Masked ‘superheroes’ patrol Utah streets for crime

Originally posted:

“Asylum”: Those movies have done more damage to the real-life superhero community than anything else

by Associated Press  ::  UPDATED: 13 October 2011 | 11:54 am  ::  in News Hawk by John McGlothlen  ::  No Comments
SHEENA MCFARLAND, The Salt Lake Tribune
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Dusk is descending upon Salt Lake City.

As the shadows elongate and the sun sinks behind the Oquirrh Mountains, they take to the streets.
The costumed avengers start at the Salt Lake City Library and fan out. Always in groups of at least two, they are on the lookout for trouble.
They happen upon a mother and grown son in a screaming match on their front lawn.
Calmly, the masked men walk into the fray, saying nothing.
The son backs down, gets in his car, and tells his mother he’ll be back later.
They’re not millionaires out to avenge their parents’ deaths and none of them has been bitten by a radioactive spider. Nevertheless, they say they are helping in situations like the one they described above.
Most of them are tattoo artists from Ogden who claim they are atoning for past lives that include alcoholism, gang life and being the muscle for drug dealers. Others say they do social work or lease apartments and just wanted a unique way to do service.
The group, called the Black Monday Society, formed about five years ago when founder Dave Montgomery, who started calling himself Insignis but recently has changed to Nihilist, had stopped drinking for about six months. He found the members of the Society through a website claiming to bring together real-life superheroes and met with some who lived in Utah. Within six weeks, they were roaming the streets.
“It was as addictive as any drug,” said Montgomery, who dresses in black leather with silver studs. “You fall into a whole other self.”
The name comes from the idea of being able to turn someone’s bad day into a good day, he said.
The group started with just two people, but quickly grew, peaking at 19 members, all of whom came with their own uniforms, superhero name and backstory worthy of any comic book. Nearly everyone in the society has a tattoo that’s given after completing a certain number of patrols.
But when it’s real life — balancing families, significant others and jobs — the burnout rate is high.
The group now has nine men who patrol downtown Salt Lake City at least a couple of times a month, but they are careful to distinguish themselves from what people see in the new Batman series or the movies “Kick-Ass” and “Watchmen.”
“Those movies have done more damage to the real-life superhero community than anything else,” said Mike Gailey, a 6-foot-1-inch, 245-pound man who goes by the name Asylum. “You can’t just go out and beat someone up for jaywalking.”
In the five years they’ve been together, they’ve never come to blows with anyone, they said. A check of Utah court records shows no criminal history for any of the members in the state.
Usually, they say, just their presence is enough to startle someone into thinking clearly again or calm down a situation where people are engaged in a shouting match or fighting. Much of the time, they’re helping a person passed out from too much drinking find his way home or bringing food to homeless people.
Gailey says the group serves as an extra set of eyes and ears for the police. They do carry pepper spray, high-decibel whistles and Tasers, but they’ve never had to use any of them, he said.
The Salt Lake City Police Department is familiar with the society and the work it members do. The department doesn’t look at them as criminals or vigilantes, said Detective Dennis McGowan, but also can’t vouch for them because they have not received the training that, for example, conventional Neighborhood Watch groups have received.
“We’ve never had a problem with the Black Monday Society, but it’s our watch groups that we know are properly trained and know how to alert police to a problem,” McGowan said.
Gailey claims he joined after serving as a man who collected debts across the state “one way or another” for drug dealers. After being the one called in to identify the bodies of three close friends who died in drug-related incidents, and losing a few more, he said he realized he needed to change. He made some of those changes, including starting a family, and began working with Montgomery at Frankie’s Tattoo Parlor in Clearfield, which serves as the group’s de facto Batcave, about the same time he joined the society.
“It’s my way to give back to people I had helped hold back,” he said.
Wally Gutierrez claims he left behind the gang life as a teenager in Kansas after his friend was stabbed multiple times and his mother decided to uproot him and his younger brother for a new start in Utah. The now-30-year-old has four kids and doesn’t see much time as Fool King anymore. The same goes for some of the other original members.
That’s where the younger generation comes in to play.
They are about half the size of their mentors, and they don’t share their troubled pasts. They just wanted to find a way to express themselves while giving back to their community, said Roman Daniels, who dresses his 5-foot-7, 150-pound frame as Red Voltage.
“We’re trying to do some good out there,” said the 23-year-old Sandy resident, who began patrolling April 2010 and often totes bags of bottled water, snacks and toiletries. He is now the official leader of Black Monday Society.
Another member, who didn’t want to be named for fear of reprisal at his job where he works with disabled adults, but dresses as Iron Head for his patrols, said he also will remove graffiti in his neighborhood in Kearns.
“A lot of us got into it because we’re trying to make up for something in our past,” Gailey said. “These guys got into it because they have a love of justice. They’re just great, pure-hearted guys.”
Daniels and his fellow society members have broken up their share of fights, including times when he’s had to call police to report a crime and detaining people who have committed crimes.
But alerting police to a problem as they patrol random streets is no longer enough for some members of the society.
About a month ago, Montgomery started what he calls a more “vengeance-based, tactical” branch named Doomwatch. They’re working with an official bounty hunter to learn laws and tactics, and they plan to be in high-crime areas so they can “take a more hands-on approach” and intervene in more altercations.
“I don’t want heroes just to be an urban legend,” Montgomery said. “I want people to see us and say there are real superheroes in the world.”
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune,

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Captain Australia

Originally posted:
At night he patrols the streets of Sydney and Brisbane, helping those in need and preventing crime. Cassandra Sharp reports.
Part of a growing movement, Captain Australia is a Real Life Superhero, a civilian taking on a masked identity to patrol the streets and make the world a safer place.
“I don’t fight crime, I fight Evil (sic). Sometimes evil and crime are the same thing,” he says.
Captain Australia began developing his superhero persona after leaving the military in 2003; creating his current costume and launching his online journal two years ago.
Unlike Batman, Captain Australia is armed with simpler gadgets. He carries a torch, phone with GPS, first aid kit, camera, emergency cash supply, utility belt and canteen while on patrol. He’s also trained in martial arts.
The self-described ‘vigilante crime fighter’ began patrolling two years ago; walking the streets and helping anyone he came across in need. He said his patrolling is usually based around a goal, such as tracking down a teenager whose mother was concerned he was buying drugs from a squatter house.
While on patrol, he has stopped a rape and broken up brawling men. Captain Australia has also stopped many assaults.
On his site, he writes the world needs superheroes to act as champions for society
“. . . The world is slowly darkening like a rotting piece of fruit.”
“I want people to turn away from apathy and take ownership of the problems we see around us, both big-picture and day-to-day.” He wants to promote decency and kindness to change the world.
Captain Australia said his son is an inspiration . On his site he writes “for him, and all the future generations of the world, I must stand defiantly against darkness.”
Captain Australia wears a mask to protect his identity, and those of his friends and family. He said the mask also protects him from being defined by only his superhero identity and helps him avoid prosecution.
The Real Life Superhero movement is growing across the world, but the US in particular has become a hotspot for Real Life Super Heroes also known as RLSH. Many are turning to the internet to connect with others and form alliances like the Black Monday Society in Salt Lake City, Utah or the Union of Justice.
Sites such as World Superhero Registry list RLSHs in costume, their territory and their motivations for fighting for justice. On Real Life, you can view tutorials on everything from copyrighting your superhero persona , the pros and cons of wearing a mask and how to create Kevlar reinforced costumes. Both sites have forums allowing superheroes to contact one another.
Captain Australia wrote that the overseas, online RLSH movement seemed to be made of good people. However, he said “. . . When they articulate their goals and purpose, it’s generally not convincing – but I still applaud that they are attracted to and pursue role playing that is about being good, noble, making a difference.’
His advice for people wanting to become real life superheroes is to avoid lycra and to be sincere about what you are doing.
“People will want to punch you in public.”
Captain Australia isn’t alone. A second man claiming to be Captain Australia from Penrith emerged earlier this year following a story on ‘A Current Affair’ about the former’s search for a sidekick. He claimed he was the true Captain Australia. The original superhero has responded by email and a comment on the article saying his name is trademarked and his identity as Captain Australia precedes the Penrith identity.
“The only Captain Australia has no plans to retire. “I will probably be Captain Australia for the rest of my life, in some way or another.” He is in talks with people about finding a sidekick and forming a superhero alliance in the future.
You can read about Captain Australia’s adventures in more detail or ask for his help at

The real-life superheroes of Salt Lake City are charming and/or terrifying

Originally posted:
Cyriaque Lamar — We’ve seen a few real-life superheroes in recent times, including Seattle’s Phoenix Jones and Tennessee’s The Viper. Now, an eclectic mix of suburban dads and ex-hoodlums known as the Black Monday Society are patrolling Salt Lake City’s crime-strewn thoroughfares.
Unlike most spandex-clad homegrown heroes, members of the Black Monday Society dress like Slipknot. Also, the group has antiheroes amongst its ranks, such as the former gang member Fool King and a man known only as “Assylum”:

The hero “Assylum,” who wears a black head mask with a grotesque painted on smile, says he came from a sorted [sic] past. He says he sought out drug users who owed money. “If you got so much in drugs and didn’t pay your money, I was the dude that showed up at 3 in the morning and beat you until you got the money,” he says.

My favorite though is Professor Midnight, whose superpower is total anonymity — nobody knows his real name! Despite carrying tasers and pepper spray, The Black Monday Society aren’t vigilantes. They mete out justice with well-timed phone calls to the cops, aid bags for homeless folks, and a Medico Della Peste.

Salt Lake's superheroes patrol the city looking to fight crime

Originally posted:,0,6573619.story
By Aaron Vaughn


With their identities concealed and with names like Asylum, Fool King and Professor Midnight, a Salt Lake superhero group says they seek to enact justice.
The Black Monday Society is a group of men whose influence comes straight from the movie screen and comic book page. They are self-proclaimed crime fighters and good samaritans who patrol the city streets at night.
“How many groups do you want to do since there is eight of us, do you want to break it up into threes?” shouts the leader of the group, who goes by the name of Insignis and sports a metal face plate and dreadlocks.
Insignis introduces his posse to FOX 13 as they gather outside the Salt Lake City Library.
“This is Omen, he is one of our soldiers,” Insignis says, then gestures to another large individual in a skull mask with stringy white hair. “Ghost is better than bringing a gun on patrol. He’s our wall, he’s the one who will pick you up, toss you about if you need it.”
They all are dressed starkly different than the spandex-wearing traditional superheroes. And they are not clean-cut “boy wonders” either.
The hero “Asylum,” who wears a black head mask with a grotesque painted on smile, says he came from a sorted past. He says he sought out drug users who owed money.
“If you got so much in drugs and didn’t pay your money, I was the dude that showed up at 3 in the morning and beat you until you got the money,” he says.
And “Fool King,” who wears a jester mask, says he was an ex-gang member. He says he is making up for it by giving back to the community as a super hero.
Two of the heroes are fathers and most have day jobs. While one, who goes by the name of Professor Midnight, is a complete mystery and whose identity is unknown.
The super heroes patrol outside bars, clubs, and places most try to avoid — like dark alleys– for fear of what’s back there. They are looking for trouble in order to stop it.
On a usual patrol they split into groups of two or three.
“We call the cops if there’s a fight,” one of them says. They say they dress up as a means of intimidation.
Salt Lake police say they don’t condone or condemn the group’s crime fighting efforts and they have not had any problems with them in the past. The public treats them with mixed reaction while they are on patrol. Some respect what they do, or at least the boldness of dressing up. While some say their actions may interfere with law enforcement.
Police say they would investigate the group’s action if they were to receive complaints.

Kick-Ass: A Response to the Bystander Effect

Originally posted:
By Cilien Hanna
Kick-Ass, a movie currently in theaters directed by Matthew Vaughn, speaks of teenager David Lizewski, played by Aaron Johnson, who becomes weary of the passive response to the crimes he sees around him.  His reaction is to order a green, skin-tight leotard, complete with mask, and become a crime-fighting superhero.  In the ensuing adventures, which are clearly over his head, he makes some friends, saves some people, and even develops an arch enemy, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse.  David wonders in the film why, with all the comic books out there, no one has tried this before? But he’s wrong, there is actually a multitude of people, sans super powers, who have donned masks and capes, and stood guard over their respective cities.  In fact, there is even a superhero registry, if you can believe it.  There are some that work solo, and some that are part of larger guilds or societies, like the Black Monday Society who patrol the streets of Salt Lake City, Utah in groups, as reported by the Real Life Superhero Project.  But they are not just crime fighters.  There are some, like Terrifica, whose purpose is to watch over bars and clubs in New York City to ensure that women walking home under the influence are not taken advantage of.  According to the New York Post, some, as an added bonus to their crime fighting, even clean up graffiti, pick up trash, and hand out food to the homeless. Though all of these superheroes have costumes, not all include masks to hide their faces, and some proclaim their real names unconcernedly.  Except for a couple, most, unlike their comic book counterparts, do not have any stated arch enemies.
The film is not all adolescent fantasy angst, and does have a more grisly story line, provided mostly by the father daughter team of Damon and Mindy Macready, played by Nicolas Cage and Chloe Moretz.  This duo go on a gruesome vengeful killing spree that uses some more technologically advanced gadgets; more in line with what Batman would use.  This does contribute a more interesting twist to what would be, otherwise, a trite story line; but it isn’t enough to elevate the film above okay status.  Overall, it’s moderately entertaining, and deals with the superhero idea in a facetious manner that is more intelligent than most other movies.
It becomes clear in the film that there are a profusion of people who need help, more than one teenager can handle, especially if he has any sort of life.  But really, is this necessary?  Do we need masked strangers jumping from the shadows to taser hooligans and bullies?  It seems necessary because there is a rabid passiveness that has developed, especially in urban areas, that has allowed people to simply walk by as crimes are committed and conclude that it is none of their business; not even bothering to call 911.  This is usually referred to as the bystander effect, and there are several notorious examples of the phenomenon, like the rape of a high school girl last year which was marked by several onlookers who not only did not do anything, but actually filmed, some laughed, and others even participated, according to an article by ABC News.  In a crowded subway in Philadelphia one rider attacked a sleeping passenger with a hammer another.  Even when there is no immediate danger, people do not feel compelled to act.  An Associated Press article expounds how a homeless man was stabbed as he tried to help a woman being assaulted, and ended up dying on the sidewalk as people walked by and even took pictures.
The bystander theory states that the amount of help expect from a bystander is inversely proportional to the number of people there.  Meaning, the more onlookers there are, the less likely any of them will help.  There can be two reasons for this, as explained in a paper by Peter Prevos.  One is called diffusion of responsibility, and basically proposes that the more bystanders there are, the less responsible any one of them feels to help.  Bystanders believe that someone else will take care of it.  The other theory is explained by social norms.  When there is a group of people, their behavior is guided by the behavior of those around them.  So, in a crowd, everyone looks to everyone else as to what is the acceptable behavior standard . . . if no one else is helping, they’re not going to help.  The fact that good Samaritans can be sued after performing a good deed, as happened in California, doesn’t help excite the feelings of compassion in passersby.  Still, the responsibility of protecting neighborhoods shouldn’t rest solely on the shoulders of a few masked crusaders.  There should be an intrinsic level of responsibility to, at least, report crimes in progress, if they are afraid to act.  Some websites claim that just knowing about the bystander effect will make you less helpless to its effects.  Others, like Imagine Today, proclaim that, to break a crowds passiveness, you should shout out specific tasks to specific members.  People are more apt to respond to directions given directly to them.  You have now been armed with knowledge that should help you make your city safer.  And if that doesn’t work, you could always look-up your local superhero for assistance.

Real Life Super Heroes Everywhere

Originally posted:
Kick Ass – Not Just a Movie
By Carol Rucker
Sometimes life imitates art and sometimes it’s the other way around, just like in Kick Ass, an upcoming movie that’s based on a Marvel comic book but also reflects a national Super Hero trend. If you know the story or

// <![CDATA[

 have seen the movie trailers, you already know it’s a tale about a youthful team of unlikely crime fighting citizens.
These heroes can’t fly like Superman nor can they scale tall buildings like Spiderman. The heroes in Kick Ass have no super powers at all, nor any of the traditional caped crusader traits going for them…… but they can “kick….” Well you know. That’s where the movie title comes from.
More Than Just A Screenplay
The movie is based on a comic book drama that plays to the hearts of regular guys, those every day men and women who decide they’ve had enough with crime in the streets. When the regular guys and gals in Kick Ass decide to take it beyond mere talk, they take to the city streets fully adorned in super hero garb. They challenge bad guys and fight crime, a great idea for a comic book or a movie, right?
Except it’s more than just a screenplay. Kick Ass is art imitating life. In case you haven’t noticed, real life super heroes are everywhere, not just the stranger who fixes your flat tire or the volunteer who delivers food to seniors. Those people are everyday heroes indeed; but there are also genuine costumed and caped heroes in many cities; and you don’t have to go to the movies to see them.
Cincinnati’s Super Heroes
“Some scoff at me, others take me seriously,” Shadow Hare said in a 2009 interview. Despite what people have to say, Cincinnati, Ohio’s super hero has been fighting crime on the streets for nearly 5 years. If your timing is right, you might find Shadow Hare at his headquarters, The Ionosphere. (the Cincinnati Segway Dealership at Central Parkway and Vine) But you are more likely to see him gliding along the Downtown city streets on a Segway with his lady companion, Silver Moon, nearby. Together they seek out crime and do what they can to stop it.
Super Heroes Everywhere
You can find details about Shadow Hare on his MySpace page and on The World Super Hero Registry. There you will also find profiles on many more of the nation’s true life knights in shining armor. Here are just a few.
Utah – Like most super heroes, Insignis wishes to keep his identity a secret. Masked and costumed in black and white, Insignis patrols the streets of Salt Lake City. There he fights

// <![CDATA[

 crime and does good deeds with help from the The Black Monday Society.
Arizona – Wearing black from head to toe, topped off with a gold cape, Citizen Prime patrols Arizona streets. He not only fights crime, but also strives to promote good citizenship in his home state.
Florida – Dressed in black from head to toe, Amazonia does double duty, working the streets in both Ocala, Florida and Lowell Massachusetts. As a founding member of the organization, Vixens of Valor, she is sworn to protect the innocent.
Michigan – You will recognize The Queen Of Hearts by her black tights and the big heart adorning her chest. She does volunteer work, assists local charities and patrols the streets of Jackson, Michigan with her cohorts, Captain Jackson and Crimefighter Girl. She also teaches Jackson, Michigan youth how to recognize and prevent domestic violence.
The movie, Kickass is coming out soon; and if you decide to see it, remember, it’s more than just a movie. It’s real life.
Source: Shadow Hare/Silver Moon Interview June 5, 2009
More resources

There are Real Life Superheroes among us

March 19, 2:38 AMScience Fiction ExaminerMichael Parker

Maybe it is due to the popularity of “Watchmen,” which featured crime-fighters with little or no super powers. Or maybe in the “Dark Knight” was a harbinger of things to come, when masked vigilantes tried to emulate Batman on their meager budgets. The Great Recession may be the single largest factor in this growing movement. Men and women are donning costumes and hitting the streets, to protect the public, across the nation, and yes, even around the world.
What is a Real Life Superhero? According to Superheroes Anonymous, the mark of a Real Life Superhero (RLSH) is someone who sees injustice in the world, and in costume, does something about it. Over the past three years Superheroes Anonymous has help validate the purpose of RLSH, ordinary people who go out of their way to help others.
Many of these latter-day Guardian Angels help feed the homeless, perform various community services, and inspire others to take positive social action. Their members are doctors, students; people from all walks of life. Some attribute their altruism to being disillusioned with chasing the almighty dollar, after being laid off from their jobs. Others are repenting for past transgressions during their youth. The one thing they have in common is an overarching desire to make the world a better place.
Some even fight crime in the literal sense, those who do usually keep their real identities a secret. Mr. Ravenblade found his calling when he prevented a mugging/rape. Mr. Xtreme, who founded the Xtreme Justice League, patrols neighborhoods to stop violent crime in San Diego. The Black Monday Society members Insignis, Ghost, and Oni help keep Salt Lake City, Utah safe. Crimson Fist may sound like a hardened crime-fighter, but he mainly helps feed the homeless.
In New York, Terrifica, a female crime-fighter, has been protecting inebriated women at bars and parties from being taken advantage of by men since the mid-1990’s. Dark Guardian, a martial arts instructor, helps keep bad elements at bay, gives inspirational speeches, and will even clean up trash or graffiti. Life not only helps the homeless, he also teams up with other superheroes to attack drug dealers. Most of these superheroes are law-abiding citizens who help police catch real criminals. On the occasions when they do cross the line, they tend to keep it very close to the chest.
RLSH say that the main reason they don masks is more to raise public awareness than to strike fear in the hearts of criminals. They are hard to ignore which helps drive their message of community activism. They also seem to prefer myspace to Facebook. Just don’t expect an up-to-date report on their sites. They are too busy keeping us safe.
If you liked this article and/or column please go to the bar under the headline and subscribe, comment, or even send an email to say you like this Science Fiction Examiner. Thanks.
Superheroes Anonymous trailer from beginnorth on Vimeo.

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.

Costumes and Capes: Real Life Superheroes on the World Superhero Registry

Originally Posted:
By Erin Thursby
Human evolution has finally taken a turn toward spandex. Superheroes aren’t just in movies; there are actually 200 registered real life superheroes on the World Superhero Registry.
You might think that this surge in superheroism might have something to do with all the movies that are out. It does, but there was also a surge soon after 9/11.
Do you have what it takes to be a registered superhero? Here are the rules according to
Costume: The purpose of a costume is not simply to protect the identity of the Real-Life Superhero from criminals that might seek revenge, but to make a statement both to the evil-doers that you fight against and to the world at large: you are not simply someone who happened upon crime or injustice and made an impulsive decision to intervene. You have vowed to actively fight for the betterment of humankind and to serve as an example for others. The costume of a Real-Life Superhero must be of sufficient quality to show some care went into its creation.
Heroic Deeds: The purpose behind becoming a Real-Life Superhero must be for the benefit of mankind, and the Heroic Deeds must be of sufficient degree as to exceed normal everyday behavior. If proof of Heroic Deeds is not present, a listing may still be added to the Registry, however, it may be marked as “inactive” or “unconfirmed” in the description.
Personal Motivation: A Real-Life Superhero cannot be a paid representative of an organization, not even a benevolent one. The motivation to become a Real-Life Superhero must come from the individual: not an advertising gimmick or a public relations campaign.
Carrying guns, knives or other weaponry is also frowned upon because it means that members can be arrested for vigilantism.
The most active superhero group is in Salt Lake City. They’re known as the Black Monday Society. They’re not four color heroes. Instead they look more scary than heroic. This group patrols the city streets.
“We’re not out running around fighting bad guys like in comic books. We’re out there to be a symbol for the people for the community to show that if you don’t like what your community is, you can change it,” said Ghost of Black Monday, during an interview with the local FOX station.
Instead they help drunk folk and escort them to the bus station, and scare young thugs away when they’re doing something wrong.
“Just like a neighborhood watch, only we have fun with it,” they said.
Check out the superhero registry to see if you’ve got a hero in your town. Mainly they work as symbols of hope rather than actual crime-fighters, and some of them are just registering for fun.
So it seems that real life superheroes aren’t busting up drug rings and going all Batman on the mob. It’s a little disappointing, but realistic.
I have visions of the future though. If this trend spreads, then maybe, just maybe, we’ll get a superhero that lives up to the comic books.

Amateur crimefighters are surging in the US

John Harlow in Los Angeles
For Mr Invisible, the first and last blow to his burgeoning career as a superhero was an unexpected punch that flattened his nose.
“After months of designing my costume, getting my street moves just right, it was my first week out as a Real Life Superhero – and probably my last. This tiny, tiny girl did not like me trying to calm down her screaming boyfriend. She blindsided me, I’m still bruised. It’s dangerous out there,” said the deflated would-be crime fighter last week.
Mr Invisible is cheered that at least his grey one-piece “invisibility suit” works, proven when a drunk urinated on him in an alley. But he is weary of lurking in dark, down-town Los Angeles after dark.
The 29-year-old graduate is “refocusing” on his day job as an insurance salesman. His farewell appearance will be at a New Year’s Eve party.
Mr Invisible may be living up to his name but his spray-painted “supershoes” will quickly be filled by another Real Life Superhero eager to save America from itself. There are, according to the recently launched World Superhero Registry, more than 200 men and a few women who are willing to dress up as comic book heroes and patrol the urban streets in search of, if not super-villains, then pickpockets and bullies.
They may look wacky, but the superhero community was born in the embers of the 9/11 terrorist attacks when ordinary people wanted to do something short of enlisting. They were boosted by a glut of Hollywood superhero movies.
In recent weeks, prompted by heady buzz words such as “active citizenry” during the Barack Obama campaign, the pace of enrolment has speeded up. Up to 20 new “Reals”, as they call themselves, have materialised in the past month.
The Real rules are simple. They must stand for unambiguous and unsponsored good. They must create their own Spandex and rubber costumes without infringing Marvel or DC Comics copyrights, but match them with exotic names – Green Scorpion in Arizona, Terrifica in New York, Mr Xtreme in San Diego and Mr Silent in Indianapolis.
They must shun guns or knives to avoid being arrested as vigilantes, even if their nemeses may be armed. Their best weapon is not muscle but the internet – an essential tool in their war on crime is a homepage stating the message of doom for super-villains.
This is more than bravado, say veterans. It may help as evidence after a Real has been arrested or even committed to a mental health hospital for evaluation. That happened to Mr Invisible’s equally short-lived predecessor, Black Owl, who last summer had to be sprung from a psychiatric ward by his teenage daughter who told doctors: “Dad forgot for a moment, when faced with police, just for a moment, that he did not have real superpowers. He could not just fly away.”
“This is a more serious business than it looks,” said Citizen Prime, whose $4,000 (£2,700) costume disguises an Arizona businessman and father of a toddler who thinks his cape, mask and stun-gun are cool.
Prime patrols some of the most dangerous streets in Phoenix but, like most Reals, is reluctant to speak about the villains he has dispatched with a blow from his martial arts-honed forearm. He does admit helping a motorist change a flat tyre.
“Kids love the costume, so I seek to keep them out of the gangs today rather than take them on tomorrow,” said Prime who, at 41, regards himself as on the mature wing of the Real community.
He is worried about lunatics and hotheads. He says he would never act like the Black Monday Society in Salt Lake City who interrupt drug deals in public parks and face off against armed thugs.
Utah police officers say they appreciate Ghost, a 33-year-old concrete worker, and his colourfully costumed cohorts Insignis, Oni, Ha! and Silver Dragon. But other police departments recall that America’s most feared gangs, the Crips and the Bloods, were also born as idealistic “community defenders”.
It can be dangerous. Master Legend of Florida, who arms himself with a pepper-spraying cannon powered by cans of antiperspirant, was attacked by a man with a hammer.
There is a high burn-out rate. Terrifica, a 5ft 9in redcaped superheroine, who would manhandle drunken girls away from heavy-handed dates in nocturnal New York, spoke about how she despised her “weak, needy and dumped” alter-ego Sarah.
Artemis of San Diego reported on his blog that he had heard a woman screaming outside his home but by the time he had dressed up in his costume the police were already there. Kevlex, 47, who runs the Superhero Registry, says he patrols more in winter than summer in Arizona, when his Kevlar and Spandex kit itches. But the deadliest kryptonite against a superhero is boredom.
“I was out every night, 8pm until 2am, hanging about all the bad corners and nothing happened, nada, zip,” recalled Mr Invisible. “It was raining: even the drug dealers were at home. And often cops are just too good at their jobs.”