Real Life Superheroes Descend Upon Seattle In Full Costume Wearing, Crime Fighting Nerdery

Originally posted:
>By Curtis Cartier, Fri., Nov. 19 2010 @ 6:00AM
Green Reaper, Penelope, Thorn, Thunder 88, Buster Doe, No Name, Catastrophe, Gemini and Phoenix Jones the Guardian of Seattle. These are the names of the costumed superheros who are now patrolling our city, ensuring your safety… I know. We’re excited too.
The PI reports late on Thursday that a group of masked vigilantes calling themselves the Rain City Superhero Movement has been patrolling Seattle streets for a few weeks now.
They wear costumes, they ride around in a Kia at night looking for trouble and occasionally, they get stabbed.
Seattle Police think they’re silly at best, dangerous at worst. They cite cases where one darkly clad crusader was nearly shot when he came running out of a park in the middle of the night, or when a woman saw a bunch of costumed freaks pull up to a gas station and thought they were there to rob the place.
“Phoenix Jones the Guardian of Seattle” seems to be the one member that the cops and the media have the most info on–and still, it’s not much.
We know he’s a 22-year-old man who met with police at the station last month in near full regalia: black cape, blue tights, black fedora, white belt and mask. He’d have brought the rest of his gear, he told them, but it was being repaired after he got stabbed trying to break up a drug buy.
But don’t worry. Jones tells the PI that he and his squad are professionals.

“I don’t condone people walking around on the street with masks. Everyone on my team either has a military background or a mixed martial arts background, and we’re well aware of what its costs to do what we do.”

The crew appears to draw a lot of its marching orders from the website
That’s right, .org.
Also, another site noted by the police has an actual “manual” for becoming a super hero.
It’s packed with info on picking out fly crime fighting “threads” and weapons, assembling a kick-ass utility belt, keeping your “hero health” in tip-top shape and finding pressure points on your enemies that will render them incapacitated.
Nowhere on the site are any tips for finding a girlfriend or holding down a job.
It’s not clear how the Rain City Superhero Movement is alerted to crimes. They may have police scanners, they may have inside sources, or simply internet access to the SPD police blog. They don’t, at this point, have a skyward pointed spotlight of any kind or a direct line to Mayor McGinn.
But they do have our attention. And it’s likely that that’s all they wanted in the first place.

Real life 'superheroes' guard Seattle streets from crime

Originally posted:

by Linda Brill / KING 5 News
Posted on November 19, 2010 at 6:30 PM
Updated Friday, Nov 19 at 6:30 PM

SEATTLE — They are a group of costumed and caped do-gooders out to fight crime, and now they’re on the streets of Seattle.
A handful of men and women say they’re part of a national group of “Real Life Superheroes” and locally they call themselves the Rain City Movement.
Their website says they embody the values presented in super heroic comic books. Now they’ve organized here and are patrolling Seattle streets at night.
But, police say these superheroes could cause harm. They carry Tasers, nightsticks and pepper spray, but they don’t carry guns.
At a Capitol Hill gas station last week, a bystander mistook a masked superhero for a masked robber. Police warn someone could get hurt.
“If you want to dress up as a superhero that’s great. Go to the conventions.” said Mark Jamieson, spokesman for the Seattle Police Department.

Police alerted to 'superheroes' patrolling Seattle

Originally Posted:

Vigilante justice has come to Seattle, and the caped crusaders drive a Kia.
Seattle police say a group of self-described superheroes have been patrolling the streets at night trying to save people from crime. They call themselves the Rain City Superhero Movement and say they’re part of a nationwide movement of real-life crime fighters.
The national website — cited in a police bulletin sent to Seattle officers Wednesday — states “a Real Life Superhero is whoever chooses to embody the values presented in super heroic comic books, not only by donning a mask/costume, but also performing good deeds for the communitarian place whom he inhabits.”
Police say the “costume-wearing complainants” are lucky they haven’t been hurt.
In one instance, 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.
Police got the license plate and found those masked characters drove a Kia Fate registered to one of the character’s godmothers, department staff said. She told police her godson goes around doing good deeds.
Costume includes ballistic cup
Investigators identified nine people dressed in costume going around Seattle after dark. A police source said the characters go by Thorn, Buster Doe, Green Reaper, Gemini, No Name, Catastrophe, Thunder 88, Penelope and Phoenix Jones the Guardian of Seattle.
But don’t listen to Captain Ozone or Knight Owl, police were told. They’re apparently not part of the group.
Officers have learned the true identity of Phoenix — a 22-year-old man whose costume includes a black cape, black fedora, blue tights, white belt and mask. Police say he’s often driven by a young woman not in costume.
Officers say she usually doesn’t get out of the car, instead letting the “superhero” do his thing.
Phoenix was interviewed by detectives this month and came to police headquarters dressed in most of his costume, police said.
“(Phoenix) apologized for not being in full costume, as it was being repaired after (he) was stabbed while trying to intervene with a drug dealer and a citizen,” the police bulletin stated, according to a police source.
The man was not seriously wounded during the incident under Interstate 5, and police say he may not have actually been wounded.
Now, police were told Phoenix wears body armor, a ballistic vest, arm and leg trauma plates — and a ballistic cup. Police were apparently told that bulletproof vest helped stop a bullet during an incident in Tacoma a year ago.
Others are expected to be at police headquarters this week for identification.
“I don’t condone people walking around on the street with masks,” said the man who called himself Phoenix Jones. “Everyone on my team either has a military background or a mixed martial arts background, and we’re well aware of what its costs to do what we do.”
Jones said he would talk in greater detail after a television news story was broadcast this weekend by our news partner, KOMO/4.
Keeping in superhero fashion, he didn’t leave a return number.
Police say another incident with the self-proclaimed superheroes came about 3 a.m. November 4 at Sixth Avenue and South King Street in the International District.
Police responded to a harassment complaint and found Phoenix the Guardian of Seattle dressed in a “black colored Batman costume and a black ski mask,” department spokesman Jeff Kappel said.
He was standing with four other men and one woman, all in costume with their faces covered by ski masks and bandanas. They were dealing a man making threatening statements and swinging a golf club.
Police took the golf club as evidence. The “costume-wearing complainants” refused to press charges because they didn’t want to identify themselves to officers, Kappel said. So the suspect walked.

Dangers of vigilante justice

“There’s nothing wrong with citizens getting involved with the criminal justice process — as long as they follow it all the way through,” Kappel said, adding they want people to call 911 and be good witnesses, even if a case goes to court.
Police say they don’t want people who aren’t sworn officers putting themselves in danger.
They point to an unrelated case earlier this year in Maple Leaf. A man in his late 40s was working on his rental property near Northeast 77th Street and 16th Avenue Northeast when he saw men prowling his vehicle.
The man fought the prowlers and was winning, but one was able to inflict two knife wounds 3-inches deep. Large amounts of blood covered his clothes when medics arrived, and police say the man nearly died.
In another Northgate case from 2008, a man shot a car prowler who was trying to steal his stereo. The prowler died and the suspect was charged with manslaughter. He’s out now, but was sentenced to nine months in prison.
A member of the Rain City Superhero Movement told police they carry Tasers, nightsticks, pepper spray, but no firearms.
Police say they hope the self-proclaimed superheroes are realistic and act as good witnesses instead of putting themselves in danger. The bulletin said a KOMO/4 news crew plans to follow the caped crusaders Friday night.
According to the national superhero website, the characters don’t have to engage in violent fights to be a crime fighter, but should embody the values presented in super heroic comic books.
“Inspiration plays a major role in this, of course,” character Entomo wrote on the page. “You can inspire people to believe in a symbol.
“You can inspire people to believe they can CREATE themselves a symbol and embody it — and it’s not a lie.”

Casey McNerthney can be reached at 206-448-8220 or [email protected]. Follow Casey on Twitter at

Finally a Real Life Superhero

Illustration by Peter Tangen

Illustration by Peter Tangen

Originally posted:
By Chris Ware
This is one of the most amazing stories you will eve hear. You probably will not believe it. I can’t blame you for questioning it but it is all true. The world now has its very own real life flesh and blood superhero. This new superhero has arrived in Monrovia the capital of Liberia in Africa.
Lion Heart has been protecting the people in Monrovia and the surrounding villages for the last few weeks now. Lion Heart is involved in a number of different things. Most of what Lion Heart does is educate the local people. He does not teach them to read or write but he teaches them things they do not know that can save their life.
In many rural African villages people do not know they should boil their water before drinking the water they get from local streams. This is one of the largest causes of death in the world. He lets them know about this and they are now less likely to get sick and die. The children are the most likely to die from problems caused by drinking bad water.
Other things that seem simple the local villagers do not know. The sanitation conditions are terrible. Many families have sick members living with them and they do not know to cover their mouth when they cough. They will even eat and drink using the same cup and utensils as a sick person.
Some of the information he gives has been able to literally save the life of a person who was dying. Health related information is not the only information that he gives though. He also teaches about human trafficking so people will not be fooled and sent into slavery.
Over the last few weeks he has learned many things and found more problems and more solutions. He continues to improve what he has already been doing.
Lion Heart also has a small following. All the people he visits are told to teach others. Many teach family, friends, and some even teach the entire village they live in. A few people have even been taught by Lion Heart how they can help others too and are now doing the same things he is.
While it might be odd for an adult to run around in a cape and mask what he is doing is a great thing. There is no telling how many lives he will affect by what he is doing. It is likely we will be hearing more about this superhero soon.

Tea Krulos on Forces of Geek

Our Own TEA KRULOS On Real Life Super-Heroes And How You Can Support His Book, HEROES IN THE NIGHT!

Our Own TEA KRULOS On Real Life Super-Heroes And How You Can Support His Book, HEROES IN THE NIGHT!

I first encountered Tea Krulo’s work in an article he wrote almost a year ago in The Boston Phoenix spotlighting Real Life Superheroes in New England. It didn’t take long for me to contact him and ask him to joinForces of Geek.Fortunately, he accepted and his column on both this site and his own, are fascinating looks at a real life phenomenon. Tea is currently using Kickstarter to help generate financial support for his book, Heroes In The Night and shared some details about the project with FOG!

Tea Krulos and The Watchman in Milwaukee

What are real life superheroes?
Explaining what real life superheroes (RLSHs) are can be a complicated thing, since there are a number of different approaches. Generally speaking, they are people who invent their own costumed persona and then use that persona to do something in the real world- doing safety patrols looking for crime, detective work, charity events and fundraising, handing out supplies to the homeless, in general trying to do small scale superheroics to try to improve their neighborhoods.
I use the term “movement” because simply defined a movement is a “group of people working toward a common goal.” In this case the common goal is trying to improve quality of life by helping those in need.
Are these people crazy? Do they think they have superpowers?
Well, I think that the people who sit on their ass and watch TV all day and whine about how terrible everything is- those are the crazy people. I will admit I’ve run into some wild characters in the RLSH world, I don’t think anyone will deny they exist. There are a small few who claim to have some psychic, “magick,” or metaphysical capabilities. Every group has “crazy uncles” though, and the more interesting story to me was that most of these people are pretty normal, have regular jobs, families, are going to school, some are military, and they are fully aware that they are human beings and face the same limitations we all do.
What approach does your book take? How is it different than potential other books about real life superheroes being worked on?
My book, Heroes in the Night, is based on three strong points- research, extensive interviewing, and field work. I’ve tried to find people doing something similar to this as far back as I can, interviewed well over a hundred RLSHs and associates by phone and e-mail, and traveled to meet RLSHs in Minneapolis and Rochester, MN, New Bedford, MA, New York City, Seattle, WA, and Vancouver. I’ve also spent a lot of time with the local RLSHs here in my home town of Milwaukee, WI.

Knight Owl, Zetaman, Runebringer, and Life (with Dark Guardian in the background)at the Superheroes Anonymous 3 conference in New Bedford, MA

Although I do appear in the book to share in my adventures, I appear more as a narrator than a central character. For most of the book I remain objective- I am presenting these people’s stories and the reader will walk away with any number of impressions depending on how the story resonates with them personally. Some will probably shrug their shoulders and be apathetic, others will think it’s a joke, and I think some will start wondering what color spandex will look best on them.
Who are your favorite real life superheroes?
I don’t really have a favorite. Real life superheroes are like snowflakes- all unique in their own way. Everyone I’ve gotten to meet in person has been really great. I’ve spent the most time with my local RLSHs, The Watchman and Blackbird, patrolling my own neighborhood. I’ve had them over to my house many times and gotten to know them pretty well. I will continue to support them long after my book is on shelves. I’ve met about 25-30 RLSHs in person and my experiences with all of them have been good.
Is there such a thing as real life supervillains?
Ha! There are, but you don’t need to fear for your safety. I think it’s inevitable that not everyone is a RLSH fan, for whatever reasons, so “real life supervillains” began to appear, mocking the heroes online via blogs and YouTube videos. For some I think it is just goofing around making fun of people, others like to try and find hypocritical or unheroic behavior to attack them with.
I am in regular contact with some of them. I don’t always agree with what they say, but I don’t necessarily agree with everything heroes say either- in my experience surrounding yourself with people that only agree with you is very limiting.

Tea Krulos on patrol with Geist in Rochester, MN

Have you thought of becoming a real life superhero yourself?
Yes, indeed. I remember like ten years ago, a friend of mine was viciously mugged on her way to meet her friends at a bar. I had sort of a day dream of myself dressed up like Batman, jumping out of the shadows to save her. So I can see the appeal- creating a mysterious alter ego seems adventurous and fun. I think that is something these guys don’t mention always- it’s fun. I don’t really have the right abs to pull off spandex, but definitely I’ve found myself thinking “alright- this guy’s mask with this guy’s armor, maybe in a darker shade of blue…”
Why are you trying to raise money through Kickstarter?
I’d really like to do it myself and have creative control over it. I know enough qualified people to help me make it happen. There is a substantial amount of cost to make it happen the right way, so I decided to raise funds via the site Kickstarter. At one of the most basic levels this allows people to pre-order a signed copy of the book for $35 dollars, and other levels allow people to get a preview of the book and even a custom ordered mask of their own from Hero-Gear. Jack of Hero-Gear has designed countless RLSH masks and suits.
Being in control also lets me do whatever I want with the books and the money made on them. For instance, I have committed to donating a proceed of the books and related merchandise to charity.
You can find out more about the Kickstarter and preorder a book HERE!

Good News Friday: Superheroes Anonymous

Friday October 9, 2009
Apparently “Superheroes” are not just for the movies or comic books anymore. Motivated by difficult economic times, high crime and homelessness, a new movement of real life “Superheroes” has sprung up across the country.
Real life “Superheroes”….for real? Yep, and some of them are even dressed in tights.
One of these masked men is Mr. Ravenblade, a former Microsoft employee who was laid off who now helps to fight crime in Seattle. According to “Superheroes Anonymous,” based in New York, there are hundreds of Superheroes out there today doing what they can to help out in theri communities. According to the World Superhero Registry, in order to be a “Real Superhero” one must be “committed to doing good for the benefit of mankind” above and beyond the call of duty.
Some of the other SuperHeroes on the streets today are:
– Mr. Xtreme, who patrols the streets of San Diego.
– The Dark Guradian, a martial arts teacher committed to giving back in New York.
– Crimson Fist, who fights homelessness with food and water on the streets of Atlanta.
– Chaim “Life” Lazaros, of Superheroes Anonymous, who helped raise money children at St Mary’s Hospital and provides supplies to theri local homeless.
Here’s the Real Life Superheroes Creed: (I love this!)
We are Real Life Superheroes.
We follow and uphold the law.
We fight for what is right.
We help those in need.
We are role models.
We will be positive and inspirational.
We hold ourselves to a higher standard.
Through our actions we will create a better brighter tomorrow.
Don’t you just love these people! It makes me want to run out and get a costume.
What about you….is there a Superhero inside of you? So here’s my question:
If you were a Superhero, who would you be and what would be your cause?
I’d love to hear your comments.
See photo gallery of real life Superheroes for a little creative inspiration.
Peace and Blessings and May the Force Be with You!
posted by Deborah Price @ 3:34pm

From Academia To Zetamania

When WW called Zetaman on Dec. 23, he was walking a mile to work through the snow, with TriMet buses paralyzed and his 1998 Ford minivan broken down at home.
Tough day for the local superhero, who gained a measure of fame after going public this year to reveal his identity in a WW cover story.
Illya King, 30, of Beaverton isn’t blessed with superpowers. But patrolling Portland twice a month to help the homeless—and hyping his exploits online —he’s part of a growing trend of real-life superheroes living out their comic-book fantasies on the street and on the Web.
Life since the WW cover story, Zetaman says, has been a “bizarre, bizarre ride.” He says the public rarely recognizes him in costume or out. But the coverage brought notoriety in the media—local television station KATU and even CNN picked up the story. That, in turn, brought strings of negative comments from anonymous writers online at and elsewhere, calling Zetaman an “attention whore” and a “jackass.”
But Zetaman persevered, continuing to spend his nights in costume handing out food and clothing to the homeless. After headlining a fundraiser for the Portland Rescue Mission at Someday Lounge on April 9 with local folk bands, he followed up a couple weeks ago by raising $1,000 in cash and toys for foster kids at a Dec. 13 benefit concert in Kirkland, Wash.
He’s also ramped up his superhero outreach, heading to California and Washington to patrol with fellow superheroes.
His night in Anaheim on April 30 with costumed avenger Ragensi, who dresses in a black ninja suit, was uneventful. That’s surprising given Ragensi’s more hardcore image and his previous violent run-in with a costumed villain, as reported in WW’s cover story.
“He, like, looks scary, but he’s the biggest sweetheart,” Zetaman says.
His July 4 evening patrolling Seattle with Black Knight was also quiet. But even without action-packed adventure, Zetaman continued his efforts to unite his superhero friends under one banner.
There are two reasons. First is what Zetaman calls continued bad behavior by some other superheroes—including his archenemy, a New Jersey avenger named Tothian, who has tangled with Zetaman in online chatrooms and still picks on other superheroes, Zetaman says.
Second is negative publicity from Rolling Stone, which ran a Dec. 12 story on superheroes that profiled Florida hero Master Legend as a slob living in a run-down shack who uses his alter ego to escape reality.
Now Zetaman and others have vetted people they consider to be examples of true real-life superheroes from around the world. They’re assembled in a new online collective Zetaman helped design at
“We’re trying to get more of a positive message out there that we’re not a bunch of drunks,” Zetaman says. “Or guys just living in our basement and stuff.” —James Pitkin