forseen. The difference is that is still very rare, while PJ’s seem to be quite frequent. One person getting hurt repeatedly trying to do what he does, while an entire police force with the occasional injury. I’ll admit I don’t have a lot of hard facts to back up what I am saying here , I’m simply stating my observations and opinions.
My point here (as with every incident he’s been involved in) PJ lacks several things: training, maturity, and a grip on reality. He lives and acts like he’s in a comic book. it’s sickening and does not reflect how true RLSH act. Never have I seen or heard of any of the pillars of the community, from Superhero, to Dark Guardian to Mr. Xtreme or even Zetaman act in such a way, ever in their careers, some of which span over a decade, when Phoenix Jones was barely in middle school. But I forgot, he claims to be the first crime fighter too.
Yeah, Phoenix Jones apologized for saying a lot of those things. But why were they said to begin with? and it’s not so much what he said, but how he said it. Besides, his actions speak a lot louder than words. And I mean his irresponsible, unprofessional and dangerous behavior. What Phoenix Jones needs to do is grow up, take some pointers, and get over himself. He would do a lot better at this if he listened to some veterans instead of assuming he is better than everyone else. I’d even be willing to offer him some tips. But would he listen to anyone? no, he thinks this is a movie or something. He won’t listen, he won’t learn, and he will never get better or accomplish anything of magnificence.
Look at the NYI who has helped apprehend several serious offenders in their city. Rapists, serial assaulters. They’ve accomplished a lot. They are also dealing with the Occupy Wall Street protests and helping keep the peace there a lot. More stuff like that needs to happen.
Now as for what Phoenix did in the pepper spray incident? What he should have done was WAIT FOR HIS TEAM, break the people apart and try to deescalate the situation. NOT run in “guns blazing”. He did not attempt to deescalate the situation and only made it worse. I really hope you change your ways PJ, you are obviously not going to quit, not yet. But you went about this completely the wrong way. The charges against PJ were justified and I kinda wish they would charge him and convict him. I think this only serves to inflate his ego further, believing he is above the law and get away with more next time. Hopefully, I am wrong about that.
Here’s the video where he accused me of using excessive force:
Also lets take a look at PJ’s media. Which he’s had A LOT of. But he uses it inappropriately, as I stated earlier. He uses the media to push himself and his own image, instead of the causes he is working on. The Initiative used the media to bring attention to the Long Island serial killer, and the Xtreme Justice League used the media to bring attention to the Chula Vista serial groper, who was eventually caught.
The difference is these groups were not for self promotion, but bringing attention to a cause, to a problem. Which is what the entire concept of a RLSH is all about. Phoenix Jones would rather bring attention to himself, than any cause.
Originally posted: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/10/11/new-york-city-superheroes-react-to-arrest-of-crime-fighter-phoenix-jones/
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York’s burgeoning amateur “superhero” community take notice: Don’t try breaking up a fight in Seattle.
The Big Apple is home to countless comic book superheros – and a few self-styled “real” ones.
The New York Initiative is a group of folks who wear costumes and say their goals are patrolling for criminals, public security, humanitarian outreach and more.
Their mission statement, found on their Facebook page, says “We are individuals organized towards achieving peacekeeping objectives and humanitarian missions. This will translate into a variety of non-monetary services as unfolding events demand. Our primary goal will always be to help those in the most need to the highest ethical standard and to the maximum effect.”
News of the arrest of one of their costumed colleagues in Seattle – a man who guys by the name Phoenix Jones – has their Facebook page humming.
The arrest came after a confrontation that was caught on video and is embedded below.
Phoenix Jones Stops Assault from Ryan McNamee on Vimeo.
Jones, whose real name is Benjamin Fodor, allegedly used pepper spray on four people. They say they were dancing in the streets; Jones says they were fighting and tried to break it up.
His actions have prompted a response within New York’s superhero community.
“I believe he acted inappropriately in this instance,” Chris Pollak, aka Dark Guardian, told CBSNewYork. The Dark Guardian was featured in a documentary on real life superheroes, and he was seen rousting alleged drug dealers in Washington Square Park.
“He rushed into a situation and reacted with very poor judgement. He maced a group of people who were not attacking him. He was not acting in self defense and the police have rightfully charged him with assault,” Pollak said.
He added that he hopes Phoenix Jones’ actions don’t reflect on the superhero movement.
“This is an example of what not to do as a community crime-fighter. It should be a priority to deescalate situations and work hand in hand with the police to garner the smartest and safest outcome. I stand with the police and want everyone to know he is not a true reflection on what others like myself do in our communities to help,” Pollak said.
Reaction on the Intiative’s Facebook page was also intense.
“That’s what happens when you react the way he did,” self-styled hero Short Cut wrote. “Despite popular belief, you do not fight fire with fire. You are supposed to cool things down.”
“I’m pretty sure he just screwed it up for everyone,” wrote Jack Cero, another self-styled hero. “They now have precedent if his conviction goes through, and what’s more is that his charges will be double due to his body armor and mask.”
However, fan response on Jones’ Facebook page has been pretty massive, with scores of folks leaving messages of support.
Originally posted: http://www.slamdance.com/2060786/Superheroes-to-attend-IFC-Screening-in-New-York
Los Angeles – September 26, 2011 – The IFC Center will launch Slamdance’s 2011 On The Road tour on October 7th 2011 for a weeklong engagement. The traveling theatrical showcase will feature the critically acclaimed documentary Superheroes directed by Michael Barnett as well as the award winning short film Hello Caller by Andrew Putschoegl.
This year’s On the Road launch represents a well-established relationship between Slamdance and The IFC Center. Soon after opening, the Center found success with Mad Hot Ballroom, a documentary that premiered and was acquired from Slamdance in 2005. As an advocate for independent films, The IFC Center serves as the ideal starting point for the Festival whose mantra is ‘By Filmmakers For Filmmakers.’ Slamdance’s president and Co-founder Peter Baxter explains “On The Road brings popular Slamdance films to audiences that otherwise would not have the opportunity to see them on the big screen and provides our filmmakers commercial benefits that they otherwise would not receive.”
Superheroes is a profoundly funny, eccentric and inspiring film that chronicles the extraordinary lives of real-life superheroes as they take to the streets to protect and support their communities. Perhaps the most intimidating of the heroes featured in the film are a group of Brooklyn-based vigilantes. Life, Dark Guardian and other superheroes from the New York initiative will be in attendance and participate in a Q&A which will immediately follow the screening.
Eight months after the world premiere of Superheroes at the 2011 festival, the Slamdance team continues to demonstrate a commitment to their alumni. As director Michael Barnett puts it, “The tremendous exposure our film gained from Slamdance helped us sell Superheroes to HBO. Partnering with Slamdance for a theatrical release shows how forward thinking they really are.”
Each screening will begin with Hello Caller about a suicidal woman who makes a call for help with unexpected and hilarious results. “We’re still in shock that Hello Caller is getting a theatrical release,” admits director Andrew Putschoegl. “Short films are hard enough to make, let alone find distribution.”
After the IFC Center, Slamdance’s On the Road tour will travel to Dublin, Ireland; Omaha, Nebraska; Salt Lake City, Utah; Houston, Texas; Seattle, Washington; Juneau, Alaska; Atlanta, Georgia; Los Angeles, California; Vancouver, BC; and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
About Slamdance – As a year-round organization, Slamdance serves as a showcase for the discovery of new and emerging talent and is dedicated to the nurturing and development of new independent artists and their cinematic vision. For the 2011 Festival, Slamdance received a record number of over 5,000 submissions and is well on the way to surpassing that record with the 2012 festival submissions. No other festival is fully programmed by filmmakers. Slamdance counts among its alumni many notable writers and directors who first gained notice at the festival, including Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight), Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball), Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) and Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity). New filmmakers and writers today realize Slamdance is a great place to launch their careers. In 2010, Slamdance began a Video on Demand partnership with Microsoft and has continued to expand its exhibition efforts theatrically through Slamdance On The Road. New filmmakers and writers today realize Slamdance is a great place to launch their careers. Slamdance 2012 takes place January 20th-26th in Park City and is currently calling for festival entries.
Originally posted: http://www.phillyburbs.com/blogs/reality/the-world-could-use-a-few-more-real-life-superheroes/article_5f96cf0a-ed8c-5cdc-89a6-34d33f5d2296.html
By Olivia Wright
Ben Franklin Freshman Academy
I am rushing to the emergency room to meet a real-life superhero called Phoenix Jones, who has fought one crime too many and is currently peeing a lot of blood. Five nights a week, Phoenix dresses in a superhero outfit of his own invention and chases car thieves and breaks up bar fights and changes the tires of stranded strangers. I’ve flown to Seattle to join him on patrol. I landed only a few minutes ago, at midnight on a Friday in early March, and in the arrivals lounge I phoned his friend and spokesman, Peter Tangen, who told me the news.
“Hospital?” I said. “Is he okay?”
“I don’t know,” said Peter. He sounded worried. “The thing you have to remember about Phoenix is that he’s not impervious to pain.” He paused. “You should get a taxi straight from the airport to there.”
At 1 a.m. I arrive at the ER and am led into Phoenix’s room. And there he is: a young and extremely muscular black man lying in bed in a hospital smock, strapped to an IV, tubes attached to his body. Most disconcertingly, he’s wearing a full-face black-and-gold rubber superhero mask.
“Good to meet you!” he hollers enthusiastically through the mouth hole. He gives me the thumbs-up, which makes the IV needle tear his skin slightly. “Ow,” he says.
His 2-year-old son and 4-year-old stepson run fractiously around the room. “Daddy was out fighting bad guys in his super suit, and now he has to wait here,” he tells them. Then he makes me promise to identify neither them nor his girlfriend, to protect his secret identity.
He looks frustrated, hemmed in, fizzing with restless energy. “We break up two or three acts of violence a night,” he says. “Two or three people are being hurt right now, and I’m stuck here. It bothers me.”
By “we” he means his ten-strong Seattle crew, the Rain City Superheroes. A few hours ago, they were patrolling when they saw a guy swinging a baseball bat at another guy outside a bar. “I ran across the street, and he jabbed me in the stomach,” he says, pointing at a spot just below his belly button. “Right under my armor.”
Unfortunately the head of the bat landed exactly where he’d been punched a week earlier by another bar brawler holding a car key in his fist. That attack had burst a hole right through Phoenix’s skin.
“A few hours ago I went to use the bathroom and I started peeing blood,” he says. “A lot of it.”
I glance over at Phoenix’s girlfriend. “There’s no point worrying about it,” she says with a shrug.
Finally the doctor arrives with the test results. “The good news is there’s no serious damage,” he says. “You’re bruised. Rest. It’s very important that you go home and rest. By the way, why do you name a pediatrician as your doctor?” “You’re allowed to stay with your pediatrician until you’re 22,” Phoenix explains.
We both look surprised: This big masked man, six feet one and 205 pounds, is barely out of boyhood.
“Go home and rest,” says the doctor, leaving the room.
Phoenix watches him go. There’s a short silence. “Let’s hit the streets!” he hollers. “My crew is out there somewhere. I’ll get suited up!”
Knight Owl: I’ve discovered a maskmaker who does these really awesome owl masks. They’re made out of old gas masks.
Phoenix: Like what Urban Avenger’s got?
Knight Owl: Sort of, but owl-themed. I’m going to ask her if she’ll put my logo on it in brass.
Phoenix: That’s awesome. By the way, I really like your color scheme.
Knight Owl: Thank you. I think the yellow really pops.
We’re ten feet away now. The superhero chatter ceases, and the only sound is the squeak of my luggage wheels as I roll them down the street. Up close, these dealers and addicts look exhausted, burnt-out.
Leave them alone, I think. Haven’t they got enough to deal with? They’ll be gone by the time any daytime people wake up. Why can’t they have their hour at the bus stop? Plus, aren’t we prodding a hornet’s nest? Couldn’t this be like the Taco Incident times a thousand?
The Taco Incident. Ever since Phoenix appeared on CNN in January in a short segment extolling his acts of derring-do, the superhero community has been rife with grumbling. Many of them, evidently jealous of Phoenix’s stunning rise, have been spreading rumors. The chief gossips have been N.Y.C.’s Dark Guardian and Seattle’s Mr. Raven Blade. They say Phoenix is not as brave as he likes people to believe, that he’s in it for personal gain, and that his presence on the streets only serves to escalate matters. To support this last criticism, they cite the Taco Incident.
Phoenix sighs. “It was a drunk driver. He was getting into his car, so I tried to give him a taco and some water to sober him up. He didn’t want it. Eventually he got kind of violent. He tried to shove me. So I pulled out my Taser, and I fired some warning shots. Then the police showed up….”
“I didn’t realize he was a drunk driver,” I said. “The other superheroes implied it was just a regular random guy you were trying to force a taco onto. But still—” I gesture at the nearby crack dealers—”the Taco Incident surely demonstrates how things can inadvertently spiral.”
“They’re in my house,” he resolutely replies. “Any corner where people go, that’s my corner. And I’m going to defend it.”
We walk slowly past the bus stop. Nothing happens. Everyone just mutters angrily at one another.
It is now 5 a.m. Our first night’s patrolling together ends. I’m glad, as I found that last part a little frightening. I am not a naturally confrontational person, and I’d really like to check into my hotel and go to bed.
···The real-life-superhero movement began, the folklore goes, back in 1980, when someone by the name of the Night Rider published a book called How to Be a Superhero. But the phenomenon really took hold a few years later when a young man from New Orleans (whose true identity is still a closely guarded secret) built a silver suit, called himself Master Legend, and stepped out onto the streets. He was an influential if erratic inspiration to those that followed.
“Ninety percent of us think Master Legend is crazy,” Phoenix told me. “He’s always drinking. He believes he was born wearing a purple veil and has died three times. But he does great deeds of heroism. He once saw someone try to rape a girl, and he beat the guy so severely he ended up in a hospital for almost a month. He’s an enigma.”
So what happened next? How did the RLSH movement grow from one visionary in Louisiana to 200 crusaders and counting? Well, the rise of the mega-comic conventions has certainly helped. I remember a friend, the film director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), returning from his first San Diego Comic Con saucer-eyed with tales of hitherto reclusive geeks wandering around in elaborate homemade costumes, their heads held high. “It was like Geek Pride,” he said.
The community continued to blossom post-September 11 and especially during the recession of the past few years. Inspired by real-life-superhero comic books like Watchmen and Kick-Ass, both of which became movies, RLSHs have been cropping up all over the place. There’s no national convention or gathering, but Peter Tangen is doing all he can to make them a cohesive community with a robust online presence.
Originally posted: http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/07/superheroes_hbo_document_denver_wall_creeper.php
By Joel Warner
Real-life superheroes, those brave (and some would say foolhardy) folks who strap on costumes and battle evil wherever they can find it, are reaching media saturation. They’ve become a staple of nightly news stations, scored a lengthy shout-out in Rolling Stone, and one of them, a lone soul who goes by the Wall Creeper, was profiled in these very pages. Next up? Superheroes, a new documentary film by Michael Barnett, to premiere on HBO on August 8.
Barnett, part of the Denver- and San Francisco-based production company Rehab, spent a year traveling around the country filming masked vigilantes — in particular Thanatos in Vancouver, Mr. Xtreme in San Diego, Dark Guardian and Life in New York, and Zetaman in Portland. The resulting film, which was a favorite at this year’s Slamdance Film Festival in Park City Utah, goes above and beyond the typical tongue-in-cheek fluff pieces on the matter. As Barnett told the Seattle Weekly:
Our first approach was to try and make people realize that each person is sort of eccentric in their own way, and they have their own reasons for doing what they do. It’s not a rational thing to do, to put on a costume and walk around a dangerous neighborhood…The other thing is showing their situation in life. Quite a few of them don’t have the resources to do what they do. But they want to help their community. Some of them were sad — financially, personally, and just in general. But it’s showing that out of that darkness they could rise above and try to do something good. It’s not all cookies and rainbows, though, it’s profoundly sad and tragic on a certain level.
Unfortunately, those hoping to catch a glimpse of Denver’s own superhero, the Wall Creeper, are bound to be disappointed. Rumor has it that the Wall Creeper has been inactive for some time now. Still, maybe sooner or later the Wall Creeper or some other local legend will soon step out from the shadows, ready to confront evil and score some face time on premium cable.
Originally Posted: http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/stories/8267897/everyday-superheroes
Reporter: Allison Langdon
Producers:Stephen Rice, Julia Timms
It’s a comic book staple; a geeky, mild-mannered guy suddenly discovers he possesses super powers.
Before you can say “to the bat cave”, he’s wearing his undies on the outside and saving the world from evil.
No one really believes that happens but, as Allison Langdon discovered, super heroes really do exist.
And while they get around in some pretty outlandish costumes, these caped crusaders take their work very seriously indeed.
For more information about real-life superheroes, visit:
ALLISON LANGDON: Early morning a rooftop in downtown Seattle. At my side, a masked figure keeps watch over his city. Suddenly an alarm rings out and our caped crusader springs into action. This is a job for Phoenix Jones. It’s no comic book fantasy. My costumed, crime-fighting companion is real. So too is the car thief, who’s about to get some roadside assistance, Phoenix Jones-style.
PHOENIX: What I’m doing is definitely shocking but I think it’s crazier to let people run around and just assault people and you can make a difference or make a change.
ALLISON LANGDON: The world’s most popular superheroes sprang from the pages of DC and Marvel comic books and leapt onto our cinema screens when modern special effects made it possible to create their astounding superpowers. But recently, in movies like ‘Kick Ass’, we’ve seen a new breed of crime-fighter. Ordinary people taking the law into their own hands and it’s inspired a growing number of self-proclaimed “super-heroes” like Phoenix Jones to do the same. Do you think you make a difference?
PHONEIX: Absolutely, in the city of Seattle for sure. And you know people ask me if I’m making a worldwide impact and I say not yet, but I’m on my way.
ALLISON LANGDON: Phoenix doesn’t have special powers or even permission to fight crime. But despite the very real danger, there’s a growing league of these characters striding the streets of America in capes and masks, believing they can make the world a better place.
NYX: My name is Nyx. I’m a real life superhero and I patrol New York City.
DC’S GUARDIAN: Communities aren’t safe any more. It’s people not being able to walk down the street without being mugged. That’s wrong.
CRIMSON FIST: I’m one guy, I can’t save the world but I’d like to inspire the world to save itself. A lot of people doing it will make a difference.
ALLISON LANGDON: Do you feel like you’re a better person when you wear this outfit?
LIFE: Definitely, you know, when I put on the mask and when I put on the tie and everything like that I do feel empowered. I think maybe a lot like when a policeman affixes a badge or a priest puts on his collar.
ALLISON LANGDON: Meet Life. Recently, he formed a dynamic duo with Dark Guardian, patrolling the mean streets of New York. Armed with nothing more than truth, justice and cool costumes, they sought out and confronted drug dealers.
LIFE: It’s definitely very scary because these people are armed; these people have been to jail for violent offences. You’re messing with their business. So yeah, it gets hairy, it gets hairy.
ALLISON LANGDON: On this night at least, good conquered evil. The dealer eventually moved his business off the street. Shade and his crime-fighting team face that same New York vermin every night. But they come prepared. When you go out on patrol, do you carry weapons?
SHADE: I would actually carry this with me.
ALLISON LANGDON: Really, what you are doing, shouldn’t that be left to the police?
SHADE: If the police did their job, we wouldn’t have to. Someone’s gotta do something, right?
ALLISON LANGDON: Handling a weapon is one thing, but when you design your own super-costumes, you also quickly learn new skills. So this is very impressive. We’ve got a superhero who fights crime and can sew.
SHADE: When people to get to know me, I’m a teddy bear.
ALLISON LANGDON: Meantime, at a secret location at the rear of a dingy comic book store Phoenix Jones suits up. Like any good superhero, he closely guards his true identity as a father of two. Each night, amid the comic book covers, he transforms from a mild-mannered child-care worker to crime-fighting crusader. So we’ve done the leaping tall buildings. And before you can say “to the bat-poles”, he’s in hot pursuit of another evil-doer. Of course, Phoenix Jones is not really a man of steel. His utility belt might be equipped with tasers, zip-tie handcuffs and mace spray, but under the mask, there’s a mere mortal. And those on the streets aren’t always as easily intimidated as their comic book cousins.
PHONEIX: I’ve had a few injuries. I’ve been stabbed a couple of times. I got shot once. Hit with a baseball bat, ah.
ALLISON LANGDON: But Phoenix gets little sympathy from the local police. In Seattle, you won’t find Commissioner Gordon reaching for the bat phone.
MARK JAMIESON: I would not call him a crime fighter. Not at all, no. The police are the crime fighters.
ALLISON LANGDON: In fact Detective Mark Jamieson would prefer it, if Phoenix – and his mates – just kept their costumes for Halloween.
PHONEIX: The police have actually asked me to stop doing what I’m doing and when they said that I thought you guys are really missing it. If a guy can walk around in a gold suit dressed like a superhero and actually find crime, like I’m literally finding criminals doing felonies, where are the police, like why are you guys letting that happen?
MARK JAMIESON: It may have just been an argument, a couple of guys yelling at each other because they’re drunk, but now Phoenix and his friends turn up saying, stop, stop and they get assaulted, and now we have a crime.
ALLISON LANGDON: Sounds like they make your job a lot harder?
MARK JAMIESON: Definitely, there is the potential of escalating a situation.
ALLISON LANGDON: Are they vigilantes?
MARK JAMIESON: It could be perceived that way, yeah.
ALLISON LANGDON: The cops say that you’re a vigilante.
PHONEIX: Yeah which is weird you know. A vigilante goes out, sees crime and exacts his own revenge whereas I come up and I hold you to the standards that the police and the citizens voted for.
ALLISON LANGDON: But away from the mean streets of the big city in a faraway castle we found a different kind of superhero. The one who calls himself Sir Ivan.
SIR IVAN: Welcome, welcome to the castle!
ALLISON LANGDON: Nice to meet you, Sir Ivan. I’m really getting the royal treatment!
SIR IVAN: Well I want you to feel like a princess today!
ALLISON LANGDON: Ivan’s the son of a billionaire banker, living the good life in the Hamptons who, when the mood takes him becomes Peace Man. So where does Sir Ivan become Peace Man?
SIR IVAN: Good question – I’m about to answer that.
ALLISON LANGDON: I should have known he’d have a batcave. Of course! The secret entrance and his own version of Robin. Peace Man and your trusty side-kick, come here, come here. Oh, good gracious. Peace Man believes he’s saving the world through music. He’s pumped his vast fortune into his own record label. His grand plan is to end all wars in Africa through his music. Other real life superheros, they go out and they fight crime, they feed the homeless. You don’t do that, do you?
SIR IVAN: I am saving people’s lives. I can mean the difference between life and death. My cheque.
ALLISON LANGDON: But Phoenix Jones and many like him, are taking this whole superhero business very seriously. He claims to have 28 arrests under his belt.
MARK JAMIESON: I’d be surprised if it were that high.
ALLISON LANGDON: Nevertheless the good citizens of Seattle seem to have embraced the idea.
PHOENIX: They called me a folk hero and it’s come down to kind of a I don’t know without sounding egotistical, like a batman-esque quality. People are really excited to come see it.
ALLISON LANGDON: The ladies especially seem to like a crime-fighter in uniform.
GIRL FLIRTING: Very nice to meet you. Where are you from, Phoenix Jones?
PHONEIX: Seattle area. We’re gonna go look for criminals, but it was good meeting you, Jessica?
ALLISON LANGDON: So there are perks to being a superhero?
PHOENIX: Well kind of. I mean I’m married with two kids so there’d be perks for a younger person I think.
ALLISON LANGDON: But if you really want to snare a superhero, why not use one of their own super-weapons designed to entangle a villain’s fleeing feet. My turn.
PHONEIX: Alright, let’s do it.
ALLISON LANGDON: Let’s make it interesting – run away, be afraid, be very afraid. Brings down Phoenix Jones! Rest easy citizens. Phoenix Jones was unhurt and lives to fight crime another day.
PHOENIX: I’m just lucky this covers the blushing part of my face. It’s terrible!
ALLISON LANGDON: What does your family say about what you do?
PHOENIX: My kids love it. They’re always blowing my secret identity, it’s kinda terrible.
ALLISON LANGDON: What do you say to them when you go out at night?
PHOENIX: I tell them this is the only thing that daddy can think of to make the world better, and I give them a kiss and I tell them I’ll see them when I get back.