OPA Investigated Leak of Phoenix Jones’ Info

Originally posted: http://publicola.com/2011/10/25/opa-investigated-leak-of-phoenix-jones-info/
By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee

The Seattle Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability opened an internal investigation earlier this year into officers leaking info about Seattle’s (in)famous masked crusader, Phoenix Jones, according to internal police records.
An OPA case log says Jones—who dramatically revealed his secret identity as Ben Fodor in front of reporters after he was arrested earlier this month—contacted the department in March, filing an online complaint ”alleging there is someone in our administration who is leaking information to the media.”
An OPA investigator emailed Fodor, informing him “the matter is already under investigation.”
OPA case reports released since Fodor filed his complaint in March don’t appear to indicate the result of the department’s internal investigation, so PubliCola contacted Fodor to ask about the complaint.
“I was upset that my name was printed on a piece of paper,” Fodor says, referring to an informational bulletin distributed within the department, warning officers about Fodor’s crew of caped crusaders. Several reporters obtained the bulletin, and used the information to track down Fodor.
“[The department] told me the information was being passed around, and it was sewed up,” Fodor says.
A department spokesman did not have information on the status of OPA’s investigation into Fodor’s complaint.

Arrest marks growing pains for superhero movement

Originally posted: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ix-PXiZOo4Z-N_Jx8NWWWs0zkwvQ?docId=a51a823c485c4474a79aa1c01b22ae96
By Gene Johnson, Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — Fabio Heuring was standing outside a Seattle nightclub on a Saturday night and smoking cigarettes with a friend when a man bolting from a bouncer ran into them. The enraged man ripped off his shirt in the middle of the street and prepared to give Heuring’s buddy a beating.
Just then, in swooped a bizarre sight: a self-proclaimed superhero in a black mask and matching muscle-suit. He doused the aggressor with pepper spray, much to Heuring’s shocked relief.
A couple hours later, though, the superhero ended up in jail for investigation of assault after using those tactics on another group of clubgoers, sending pangs of anxiety through the small, eccentric and mostly anonymous community of masked crime-fighters across the U.S.
The comic book-inspired patrolling of city streets by “real life super-heroes” has been getting more popular in recent years, thanks largely to mainstream attention in movies like last year’s “Kick-Ass” and the recent HBO documentary “Superheroes.” And as the ranks of the masked, caped and sometimes bullet-proof-vested avengers swell, many fret that even well-intentioned vigilantes risk hurting themselves, the public and the movement if they’re as aggressive as the crime-fighter in Seattle.
Some have gone so far as to propose a sanctioning body to ensure that high super-hero standards are maintained.
“The movement has grown majorly,” said Edward Stinson, a writer from Boca Raton, Fla., who advises real-life superheroes on a website devoted to the cause. “What I tell these guys is, ‘You’re no longer in the shadows. You’re in a new era. … Build trust. Set standards. Make the real-life superheroes work to earn that title and take some kind of oath.'”
It’s not clear how many costumed vigilantes there are in the U.S. The website www.reallifesuperheroes.org lists 660 members around the world. They range from members of the New York Initiative in New York City and the Shadow Corp in Saginaw, Mich., to a character named Nightbow who says he has patrolled the streets of Carlisle, England, for three years.
Some take on their fictional identities while doing charity work.
Benjamin Fodor, better known as Phoenix Jones, is the most prominent face of the Rain City Superhero Movement, a collection of vigilantes who appeared in Seattle over the past year. Early on Oct. 9, about two hours after he saved Heuring and his buddy, the 23-year-old man charged a group of people leaving a downtown nightclub as a videographer trailed him.
From the shaky camera work, it appeared there may have been some kind of disturbance in the group. Fodor insists he was breaking up a fight when he hit the crowd with pepper spray; the people who got sprayed told police there had been no fight. He was briefly booked into jail for investigation of assault, but prosecutors haven’t charged him yet. He appeared in court last week while wearing his superhero costume under a button-down shirt.
“Recently there have been increased reports of citizens being pepper sprayed by (Fodor) and his group,” the police report noted. “Although (Fodor) has been advised to observe and report incidents to 911, he continues to try to resolve things on his own.”
Fodor remained unapologetic after the court appearance, saying he’s just like anyone else except that “I decided to make a difference and stop crime in my neighborhood.” He invited members of the public to join him on patrol Saturday night.
Heuring, a 27-year-old shuttle driver from Auburn, is a fan.
“Without a question, there was a fight going to happen,” he said. “It could have ended ugly had he not come in. He used good judgment in our case. He saw who was instigating it and who he needed to defend.”
But many in the vigilante community point to Fodor’s arrest as a watershed moment: As more people — often, young people — fashion themselves into superheroes, they risk finding themselves in similar situations where they wind up hurting innocent members of the public or being shot, stabbed or beaten themselves. Such negative attention could doom the movement, they say.
Stinson, who is 40 and says he has a military background, said that if the movement is to continue to grow, it needs to do a better job policing itself. He envisions a nonprofit organization that would have departments devoted to fundraising and building community trust and alliances. He also thinks there should be tactical superhero training — including how to take control of a volatile situation and defuse it.
Filmmaker Michael Barnett followed 50 real-life crime fighters for 15 months for his documentary “Superheroes.” Many have great intentions, he said, but that doesn’t mean their methods are proper.
“The police by in large appreciate an extra set of eyes, but they really, really want these guys to do it according to the law,” Barnett said.
Masked crusaders began appearing in the 1970s with San Diego’s Captain Sticky, who used his Superman-like costume to fight against rental car rip-offs and for tenant rights, Barnett said. They spread throughout the country in the 1980s and 1990s, and became more popular thanks to the faster communications and online support communities of the Internet.
Barnett said he met plumbers, teachers, cashiers and firefighters who leave their day jobs behind every night in the name of security. Their weapons include pepper spray, stun guns and batons. Relatively few have any combat training or any formal knowledge of how to use their arsenal, he said.
That concerns the professional crime-fighters.
“If people want to dress up and walk around, knock yourself out,” said Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson. “Our concern is when you insert yourself into these situations without knowing the facts, it’s just not a smart thing to do. If you think a situation warrants calling 911, call 911.”
Not all of the vigilantes take a confrontational approach. A 53-year-old man in Mountain View, Calif., who calls himself “The Eye,” keeps a low-enough profile that officers there have never booked anyone arrested with his help.
“The only reason I know him is because he’s my neighbor,” said police spokeswoman Liz Wylie. “He’s a neighborhood watch block captain, a very good one at that.”

Phoenix Jones Says He’s Training a Replacement Hero, Nightstick.

Originally posted: http://publicola.com/2011/10/14/phoenix-jones-says-hes-training-a-replacement-hero-nightstick/
By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee

After dramatically revealing his secret identity to a crowd of reporters following his court hearing at the county jail Thursday morning, Phoenix Jones—legal name: Ben Fodor—tells PubliCola he plans to continue patrolling Seattle’s streets, but also says he’s “training a replacement.”
Fodor says his replacement, known as Nightstick, is the strong silent type.
Fodor says Nightstick—a friend of Fodor’s from the mixed martial arts fighting world—is more interested in going out and thwomping bad guys than calling 911 and waiting for police. Fodor says Nightstick is already meting out street justice in Seattle, breaking up “six or seven crimes,” and recently left a drug dealer handcuffed to a light pole.
Fodor says ultimately he’s hoping Nightstick becomes “a guy that can function the way [he] did before [he] was outed before the Seattle Police Department.” (Though Fodor, aka Phoenix Jones, says he won’t slowing down his own crime fighting.)
Fodor would not provide any details about Nightstick’s true identity, but said he his a “mixed martial artist” who wears “head-to-toe covered gear” and “doesn’t do interviews.”

Superhero' Phoenix Jones: 'I'll keep Seattle safe'

Originally posted: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15301830
A self-styled superhero known as Phoenix Jones has been unmasked in a Seattle court as he waits to see if he is charged with a pepper spray attack.
Police say Phoenix Jones – real name Benjamin Fodor – attacked four people who had left a Seattle nightclub.
As the court hearing ended, he tore off a dress shirt to reveal his black and yellow superhero costume.
Prosecutors said they had not yet decided whether to file charges, but Mr Fodor vowed to continue crimefighting.
The 23-year-old, who leads the Rain City Superhero Movement, said he was trying to break up a fight. The clubgoers insisted to police they were not fighting.
“I will continue to patrol with my team, probably tonight,” he told the Seattle Times on Thursday. “I am just like everybody else. The only difference is that I try to stop crime in my neighbourhood.”
During the hearing, a court officer asked Jones to remove his mask. He did so, but then put it back on to speak to reporters.
Seattle Police are not likely to be calling on Mr Jones to help them keep Seattle safe.
“If people want to dress up and walk around, knock yourself out,” said police spokesman Mark Jamieson. “Our concern is when you insert yourself into these situations without knowing the facts, it’s just not a smart thing to do.”
According to the Associated Press news agency, a police report says there have been increased reports of citizens being pepper-sprayed by the would-be superhero and his group.
Although Phoenix Jones “has been advised to observe and report incidents to [police], he continues to try to resolve things on his own,” the report says.

Seattle police arrest 'superhero' Phoenix Jones in assault investigation

Originally posted: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Seattle-police-arrest-superhero-Phoenix-Jones-2210657.php
The man known as Phoenix Jones Guardian of Seattle, the self-proclaimed Seattle “superhero” who has received international media attention, was arrested and booked into King County Jail early Sunday morning for investigation of assault.
Shortly after 2:30 a.m., police were called to First Avenue and Columbia Street after an alleged assault with pepper spray. A group of men and women had left a club, were walking to their car and were “dancing and having a good time,” Seattle Police Det. Jeff Kappel said in a statement.
“An unknown adult male suspect came up from behind and pepper sprayed the group,” Kappel’s statement said. “Two men in the group chased after the suspect. Responding officers arrived on scene and separated the involved parties.”
The 23-year-old man arrested is the man previously identified by police as Phoenix Jones Guardian of Seattle. He was booked into jail shortly after 5 a.m. and released on bond about 12:45 p.m. Sunday, jail records show.
Jones is not the man’s real name. Seattlepi.com does not normally identify suspects in criminal cases until they’ve been formally charged by a prosecuting attorney’s office.
He’s expected to have a Thursday morning arraignment, where a plea would be entered. Police say the case involves four victims.
Other than the Sunday incident, the man known as Phoenix Jones doesn’t have a criminal history in Seattle Municipal Court. However, court records show he previously was arrested outside Seattle after being stopped for driving with a suspended license.
A spokesman for Phoenix Jones, Peter Tangen, told Publicola that a video of the incident tells a different story and that the self-proclaimed superhero was trying to break up a fight. He did not provide Publicola with a copy of the video.
“It’ll be interesting what [police] have to say when the video comes out,” Tangen told the site. “I’m very sure it’s going to show a different story than what police are saying.”
Police spokespersons on Sunday didn’t comment specifically on Jones’ behavior, other than Kappel’s statement which didn’t name him, though previously they’ve said self-proclaimed superheroes interjecting themselves into disputes could create problems.

Local superhero breaks up bus jacking

Originally posted: http://mynorthwest.com/284/552771/Local-superhero-Phoenix-Jones-breaks-up-bus-jacking?page=0
Listen to Seattle Super Heroes Thwart Car-Jacking
When a guy tried to steal a party bus last weekend in Belltown, it wasn’t the cops that thwarted the attempt. It was self-appointed Seattle crime fighter Phoenix Jones, his wife and sidekick Purple Reign, and their fellow costumed-colleague Myst.
Phoenix tells 97.3 KIRO FM’s John Curley Show the trio was on patrol in Belltown when they saw a guy jump on the bus and try to drive away. The driver tried to stop him and a struggle ensued. Jones jumped in.
He says he sprayed him in the face with a high powered pepper spray.
“He went down, I went to grab him and the bus starts to roll backwards. It rolls right into the middle of First and then gets nailed by an oncoming car,” Jones says.
The guy took off. Jones and team stayed behind to help.
While felony carjacking isn’t a common occurrence, fighting crime on the streets of Seattle certainly is for the trio along with the other members of the Rain City Superheroes.
“Usually there’s at least one crime per night that we intervene on, on a good night there’s three or four. Well, not a good night, but a bad night,” says Purple, clad in her black leather jacket and purple baseball cap protruding from her black ski mask covering her face.
They all remain anonymous. Phoenix wears his black and yellow helmet mask and Batman like body suit complete with sculpted abs. But underneath it’s all business: And they aren’t messing around.
“All of us are wearing bulletproofs, we’ve all taken some self defense class, we all call 911 the minute the crime happens,” says Phoenix.
The group defends its crime fighting, despite criticism from some quarters included the Seattle Police Department, who officially would rather they left it up to the pros. But they insist they are actually a help, not a hindrance.
“Recently, the cops ended up apprehending a guy that we were watching closely,” recounts Phoenix. He says they were keeping an eye on a guy who looked like he causing problems. The suspect was making advance on another man’s pregnant wife, and punched the husband in the face when he objected. The man ran off.
“I called Purple, and she had actually alerted the police for me […]the police roll in and I tell them ‘hey this is what the guy looks like, and we see the guy across the street.’ We take off, tackled him in the parking lot of a bank and the police took him out,” Phoenix says.
As for his age, Phoenix will only say he is in his early 20’s. And his speed? “Faster than most criminals,” he says.
But they use their brains as much as their brawn. The group tracks crime trends from the Seattle Police Department and patrols areas based on the data and their own intuition.
They also videotape all of their encounters. “Knowing that we have a camera guy that catches you being a criminal on tape, a lot of guys don’t like that,” Phoenix says.
Some suspect it’s all a massive stunt aimed at gaining wealth and fame. They insist they aren’t looking to get rich. But Jones admits they do need to raise some money to keep up the crime fighting. His shopping list includes a new crime fighting car and a certain kind of cell phone to help protect his identity.
“It’s very hard to roll anonymous these days,” he says.
The (Alleged) Adventures of Phoenix Jones from Village Voice Media on Vimeo.

Real Life Superheroes

Originally posted: http://www.booksie.com/editorial_and_opinion/essay/mrsunshine/real-life-superheroes
Originally posted By MrSunshine
Published: Jun 18, 2011
The world is need of superheroes. It is easy to get a sense of hopelessness as we hear about the terrible
things happening around the world. We all watched the tragedy in Japan; we all remember the attacks on 9/11.
I cannot help but imagine how much different things would be if the world was stuck between the pages of a
comic book. Superman could have saved the towers. Aquaman could have prevented to Tsunamis in Japan.
While it is obvious that Superman doesn’t exist, and that no one in this world has powers like him, there
are real life superheroes.
Nadine Bells, a columnist for Yahoo! News, says that real life superheroes are becoming fairly popular in
New York. Several vigilantes have banded together to form the New York Initiative (NYI.) They patrol the
streets of New York at night, mostly to prevent drug deals from happening.
The NYI is a branch of Real Life Superheroes (RLSH), a superhero agency that operates in many different
countries. There are countless other superheroes that are not part of RLSH, ranging from the Crimson
Fist in Atlanta to Menganno in Argentina. Almost every country has their own masked crusader, and some,
like Norway’s Geist, have become national heroes.
This celebrity that some heroes have found has sparked some controversy. People have accused Geist and
others of being glory seekers, and getting the way of the real heroes, policemen.
Andrea Kuszewski, a neurologist for The Institution for Emerging Ethics and Technologies, says that
heroes may not be as good as we think. “As crazy as it sounds, there may be a closer link than than most
people would think between the extreme-altruistic personality and sociopathic personality. Would it shock
you to know that two people, one with the traits of extreme-altruism (X-altruism) and the other the traits of a
sociopath, could be related? Even siblings?” She goes on to point out that people trying to stop law breakers
often end up breaking laws themselves. That brings up another interesting point. How do policemen
and other authorities feel about real life superheroes? They’re not necessarily fans, but they’re not
condemning it.
Police in Seattle, Washington don’t really take the men in tights seriously. In fact, they released an office
memo making fun of them. They also say that being a vigilante is very dangerous, but nothing wrong with itif
rules are followed. “There’s nothing wrong with citizens getting involved with the criminal justice process — as long as they
follow it all the way through [by calling 911 and attending court],” said Jeff Keppel, spokesman for the Seattle
Police Department.
There have been in incidents where a member of RLSH has been sentenced to prison time. In 2008 a hero
(not named) shot a man trying to break into a car. The man didn’t survive the shot, and the hero served nine
months in a Washington prison for manslaughter. Questioning someone’s motives for doing something
is easy, but if what they are doing is good, should there be any question at all? Does it matter why someone is
doing something, if they’re doing the right thing, or helping others? I guess it comes down to what you would
want for yourself.
If you were being robbed or beaten, and a super hero came to your rescue, would you accuse them of
being a glory seeker, or would you thank them for their services?

Crazy? Or a Hero?

Originally posted
By Jennifer Kuglin Published: Jun 15, 2011 at 9:17 PM PDT
Phoenix Jones is a superhero. He has a day job but wears a costume underneath his street clothes in case he encounters crime. He carries a “net gun” and has team of crime fighters.
But this isn’t the plot from a Hollywood movie. There are no special effects. This is real-life and Phoenix patrols Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood every week- stopping fights, feeding the homeless and helping folks who have run out of gas.
Unlike most movie superheroes, Phoenix doesn’t have any super powers and he doesn’t need them. He is made of flesh and blood and has gotten hurt. He deals with real criminals and puts his life in danger nightly.
“Phoenix, some people might ask if you’re crazy. Are you crazy?” I asked during a recent phone interview.
“Have you ever seen something that you thought was wrong or not fair? That you wanted to change? And then you just thought about it for days or weeks?” He said.
“Of course.” I answered.
“Well I haven’t. I don’t stand by and watch things happen that are wrong. When I see it I fix it. Does that make me crazy?”
Phoenix is a part of the Rain City Superhero movement, a group of superheroes that patrols the streets of Seattle.
So is vigilante justice acceptable? Are the superheroes actually helping police fight crime?
Phoenix says police were extremely wary at first, but now accept his help. He says he calls them ahead of time to tell them which neighborhood he’ll be patrolling. He fills out police reports and gives witness testimony.
“Police have been super helpful. I’ll walk down the streets and they’ll get their loudspeaker out and say, ‘Hey, Phoenix! How are you doing?’ They’ll come over and shake my hand. They know that I’m for real.”
A police bulletin was sent to Seattle officers on Wednesday about the group.
Seattle police say there is nothing illegal about dressing up as a superhero, but it is dangerous and they do not encourage it.
They would rather the self-proclaimed superheroes acted as witnesses instead of inserting themselves into fights.
Police also say it can be a drain on resources when they have to field 911 calls about people afraid of “masked men.”
Phoenix Jones says he wanted to become a superhero after a few incidents changed his mind about Seattle.
The first involved a friend getting assaulted outside a bar. The friend was left with permanent facial damage.
“And I thought, why didn’t someone help him? There were seventy people outside that bar and no one did anything,” he said.
The second incident was when someone broke into his car and his son was injured by the broken glass. His son had to spend the night in the ER and get stitches. He was later told that several people saw the break-in happen, but didn’t do anything.
Phoenix said, “Teenagers are running down the street, breaking into cars, and no one does anything? Where’s the personal accountability?”
Phoenix decided he would be different than all of those people who just stood by, not helping.
He began stepping into fights and helping people in need. But soon, he was getting recognized across town as ‘the guy who stops fights.’ He realized he was putting himself in danger.
“They’d recognize me and pick me out. I couldn’t do regular, every-day things anymore. So I started wearing the mask,” he said.
Phoenix says his costume helps him fight crime.
He said, “Most of the time when people see me, they kind-of laugh. The reaction I get is exactly what I wanted when I made the suit. I made it kind-of comical. Because if I can stop a fight by simply showing up in a cape and saying ‘Hey, Stop!’ like a comic-book character, and they actually stop, then the problem is solved. And no one got hurt.”
But not everyone laughs. Phoenix has been injured, but wouldn’t give details.
“I can’t really give specifics of my injuries because there are hospital records and it might be obvious who I am. I can say I’ve been cut several different times. And there was an incident in Tacoma with a gun. I’m not going to say how far it went, but it was bad. Remember, I deal with real criminals.”
It takes a lot of tools to be a good superhero, and Phoenix has a lot of them.
He carries a taser nightstick, a net gun and a grappling hook. (Though he says the net gun and grappling hook are not very effective. The grappling hook was unable to support his body.) But he does not carry a gun or knife.
He drives a regular car, but has a sophisticated communication system. A computer inside his car prints any emails sent to his superhero email address: [email protected].
“Last night a guy emailed me saying he felt unsafe walking to his car. I was able to help him immediately. You know, if he called the police they wouldn’t be able to help him. But I am.”
Phoenix agreed to let KOMO News go out with him for a night of crime-fighting, but not before he got a bulletproof suit.
“After media attention, I might get shot at. I want to feel safe.”
We agreed to wait until he got the bulletproof suit and the story will air on KOMO-TV soon.
Phoenix Jones wants more superheroes to join the Rain City Superhero movement. But he says they must be qualified. And realistic.
Phoenix said, “I think people would find it’s far less romantic than it sounds. The hours aren’t so great. There’s no pay. That’s the reality.”
There were no phone booths involved in my first communication with Phoenix Jones. Phoenix is a modern day superhero, so instead he uses Facebook.
His post on the KOMO News wall read:
We get a lot of tips that don’t pan out, and I thought this was probably one of them. But his profile picture showed a man with a mask, cape and tights standing next to a Seattle police officer.
I was intrigued.
I looked at his Facebook page where all of his posts were about fighting crime. There were a lot of dark and fuzzy pictures of him in various poses around the city donning that same mask, cape and tights.
So I sent him an email saying I’d be interested to find out more about his superhero abilities. We traded emails back and forth and I learned that he was very serious about his job, that he’d been injured and gotten involved in stopping knife fights.
I wanted to talk to him by phone, but he wouldn’t give me his phone number.
“You’re a journalist. You’d find a way to trace me,” he said.
So we agreed to talk on a secret phone line where I had to punch in a secret code. After talking to him I realized this was a real story about a real guy doing really strange and amazing things.

When We Last Left Our Intrepid Heroes…

Originally posted: http://seattlecrime.com/2011/04/22/when-we-last-left-our-intrepid-heroes
By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee
It’s been awhile since we’ve written about the masked members of the Rain City Superhero Movement, but they’re still around, fightin’ crime and whatnot.
Last night, Seattle police arrested one man in the University District for drug possession after RCSM’s Phoenix Jones and his partner in crime-fighting, Pitch Black, apparently set up their own drug sting.
Around 9:30 p.m. last night, Pitch Black and Phoenix Jones were staking out the University District, when a man walked up to Pitch Black—who was not in costume—at 50th and Brooklyn and offered to sell him heroin, according to a police report.
Pitch Black declined to buy any heroin from the man, who then pulled out a small plastic baggie of a “brown, clay-like substance,” and asked again, the report says.
Pitch Black and Phoenix Jones then detained the man and called police.
Officers spoke with the suspect, who told police he was in the area to pick up a prescription for his sister, and that Pitch Black had approached him and asked him if he had any cocaine.
Police then asked the man if he’d be willing to empty his pockets, and he agreed.
Officers found a knife in the man’s jacket, “a clear straw containing a brownish residue” and a “red, heart-shaped box,” which contained five oxycodone pills.
It appears the man wasn’t able to explain why the pills were in a box instead of a prescription bottle. He did, however, explain to officers that he used the straw for smoking opium.
Police booked the man into the King County Jail on a drug charge.
Officers attempted to contact the alleged dealer’s sister to find out if the Oxycodone belonged to her. The report doesn’t say whether they were able to reach her.

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.