THIS is why…..

Well Boom goes the Dynamite…remember that nice NY Cop who handed out the $100 pairs of boots to the Homeless people last week? Well one of the Scumbags now wants Money for any profit made from the YouTube Videos etc. Oh and quick note, he no longer has the boots, He sold them for Drugs & Booze. And this is why I switched my Emphasis from Helping the Homeless to helping Kids, and Families in need. Now I’m sure I’ll get a slew of comments saying “Well you’re wrong Old super Hero because the Homeless Douche I help is actually the Arch Angel Gabriel in disguise & rainbows shoot out his butt etc.”
Spare me in advance….and help some people who deserve your help.

Why I think Privacy in RLSH forums is a necessity

Heya Folks,
Maybe a whole lot of you weren’t aware of this, but RLSH forums used to be different than they tend to be at this particular moment in time. There is a current upheaval.
Some of us have seen the hey-day of years ago and frankly, this ain’t it. I’m not meaning to criticize and believe me, I couldn’t do better and I’m in regret for not living up to my own part as a Moderator in a previous forum when I said I would.
I failed. And here’s what’s happened as a partial result.
We seem to be seeing an evolution of ALL of the RLSH forums at the same exact time.
It’s come to my notice because of some dissatisfaction among some of my elder RLSH friends and now I’m being contacted by newer Real-Life Superheroes asking, “Where are the cool forums?” And I guide them to where I can, including here at But this is not a self-promotional rant. Not at all.
Okay, I think I know the reason “the times, they are a’ changing.”
Facebook. That’s how we’re now communicating and networking among RLSHs and also our “civilian” friends. And that’s very incredibly awesome. But not good enough.
Wonderful, but take it for what it’s worth. It doesn’t fill our needs. Not at all, if you’re a Real-Life Superhero. Fine if you “Like” us, but if you’re actually one of us, it leaves us lacking support from our specifically-RLSH friends and even our detractors who we could be on a conversational level with. But we’re not. Not really. Not on facebook. It’s really just sort of throwing comments out there and there’s little, if any discussion.
Some of the forum sites are getting to “No privacy policy,” and while I appreciate the concept, I don’t enjoy it. It’s just not fun.
RLSH forums are also steering to a “this is just information and not conversational” and frankly, I think any kind of exclusiveness if going to kill a forum.
My former favorite forum of Heroes Network was in my opinion, killed by being just a bit more exclusive by membership requirements. Yes, the Admins were INCREDIBLY awesome (Love ya both!), but we never really got the nut-jobs or the whackos to debate with to make the efficiently-run forum truly interesting enough to visit often. I’m truly not criticizing the folks who ran it. I just wonder if it wouldn’t have been more active if it was a bit more loose. I appreciate the dedication, hard work and the concept, regardless.
I loved the idea. It was well-run and we’ve never seen anything quite like it before. Who knew that if you only got the “best and tried and true people” (and that I would be lucky enough to be in that group) into it, that they’d be of little interest and have little to talk about? I was honored to have counted myself among that number. But I know how boring I can be. Go figure.
Back to the “No Privacy” thing…
If you’re a Real-Life Superhero: You’re getting back from a patrol, hot and sweaty, or maybe cold and chilled and you want to talk some things out with someone on your level, who can understand or assume what your night or day might have been like. You want to avoid all the chit-chat BS. Or maybe you need to find some diversion among friends who understand what we do. You don’t want to be confronted by a random fb friend showing all of his friends his favorite Youtube video of a random band.
They don’t know what you did that night. -Or couldn’t prevent being done.
You want to commiserate and relate… make inside jokes and maybe kid around with your best RLSH friend who is also online, but in front of your other friends so that they can see how much mutual respect you have for each other to treat them like you do.
You need an RLSH private area.
No media AT ALL. Few, if any, kind “civilians” (No disrespect intended, My Friends.) Where we can just be among ourselves and sort of let down our guard and be our occasional asshole-selves and enjoy those moments with people who also have done the stupid things we’ve done. -(“Dude, don’t hand the guy an ice-cold Pepsi in a blizzard. Wouldn’t a hot coffee been a better idea? You’re such an A-hole, Geist ;)”)
Facebook is absolutely a wonderful thing. And media-friendly forums ABOUT Real-Life Superheros are a wonderful thing.
But if people with secret identities can’t have a place where, as a somewhat exclusive group can’t talk in privacy, then what’s the point of a forum FOR RLSHs?
I might for instance, want to give Razorhawk a hard time about his white and black costume concept, I might want to kid Superhero about his constant smile, I might want to wonder outloud why Watchman is never actually on the forums, and give a hard time to my Buddy Blue for thinking I’m not thinking of him. These are all dear friends of mine. And yeah, I want to give them some kidding. Can I do that in front of the world without you getting the wrong ideas? Not really.
But also, and more importantly, we need a place where RLSHs can speak of issues out of the media eye. I mean, we need to talk about potential press coverage and whether “this or that” might be a good idea, based partially upon our friends’ opinions. Or whether “this or that” was the right approach on a patrol we just had.
“What would you have done? I’m such an F-up. How can I do better next time?”
Over the years, some incredibly private issues have been brought up from our number of RLSH friends. Some of them even put to group discussions. Granted, I’m thinking back to when there were fifty of us online and not 750 or whatever. But there are still some things that I would like to hear about or talk about that are JUST private and among like-minded friends. No offense…
That’s just my take on the current trends.
All My Best,

Superheroes and Angels Welcome New Citizen’s Arrest Laws

Changes unlikely to spark vigilantism, says justice minister

Originally posted:

By Matthew Little
Epoch Times Staff             Created: November 23, 2011 Last Updated: November 23, 2011

PARLIAMENT HILL—Caped crusaders can rest a little easier after Justice Minister Rob Nicholson tabled a bill to simplify and clarify citizen’s arrest laws on Tuesday.
Then again, Canada’s own real-life superheroes are more inclined to hand out blankets and teach school kids than take out drug dealers, so maybe it won’t matter much.
But store owners in Toronto’s Chinatown will be relieved. Long-standing grievances about shoplifters not getting serious police attention reached a breaking point for shopkeeper David Chen in May 2009 when he chased down and detained a thief who’d stolen plants from his Lucky Moose market earlier that day.
But because the crime was not in progress, Chen’s citizen’s arrest was illegal and his subsequent trial for assault and forcible confinement inspired NDP MP Olivia Chow to table a private member’s bill to overhaul citizen’s arrest legislation.
The Liberals tabled a similar bill, and the government eventually introduced its own version that died when the election was called. Now it’s back, and Chow said the new version is in line with what she wanted to see.
“I’m glad that my old private member’s bill, my Lucky Moose bill, has finally become the government bill,” Chow said Tuesday.
Chen, who was eventually acquitted, also welcomed the changes.
“If the law changes it will be good for so many people, any small business like me can have more power to protect our stuff,” said Chen. “We can do more.”
Nicholson seems to agree. He said Tuesday citizens trying to protect themselves or their property shouldn’t be afraid of becoming criminals themselves.
“Canadians want to know that they are able to protect themselves against criminal acts and that the justice system is behind them, not against them,” he said.

NDP MP Olivia Chow told reporters Tuesday that the new citizen’s arrest legislation is in line with what she had previously called for. (Matthew Little/The Epoch Times)

The re-introduced legislation will expand and simplify citizen’s arrest laws and widen the time period under which someone can make a citizen’s arrest. Current legislation limits citizen’s arrest to crimes in progress, which is why Chen faced charges.
But would-be superheroes still need to act responsibly lest they end up as Phoenix Jones in Seattle, the superhero persona of Benjamin Fodor who was denigrated by police as a vigilante and charged when he tried to break up a fight.
Canadians seem content to leave crime fighting to the police. The most well-known Canadian real-life superhero is Vancouver’s Thanatos, a 63-year-old former intelligence officer with the U.S. Army Special Forces.
Real Life Superhero
Thanatos began his crime-fighting career four years ago with plans to stop criminals in their tracks. Wearing a skeletal cloth mask and clad in black, the unidentified man quickly changed course after taking to the streets and realizing any drug dealer he did stop would be quickly replaced by another.
“You learn going head to head with these people is just not going to do anything,” he said in a Skype video chat, mask on.
Now he hands out blankets and food, and tries to comfort the afflicted. Over the years, he estimates he’s added a day to the lives of at least 600 people.

But 15 years ago in Toronto, he grabbed a machete from home and faced off with a group of kids, some armed with guns, who were terrorizing a shopkeeper. His efforts got him and the kids arrested, but it didn’t dampen his hope to make a difference.
“I have always believed in stepping in. … It was a little aggressive but I was afraid for my friends in the store.”
Like others, Thanatos, (named for a Greek demon of death) said Canada’s complicated citizen’s arrests laws left him uncertain about taking certain actions when he eventually donned a costume and took to the desperate streets of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
But he never considered being a vigilante, a position others interested in citizens’ arrests echoed.
“You don’t want vigilantes—you don’t want that. You have a justice system, maybe it is flawed and overcrowded, but it is working. People taking the law in their own hands doesn’t work well.”
He points to the case of three Chilliwack, B.C., teenagers who became entangled in controversy last week for their efforts to lure sexual predators into the open and YouTube the encounters.
The teens posed as underage girls online to lure predators, then filmed the face-to-face encounters while dressed as Batman and Flash.
Thanatos said the teens took incredible risks unwisely. “Sexual predators are probably one of the more dangerous breeds of criminals,” he said.
Predators can lose their jobs, families, and standing in the community if exposed. “That could be enough to drive someone to do something extremely violent.”
Canada’s other prominent real-life superhero (RLSH), Anonyman in Saskatchewan, also focuses on surveillance and public awareness.
According to Peter Tangen, a photographer who launched the Real Life Super Hero Project and helped arrange interviews with Thanatos and Anonyman, most RLSHs are best described as activists who use costumes as a way to brand good deeds and draw attention to their causes.
Guardian Angels
While Thanatos and Anonyman follow a non-confrontational path now, focusing on surveillance and aid to the needy, Canadian chapters of the Guardian Angels had hoped to start a more direct grassroots crime prevention movement. But there too, complicated citizen’s arrest laws were not the deciding factor that has kept the angels from taking off.
Greg Silver heads up the Calgary chapter of the group. Although the angels remain more active in the United States and other countries, their red berets are rarely seen on Canadian streets.
The group works on a variety of actions but is best known for its patrols and efforts to encourage citizens to confront crime where it happens, going so far as to stop criminal activity and make citizen’s arrests.
“Everybody likes the fact that we are out there, but nobody wants to put themselves in danger. Nobody wants to step in,” said Silver, explaining the limited presence of angels in Canada.
Currently, there are only a handful of active angels in Canada, he said. Calls to other Canadian chapters listed on went unanswered, with some numbers now defunct., the purported Canadian website for the group, is now a Japanese dating site, the domain name apparently having been repurchased.
Silver said the group has found it near impossible to recruit members willing to go on patrol.
“You kind of make a target out of yourselves,” he offered as explanation.
Dave Schroeder, the group’s Canadian coordinator, said there are a core group of angels active in Canada but patrols have declined due to a lack of people.
“While most people we encounter say ‘what a great idea’… it seems that very few people decide to really make that commitment and do what it takes to get out there.”
But citizens have a right to stop crime he said, welcoming improved citizen’s arrest legislation.
“Bottom line is, if more people understood that Canadian citizens are born with the right to assist someone in trouble, and use reasonable force to do so, [they can] make a citizen’s arrest.”
Silver said the group was warned by a lawyer that they could be liable for actions taken on private property, even in the case of a rape, under current laws.
But like Canada’s masked crusaders, the angels also discourage vigilante activity, saying their efforts focus on legal actions and supporting the police.
Victor Kwong, a media relations officer with the Toronto Police Service, said the group was not welcome in Toronto, in part because they were crossing a vague boundary between citizens and a quasi-policing group.

Citizen’s arrests are happening in Toronto regardless, he said, but mainly by security guards trained in relevant laws. Outside the high-profile case at the Lucky Moose, the average Joe rarely makes a citizen’s arrest, he said.
While citizen’s arrests are one way people can help police, it certainly isn’t the only way he said.
“You can call police, be a good witness,” he said.
That means not sharing your observations until you talk to police he said, noting that people’s memories get tainted when they discuss what they saw with others who add their own variations and embellishments.

Related Articles

Crime Mega-Bill Gets Hard Time from Critics

It's a bird, a plane …

Originally posted:
Photo by Peter Tangen

Photo by Peter Tangen

By RAY REYES | The Tampa Tribune
Published: September 21, 2011A car was engulfed in flames on the highway, so he extinguished it.
Another vehicle veered off the road and into a lake, so he dove into the water to make sure no one was trapped inside.
He gives food to the homeless, toys to needy children and patrols the streets searching for criminal acts to foil.
He does it all in a cape and bright red-and-blue tights. He calls himself Super Hero and, yes, he’s for real.
His actual, not-so-secret identity is Dale Pople. He wasn’t bitten by a radioactive spider, accidently bathed in gamma rays or launched from a dying alien world toward Earth.
He’s a just a normal guy who aspires to make a positive impact on the world. And he’s not going at it alone.
Pople, 42, is a participant in the Real Life Superhero Movement, a group of about 200 across the nation who commit good deeds in costumed personas inspired by comic books.
While the masked Master Legend dons body armor to patrol parts of Orlando, a martial artist named Dark Guardian confronts drug dealers in New York City and others in major cities organize drives for charities, Pople’s base of operations is Clearwater.
He’s gotten odd looks from passersby, he said, and people have asked him why he wears a costume to perform charitable acts when so many ordinary volunteers or crime watch members don’t.
“You know, back in the day I used to justify it,” said Pople, 42, who invented his Super Hero identity 13 years ago after a knee injury derailed his plans of becoming a pro wrestler. “Nowadays I just admit to myself it’s a hell of a lot of fun. It’s rewarding.”
Peter Tangen, a professional photographer from Los Angeles, has taken portraits and produced profiles of dozens of caped crusaders for his website, The Real Life Super Hero Project. He said the real-world crime fighters he’s met use the modern mythos of comic books to be remembered for making positive contributions to society.
“There are millions of people who do good in this world, but the media doesn’t pay attention to them. This is the marketing of good deeds,” said Tangen, who also is the consulting producer of the documentary “Superheroes.”
The film premiered on HBO in August and featured Super Hero, Master Legend, Life from New York, Mr. Xtreme from San Diego and others.
“Really, who decides, ‘I’m going to put on spandex and save the world?’ ” Tangen said. “In a world somewhat apathetic, these people are a model for making a different choice.”
Ben Goldman, the co-founder of Superheroes Anonymous, a website that advocates the acts and community outreach of real-life heroes, said to think of the costumes as colorful spandex versions of police or firefighter uniforms.
“When you put on a superhero costume, you’re expected to live up to an ideal,” Goldman said. “You’re following in the footsteps of fictional predecessors. If a person sees somebody hand food to a homeless person dressed normally, it’s ordinary. In a costume, it’s extraordinary.”
Goldman’s website features blogs and other resources to help fledgling heroes join the movement. Superheroes Anonymous offers tips on creating costumes and posts notices of real-life superhero meetings and conferences.
Tangen said his website showcases the idea that one person can make a difference, that the morals of iconic characters such as Superman and Captain America can be upheld in the real world by those dedicated enough to do so.
“It’s a reflection of our times,” he said. “It’s a rejection of apathy.”
The real-life superheroes and those who’ve documented them say they’re not sure when or how the phenomenon started. No one knows for sure who made the first public appearance.
One thing that’s agreed on is this: about 10 years ago, a few people in cities separated miles apart felt compelled to avenge injustice in their communities. Turning to comic books and movies for a code to live by, they seemingly donned masks and costumes around the same time.
“At the time, we knew these superheroes existed,” Goldman said. “But they were widely scattered. They communicated only through the Internet.”
Pople said that’s how he discovered and contacted other heroes — and how they found out about him.
“The first time I did this, I was like, ‘Am I the only guy who thinks this is worth doing?’ ” he said. He created a profile on social networking site MySpace, which he and Goldman credit with spreading the movement, and found out about other heroes across the country.
“They come from different backgrounds,” Goldman said. “The Real Life Super Hero Movement proves that they could’ve either wallowed in suffering or become inspiring.”
Some toe the line of vigilantism, preferring to thwart violent crimes themselves instead of calling police to the scene.
“We don’t endorse the crime-fighting element because it’s dangerous,” Goldman said. “Being an engaged citizen is fine. Safety patrols are fine. But don’t engage in vigilantism.”
Elizabeth Watts, spokeswoman for the Clearwater Police Department, said the officers in her agency are familiar with Pople and his alter-ego, Super Hero. He’s never caused them problems and has obeyed the laws.
“We have cautioned him to not go into certain areas, for safety reasons,” Watts said.
Goldman said these days the movement targets “more concrete, realistic goals,” such as holiday drives and annual summits where real-life superheroes can meet one another and their fans.
“Almost universally, they’re all comic book fans or have an appreciation for the superhero persona,” Goldman said.
Pople said he was a “sickly, nerdy kid” who grew up on a “steady diet of action movies and comic books.” When his pro wrestling career ended prematurely, he decided to keep the Super Hero persona to “see what would happen if I did this for real.”
He’s a member of Team Justice, Inc., an Orlando-based nonprofit group of real-life superheroes who donate items and volunteer for central Florida charities.
According to Tangen’s website, Mr. Xtreme was attacked by gang members and bullied as a boy. He donned a costume to “protest against indifference in society. People are being victimized, and I feel that someone has to take a stand.”
With more widespread attention, the heroes have found themselves in unfamiliar territory: becoming celebrities and influencing the mediums that influenced them.
The comic book “Kick Ass,” about a normal teenager who decided to become the titular, costumed hero, was inspired by the Real Life Superhero Movement, Goldman said. The comic was later adapted into a movie starring Nicholas Cage.
Real-life heroes are now fixtures at Comic-Con International, the world’s biggest comic book, science fiction and movie convention, held every year in California. They have been featured not only in HBO’s “Superheroes,” but also other documentaries, news programs and numerous YouTube clips.
The movement continues to gain momentum, Goldman said, because the core group of 200 believes that the battle for truth, justice and the Real Life Superhero Movement never ends.
“A superhero’s biggest enemy is apathy,” Pople said. “I don’t expect to change the world, but I think I’m making a dent.”

“For just a few hours…”Jungle cat Bitches”.

Today was not my day.
I have a REAL elderly parent and she sees the yellow tape at the end of the race so she’s trying to tie up loose ends.
This would not be fun in the first place, but my Mom never won any contests for Miss Congeniality so it was a day of hauling her around in the sun & listening to her chew out Bank staff, Nurses, basically anybody who got in the way of her wrath while sitting there with my face buried in my hand. Finally after a full day of this I get home to Lady Hero & dinner at a Hawaiian restaurant that just opened in Ozona when it hits me…
“Man, I got to patrol.”
I’m wiped out & on my last leg you think I’d just want to watch the Hula dancers, get home & hit the rack after the Simpson’s or something but no…
“Man I got to patrol.”
So I suit up & head for St. Pete, I get a coffee & head for the Highway when the light in front of me turns yellow. “Yellow light? No F*&^king problem…I put my foot down on the gas & nothing happens… that’s when it dawns on me…
“Oh my GOD! I’m not in the Supermobile! I’m going to F^%$ing DIE!”
So I’m literally standing on the Brake Horizontally and I think the Sentra is doing that “Bunching up” thing that the car the Pink Panther had that had a Mind of it’s own would do when it was trying to keep from sailing over a cliff or something when I manage to come to a stop right before the intersection.
I’m sitting there shaking & I look down & realize “Wow I didn’t spill a drop of coffee.”
Now that IS a superpower. You think that would be the end of it but…
“Man I got to patrol.”
So I get down there and things finally start to take a swing up. I’m on foot and there’s some kind of huge block party going on, 5 people stopped me that had seen me on HBO & supported what we were doing, another bunch just wanted photos with me or to talk about what I was doing there, but even this wasn’t quenching my desire to be out there.
“Man I got to patrol.”
So I walk away from all that & get back into the quiet, Darker, Spookier part of the city. And that’s when it finally dawns on me.
“I’m patrolling.”
“This has to be the bottom line draw to this for a lot of guys.” I think to myself.
Throughout the day they’re everyday yutzes but for just a few hours a night…
They get to be a F&*^king Jungle Cat. It’s dark, their tights are compressing against their muscles, they’re looking for prey, for just a few hours they get to be on top of the food chain in some form or another.
Everything is right in their world.
I don’t know why it’s on patrol that I always have moments of clarity, I wonder if other guys are the same way.
Because when it’s done, it’s back home to do the F*&^king dishes.
Live the Gimmick

HBO’s real-life ‘Superheroes’ are gallant yet unsettlingly goofy

Originally posted:

By , Published: August 7

Here they come to save the .?.?. well, that’s the problem with adopting the secret lifestyle and ethical codes of a “real-life superhero”: Nobody requires your services nearly as much as you’re hoping to provide them.Ultimately, as we learn in Michael Barnett’s compelling yet conflicted HBO documentary “Superheroes,” today’s supermen (and the occasional wonder woman) wind up handing out rolls of toilet paper to homeless people.
In “Superheroes,” which airs Monday night, Barnett travels the country to profile a handful of the 300 or so self-styled characters who are attempting to live a comic-book ideal. These are not the people you’ve seen at amusement parks and Comic-Con and along Hollywood Boulevard, who are simply playing dress-up for photo-ops. Something in the comics lore has spoken to real-life superheroes on a personal level, and they are serious — if perhaps a touch delusional. They see society as troubled, and they are especially disenchanted with law enforcement. “The N.Y.P.D., even the government is completely unreliable,” says Lucid, a Brooklyn-based superhero.Mr. Xtreme, a lonely San Diego bach­elor and frustrated jujitsu student, works by day as a security guard and spends his evenings wearing padded green-and-yellow regalia (including a limp polyester cape and a bug-eyed helmet), prowling the streets, searching for a sexual predator the TV news stations have dubbed “the Chula Vista Groper.”Meanwhile, in Orlando, the eccentric Master Legend drives around in a beat-up van and offers his services to the downtrodden, stopping frequently to treat himself to a can of beer from the ice chest he keeps in the back.Back in Brooklyn, Lucid and his more edgy clutch of masked avengers — they go by Z, Zimmer and a heroine named T.S.A.F. (which she says stands for “The Silenced and Forgotten”) — like to skateboard the city’s streets in the wee hours, hoping to attract muggers.Barnett employs an appealing style of comic-book panel animation to enliven the narrative transitions and give viewers a heightened sense of the ad­ven­ture that the heroes imagine themselves having — even if none of their adventures necessarily pan out.
Zimmer, a gay man who chooses not to wear a mask or use a hero name because it reminds him of being in the closet, glams himself up in hopes of luring nighttime gay-bashers. Lucid and the others wait in the shadows to come to his aid. When that doesn’t work, T.S.A.F. dons a miniskirt and lipstick and tries her luck at baiting rapists.
This tendency toward entrapment is where things get creepy, despite the tender care “Superheroes” takes to understand its subjects without mocking them. Many superheroes exhibit depressingly sour feelings about the larger world. They like to keep photos of Kitty Genovese on their walls and refrigerators for inspiration. She was the New York woman stabbed to death 47 years ago as dozens of witnesses overheard (and ignored) her screams. Genovese’s murder set off a popular and lasting notion of an uncaring, indifferent society.
What the superheroes in “Super­heroes” seem to willfully ignore is the remarkable drop in violent crime statistics over the past two decades — to say nothing of the post-Sept. 11 Homeland Security era that lit up our nights with security cameras and deputized every smartphone owner with the ability to upload crimes in progress to YouTube, which has helped catch miscreants of all kinds.
Yet things get darker (and dorkier) during a montage scene in which super­heroes proudly show Barnett the assorted weapons they’ve incorporated into their spandex ensemble: knives, nunchucks, sharp spikes, Tasers, retractable batons, maces, pepper sprays, blinding spotlights and lasers.
They’re all dying for some action, which has a way of making them seem more marginal, and embittered. A San Diego police lieutenant worries that these self-anointed vigilantes are going to hurt themselves (or hurt someone else); a psychologist wonders about their depend­ence on an alter ego.
Although the movie ends on a somewhat brighter note — following the heroes as they look after the homeless in their communities — even Stan Lee, the father of the Marvel Comics universe, expresses bafflement at these wannabes. If Stan Lee thinks you’re extreme, you might want to chill.
(83 minutes) airs Monday at 9 p.m. on HBO.

Russian News Article

Orignially posted:

Photo by Peter Tangen

Photo by Peter Tangen

English Translation
by Daniel Nash on Friday, March 11, 2011 at 12:37am
I was really excited to see this published after writing it last month. The PDF of my interview with Phoenix Jones was posted online yesterday. But if you don’t know Russian, there’s no easy way to translate it. So here is the English version. It’s severely cut down considering the length of our conversation: this is probably 10 minutes of an hour-and-a-half long interview, not counting almost three hours patrol time. Additionally, the information that did make the cut is pretty basic if you have followed the American coverage, but I wanted to make sure this was a solid introduction of who Phoenix is to an overseas audience. I’m trying to find the time to transcribe the whole interview so I can try to sell a fuller version of this story to an American publication.
Some of the answers are cut down, but I tried to avoid cutting in such a way that the quotes would lose context. I eliminated some questions and answers I really wanted to include because I couldn’t minimize them without losing the spirit of the answer.
The version published in Akzia included some mini-profiles of other superheroes, such as KnightOwl of Oregon, Geist of Minnesota, Nyx of New Jersey, etc. Since I didn’t write that portion, I don’t have the English immediately at hand, but I’ll try to translate it over the weekend as a courtesy to the superheroes who appear.
Hope you all enjoy.
Curriculum Vitae
Name: Phoenix Jones
Secret Identity: Withheld
Age: 22
Occupation: Fighter
Tools: 10,000-volt stun baton, pepper spray, tear gas, Bluetooth phone.
Phoenix Jones is a real life superhero living in Seattle, Washington. Five nights a week, he patrols the streets looking for crimes not already being handled by police, joined by any number of the other 10 members of the Rain City Superhero Movement he founded.
Guardian of Seattle
By Daniel Nash
phoenixjonesatcomicconI was met by superheroes Ghost and Pitch Black just inside the entrance of Trabant Coffee and Chai in the University District. They demanded my name and press affiliation. I told them, and offered them a seat.
Ghost waved my suggestion away: “Phoenix will decide all that when he gets here.”
When Phoenix arrived moments later, he explained his colleagues were ensuring his safety against anyone who might use an interview as a ruse to attack him.
On patrol with the Rain City Superheroes, there was no denying that public response was mixed enough to make security understandable. Many passersby asked to take a photo with Phoenix, a request to which he readily obliged. Some laughed at the novelty of a man walking the street in a rubber suit, while others openly shouted “You’re not a superhero,” or, “You’re a fraud.”
Whether hero, novelty or overzealous attention seeker, what follows is Seattle’s superhero in his own words.
AKZIA: I know you have a day job, and you get out on patrol five nights a week. I guess my first question is, when do you find time to sleep?
PHOENIX JONES: I take naps. Lots of naps. I get off patrol maybe five in the morning, and I don’t start work until about eight-ish (8 a.m.) so I’ll get some time in there, and I get off around four, so I’ll sleep a little bit there. But I try to spend as much time with my kids as I can. And I get to bed about eight, so from 8:15 p.m. to midnight I usually sleep.
A: You’ve mentioned in the past that your kids are part of the inspiration for how you got into this. I remember you specifically mentioned a car break-in that occurred, and the glass hurt your son.
P: Yes. I went to Wild Waves [water park] and we didn’t have anything that we took… just [swim] shorts. We go running back to the car and as we go back, he slips and falls in glass near my car. And he cut his knee open pretty bad. I didn’t realize where the glass was coming from at first, so I just held his leg shut, saying “Someone call 911.” I looked up and realized my car window [had been smashed]. Some guy comes running over to me with a phone. So I say “Call 911,” and he says “I can’t.” I say “Why?” and he says “It will ruin my YouTube video.” And I thought, does anyone help… anyone?
So I was cleaning the inside of my car and I find this rock inside a mask. And the mask is what [thieves] used to swing and break the window open. I kept it as a symbol that bad stuff happens, and I put it in my glove box and thought that would be that.
A week or so goes by and I’m at the club with my friend. A guy comes in and says, “Hey isn’t that your friend outside?” I say “Yeah, he’s out there, what’s going on?” and he says somebody hit him with a stick. I go out there and his nose is turned all the way sideways
The guy who did it had 50 friends with him. I go, “Great, nobody can do anything. It’s 50 to one.” I go back to my car to my glove box because I had a first aid kit and a couple other things there and I see the mask is still there. I picked it up and I kind of got this idea. No one knows who I am with the mask on, so I ditched the shirt, put the mask on, chased him around the block. The police pulled us both over and I was able to get him arrested. I asked if I needed to [be a] witness and they said “We don’t really need a witness, we have the guy assaulted and we have the other guy, so we don’t really need you, other than your name.” I asked “Does it matter what my name is?” They said, no not really, so I said, “My name’s Phoenix Jones.”
[NOTE: There is some contention as to the exact details of Jones’s origin story as he has told it to the press. In a November interview with author Tea Krulos for his blog, Heroes In The Night, Jones stated he went looking for his friend’s attacker the night after the incident, but never found him. A story in the Capitol Hill blog of KOMO News reversed the car break-in and assault altogether.]
A: When you began intervening in crimes you did it as yourself at first, yes?
PJ: Yeah, that was way before Wild Waves. My brother and a couple friends liked to go down to drink at different clubs. I wasn’t 21 and I don’t drink anyway. So I decided I would go and charge them money to drive them downtown. I was kind of stuck there, though, depending on when they wanted to leave. So my friend goes, “Why don’t we just, you know, break up bar fights?” So we went around and broke up bar fights. But six months of doing that and people start recognizing your face. And you’re out there and people just try to attack you. My wife became pregnant at that point and I realized I need to quit this or I’m going to get in trouble. So that’s why, when the second part rolled around, I’ve been so careful about my identity and who I talk to.
A: How old were you?
PJ: I started at 18.
A: What made you decide on your current suit?
PJ: Mobility. When I first designed the suit, I really wanted a full rubber suit. But it was like wearing a rubber band; it just wasn’t practical. So I started cutting things off the original suit.
A: What’s your martial arts background?
PJ: Black belt in tae kwon do, black belt in judo. I should have a black belt in kendo, but I found out the teacher wasn’t accredited. But I fought other black belts and in kendo tournaments I did very well. I have over 30 mixed martial arts fights and I’ve won all of them but two, and I lost by [judge’s] decision. I’ve never submitted or finished. And then I have a couple years of ROTC.
A: How did you decide on the name Phoenix Jones?
PJ: My official answer is “Phoenix,” because it rises up from the ashes and I hope that if I stop doing this or something happens to me, someone else takes up the idea. And “Jones” because Jones was the most common last name the year I was born.
A: I want to talk a moment about your broken nose [in January].
PJ: That really made me mad when they played it that way in the press. Because there’s a whole other part of the story people don’t think about. Let’s review what we do know: My nose got broken by a guy with a gun in a parking lot. But let’s answer the questions: Why was I in a parking lot with a guy with a gun? Because he was assaulting citizens. I did what superheroes do. I ran in to stop the situation and I actually did. I effectively got the guy on the ground, I was holding him. I called the police and they didn’t show up for 17 minutes. The whole incident took 22 minutes and I was winning for 19 of them.
Then out of nowhere his friend comes up and draws on me. Everyone else is gone, so it’s just an ego situation. My ego, what am I going to do? [He imitates a gruff voice] “I’m not going to let him go!” Come on. At that point no one is in danger, so I let him go. When I did, he kicked me in the face and broke my nose.
A: Do you ever worry about your kids losing you?
PJ: I think about that sometimes, but you know what I think is worse? My kids being alive. They’re living in this world that no one seems to want to change. Everybody seems to be pretty happy with the way things are going. And I think that me attempting to change this is much more important than it would be for me to be around longer. Do you know what I mean? They’re going to be in a world that’s getting progressively worse. The urgency is so great that they maybe won’t grow old if I don’t do this.
A: You have a Bluetooth under your mask, don’t you?
PJ: Yes. [He laughs] A lot of people don’t get that. People always try to pick apart my story and ask “How can you hold a guy down and call 911?” [He points to his earpiece].
A: So as soon as you see a crime, you make the call, and then you intervene?
PJ: I try not to intervene most of the time. The best thing I can do is record it. And I have a headcam that goes on the [mask] right here. So a lot of the time I’ll see a crime and then I’ll just videotape it and wait for the police to show up. And if he tries to leave the scene or hurt people, then I jump in.
A: Do you have religious beliefs?
PJ: I do, and I believe in God, but I feel like it ruins the message of being a superhero. It’s interesting how religion was originally brought in to bring hope, but today a word like “mundane” comes to mind, or “fake.” When you see a Union Gospel mission bring food to the homeless, you think, “That’s for points in Sunday school,” or “That’s because you think you’re going to heaven and not because you’re a nice person.” But you see a dude just randomly giving stuff to the homeless you think, “Wow, that’s really nice.”

Real-Life Superheroes Fight City Crime … In Costume

Originally posted:
Copy of show
From Spiderman to Wonder Woman, comic book superheroes have been symbols of cool for generations of Americans. Many have fantasized about being a superhero, or at least dressed the part in a Halloween costume. But members of a movement known as Real Life Superheroes actually take on personas and hit the streets – in costume – to fight real crime. Host Michel Martin speaks with two anonymous characters, who go by the names Phoenix Jones and DC’s Guardian, about their efforts to help the police protect communities.
Copyright © 2011 National Public Radio®. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.
I’m Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News.
Coming up, my weekly Can I Just Tell You commentary. But first, we just heard about the revival of the Black Panther comic book hero. Now we talk about an effort to bring superheroes to your neighborhood. They call themselves Real Life Superheroes. They are a group of people, adults, who aren’t just fantasizing about being superheroes, they’re actually taking on the personas. And you can see where this might sound a bit strange. So we wanted to know more about this. We’ve invited two so-called superheroes to talk about what they do and why they do it.
Phoenix Jones is from Seattle, Washington. He joins us from KUOW. And DC’s Guardian is based in our nation’s capital, as you might expect from the name. But he happens to be on the West Coast today, where we caught up with him. And he joined us from NPR West.
Welcome to you both. Thank you so much for joining us.
Mr. PHOENIX JONES (Superhero): Well, thank you, ma’am. It’s a pleasure to be with you today.
DC’S GUARDIAN (Superhero): Yes, I agree.
MARTIN: Now, I understand that each of you doesn’t like to talk about your other lives very much. You don’t like to put the focus on your individual identities. But I do think people would like to know how this got started.
So, Phoenix, why don’t you start? How did you get started on this?
Mr. JONES: I used to do a – like, a little bar patrol where I drop people off at the bar, and then since I was already going to have to wait for them, I decided to break up bar fights. After I’d been breaking up bar fights for a little bit, I stopped because people started recognizing me. My face was pretty out there, and I didn’t feel very comfortable.
You know, a little time went by, and I had a son. And we were at Wild Waves, and we were playing in the water. And we leave and we were running back to my car, and he falls in this glass right by my car because someone had broken in my car and broke the window. And his knee is cut open, and he’s bleeding really badly. And I’m trying to stop the bleeding, and I see a guy run across the street with a camera phone. And I’m, like, perfect. He’ll call, you know, call the cops.
So I said, call 9-1-1. I need help. And he said, I can’t. And I said why? He said, it’ll ruin my YouTube clip. And it wasn’t till I was able to get help another way that we were able to get help, and it really disturbed me.
MARTIN: But, wait, how did you go from that story, which a lot of people, I think, can relate to – which is a terrible story, by the way, and I’m sorry that happened to you – to wearing a costume and deciding you were going to actually do patrols?
Mr. JONES: You know, I know that sounds like a large leap, but what happened is I’m cleaning my car up from the glass, and I found a rock inside a mask that they had used to smash my window. And I left the mask in my glove box. And a couple weeks later, I’m at a bar doing what I normally do, driving people to the bar, dropping them off and waiting for them. And a friend of mine gets assaulted outside the bar.
And there’s about 70 people watching, and the guy who did it had a whole lot of friends there. And I didn’t want to just walk up and be, like, hey, you shouldn’t do that, because I knew people would see my face. So I opened up my glove box to call 9-1-1 to get my phone out and saw the mask, put on the mask and kind of made a commotion and chased the person a little bit. And the police showed up, and they were able to arrest him. And that’s kind of how Phoenix Jones was born right there, but it was originally from the break-in, is where I got the mask.
MARTIN: Hmm. Interesting. How about DC, what about you? How did this get started for you?
DC’s GUARDIAN: There was a show several years ago called “Who Wants to be a Superhero?” And I was asked to try out for it, because I was a comic book geek, if you couldn’t tell. And that led to the creation of Skiffytown League of Heroes. But my role with the RLSH, or the Real Life Super Heroes, began when my name started to get out. I was associated with the RLSH, and I decided that if I’m going to be associated, I was going to take an active role in it. So…
MARTIN: And so what do you do? Do you patrol? What do you do?
DC’s GUARDIAN: Well, actually, in Washington, D.C., I would patrol around the National Mall, behind the Capitol area. There’s a lot of very bad crime areas in Washington, D.C. And what I noticed was everybody wanted somebody else to do it. They were waiting for the police to do it. They were waiting for somebody else to come in. And like Phoenix Jones, I saw apathy.
And so I teamed up with a gentleman who was already there, called Captain Prospect, and we would do patrols. We would hand out flyers for missing persons. We would look at the drug scene. We got involved. We didn’t do anything more than 30 years ago what a normal citizen would’ve done, but it took to dress up in costume to get people’s attention to the problems at hand.
MARTIN: Yeah. Well, tell me about the costume in your case. I mean, Phoenix was telling his story, but why do you wear a costume?
MARTIN: And I can hear that, by the way, that for people who are wondering what that sound is, you’re both in costume now right?
DC’s GUARDIAN: Yes ma’am.
(Soundbite of laughter)
MARTIN: So that’s kind of what we’re hearing, just for people who are wondering what that sound is that we’re hearing. Their costumes is probably a little bulky. I think one of you, at least, perhaps wears a bulletproof vest. Do I have that right.
(Soundbite of laughter)
DC’s GUARDIAN: Yes ma’am.
DC’s GUARDIAN: And. Yeah…
MARTIN: Makes sense. So DC, tell me, tell me your story.
DC’s GUARDIAN: Well, my I collared a uniform, my military background. But my uniform is designed so that nobody can see my skin, because as an American, it shouldn’t matter what color I am. I am simply an American. And when I help people, they don’t know if it’s two days later and somebody else needs help. It could be me that they’re helping. What I’m trying to do is create somebody who doesn’t want the recognition, but can be anybody if they walk across – or going down the street.
MARTIN: Well, to that point though, we understand that the police in your respective jurisdictions are not always enamored of this idea…
(Soundbite of laughter)
MARTIN: …of – they think do I have that right? I mean am I being kind of…
DC’s GUARDIAN: Oh, yes ma’am. And…
Mr. JONES: It’s like more than (unintelligible).
DC’s GUARDIAN: Phoenix has a lot more confrontations. I don’t want to say that in a bad light, but he runs across them a lot more than I do. But we both work with the police as best we can. And I put my best foot forward, because if I’m doing things that are illegal, I’m almost self-defeating.
MARTIN: Well, Phoenix, tell me you story about this. You laughed when I said the police aren’t actually in love with this idea. In fact, there’s a clip of you patrolling in one area where you are trying to restrain a person who you believe has been drinking to excess to keep him from getting into his car – not physically restrain him, but keep him from getting into his car. And when the police arrive on the scene, they are not pleased. And so I’ve seen this on, sort of, YouTube. So talk to me about that, your relationship with law enforcement.
Mr. JONES: Originally, you know, I did a lot of patrols at night, and I was pretty much undiscovered. And I broke up a night fight underneath a bridge here in Seattle and ended up getting hurt in the process. So when the police came and I had one person subdued and I had called the police, they immediately needed to know, you know, who I am, what I’m doing. And when I told them, I pulled out the newspaper the next day, and it said, you know, masked crime fighter attacks Seattle in costume nerdery(ph). And from there it was pretty much, you know, everywhere. It traveled pretty quickly at that point.
MARTIN: But do you have any martial arts training or have any self-defense training, Phoenix?
Mr. JONES: Yeah. I have two different black belts. In my regular life I’m a professional fighter with a lot of wins.
MARTIN: What, like mixed martial arts?
Mr. JONES: Yes ma’am. Uh-huh.
Mr. JONES: So…
MARTIN: And DC, what about you? You’re a veteran and presumably, self-defense training. Do you also have martial arts training?
DC’s GUARDIAN: Yes ma’am. I’ve actually have about 20 to 25 years-plus of martial arts and a lot of military training. And I think for Phoenix and I, it’s not necessarily the ability to beat somebody up, anybody can do that, but it’s to defuse the situation so that nobody’s getting hurt.
MARTIN: If you’re just joining us, this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I’m Michel Martin. We’re talking with two gentlemen who have actually taken on the persona of superheroes. They actually patrol in their communities, try to intervene in situations and fight crime. And they’re not alone. We just happen to be talking to two of them. They go by the names of Phoenix Jones and DC’s Guardian. And Phoenix is in Seattle and DC’s Guardian happens to be on the West Coast today, but he mainly works in the Washington, D.C. area.
But to that point, I mentioned as earlier that you’re not the only people who are doing the right now. But there are some who would argue – and you kind of all know each other and you seem to have a loose confederation called the Real Live Superheroes – but some people would say why not just going into law enforcement where you can get paid to do this and get insurance…
DC’s GUARDIAN: If I could address this.
DC’s GUARDIAN: If I could address this first, Phoenix. People go into the first responders, the police, the fire, the EMT and that’s a wonderful career to do, but not everybody has to do that to step in and make a difference. And what we do is try to show people it’s okay to protect your neighborhood.
MARTIN: Okay, Phoenix, what about you? Why not just go in to law enforcement?
Mr. JONES: You know, I 100 percent agree with what DC said to start with. The other part I would elaborate, and this is more of a personal note, is that I’m an African-American man, and being that, a lot of other African-American people have I would say a strange relationship with how they view police. And I think if I became one I would be less effective. And a good story of that is a man found my Facebook and texted me and said, I have warrants and I wanted to be turned in. I assaulted the cop and I ran away. And knowing cops, I’m very nervous about turning myself in because I don’t want to be assaulted. Is there any way that you would turn me in? And I thought it was a setup, but I met him and I actually turned him in. And he wanted me to do it because he knew that I was like him. That’s what he said. He said you’re one of us. It gives a different angle for people.
MARTIN: Can I just ask you though, and I hope I can ask this without being perceived as being disrespectful because I don’t intend to be. But the thing for a lot of people thing for a lot of people it is the costume. A lot of people just think why are grownups dressing up in costumes?
Mr. JONES: I actually started off with no costumes and that’s why I love this question. Originally, I just had like I said, the ski mask from the robbery that happened in to car and I would just be wearing jeans and I would take whatever shirt I was wearing and just, you know, if I saw a crime walk around the building, take the shirt off, throw the ski mask on, stop crime. And the cops would roll up and pull guns on me and force me on the floor every time.
MARTIN: And you’re shocked by this because?
Mr. JONES: Well, I’m not. I look like a robber. But now I’m Phoenix Jones and I’m a symbol. When cops pull up to a situation I’m in, they may not like me but they start off every conversation with: okay Phoenix, what’s happening now.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. JONES: There’s not a gun pulled. It is nothing like that. They know who I am.
MARTIN: DC, what about you? People will say what’s up with the costume? You’re too grown for that.
DC’s GUARDIAN: Well, you know, and we’re not saying everybody needs to wear a costume. But take your own life, for example. Down your street can you really tell what the street looks like day-to-day? You pass things every day and after a certain point you tend to disregard it. And so the costume, when I walk down the street, the whole street is looking at me. It brings a spotlight to a situation. When I help homeless, doing it without a costume is absolutely wonderful but other people never seem to notice that anymore. It becomes just another image on the side of the road. When you see me walking down the street helping a homeless, you’re looking to see what I am and what I’m doing, but then the bigger picture is the homeless on the street.
And the same thing for crime. Walking down the street and just behind the Capitol, two drug dealers – they’re doing it in broad daylight. But I come walking down the street, everybody stops. And when I’m talking to them the whole neighborhood is watching what’s going on. You know, evil doesn’t like light and that’s what the costume helped bring. It brings a light into the situation.
MARTIN: What would you like us to learn from your experience. And DC, you want to start and then Phoenix, you can pick up?
DC’s GUARDIAN: Well, we all bring something different to the table, but every table is different. My fight in Washington, D.C. is different than Phoenix’s. And so people think that we’re polar opposites, but we’re not really. We’re fighting the same war. We just have different battles to win the war.
MARTIN: Well, why do you say that people think you’re polar opposites?
DC’s GUARDIAN: Well, because I am a little more noticeable and a little more above board because, in Washington, D.C. we have what, Secret Service, FBI, local law enforcement. My fights have to be a little more recognizable. Phoenix, who has a lot different drug situations, gang situations, he’s a little more in the shadows, but we’re still fighting the same war. It’s just different battlegrounds.
MARTIN: And, but can I forgive me, I just feel like I have to ask, there are people who just think you’re crazy. That you’re just going to subject yourself…
DC’s GUARDIAN: And that’s fine. No, and that’s fine.
MARTIN: You’re going to subject yourself to being hurt.
MARTIN: I’m guessing law enforcement, that’s one of the reasons they sometimes encourage people not to get involved because…
DC’s GUARDIAN: Well, but…
MARTIN: …they’re afraid you’re going to get hurt and it’s going to add another situation. They just think you’re crazy.
DC’s GUARDIAN: If we don’t do it, who is going to?
DC’s GUARDIAN: You know, at what point do you stand up, draw the line in the sand and say not this time?
Mr. JONES: Yes.
DC’s GUARDIAN: And if we don’t step up, what are our kids learning? If we cannot stand up and protect our community, who will?
Mr. JONES: I agree.
MARTIN: Phoenix, what about you? Your final thought?
Mr. JONES: On patrol now, I’ve been stabbed once, I’ve had my nose broken. I recently got punched with a key. I’ve been hit with a baseball bat. I’ve been held at gunpoint. And you know what happened during all those incidences? The citizen who didn’t come out there wearing a bulletproof vest and wearing armor didn’t get hurt. So if I have to take a little bit of punishment to make sure that my citizens don’t get hurt, I guess I have to.
DC’s GUARDIAN: Well, and having said that, there are a lot of RSH’s who do a lot of charity work and they don’t do anything but charity work. Everybody brings something to the table and it’s time that people started bringing their gifts to the table and stand up and do their part.
MARTIN: Phoenix Jones and DC’s Guardian are the names that these two men use who are a part of the Real Life Superheroes movement.
Phoenix Jones joined us from Seattle’s KUOW. DC’s Guardian joined us from NPR West. If you’d like to see pictures of them in uniform, log on to, click on the Programs page and then on TELL ME MORE.
Gentlemen, thank you both so much for joining us.
DC GUARDIAN: Thanks you very much and I hope to be back in D.C. as soon as I can.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. JONES: Thank you again for having me on. Phoenix out.
(Soundbite of music)
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