Occupy Oakland Arrests: Armor-Wearing "Real Life Superhero" Faces Resisting Arrest Charge

Originally posted: http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2011/11/occupy_oakland_arrests_armor-w.php
By Lauren Smiley Tue., Nov. 8 2011 at 9:25 AM
UPDATE, 12:50 p.m.: Those who want to donate to Sorvari’s bail fund can do so here.
Original story:
Three of the Occupy Oakland protesters who were arrested after last week’s General Strike turned chaotic were arraigned in Alameda Superior Court on Monday. Among them was a roughed up “real-life superhero” who had attended the march dressed as a ninja with homemade armor, but whose family believes he might have been mistaken by cops for a black bloc anarchist.
Roy Sorvari, a 22-year-old former Boy Scout who lives with his parents in Antioch, answered to charges of resisting arrest — prosecutors alleged he kicked and attempted to hit a cop with his shield. With stitches in his forehead and two black eyes, the 5-foot-5, 130-pound Sorvari claims he had been beaten and knocked unconscious during the early hours last Thursday — perhaps by police — after the protest turned violent, according to his attorney, Jeffrey Kaloustian, of the National Lawyers Guild. Sorvari faces a felony charge of resisting arrest and a $15,000 bail.
The Alameda County district attorney didn’t file charges for eight other protesters of the 11 who were scheduled to be arraigned yesterday. They were the same ones who’d been held in custody over the weekend or who’d posted bail, according to Greg Michalec of Occupy Legal, an organization set up for the legal defense of arrested demonstrators. The rest of the 103 protesters arrested during last week’s strike will be arraigned in the coming weeks.
Sorvari, awesomely, belongs to a international confederation of civilian peacekeepers — somewhat akin to the Guardian Angels — who don cartoonish costumes and call themselves the “Real Life Superheroes.” The group claims about a half-dozen members in the Bay Area, said a fellow superhero with the handle “Motor Mouth” who showed up in the courtroom Monday to support Sorvari.
“Motor Mouth” said he and Sorvari — whose superhero handle is “Ray” — have been providing security at night for the Occupy Oakland encampment in Frank Ogawa Plaza, protecting the people’s right to assembly.
While “Motor Mouth” didn’t attend the general strike last week, he says Sorvari showed up in his usual superhero get-up — a black balaclava, all-black clothes, ski goggles, and homemade body armor that lights up. In addition, “Motor Mouth” says he’d lent Sorvari a Captain America-like shield for the event.
“Motor Mouth” says he is “120 percent sure” that cops had mistaken Sorvari for one of the black bloc anarchists who emerged after the peaceful march, breaking windows and setting fire in downtown Oakland in the early morning hours on Thursday.
Sorvari’s mother, Lynn, said, “Maybe that was a mistake; maybe he should have had a more high-profile costume.”
His parents, who are between jobs and have four other children, say they are going to start a PayPal account for donations to help them pay $1,500 — the 10 percent they have to put up for Sorvari’s bail. We’ll post an update as soon as the account is up and running.
When Kaloustian came out Monday afternoon after talking to Sorvari, he delivered the following message to “Motor Mouth,” who was waiting in the hallway: “Sorry about losing your shield.”
Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly

Motor Mouth

Superheroes swoop in to fight crime

Originally posted: http://www.goldengatexpress.org/2011/05/11/superheroes-swoop-in-to-fight-crime/
By [X]press Staff
The sights and sounds of a riot filled the streets on a chilly night in Oakland when suddenly, strange figures emerged from an alley. Covered in glass and grime and with only their eyes visible, they glowed in the mad light of the city.
In the middle stood a man clad in a Kevlar vest, combat boots, and a mask covering the lower half of his face, with Taser knuckles glowing on his right fist.
“Who are you?” someone shouted.
The voice behind the mask looked at them and calmly replied, “We are real-life superheroes.”
This is not a story from the pages of a comic book, but one of real people all over the country who dress up and fight for their community. These self-described superheroes have found a variety of different ways to help their neighborhoods, from organizing blood drives to feeding the homeless. They use their costumes as a way to draw attention to the cause.
Peter Tangen, a Hollywood photographer and the de facto spokesman as well as expert on Real Life Superheroes, calls the people who participate in the movement “a perfect cross section of America.”
Like many denizens of the comic book pages, Motor Mouth, 30, of Oakland, who declined to give his “civilian” name, started out as just an average citizen. Then “fan boy” read a comic that changed his life.
That comic was “Kick-Ass” by Mark Millar, which tells the story of a boy who chooses to dress up and fight crime in his neighborhood. Motor Mouth was instantly attracted to the “poor man’s Batman” aspect of the comic and intrigued by the notion of people in the real world using superhero identities to better their community.
Motor Mouth then did what any comic book lover would do and turned to the Internet. There he found the world of RLSH and knew that he wanted to be a part of it.
The idea of concealed identities and community crusaders is not a new idea, but activity often spikes when the country in times of upheaval, and according to the RLSH website, there are currently several thousand such activists in the country.
The presence of superheroes, real or fictional, is something that Tangen sees as a reflection of the national mood.
“It can be seen even as far back as World War II,” Tangen said. “People need a hero. There is a need to see someone who stands for something right and good. The world around them is losing some of their priorities.”
Motor Mouth attributes his desire to help his community to childhood experiences.
Born to medical worker parents, the need to help others was ingrained in him from a very early age. In his youth, he would often stop school bullies from intimidating other students.
“I think too many people in this world nowadays allow for too much gray area,” Motor Mouth said. “When the reality is, bad is bad and good is good.”
Tangen agreed with that statement.
“Apathy exists, but these people are people who reject that idea,” Tangen said.
Motor Mouth, along with members of a larger group called “The Pacific Protectorate” often take it upon themselves to go on missions in some of the city’s worst neighborhoods at night to facilitate activities ranging from calling police to report drug deals, to breaking up bar fights, or as was the case in January 2009, participate in inhibiting the madness that was the Oakland riots.
Over the course of that night, Motor Mouth and his team stopped teenagers from using a battering ram on a building (with the help of Motor Mouth’s non-lethal Taser knuckles) and saved a woman from an exploding building.
When asked if he was afraid at any point during this night, Motor Mouth laughed.
“In order to be a real life superhero you have to take the fear that may be inside of you and manifest it into something that’s useful,” Motor Mouth said.
Officer Holly Joshi of the Oakland Police Department said these groups have been useful to the community and said that she appreciates their efforts.
“They’re on the right track,” Joshi said. “Citizens have a responsibility to protect their community, it’s not just a police issue.”

Real Life Superheroes… really?

Originally posted: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_weekend/20110401/ts_yblog_weekend/real-life-superheroes-really
By Jim Brasher
What are you doing this weekend? Going to brunch? Mowing the lawn? Fighting crime? Hmm…which one of these things is not like the other?
Welcome to the confusing, often contradictory world of self-described Real Life Superheroes. (That’s R.L.S.H for short). It’s a loosely affiliated community of people who develop their own superhero persona, put on costume and try to prevent crime in their neighborhood. And all without super speed, invisibility or wings.
So are they vigilantes or volunteers? Commendable or ridiculous? Is what they’re doing even legal? I decided to find out. Check out the video above for my night on patrol with “Motor Mouth.” But first, a little more about the cast of characters, starting with…
I’ll admit, I had a few misgivings about meeting a masked stranger decked out in Kevlar and leather in a dark garage. But as you can see in the video, those fears dissipated the moment Motor Mouth started talking. (Turns out, he never really stops talking.) He’s intense, driven, but also has a great sense of humor about the path he’s chosen.
“You have to be a little eccentric,” he said, “there’s no question about it. You gotta be eccentric and you gotta have a little bravado about yourself.”
We went on patrol in downtown San Jose, California with Motor Mouth, Anthem and Mutinous Angel. A typical night on patrol involves lots of walking and plenty of curious stares. But for Motor, his costume is a symbol, a visual reminder that someone in the night is paying attention.
“We’re just like that average man in his mid-forties or fifties going ahead and patrolling his neighborhood in a neighborhood watch group, except we do it with a little bit more flair,” he says. And, he insists, they’re out there as a deterrent only.
“We don’t want to get in the way of the police,” he says, “we try to work with them to the best of our abilities, because we do not see ourselves as vigilantes, not in the slightest.”
(A vigilante is someone who effects justice according to their own understand of right and wrong; someone who punishes an alleged criminal suspect outside the legal system. And that, as you may have guessed, is illegal.)
So Motor Mouth espouses a ‘deterrence-only’ philosphy. But the first rule of the R.L.S.H community is that there are no rules in the R.L.S.H community. (No formal ones anyway.) And not everyone subscribes to the same theories about what it means to prevent crime. So to get a wider view, we spoke to…
Director Michael Barnett and producer Theodore James spent a year on the road, following close to forty Real Life Superheroes all over the country for an upcoming documentary called… Superheroes. They were kind enough to share some of their footage with us, and we met Barnett at Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood for an in-depth conversation about his experience.
“There’s not one thing the RLSH community focuses on,” he says, “they really do focus on everything, every aspect of the community, and how to make it better. And the thing that drives all of them, is people who do not care; that’s their mission, change the people who do not care to caring people.”
You can watch more of our interview with Barnett here. And stay tuned to this page for breaking news about when and where you can see the film.
We also spoke to Cindy Brandon, executive director of San Francisco SAFE (Safety Awareness For Everyone). SF SAFE is unique, a non-profit organization that works in partnership with with the police to provide neighborhood watch program to the residents and businesses of San Francisco.
She stressed the importance of alerting the police to any suspicious activity. “If you see a crime in progress,” she says, “your first reaction should be to call 911.” Getting involved in trying to stop a crime is a risky proposition.
“If they do intervene they’re putting their own life in jeopardy. While I think each person can make that determination themselves when they witness something happening, we tell people not to get involved, but to go into a safe place and call the police right away.”
Actual law enforcement officials stress the same message. According to Lieutenant Andra Brown of the San Diego Police Department, real life superheroes, “don’t have the backup that we have, and trying to take a situation into their own hands could perhaps get out of hand for them, and it could actually create more work for the police officers.”
“Now we perhaps have another victim we have to deal with, we have someone who maybe has been represented to be part of law enforcement, or an authority if you will, and that can confuse other people out on the street. So yeah, there’s a lot of situations where they could impede what’s going on, or what a police officer needs to take care of.”
Like many members of the real life superhero community, Motor Mouth got his inspiration from the pages of a comic book. So we commissioned artist and performer Kevin McShane to create two original comic book panels for our piece, based on footage from our piece.

Illustration by Kevin McShane

Illustration by Kevin McShane

Motor Mouth, Mr. Extreme, Mutinous Angel, Thanatos, Dark Guardian, Master Legend, Life, Crimson Fist, Zimmer, Saph, Ghost, Asylum, Red Voltage, Zetaman. Their reasons for putting on a costume are as colorful and varied as their names. While I learned pretty quickly that it’s next to impossible to generalize about the Real Life Superhero Community, many share a common nemesis: apathy.
According to Motor Mouth, fighting apathy means “trying to awaken the minds of the public to the little bit of more they can do in society, to make the world a better place.”
They certainly had an impact of director Michael Barnett. “In the end, I found something pretty profound. I found people with often times very little resources doing really, sort of small but beautiful things to make their communities better.”
What do you think? Watch the video and let me know.
Video: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_weekend/20110401/ts_yblog_weekend/real-life-superheroes-really
Video featuring Michael Barnett: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_weekend/20110401/ts_yblog_weekend/we-interview-michael-barnett

Real Life Super Heroes on the Streets of SF

Originally Posted: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Real-Life-Superheroes-Patrol-the-Streets-of-San-Francisco-118882514.html?rr=td
By Mathew Luschek
Justin Juul over at the Bold Italic spent a night hanging out on the streets of San Francisco, with some Real Life Super Heroes.

Photo by Peter Tangen

Photo by Peter Tangen

No really. The Real Life Super Hero movement started in 2008, shortly after the “Kick-Ass” comic book was released. The organization is a collection of everyday citizens who don super hero costumes, and roam their city looking for crime.
Believe it or not there are over 250 of these brave folks worldwide. There’s Axle Grinder Man in London, Nyx, a female hero in New York, and here in San Francisco Motor Mouth and his crew which includes Nightbug and Justified.
As you browse the Real Life Super Hero page, you can check out the costumes some of these cats have constructed. Some are rather impressive, like the one Death’s Head Moth wears as he patrols an unnamed city in Virginia.
And these people are serious about what they do. Motor Mouth has been threatened and beat up doing his part to rid the streets of crime. In Juul’s article, he describes walking the streets of the Tenderloin in the middle of the night, approaching crackheads and running into the police (who don’t care for the masked method of crime-fighting.)
“Our relationship with the police department is tenuous at best,” Motor Mouth said.
Photo by Peter Tangen

Photo by Peter Tangen

While you’re thinking what I’m thinking, “These guys are gonna get killed,” they do take some precautions. Motor Mouth, for instance carries a pocketknife, mace and a pair of Blast Knuckles which are like brass knuckles but with a 950,000 volt taser built in.
Maybe they’re just over-zealous comic book fans, but they do seem to do some good. So if you see a group of caped crusaders walking the streets, don’t heckle them, because they just might save your life one day.
Juul’s full article at the Bold Italic
The Real Life Super Hero website

San Francisco Bay Guardians

Originally posted: http://thebolditalic.com/JustinJuul/stories/777-san-francisco-bay-guardians
By Justin Juul
motormouthposterI usually get a thrill out of treacherous street scenes, but this was freaking me out. It was so late on a Saturday night that it was actually Sunday and I was walking through a dark alley in the Tenderloin. I could see lighters flashing on crack pipes in the shadows up ahead and I could hear rough voices mumbling. I wanted to run the other way. But it wasn’t because I have a problem with junkies; I was scared because I was dressed like a comic book character and I was about to start a fight.
Luckily, I wasn’t alone.
For the past three hours, I’d been marching through the city behind a stocky man wearing an armored vest, a faceplate, combat boots, and a hat with a skull. To my right was a man wearing reflective goggles over a neoprene face mask, and to my left was a dude in a homemade ninja suit.
Motor Mouth, Nightbug, and Justified were their names and they are identified as Real Life Superheroes, brave men dedicated to protecting the public while indulging their childhood fantasies at the same time. They’re a lot like the kids from the movie Kick-Ass, which is no coincidence.
In fact, my leader for the night – Motor Mouth, the dude with the skull hat – told me the official Real Life Superhero Movement began gathering steam in 2008, right after the comic book version of Kick-Ass, the saga of a comics-obsessed teenager fighting real crime, came out. Since then, it’s grown from a handful of brave souls to over 250 RLSHs – they say it quick, like Are-El-Ess-Aitch – worldwide. There’s Axle Grinder Man in London, who wears a gold bodysuit and carries a giant saw to cut through clamps police put on illegally parked cars. Then there’s Nyx, a female RLSH who patrols New York sporting a goth-meets-slutty-schoolgirl ensemble and a bright pink Taser. There’s even a man named Supergay in Mexico City battling homophobia in a rainbow-emblazoned wrestler suit.
It sounds fairly ridiculous – grown men and women in shiny leotards and capes jumping from the shadows to stop crime, but you gotta hand it to anyone risking their life for the greater good. Which is to say, being a superhero ain’t all costumes and make-believe. I mean, sure, dressing up is fun. And who doesn’t fantasize about punishing bad guys? But the thing is, when you’re out there with real criminals, stuff can get messy quick. Phoenix Jones, a well-known RLSH from Seattle, for example, made headlines recently when a gang of thugs broke his nose and threatened his life. Motor Mouth has also seen his share of danger. He’s been beaten by criminals and apprehended by the police more than once. Most recently, he was nearly stabbed while stopping a mugger in the Castro.
But Motor Mouth’s dedication to justice has never wavered and he will defend the RLSH Movement until his last breath.
“We’re just a bunch of people trying to take back our communities,” he said. “We want to take back the streets and make the world that much better of a place.”
Motor Mouth has a very official way of speaking and he made the whole RLSH thing sound pretty legit, but there’s something that happens when you wear a costume outside of a party. People notice you. And let’s just say they’re not always nice about it.
Our patrol started near the 16th Street BART station at 10:30 p.m., right as all the drunks began to swarm the Mission. “Happy Halloween!” somebody screamed as we walked by Casanova Lounge. Girls yelled from cars, guys laughed, and some dude on a bicycle even chased us down 21st Street to hurl insults as we marched forward looking for crime. Which proved to be harder than expected. To tell the truth, I was worried we might never see a criminal and that this was all some weird exercise in humiliation. But Motor Mouth was happy. RLSHs, he explained, operate according to a system of steps, and the costumes are the most important part.
Step One is acting as a visual deterrent. “Say what you want about our gear, but the fact is, when people see us, they’re much less likely to commit a crime,” he said. In other words, who’s gonna mug somebody in front of a bunch of crazy guys in face masks? Step Two is threatening to call the cops. If, however, a criminal doesn’t respond well to these actions – if, for example, a criminal were to attack – then the Super Heroes would move on to Step Three: weapons, of which they have plenty.
Motor Mouth carries a pocketknife, mace, and a pair of Blast Knuckles, which are like brass knuckles with 950,000-volt Tasers at the end. It’s all (pretty much) legal, he assured me, but the cops have been known to get upset. “Our relationship with the police department is tenuous at best,” Motor Mouth said. Which proved to be true. Although no one was arrested, our fellow soldier, Kingsnake, who’d been patrolling another part of the Mission, was stopped and threatened with a citation. He went home afterward, but the rest of us were just getting started. The Mission, it turned out, was just practice, a “soft patrol,” Motor Mouth called it. Now it was time to get serious.
We left the Mission at 1:00 a.m. and headed to SoMa, where, Motor Mouth told me, things tend to be more dangerous. It was exactly what I needed to hear. It’d been fun just watching until now, but I yearned to feel the power, the thrill, of being super. So I ducked into the shadows and came out as Nightman, wearing a ski mask, goggles, black gloves, and a scarf from California Surplus in the Haight. I marched behind Motor Mouth under the freeway overpass at Harrison and 14th and out into the harsh streets of SoMa. The burden of the RLSH was now on my shoulders and it felt great.
I mean, sure, people were pointing and laughing, but I didn’t care because nobody could tell who I was. And that, I realized, is part of the draw. It doesn’t matter what people think or say because no one knows who RLSHs really are. And who they are might surprise you. “We have people from all walks of life,” Motor Mouth told me. “Paramedics, cops, you name it.” The one thing most RLSHs have in common is a tremendous concern for the safety of others. They’re good people doing good work and, in my opinion, they should be applauded.
Which is why, by the time we reached SoMa’s designated clubland near Harrison and 11th Street where people started lashing out, I no longer felt even a tinge of embarrassment. The sense of pride Motor Mouth takes in his work is just that infectious.
“What’s up with you guys?” a girl in a miniskirt laughed as we pushed through the crowd at Crepes A Go Go where clubbers from DNA Lounge, Slim’s, and Butter congregate to stuff themselves sober before heading home. “We’re Real Life Superheroes, ma’am,” he replied. “Check us out online.”
When a group of guys asked what we were doing, Motor Mouth puffed up and said, “Just out bustin’ heads, sir.”
The night went on like this for hours as we weaved through SoMa en route to Sixth Street and the Tenderloin area. We never actually got a chance to stop crime, but I could tell from the heckling that we were fulfilling our role as a visual deterrent to the max. Everyone noticed us.
It was now nearly dawn. The bars had been shut for hours and a hush had fallen over the city. Everyone was tired. Everyone except Motor Mouth, that is.
“Let’s hit this alleyway,” he said, “and then call it a night.” It wasn’t the best idea I’d ever heard, but whatever. I mean, sure, this is a dangerous neighborhood, I thought, but Motor Mouth knows what he’s doing. Then I saw the derelicts at the end of the alley and all at once realized how serious this was. Here I was dressed like a thrift-store superhero at the most dangerous time of night in one of the skeeziest neighborhoods in town and I was about to walk up to a bunch of street people to see if anything was wrong. I know Motor Mouth thought we looked tough, but we didn’t. We weren’t. And we were totally about to get our asses kicked!
Silence consumed the alley as we got closer and Motor Mouth whispered something like, “Get ready guys, there’s something going on.” I steeled myself for a showdown and considered fleeing, but instead followed my leader as he veered into darkness.
“How you doing tonight, folks?” Motor Mouth said.
There was some unintelligible muttering followed by silence. Finally a girl giggled. Then a man said, “Uh, great?” And we were off. As we rounded the corner I stuffed my mask and goggles into my backpack and said, “Shit, that was scary!” Motor Mouth, Nightbug, and Justified just laughed. I was wrong. These dudes are tough.
HEROES OF THE NIGHT from Justin Juul on Vimeo.
Check out the Real Life Superhero website for details on how to join Motor Mouth’s crew. You can also try to catch the heroes distributing food to the homeless on random Saturday nights near the entrance to Golden Gate Park at Haight and Stanyan.

Superheroes Among Us

Jill Smolowe and Howard Breuer with reporting by Kathy Ehrich Dowd

Photo by Pierre Elle de Pibrac

Photo by Pierre Elle de Pibrac

Slower than an speeding Bullet, they patrol city streets, hoping to lend a hand, inspire compassion and even thwart crime
She finds her work as an accountant “a boring 9-to-5 job.” But many an evening after Irene Thomas, 21, returns to her cramped 400-sq.-ft attic apartment in a town in Bergen County, N.J., she slips into a black catsuit, accessories with a red belt, red gloves and boots, and sometimes also dons a mask. When she emerges in her Honda Accord on the Manhattan side of the Lincoln Tunnel, she is Nyx, her namesake a Greek goddess of the night. While she might patrol the streets looking for anything out of the ordinary, her immediate mission is distributing food and clothes to the homeless. And she has another goal: to call attention to her actions so that “other people notice and are maybe motivated to help too.”
She is not alone. From New York City to Seattle, scores of costumed crusaders have joined the superhero movement. While their aims aren’t always unified- some cater to the needy while others are bent on thwarting crime- most of them share a desire to stomp out citizen apathy by modeling “superhero” virtues. “I just feel like I’m walking no air after I’ve helped 30 people,” says Chaim “Life” Lazaros, 26, a production manager by day, who wears a mask and fedora (a la Green Hornet) when he takes to New York’s streets at night. The superheroes, who range from dishwashers to Fortune 500 execs, cut across political, religious and age lines and are often comic book geeks, says Tea Krulos, who blogs about the phenomenon. “They don’t want to admit it, [but] it’s fun to dress up.”
Not everyone is impressed by their derring-do. On a recent night in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district, a teenage homeless girl only smirked when Motor Mouth, a ninja like fixture of the San Francisco Bay Area’s streets, handed her a bag of food. Unfazed, Motor Mouth (who refuses to give his real name) says he doesn’t mind “a million people snickering behind my back as long as there is the possibility to help.”
The costumed do-gooders, who pack nothing more lethal than first-aid kits and benign intentions, get high marks from the police. “Any time a citizen gets involved- great,” says Det. Renee Witt of the Seattle police department. Others, like Seattle superhero Phoenix Jones, 22, have crated a stir by being brazen crime fighters. In recent months Phoenix Jones claims he has interrupted knife fights, helps catch drug dealers and has been stabbed. Certainly he’s sparked discussion among his peers about boundaries. “If we see the police are already there, our philosophy is the matter has been addressed,” says Seattle’s White Baron. Most self-styled superheroes are well aware they can’t fly or outrun speeding bullets. “If you life this kind of life,” says Motor Mouth, 30, “you can’t take yourself entirely seriously.”

Dark Guardian
By Day: Martial-arts instructor, 26
Superhero Duty: Chases drug dealers
City: New York
His efforts to clean Manhattan’s Washing Square Park of drug deales do not always impress local police
By Day: Accountant, 21
Superhero Target: The homeless
City: New York
She’s given up on chasing drug dealers “Its just really fun to jump into a costume and help people,” she says.
DC Guardian
By Day: Government worker, mid-40s
Superhero Virtue: Patriotism
City: Washington, D.C.
Active in charity work, this Air Force vet also hands out American flags and talks tourist about the U.S. Constitution.
Motor Mouth
By Day: Special-education teacher, 30
Superhero Goal: Thwarting crime
City: San Francisco Bay Area
He says his attempts to “be at the right place at the right time” have included stopping a man from beating his wife.
By Day: Production manager, 26
Superhero Inspiration: His parents
City: New York
“Even something little like a razor blade” for a clean shave before a job interview, he says, “is a big deal” to the homeless
Phantom Zero
By Day: Computer technician, 34
Superhero Style: Teamwork
City: New York
Nyx’s street partner (and live-in boyfriend), he delivers clothes to women’s shelters and feeds feeds people.

Smolowe, Jill, Howard Breuer, and Kathy E. Dowd. “Superheroes Among Us.” People Magazine 75.11 (2011): 92-94. Print.

Real Life Superheroes Patrol Our City Streets

Originally posted: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/real-life-superheroes-patrol-our-city-streets
By Mark Berman Opposing Views

(2 Hours Ago) in Society

The next time you need help, you may get it from a real life superhero. A group of people calling themselves, oddly enough, the Real Life Superhero Project takes to the streets of U.S. cities, helping out the needy.
People magazine reports that members want to reduce citizen apathy by exhibiting “superhero” virtues and encourage others to do the same.
The group’s Web site writes:
So who are these modern day heroes? They are our neighbors, our friends, our family members. They are artists, musicians, athletes, and yes, politicians. Their actions serve as reminders that as most giving today has become reactive—digital and removed, temporarily soothing our guilt and feelings of helplessness—we have blinded ourselves to simple principles and practice of compassion and goodwill.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, 21-year-old Irene Thomas is one of them. By day she is a self-described “boring accountant” in New Jersey. At night she is “Nyx,” patrolling the streets of New York City wearing a black catsuit and mask with a red belt, gloves and boots.
She gives food and clothes to the homeless, and hopes “other people notice and are maybe motivated to help too.”
New York production manager Chaim Lazaros’s alter-ego is “Life,” wearing a black hat, mask and waistcoat.
‘I just feel like I’m walking on air after I’ve helped 30 people,’ he told People.
The ninja-like “Motor Mouth” calls San Francisco home. He generally gets a positive response, but one teenage homeless girl smirked when he handed her a bag of food.
“(I don’t mind) if a million people snickering behind my back as long as there is the possibility to help,” he said. He added, “if you live this kind of life, you can’t take yourself entirely seriously.”

Meet 'Nyx': The 21-year-old 'Superhero' accountant who dons a black catsuit at night to patrol the streets and help the homeless9

Originally posted: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1364664/The-superheroes-patrol-streets-help-needy.html
By Mark Duell
Irene Thomas is part of the Real Life Superhero Project organisation
They aim to bring help, compassion and crime prevention to the streets
By day Irene Thomas says she is a ‘boring’ accountant who lives in a cramped New Jersey flat.
By night she puts on a black catsuit and mask with a red belt, gloves and boots, gets into her Honda Accord car and comes out the other side of the Lincoln Tunnel in Manhattan as ‘Nyx’.
The 21-year-old is just one member of the Real Life Superhero Project, a group of humans who aim to bring a helping hand to people everywhere and thwart crime on city streets.

‘Nyx’: Irene Thomas, 21, of New Jersey, is far from a ‘boring’ accountant when she puts on a black catsuit and mask with a red belt, gloves and boots to become a New York superhero

Photo by Peter Tangen

Photo by Peter Tangen

Mission: The Real Life Superhero Project aims to bring a helping hand to people everywhere and thwart crime

Most superheroes in the project want to cut down citizen apathy by modelling ‘superhero’ virtues and encourage others to do the same, reported People magazine.
Nyx, who shares her name with the Greek goddess of night, gives food and clothes to the homeless of New York. She hopes ‘other people notice and are maybe motivated to help too’.
She said on the Real Life Superheroes website: ‘Like the night, I cannot be proven or disproven to certain degrees – and also much like the night, when morning comes, there will be no trace of me.’
Production manager Chaim Lazaros, 26, dons a black hat, mask and waistcoat to become ‘Life’ when he patrols the New York streets by night.
‘I just feel like I’m walking on air after I’ve helped 30 people,’ he told People magazine.

‘Motor Mouth’: The ninja-like San Francisco superhero, who is known only as a 30-year-old teacher and will not reveal his identity, told People magazine: ‘If you live this kind of life, you can’t take yourself entirely seriously’

Many homeless and vulnerable people are pleased to receive the superheroes’ help, but the reaction is not always positive.
One teenage homeless girl in San Francisco smirked when ninja-like ‘Motor Mouth’ handed her a bag of food, but this did not worry him.
‘(I don’t mind) a million people snickering behind my back as long as there is the possibility to help,’ he said.

Other stars: Samaritan joins New York superheroes Dark Guardian and Phantom Zero on the streets

‘If you live this kind of life, you can’t take yourself entirely seriously,’ he added.
Motor Mouth won’t reveal his true identity but said he is a 30-year-old teacher.
Many of those involved in the project are believed to be comic-book geeks.
Other New York superheroes include martial arts instructor Dark Guardian, 22, 34-year-old computer technician Phantom Zero, and Samaritan, who lives and works in the city.

Phoenix Jones: The 22-year-old from Seattle is one of America’s most famous ‘superheroes’ and claims to have broken up knife fights, caught drug dealers and been stabbed in the line of duty

One of America’s most famous ‘superheroes’ is Seattle-based Phoenix Jones, 22, who claims to have broken up knife fights, caught drug dealers and been stabbed.
He is part of a group called the Rain City Superhero Movement, which tries to keep the streets safe and has received the backing of the Seattle police department.

L.A. Aids Walk

More Information at: http://www.aidswalk.net/losangeles/
AIDS Walk Los Angeles Day of Event Information:
Date: Sunday, October 17
8:30 a.m. Sign-In
9:15 a.m. Opening Ceremony
10:00 a.m. Walk Begins
Location: West Hollywood Park (647 N. San Vicente Blvd. in West Hollywood)
Length: 10 kilometers / 6.2 miles
The AIDS Walk will start and end in West Hollywood Park, at the corner of Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Blvd.
In order to ensure the safety of the walkers, the Departments of Transportation for the City of Los Angeles and the City of West Hollywood will establish the following street closures from 6:00 a.m. until approximately 2:00 p.m.
Individuals in Attendance:

  • Bearman
  • Good Samaritan
  • King Snake
  • Mega Rad
  • Motor Mouth
  • Mr. Xtreme
  • Peter Tangen
  • Urban Avenger