Real Life Caped Crusaders

By Garth Olson
The Valley Wire

Photo by Peter Tangen

Photo by Peter Tangen

Apparently, real life super heroes are popping up everywhere. It’s a concept that started nearly two years ago and has been growing quickly, thanks in part to Hollywood photographer Peter Tangen.
Tangen started the Real Life Super Hero Project after reading about a real life super hero in a magazine.
“Having done the photography for the Spider-Man, Batman Begins and Hellboy movie posters, I was immediately inspired by the idea that superheroes really exist,” Tangen said.
Real Life Super Heroes
Across the country, men and women are reinventing themselves as real life super heroes. And yes, they’re dressing up in super hero costumes, which can include capes, masks, and you know – super hero garb. But beneath the outlandishness of the costumes, seriousness quickly takes over. Real Life Super Heroes are fighting the good fight against all sorts of serious problems from the homeless, child abuse and poverty as well as crime and drugs.

One example is RazorHawk, who wears a yellow beak graphic on his costume of blue and black. He lives and operates in the Twin Cities area, and a few folks know his true identity. Along with safety patrols in the Minneapolis, RazorHawk is coordinating HOPE2011, which is a homeless outreach event that will be held during Comic-Con in San Diego in July. His team, The Great Lakes Heroes Guild, works with homeless, and during the event in San Diego, his team plans on passing out over 100 backpacks of clean clothes and personal care products to people who have no place to live.
“We are out there of our own volition, we are not being paid,” RazorHawk said. “We are trying to make the world a better place. It’s not all about jumping from rooftop to rooftop but affecting change and getting people to recognize how bad some of the problems our individual cities face.” His motto is, “family first, saving the world begins at home.”
The Watchman
In Milwaukee, The Watchman wears a red mask and a trench coat; sometimes he’ll wear a cape. Not long ago he stated that only his wife and kids knew his true identity, but out of necessity a few co-workers and a few cops learned of his identity. Along with patrolling areas of Milwaukee and by getting more residents involved with community watch groups, The Watchman also works to raise donations and toys for his Christmas Mission.
“Being a Real Life Superhero isn’t glamorous, he said. “It’s hard work and takes a lot of patience and motivation. It’s not Batman. We don’t have super powers…it’s really about being a good neighbor, watching out for people and lending a hand when
it’s needed.”
Peter Tangen
As real life super heroes started popping up across the country, Hollywood photographer, Peter Tangen developed the concept, The Real Life Super Hero Project. He stated that the various local media outlets, like local news stations, seemed more focused on the costumes than the bigger picture of community service. In the beginning the media, like local tv news stations, “seemed to be mocking” the super heroes and casting them in a “negative light,” Tangen said. Tangen’s photography project quickly helped shift the focus towards the individual service work of the super heroes and away from just the middle-age guys in costumes” angle.
“The Real Life Super Hero Project inspired a deeper story that the media missed,” Tangen said. Tangen, whose work can be seen online at, created movie-like posters of the real life super heroes and helped transform their image from campy to super cool.
“I researched the super heroes and discovered that the media was missing the real story, one of truly inspiring people who selflessly give their communities,” Tangen added. “They are in fact marketing good deeds and since we live in a world of symbols, they understand their value and use symbols to make their work visible to the public.”
The art directors for the project include Bryan Allen, Paul Hoegh-Guldberg, Kevin Bachman, Martin Gueulette, Rick Lynch and Robert Russell.
Tangen’s Work
Tangen recently visited Milwaukee and Minneapolis while working on the project. Currently, he’s back in Los Angeles, where he’s self-employed as a Hollywood photographer. He’s done the photography for many movie posters including Wedding Crashers, Elf and many comic book and horror films like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street.
Tangen grew up in Minneapolis and stated that he specializes in photographing movie stars for movie posters. Those photo sessions can last an hour or for a full day in the case for the Spider-Man posters. As for the Real Life Super Hero
Project, Tangen added that more and more creative people have donated their time as the project keeps evolving.
“Writers, editors, 3D graphic artists, motion graphic artists, web designer and camera operators… about 100 people have volunteered their time and resources in support of this project.” Currently, there are over 150 Real Life Super Heroes across the globe and thanks to Tangen, and his team’s creative work, that number is growing steadily.
Real Life Super Hero Project photographer Peter Tangen also did the photography for the movie posters for Batman Begins and Wedding Crashers.
Tangen grew up in Minneapolis and currently lives in Los Angeles.

The Watchman – Milwaukee’s Real Life Superhero

By Spooky on October 8th, 2010
Armed with a flashlight, a can of pepper spray and a cell phone, the Watchman patrols the streets of Riverwest, hunting for criminals and evil doers. But he’s got a job, so he only plays superhero on weekends.
Although he doesn’t have any real superpowers (or even weapons), The Watchman likes to refer to himself as a real life superhero. Instead of gadgets and weapons, he opted for a simple Motorola phone, which he uses to report the crimes he happens to witness while patrolling. Contacting the police or calling an ambulance is sometimes more important than intervening in person, so he prefers to let authorities handle emergencies.
The 6-foot, 200-pound superhero wears a red mask over half his face, to conceal his identity, so that his family doesn’t have to suffer from his crime-fighting activities. He has always felt that anyone can do something to make our world better, and after contemplating about becoming a police officer, he decided to become the Watchman. While he understands some people may think his superhero outfit is somewhat funny, he’s out there to show people everyone can do their part.
But the Watchman is not the only superhero patrolling the streets at night. He actually belongs to the Great Lakes Heroes Guild, a group of real life superheroes who exchange resources and information in order to make the world a better place.
Most of the Riverwest locals who know about the Watchman think it’s actually pretty cool that they have their own superhero who actually cares about their safety and well-being, but he does get into trouble every once in a while. For example, he once saw four boys leaving an underaged party with a 15-year-old drunk girl. It seemed like they were going to take advantage of her, so he stepped in, but then her big brother came out, who seeing his masked face, thought he was the bad guy and pulled out a knife. All the Watchman could do was jump in his car and get the hell out of there. Not very superhero-like, but even a scared superhero is better than no superhero, right? Wait, that doesn’t sound right…

Superheroes Anonymous

life-posterOriginally posted:

How Costumed, Creative Altruism is Sweeping the Nation

Published: Monday, September 13, 2010
Updated: Monday, September 13, 2010 19:09
By Matthew Weitkamp
It’s late in New York City. Darkness has fallen and roaming the streets are the downtrodden and forgotten: Homeless men and women, starving and alone, cry out for hope. Their cries are being answered in the form of a masked man who stalks the streets with food and water, swooping in to help save these poor souls from a horrible fate. It’s late in New York City, and a superhero is saving the day.
A new wave of charity is sweeping across the landscape of our Nation. Costumed, creative altruism has set its roots. There is no ‘Justice League’ or ‘Avengers’ group, however. There is no centralized organization where the heroes meet to plan their war on crime. Across the country there are as many as 300 costumed heroes, all unconnected with one another. But individually they are still pushing past a skeptical society; one that is wary of their intentions.
New York is home to one such hero, “Life”, who walks the streets with determination to make the world better, and leave it better than how he found it. Born into a Hasidic Jewish family, Chaim (which is Hebrew for Life) took the teachings of his father, a Rabbi, to heart. When a person has something to give, regardless of how little, you must give to those who need it more than you.
“My family taught me that charity and helping other people isn’t optional. There are horrible, horrible injustices in the world and if you can do something, even a little, to make things better then you should.” Chaim has taken a piece of his Jewish faith, that charity is compulsory, and turned that into one of the code of ethics for Real Life Superheroes.
Life, a co-founding member of the Not-For-Profit organization, Superheroes Anonymous, is not the same kind of hero you’ll find in the pages of Batman or Spider-man. He doesn’t beat up thugs or commit vigilante justice. Instead, Life uses his time to help the homeless and inspire others through his actions. “I’m a realist. I’m a grounded person, as much as a man who wears a mask is a realist.”
Every night Life takes a backpack filled with necessity items with him out onto the streets. He gives bottled water, candy bars, tooth brushes, and a listening ear to all the homeless he meets. Everything Life gives he buys himself; a personal investment financially in his own desire to change the world. An expensive proposition, when you think about it.  But for Life, that investment is worth it.
Life says he’s often asked why he wears a costume. Plenty of people can perform charity without dressing up or wearing a mask – so why does he? “Like a police officer, firemen […] even a business man: It’s a uniform … [you] feel like you stand for something. You wear the costume and you feel like a superhero”
“A costume draws attention to yourself,” explains Life, on why the costume is necessary, “and gets people to notice you.”
People can be inspired to do charity, Life says, when they see a mask or a cape. “You don’t have to be Batman and take down huge criminals or stop a war.” He says it’s all about what each of us can do, today, to make a difference.
“Start small, start realistically. What do you have the time and resources to do? … I get (emails for advice) all the time. They always have big goals. ‘I want to do this and that – I want to clean up my city of crime’. And I go ‘ok, but you don’t have the power to do that right now? What can you do, now, that’s small?’ You have to start small and be realistic.”
And how long will Life continue to be a Superhero? He admits that, while he won’t hang up his mask anytime soon, his role as a superhero might change over time. “I see Superheroes Anonymous becoming a Not-For-Profit organization that supports real life superheroes […] I won’t ever stop doing charity work. If it means being behind a desk instead of on the street, then charities will need that too.”
His outfit, like his attitude, shows just how adult Life is. Chaim doesn’t wear a cape or a cowl – he wears a tie and a Fedora. He’s a professional, working on the streets of New York City, presenting himself as a man who takes that one step further. Should Life ever need to take on a new role of heroism, like that of an executive for his organization, he feels all he would have to do is take the mask off. The rest of his outfit is professional.
The choice to become a superhero is not exclusive to Life in this country, but his is an example of creative altruism at its finest. Like-minded citizens all across the country are doing their part, too. Heroes like Citizen Prime, from Florida, who works to establish more homes for orphaned youths, stand as beacons for men and women looking to take on a new role in the protection of American’s from social injustice. These superheroes are real, walking the streets as an Iconic symbol for a better world. Life stresses that even though they might look odd or different, they’re a necessity.
“As long as you find people in need, you’ll have a need for superheroes.”

Modern day costume heroes fighting to make the world a better place

Originally posted:
Published Date: 07 September 2010
chaim_lazaroBy KATY ROSS
That’s what many 25-year-olds do when confronted with the monotony of the hamster wheel of life, when nothing matters but who you are going to the pub with at the weekend and whether you happen to get lucky. Instead, each night when he gets home from his job at an non-profit organisation in Brooklyn, he goes to his wardrobe and pulls on his superhero costume, then goes about the important business of saving the world, one step at a time.
He is not alone. Lazaros, or ‘Life’, to give him his superhero moniker, is one of a legion who make up the real-life superhero movement, a worldwide community of loosely affiliated individuals committed to a broadly defined ethos of making the world a better place.
These people may look as though they have jumped out of a comic book or Hollywood blockbuster, but they are all ordinary citizens who haven’t got a super power between them. What they share is an all too human ambition to help solve some of society’s most challenging problems by donning masks and costumes and venturing into their respective neighbourhoods to feed the hungry, comfort the sick and protect the innocent.
“We are just people who want to make a difference,” says Lazaros, who co-founded the New York-based website Superheroes Anonymous, to bring superhero groups together through outreach, education and creative community service. “We are not delusional – we know we’re humans with limited abilities. But inside every human is the capacity to do something kind, brave and strong for our fellow humans; some among us simply choose to do so in secret.”
But why the need for costumes? Would these good deeds not be equally welcomed if carried out in jeans and T-shirts? Working from the basic premise that the definition of a real-life superhero is someone who creates their unique persona to do good acts for others, Lazaros believes that “just because you are becoming something greater than yourself when you do these acts of good does not mean you have to be wearing a mask while doing them.
Nevertheless, the costumes do provide a universal symbol of good that people can recognise. When my father went out on the streets dressed as a Rabbi, people recognised him and trusted him. Dressing up in a superhero costume means something similar to me.”
The Real Life Superhero Project is photographer Peter Tangen’s attempt to document the work of the individuals who make up the movement. “They are some of the most amazing people I have ever met,” he says from his home in Los Angeles.
“As I researched the project I was struck by the irreverent and almost insulting tone of some of the reporting into these altruistic people who devote their time and effort into helping others. Their approach is very savvy though. In some ways they are marketing good deeds. They are drawing attention to personal power in an entirely unique way.”
Despite the hurdles the movement faces, its numbers are growing fast and are currently estimated to be in the region of 250 to 300 around the world. The work they do is varied; for example, The Cleanser will actively go out and clean the streets. Direction Man will go out and offer directions.
Other people have less specific personas and just aim to help. With great costumes, though, comes great responsibility, and while the superheroes are united in their aim to make the world a better place, their community has at times been divided on how that should be done.
Some members advocate a high-profile existence, helping the less fortunate through established non-profit organisations. Others want to fight the bad guys, vigilante-style, hiding in the shadows while supporting the work done by those in law enforcement.
Before moving to New Jersey to be with her boyfriend, 20-year-old Nyx, like Peter Parker in Spider-Man, prefered to keep her true identity secret. Living in Kansas, she would secretly take photographs of drug dens and send them to the authorities.
“It was dangerous work and I used to carry weapons. But I’m in New York now and things are different,” she says.
“We need to remain focused about our aims. I ask myself how I can be most productive. I want to help people feel safer and happier, but the best way I can do that is by volunteering. So now I work with my boyfriend at a homeless shelter. Everyone has it in them to make a difference, and I think this is the best way I can help.”
In Atlanta, Crimson Fist, a compact 5ft 6in, admits on his first night patrol it was the shock of seeing a man in a red and white cape and mask that scared off the two men he had confronted in an alley for attacking one another.
With a history of substance abuse, he says his superhero work is an attempt to make up for treating people poorly in the past.
“Generally when I go out on patrols I pack up a backpack with different supplies – in the summer I hand out bottled water, in the colder months, I give them clean shirts and socks and things like that.”
Citizen Prime, real name Jim, works for an unnamed financial institution by day and is one of the most respected members of the superhero community. Recently retired, he is consulted by many of the other super- heroes for advice. Prime distributed literature on drugs and crime and boasted a $4,000 custom-made outfit with breast armour.
On reflection, he likes to think his humour was his key weapon in diffusing awkward situations as he patrolled the streets of Arizona.
It would be easy to assume the actions of these members, and the many others committed to the movement, stem from a sense of disillusionment with society’s limitations, and that the new breed of superheroes are simply looking to find purpose in their lives. This isn’t always the case though.
Many of these people come from extremely successful backgrounds. Some are employed by non-profit organisations but others work on Wall Street or in politics.
As Peter Tangen puts it: “These people come from all walks of life. The organisation is very focused but it isn’t political. There are committed Democrats, Republicans, the whole spectrum of society is included. These are people with relationships, families, successful lives.
“They are not people who are lacking. They are people who are doing what they can to make a difference to the world they live in.”
For Lazaros, the motivation to get into the movement wasn’t through some sense of disillusionment, but more a desire to share his good fortune. Raised in the Jewish tradition of leaving the world a better place than the way he found it, he was imbued at an early age with strong values of charity, courtesy and kindness, modelled for him by his Hassidic parents, who always gave to others, even when it was hard to do so.
This moral code, underscored with a powerful sense of social justice, led him to his work with the homeless and disenfranchised.
Now minimally costumed in a mask, tie and jacket, he sets out every day with a backpack brimming with toothbrushes, lotions, soaps, even sweets, delivering the smaller necessities of life that fill in the gaps left by the NYC Department of Homeless Services.
The challenge, as Lazaros sees it, is to find people who are creative and altruistic and encourage them to express those charitable impulses in ways that may range from the subtle to the extreme. It is also what he sees as the ultimate mission of Superheroes Anonymous. “If I can inspire someone to do even the littlest of things to help others, and they in turn can do the same, think of how many thousands can be helped.”
This article was first published in Scotland On Sunday on Sunday, 5 September, 2010

The Real Life Super Hero Project

Originally posted:

Photo by Peter Tangen

Photo by Peter Tangen

Even for as far back as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by superheroes, comic books and the world of alter-egos and visual characters. That very fascination has moulded who and what I am today. The mystery surrounding a secret identity just astounds me and if it were at all humanly possible – I wish superheroes actually existed. And I wish I could be one!
Cue fanfare, whilst I don my dark shades, slip into my all-black garb and let the wind blow through my hair!
Now, an avenue exists for like-minded freaks, The Real Life Super Hero Project exists to collate this unique subculture of genuine heroes.
Anonymous and selfless, they choose every day, to make a difference in the world around them. Whether it be feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, or cleaning up their neighborhoods, they save real lives in very real ways. These are not “kooks in costumes,” as they may seem at first glance. They are, simply put, a radical response… to a radical problem.
So who are these modern day heroes? They are our neighbors, our friends, our family members. They are artists, musicians, athletes, and yes, politicians. Their actions serve as reminders that as most giving today has become reactive—digital and removed, temporarily soothing our guilt and feelings of helplessness—we have blinded ourselves to simple principles and practice of compassion and goodwill.
Photographer Peter Tangen has earned the trust of this loose network, to visually document the genuine power of these individuals—and in the process, reveal the soul behind their endeavor.
At first, The Real Life Superhero Project was conceived as an avenue to shine some light on this new breed of activism and altruism, through a photographic installation to benefit the established organizations the superheroes believe in. But as more people were brought into the wholly volunteer project, largely through Tangen’s infectious enthusiasm, the scope and purpose expanded exponentially.
Now, what began as a gallery exhibit, has come to serve as the launching pad of something far greater—a living, breathing community that inspires people to become the positive forces for change we all can be. To become more active, more involved, more committed, and perhaps, a little super in the process.
Check out the website here for more info.

Real Life Superheroes and Real Life Artist Team-Up!

Originally Posted:
By jaredevans85
If you know me at all, you know that I like superheroes. Like most children (and most adults if we just admit it), I have always wanted to be a superhero. Sure, part of that is the powers, as well as the snazzy get-ups, but I’ve always been in love with the idealism. Superheroes come from a world where good stands against evil, you know what’s right and what’s wrong, and you can stand up and do something about it. That may very well be the biggest fantasy of all.
I’ve been aware of the Real Life Super Hero (RLSH) movement for several years now. Citizen Prime (a resident of Utah I might add) was one of the first public faces of the movement, and over the years more and more people are making costumes and heading out to save the world. However, while many comic book heroes spend their time giving well-delivered right hooks to villains and ne’er-do-wells, these heroes are often more concerned with social projects, including helping the homeless, crime prevention, and charitable work. They all have different reasons and motivations for putting on a costume, but to me, however effective it may be in the end, it shows that people want to get out into the world and do something. The crazy costumes and code names represent the fact that we can be more than what we are, and we can always take another step up. While I won’t speak for all of them, it’s clear that the ideals of helping others and justice for all aren’t lost on some of these heroes, and they want to make a difference.
Photographer Peter Tangen, known best for his Spider-Man and Batman movie posters, has begun to document members of the RLSH community, creating vivid and stylized posters and portraits. The site,,has only been around for a few months, but already profiles a number of heroes, including DC’s Guardian, New York’s Life, and Rochester, MN’s Geist. It’s a brilliant project (I actually considered trying to write a book about it a few years ago), and Tangen’s work is very professional and engaging. Whether you agree with their ideals or their fashion sense, give the site a look. It’s certainly a fascinating subculture, and one that I expect we’ll only hear more from in the future. We certainly don’t need anyone on the streets delivering vigilante justice, but we could always use a few more helping hands.

Superheroes Come To Life

Originally posted:
by Jeremy

Photo by Peter Tangen

Photo by Peter Tangen

We may all have our preconceived notions of what constitutes a superhero, especially with the onslaught of comic books currently making the leap into Hollywood. But in today’s society that definition has been redefined.
Meet “The Real Superhero Project,” a loose network of everyday citizens taking on the injustices that continue to run rampant. We’re not talking about masked vigilantes taking on costumed criminals with ironic monikers. These volunteers are less “Caped Crusaders” and more “Extreme Activists,” combating such basic struggles as homelessness to drug addiction.
Originally conceived by photographer Peter Tengen, his photo exhibit has evolved into a movement that has inspired a lot of people to simply take action in their communities. It is the decisive nature of these family members, friends, neighbors, musicians, athletes, and even politicians, who prove that a real hero isn’t made up by the costume, but the very real people who wear them.
Check out the official website here.

Real Life Superheroes Assemble

Originally posted:
By Tom Pinchuk
The number of Real Life Superheroes popping up throughout the country is making for a veritable movement at this point. It was only a matter of time before this movement got properly documented. Hence… the Real Life Superheroes Project, a sort-of multi media essay about these altruists who’ve given their everyday charity a creative flourish. You might recall the piece we ran in April about some of these characters who’ve been using costume personas to feed the homeless and counsel wayward teens amongst other charitable efforts. Well, this Project marks the first gathering of these heroes on this scale, making it something of a true-to-life equivalent to the founding of the JUSTICE LEAGUE.
The whole project’s a pro-bono effort from Peter Tangen, a photographer whose work includes all those memorable posters for the first new SPIDER-MAN and BATMAN movies, as well as the revivals of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM ST. and FRIDAY THE 13 (all of which you can see on his website.) This project of his puts all these heroes into set-ups that could easily be posted up in your movie theater’s poster gallery. He’s even got an ensemble portrait of the 20-odd heroes that pays homage to the poses Alex Ross used so memorably for the covers of KINGDOM COME and JUSTICE (which, as an aside, I’ll say is actually pretty surreal to witness.)
These costumes range from looking professionally-designed to cobbled together, but Tangen’s photography makes them all look impressively iconic. Bleeding Cool got wind of this recently, but the project’s continuing to expand. I’ve included only a couple mages here, but there’s a whole host of posters, portraits and videos on the project’s website. Seriously, it looks like they’re launching a whole imprint here.  Anyway, check it out and found out all there is to know about these heroes. You might even get some ideas on how to bring this brand of creative altruism to your own community.
Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here.

Photo by Peter Tangen

Photo by Peter Tangen

The People Will Look Up and Shout ‘Save Us!’

Originally posted:
By Chase
2010 has ushered in the era of the super hero.  Amazing comic book characters are inspiring several franchises in movies, video games, TV and more.  As movie goers, we look to these characters and relate to them, admire them, aspire to be them.  The super hero saves the people and protects their city, but outside of the movies and the comics we have the same problems with crime and poverty and death. We have real-life issues that parallel those of the comic book world.  There isn’t a mad scientist threatening to blow up DC, but there are people getting mugged in the streets, parents losing children to gangs and drugs, people losing everything and struggling to survive on the streets.  The real-life super heroes are out there, but they don’t do it for the fame or because they loved Iron Man 2.  These heroes are out there helping their communities and looking out for the less fortunate.  They are out there with a message, a message that has fallen upon few ears until now.
Ken Goldstein is one of the founders of Planet Illogica.  With his help, Peter Tangen was able to bring about “The Real Life Super Hero” project and voice this heroic message.  While in Vancouver, Peter Tangen, photographer for major movie posters such as Hell Boy and Spider Man, was doing a photo shoot when he met one the many people who exist to help others.  Peter met a man who wears a costume, and goes by his own super hero name.  He helps the homeless, stops criminals, and protects his community.  These super heroes exist all over the world.  They may not have super powers, they may not be able to fly or stop bullets, but they act out of their own volition to help people, even just by getting to know the name of someone homeless.  Good deeds like these happen everyday, most of which go unnoticed.  The heroes have their own personal reasons for taking action but they all share a very real, very inspiring message.  That message is the power of a symbol.  A symbol that doesn’t draw attention to the guy dressed like a super hero, but to the good deeds he does everyday.  The symbol of helping your fellow man and showing that the homeless people you pass everyday on the street are not invisible.  They want people to call the police when they see a mugging instead of closing the blinds.  Drug dealers, gang members, homeless people, they are all still human beings.  Many of these people need help and even a small act of kindness can change their lives.
So how did Planet Illogica offer their support and bring light to the efforts of these super heroes?  They held the launch of “The Real Life Super Hero” campaign with Golden Apple in San Diego during Comicon. Guests got a chance to do a photo shoot with Peter Tangen dressed as their own alter ego super heroes. The event was to announce the launch of the campaign and possible future plans. Unbeknownst to anyone at the launch, except for Tangen, six real life super heroes attended out of costume and under their alter egos.
There are many sites dedicated to the super hero community.  They share stories, philosophies, and encourage others to join their cause and give them advice.  There are many icons in the media that send a different message of what it means to do something heroic.  Kids and adults get inspired by these icons and confuse being a super hero and doing a heroic deed.  “The Real Life Super Heroes” say that you can do heroic deeds everyday with or without a mask.  It is a concern that in the future someone will come along amongst the wannabes and hero fans that will start taking the law into their own hands or declare themselves a “Real Life Super Hero”, then go out and rob a bank or commit crimes at large.  “The Real Life Super Heroes” do not declare themselves as an organization.  They are a collective of people inspired by a message and are taking action.  They all live by a strict code and stress this code to any newcomers.  They ask that if you are planning on taking action that you obey any laws where you live, and to not become a vigilante dealing  judgment and deciding what’s right and wrong.  The heroes say that they do not deem right from wrong, but simply uphold their moral and ethical code.  The websites are a place for newcomers to get information and gain advice and guidance, but likewise if they are joining for the wrong reasons they can be turned away.

Peter Tangen did a side-by-side photo shoot of the super heroes, one in costume and one out of costume (for those who would take off their masks).  The heroes wanted people to see past their masks and look into the eyes of a person looking to help.  The other side was not to compare themselves to Batman or Superman, but to show themselves how the people they help see them.  To the homeless, these people look like shining super heroes.  They extend a hand to the homeless and they see a caped crusader, a savior in a mask with a gentle smile.  The heroes do not judge who they help or who joins their cause.  People of all walks of life put on these disguises because they have been inspired to do something good.  They use their costumes to market good deeds, not to market being a super hero. Even with the colorful costumes, there is still a sense of humility and humbleness.  Heroes have been in the media and have experienced humiliation and being mocked, so of course they became reluctant to use media to spread their message.  Peter Tangen gained the trust of the heroes, understood their message, believed in it, was inspired by it, and that’s really what this project is all about.  The greatest power any of these super heroes have is to inspire.
Many companies and charities love the idea of spreading heroic acts.  From small things such as handing out water to large donations and giving people another chance at life, every day people can become super heroes in the eyes of those in need.  To get involved with “The Real Life Super Hero” campaign or just find out more as it develops, you can visit You can also visit the heroes community site  It’s time for people to believe in something.  One man has the power to change the world.  We can care for those less fortunate, look past them being homeless and see a fellow human being in need.  The idea isn’t to strap on a bullet proof vest and hit the streets with your cape blowing in the wind, but you can take the time to do something heroic.  To become a symbol for good.  To become inspired.

You Can Be a Real-Life Superhero

Originally posted:
By John Tesh
Who’s slower than a speeding bullet, less powerful than a locomotive, unable to leap tall buildings in a single bound, yet still doing whatever they can to save the world? According to CNN, a growing number of regular citizens are volunteering their time these days to become real-life superheroes. Some dress up in elaborate costumes, while others work anonymously. Some have fancy names – like Mr. Xtreme, Civitron or the Dark Guardian! Most real-life superheroes go by less colorful names – like Direction Man, Camera Man, and The Cleanser. While none of these people have any real super powers, they’re all finding small ways to help make their community better.
For example: Direction Man walks around the streets of New York, offering help to complete strangers who look lost. Meanwhile, The Cleanser scours city sidewalks and parks, picking up trash. Others use their superhero alter egos to help raise money for the homeless, to feed needy children, or to hand out fliers in high-crime neighborhoods. This new superhero movement began several years ago, when a handful of comic book fans bonded with each other on MySpace. Today, there are nearly 300 real-life superheroes working around the world, and the worse the economy gets, the more people want to help.
That’s the word from Ben Goldman, a self-proclaimed “superhero historian” who keeps track of all these crusaders through his website: He says there’s been a growing interest in becoming a real-life superhero during the economic downturn, as people start to put more value in what they can do for others, rather than in how many possessions they have. That’s very good news to Stan Lee. He’s the comic book legend who created many fictional superheroes – like Spider-Man and the X-Men. Lee says the urge to do good deeds has always been the #1 calling card for superheroes. So when all is said and done, you don’t need to fly through the air, bend steel, or have x-ray vision to make a difference. Anyone who volunteers their time to help others in their own unique way deserves to be called a super-hero.