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

Originally posted:
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 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 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.

Sutton superhero gatecrashes Kick-Ass film premiere

Originally posted:
By Jamie Henderson
It will go down among the superhero community as the greatest gatecrash ever.
Sutton’s very own superhero SOS produced a performance any crimefighter would envy when he blagged a ticket to the Leicester Square premiere of blockbuster superhero movie Kick-Ass.
“Out of nowhere a lady gave me a free ticket. I couldn’t believe it. I met Jonathan Ross, whose wife wrote the screenplay, and mingled with lots of other stars.
SOS / Steve Sale
Having arrived at the cinema as his civilian alter-ego and failed to talk his way in to the screening, the vigilante nipped into a nearby telephone box and donned his familiar yellow costume.
Within minutes a ticket for the exclusive premiere was thrust into his hand and he was suddenly rubbing shoulders on the red carpet with stars like Brad Pitt and Nicolas Cage.
SOS, who this week was unmasked as 31-year-old Steve Sale, said: “I went down to the cinema in my normal clothes and didn’t really get anywhere so I quickly changed into my SOS outfit and suddenly everyone was chatting away to me and taking photos.
“Out of nowhere a lady gave me a free ticket. I couldn’t believe it.
“I met Jonathan Ross, whose wife wrote the screenplay, and mingled with lots of other stars.
“It was quite surreal in the cinema itself and some of the audience were a little alarmed when I sat down in my seat.”
The film Kick-Ass, in which a geeky student with no super powers attempts to become a superhero, bears a striking resemblance to SOS’s own film, screened in Sutton last month, Superhero Me.
The film showed SOS’s attempts to change his diet, “learning to fly” in a wind tunnel and meeting up with other superheroes around the world, including Entomo – Insect Man – in Naples, Italy.
Mr Sale said: “I travelled far and wide, to places such a Naples, to research my film but its origins really go back to Batman.
“The caped crusader didn’t have any superpowers but had courage, money and willpower.
“The point is, like the film Kick-Ass, anyone can become a superhero.”
Despite his secret identity being discovered Mr Sale said he’s not quite ready to retire.
Mr Sale said: “It’s a shame that it’s out there but what can you do.
“I’ve not hung up my cape just yet but am on what you could describe as a sabbatical.”
To watch SOS gatecrash the Kick-Ass film premiere visit

Entomo, a real-life “superhero” in Naples

Entomo has been crime-fighting in Naples since 2003. (Transcript of a phone conversation with a FRANCE 24 journalist).

When I was a kid, I used to get masked and do good deeds as a kind of scout. It was in my DNA back then, it’s still in my genetic code now — stronger and more powerful than ever. I started my training as a RLSH [real-life superhero] in mid-2003 and debuted as Entomo on March 2, 2007. It has been a long journey.
I stop vandalism, investigate people and consider myself as a sort of guardian. I also promote environmentalism, because that is the basis of life. We must save this planet in order to save ourselves as race.
I work in a civilian job, then come back home, have my lunch, put on my costume and go out saving people. It’s very simple, actually. I sleep very little. It’s a hard life, but equally as enjoyable. It requires experience, wisdom, skills and a good deal of self-irony. In the daylight, I investigate situations I sense as wrong. I’m first and foremost a detective.
Wearing the costume brings out varied reactions, but that’s not the point. It’s a way of becoming a living symbol and to inspire people to be something better than what they think they are. It’s a source of energy and faith. The logo on my chest: I call it “Broken Time”. It’s the graphic manifestation of what I believe the most: we must transcend time and save the human race, even if we’re out of time. It also symbolizes the sum of all the creatures I kind of represent. Insects.
I’m not a vigilante — I despise vigilantism. I consider myself an “Agent of Balance”. I just call the police if something goes nasty. And yes, of course, I have got in fights. I’m trained in aikido and a bit of krav maga. But it’s just self-defence: I really hate violence. Violence is the silly answer. When you are into violence and use violence, you’re the loser. No matter who wins the fight.
Plenty of strange situations have come my way. I spent a night helping a bunch of hobos and providing them with food, clothes, blankets — doing my best to protect them. They called me their “green angel”. It was a bit weird, because they weren’t really accustomed to superheroes.

Entomo's picture


  • Italy
  • Real Life Superhero

“Dark Guardian” chases drug dealers

New York’s Dark Guardian chases a drug dealer out of Washington Square Gardens. Posted on Viméo.

The “Black Monday Society” does justice in Utah

The “Black Monday Society” patrols the streets of Salt Lake City. Posted on YouTube by TerranIV.

Real-Life Superheroes clean up the streets

Examiner 01 PDF
Examiner 02 PDF
April 04, 2008
By Dan Rafter
Holy Batman! People are taking a page from the Caped Crusader’s comic book and turning themselves into superheroes- even though they don’t have any special powers!
Donning eye-catching costumes, real-life superheroes with names like Squeegeeman, Dark Guardian and Entomo the Insect Man have begun appearing across the United States and around the globe- in a movement to make the world a better place. But these crusaders for justice- estimated at 225 around the world, include about 175 in the United States- are often less concerned with bashing heads than feeding the homeless, saving the environment or just doing good.
Squeegeeman has vowed to clean up New York City, one windshied or city block at a time. New Yorkers who don’t get mugged while walking n a clean street should probably praise the caped cleaner.
Martial arts expert Geist of Rochester, Minn., confronts evildoers with a wide-brimmed hat, reflective sunglasses, a scarf-like mask and a array of non-lethal weapons, including smoke grenades and a 6-inch fighting stick.
Citizen Prime of Phoenix spent $4,000 on a custom-made costume- including a steel helmet and breast-plate and yellow cape. And when his foot patrols don’t find enough crime, he volunteers for crime-prevention causes and children’s charities.
A secretive martial arts instructor patrols New York City’s Staten Island as Dark Guardian, while wearing spandex fit for a professional wrestler. The 23-year-old hero recently held a convenience store robber at bay until the cops arrived.
Hardwire, 20 of Greensboro-Durham, N.C., describes himself as a “tech hero, like Batman with the attitude,” while Entomo the Insect Man give Spider-Man a run for his bugged-out reputation in Naples, Italy, declaring: “I inject justice.”
In Portland, Ore., the needy can count on Zetaman to make regular rounds distributing free food and clothing. To protect himself and those he serves, Zetaman carries pepper spray, an extendable steel baton and a Taser packing 30,000 volts.

Superheroes in Real Life

By Ward Rubrecht
Geist’s breath fogs the winter air as he surveys the frozen Minneapolis skyline, searching for signs of trouble. His long duster flaps in the breeze as his eyes flick behind reflective sunglasses; a wide-brim hat and green iridescent mask shroud his identity from those who might wish him harm.
Should a villain attack, the Emerald Enforcer carries a small arsenal to defend himself: smoke grenades, pepper spray, a slingshot, and a pair of six-inch fighting sticks tucked into sturdy leather boots. Leather guards protect Geist’s arms; his signature weapon, an Argentinean cattle-snare called bolos, hangs from a belt-holster.
A mission awaits and time is of the essence, so Geist eases his solid frame, honed from martial arts training, into his trusty patrol vehicle—a salt-covered beige sedan. Unfamiliar with the transportation tangle of downtown, he pulls a MapQuest printout from his pocket, discovering his goal is but a short cruise down Washington Avenue.
Soon Geist faces his first obstacle: parking on the left side of a one-way street. “Usually one of my superpowers is parallel parking,” he chuckles as he eases his car into the spot, emerging victorious with a foot and a half between curb and tire. He feeds a gauntleted fistful of quarters into the parking meter, and then pops the trunk on the Geistmobile to retrieve his precious cargo. On the street, he encounters businesspeople on lunch break—some stare openly; others don’t even notice his garish attire. “It’s easier in winter,” Geist says with a laugh. “Winter in Minnesota, everybody’s dressed weird.”
Finally, his destination is in sight: People Serving People, a local homeless shelter. Geist strides boldly into the lobby—a cramped, noisy room where kids and adults mill about chatting—and heaves his stuffed paper bags onto the counter. “I have some groceries to donate,” he tells Dean, the blond-bearded security guard on duty, whose placid expression suggests superheroes pop in on a regular basis. “And I have an hour on the meter if there’s anything I can do to help out.”
Wendy Darst, the volunteer coordinator, looks taken aback but gladly puts the superhero to work. Soon the Jade Justice finds himself hip-deep in a supply closet, piling books into a red Radio Flyer wagon. He wheels it back to the lobby, entreating the children to select a text. But the kids seem more interested in peppering him with questions. “So are you a cowboy or something?” one boy asks.
Geist kneels down to reply with a camera-ready grin, “Maybe a super-secret, space-cowboy detective!”
Another kid, awed by the uniform, just stares silently. “Hi,” Geist says with a smile, holding out his hand in greeting. “I’m a real-life superhero.”
The kid grabs Geist’s leather-clad mitt and grins back. “I’m four!”
Such is the life of Minnesota’s only superhero—a man in his mid-40s who sold off his comic book collection to fund a dream borne of those very pages. Unlike his fictional inspirations, he hasn’t yet found any villains to apprehend in Rochester, a sleepy city of 95,000 about 80 miles south of Minneapolis. But that doesn’t mean he’s wasting his time, he says. “When you put on this costume and you do something for someone, it’s like, ‘Wow, I am being a hero,’ and that is a great feeling.”
BY MOST OBSERVERS’ RECKONING, between 150 and 200 real-life superheroes, or “Reals” as some call themselves, operate in the United States, with another 50 or so donning the cowl internationally. These crusaders range in age from 15 to 50 and patrol cities from Indianapolis to Cambridgeshire, England. They create heroic identities with names like Black Arrow, Green Scorpion, and Mr. Silent, and wear bright Superman spandex or black ninja suits. Almost all share two traits in common: a love of comic books and a desire to improve their communities.
It’s rare to find more than a few superheroes operating in the same area, so as with all hobbies, a community has sprung up online. In February, a burly, black-and-green-clad New Jersey-based Real named Tothian started Heroes Network, a website he says functions “like the UN for the real-life superhero community.”
The foremost designer of real-life superhero costumes lives in New Brighton, Minnesota. His given name is Michael Brinatte, but he pro wrestles under the name Jack T. Ripper. At 6’2″, with bulldog shoulders, he looks more likely to suplex you than shake your hand. It’s hard to imagine him behind a sewing machine, carefully splicing together bits of shiny spandex, but when the 39-year-old father of three needed to give his wrestling persona a visual boost, that’s just where he found himself, drawing on his only formal tailoring education: seventh-grade home economics. He discovered he had a talent for it, and before long was sewing uniforms and masks for fellow wrestlers, learning techniques to make his work durable enough to withstand the rigors of hand-to-hand combat.
After he posted photos of his masks on the internet, he met his first real-life superhero: Entomo the Insect Man, a crimefighter and “masked detective” based in Naples, Italy. Entomo wanted Brinatte to make him a mask to incorporate into his black-and-olive uniform. A lifelong comic fan, Brinatte took the assignment seriously, and it showed in the stitching. When Entomo showed off his new mask to the community of Reals, Brinatte started getting more orders: a green-and-black bodysuit for Hardwire, a blue-and-white Z-emblazoned uniform for Zetaman. Eventually, Brinatte started a website,, to formalize his business, and now spends 10 to 15 hours each week making superhero uniforms. “They have a good heart and believe in what they’re doing, and they’re a lot of fun to talk to,” Brinatte says.
His super friends are starting to get publicity. Last October, an organization called Superheroes Anonymous issued an invitation to any and all real-life superheroes: Come to Times Square to meet other Reals face-to-face and discuss the future of the movement. The community roiled with discussion of the invitation—was it a trap by an as-yet-unknown real-life super villain? In the end, only a dozen Reals attended, but the gathering attracted the notice of the New York Times and the BBC, which gave the budding league of justice worldwide ink.
“We’re basically normal people who just find an unusual way to do something good,” Geist says. “Once you get suited up, you’re a hero and you’ve got to act like one.”
SO YOU’VE DECIDED to become a real-life superhero. Like Wolverine, you’ve chosen a secret identity and a uniform. But unlike the X-Man, you don’t have retractable claws or a mutant healing factor. How do you make up the difference?
Most Reals use a combination of martial arts and weaponry. The Eye is a 49-year-old crimebuster from Mountain View, California, who wears a Green Hornet-inspired fedora and trench coat. Though he focuses mainly on detective work and crime-tip reporting, he prepares himself for hand-to-hand combat by studying kung fu and wielding an arsenal of light-based weapons designed to dazzle enemies.
“In movies, a ninja will have some powder or smoke to throw at you to distract,” he explains. “That’s essentially what I’m trying to do.”
All superheroes have origins, and The Eye is no exception. He grew up tinkering with electronic gadgetry, first with his dad, then in the employ of a Silicon Valley company (he’s reluctant to say which one). The Eye considers himself “on-duty” at all times, so when a co-worker started pimping fake Rolex watches to others in his office, the Paragon of Perception sprang into action. He went into work early, snuck into the watch-monger’s office to locate the stash of counterfeit merchandise, and then dropped a dime to Crimestoppers. Ultimately, police wouldn’t prosecute unless The Eye revealed his secret identity—a concession he was unwilling to make—but he nonetheless chalks it up as a victory. “We stopped him from doing this,” The Eye says. “He knows someone’s watching.”
For sheer investment in gadgetry, none top Superhero, an ex-Navy powerlifter from Clearwater, Florida. His patrol vehicle is a burgundy 1975 Corvette Stingray with a souped-up 425-horsepower engine. He wears a flight helmet installed with a police scanner and video camera, and carries an extendable Cobra tactical baton, a flash gun, sonic grenades, and a canister of bear mace. Topping off the one-man armory is an Arma 100 stun cannon, a 37mm nitrogen-powered projectile device. His ammo of choice? Sandwiches. “Nothing stops them in their tracks like peanut butter and jelly,” he explains in a video demonstration posted online.
Once you’ve honed your body and strapped on your utility belt, it’s time to decide how to focus your heroic efforts. Within the community of Reals, there’s a buffet of choices. Some choose mundane tasks—The Cleanser strolls around picking up trash, while Direction Man helps lost tourists find where they’re going. Most Reals also lend their personages to charities, donating to food banks or organizing clothing drives.
Other Reals scoff at the idea of being a glorified Salvation Army bell-ringer and instead go looking for action. “I fight evil,” says Tothian, the New Jersey crimefighter who founded Heroes Network. “I don’t think picking up garbage is superheroic.”
Master Legend, a chrome-suited 41-year-old from Winter Park, Florida, patrols the streets looking for crimes in progress, and claims his efforts have paid off. “I’ve dumped garbage cans over crackheads’ heads, I slam their heads against the wall, whatever it takes,” the Silver Slugger says with bravado. “They try to hit me first, and then it’s time for Steel Toe City.”
IN 1986, ALAN MOORE RELEASED his magnum opus, Watchmen, a 12-issue comic series whose conceit was built on a simple premise: What would it be like if superheroes existed in real life? Besides helping to usher in a new age of “mature” graphic novels, the series foreshadowed some of the complications facing real-life superheroes today.
For instance: How to balance crime fighting with family life? Zetaman, a goateed, black-and-blue-clad Real hailing from Portland, Oregon, got married seven years go, but only recently started his career as a costumed crusader. He says his wife’s reaction to his new hobby was lukewarm—she made him promise not to go out at night, and told him to focus on charity work instead of fisticuffs. “She thinks it’s a phase,” he says with a laugh.
The media can be even less charitable, as Captain Jackson, a gray-and-yellow-suited hero from Michigan, discovered in October 2005. That’s when a headline appeared in the Jackson Citizen Patriot that could’ve been penned by J. Jonah Jameson himself: “Crime Fighter Busted for Drunk Driving.” The article unmasked Captain Jackson as Thomas Frankini, a 49-year-old factory worker who’d been arrested for driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.135 percent. The story was picked up by the Detroit Free Press and Fox News. Frankini was devastated. “My patrol days are over, I’m afraid,” he said.
Unlike in the comics, real-life Commissioner Gordons rarely express gratitude for superheroes’ help. One evening when Master Legend was on patrol, he heard a woman scream and ran to investigate. But when he located the damsel in distress, she thought he was attacking her and called the cops. “They wanted to know if I was some kind of insane man, a 41-year-old man running around in a costume,” he recounts. “Apparently, they had never heard of me.”
Bernard, a sharp-featured, 33-year-old police detective from suburban Philadelphia who asked that his last name be withheld, has become something of a rabbi to the online community of Reals. When he first stumbled upon the phenomenon, he thought, “These people are nuts.” But as he learned more, he saw how the costumed do-gooders could make a difference. “They’re definitely committed, and their heart is in the right place.”
Most Reals are harmless enough, but Bernard worries about the bloodlust displayed by a small segment of the community. A recent thread on Heroes Network debated whether it was appropriate for a Real to carry a shotgun in his patrol vehicle. These aggressive Reals don’t realize how difficult it is to apprehend criminals in the real world, Bernard says. “It’s not like drug dealers stand around with quarter ounces of cocaine, throwing them in the air and saying ‘Here’s drugs for sale,'” he says. “Let’s imagine that one of them does come across a drug dealer, gives them a roundhouse kick to the head, and finds a whole bag of pot in his pocket. Nobody’s going to celebrate that. If anything, now you’re going to have a huge fiasco. Let’s face it—the world is complicated. You don’t solve anything by punching somebody.”
Rumor has it that a Real named Nostrum recently lost an eye in the line of duty, and some wonder if it will take a fatality to jolt the community out of its four-color fantasy. Wall Creeper, a 19-year-old who fights crime in Colorado, even seems to welcome the possibility. “To die doing something so noble would be the best thing to happen,” he says.
JIM WAYNE KEPT HIS EYE OUT in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona—and the bald 40-year-old didn’t like what he saw. “Somewhere along the line we’ve stopped caring about each other and started caring about ourselves,” he says.
Two years ago, Wayne saw a commercial for Who Wants to Be a Superhero?—a reality show in which costumed contestants compete for the honor of starring in their own comic book—and something inside him clicked.
“Ever since I was a kid, if you asked any of my friends or family who they knew that should be a superhero, they’d probably say me,” he says.
Wayne dreamed up Citizen Prime, a persona patterned after his favorite comic book character, Captain America. “He, even more than Superman or Batman, epitomizes what a hero is: someone who stands up for their principles and goes out there to help people,” Wayne says. To bring his alter ego to life, Wayne spent $4,000 on custom-made armor—everything from a shiny chest plate to a bright yellow cape and a sloping steel helmet. “I made a commitment to make this and wear it and create this presence and see where that takes me,” he says.
Initially, it didn’t take him far. “There’s a reason why police are always coming after crimes,” he says. “It’s one of those fictions in comics when superheroes are walking down the street and hear a scream. I found out real quickly that patrolling for patrolling’s sake seems like a lost effort.”
That realization sparked a change in how he thought about his role. “I think even though there’s some fun to be had in the kick-ass aspect of comics, it’s fiction and fantasy and we know it,” he says. “As you translate those icons over to the real world, you have to face truths, such as violence begets violence.”
So Prime hung up the bulletproof vest and tactical baton and began volunteering for charity work. He teamed with Kids Defense, an organization aimed at protecting kids from internet predators, and allied with the Banner Desert Hospital pediatrics wing, offering to personally pick up toys from anyone who wanted to donate to the holiday drive. “I want to get people out there to create a presence in the community,” he says. “You make a presence of good in the community and the darker elements retreat.”
Recently, he started his own nonprofit called the League of Citizen Heroes. The organization, as he envisions it, will draw on an army of volunteers—both masked and unmasked—to contribute to the greater good. “That’s the level of sophistication that I think the movement’s moving towards,” he says, “We don’t have to just be patrolling the dark streets.”
Superhero, one of the first recruits to the League, shares Wayne’s dream, but is less philosophical when it comes to why, when all is said and done, he decided to put on a costume.
“I horse-shitted myself into thinking I was being a symbol for people and all that,” Superhero says. “But then I just faced the truth and admitted I do it ’cause it’s hella fun.”