Originally posted: http://www.mania.com/5-kickass-real-world-heroes_article_121849.html Costumed Crusaders aren’t just found in comics and movies any more. By Rob Worley “Why does everyone want to be Paris Hilton but nobody wants to be Spider-Man?” That’s the question Dave Lizewski poses to his friends just before he embarks on a life of crime-fighting in the comic and film Kick-Ass. In that fictitious world there are no super heroes or even costumed heroes. In the real world, it turns out, there are plenty of people trying to be Spider-Man. Mania is here to guide you through a few of the costumed adventurers that inhabit the world outside your window!
Alternate Identity: Sarah
Milieu: New York City
Special Ability: Devastating Cock Block
Gadget: Gold-leaf fortune cards
Signal her: http://www.myspace.com/12511747
Terrifica definitely doesn’t want to be Paris Hilton, and doesn’t want the ladies of New York City acting like her either. Born in the fires of a nasty hump-and-dump, a young Brooklynite known only as Sarah forged a secret identity in order to steer drunken young lasses away from regrettable hook-ups from the city’s Lotharios.
“Sarah is a very weak woman. Very needy, very insecure,” Terrifica said derisively of her alter ego in an interview with “New York Magazine,” revealing a Hulk-like identity split.
Reports from various NYC magazines had her patrolling the bar scene in the mid-2000s, looking for evil gents who dispense the lethal combination of “lies and alcohol” to dupe wide-eyed women into the sack. She’d also hand out gold leaf cards with words of wisdom for the unwary party girls. As with any force, her actions were soon opposed by a costumed male villain of the bar scene named Fantastico.
Terrifica is presumed retired.
4. ANGLE GRINDER MAN
Alternate Identity: Unknown
Special Ability: Auto Liberation
Nemesis: Wheel Clamps
Gadget: The Angle Grinder (duh)
Signal him: 07984-121043 (disconnected)
So you’ve parked your car in the city, only to come out and find one of your tires locked down by a parking boot or wheel clamp. That’s right, you parked illegally and now have to jump through hoops and pay fines to liberate your ride,right? Well, not if you’re in London and Angle Grinder Man is on the scene!
This populist hero is known for rushing to the aid of confined motorists with his special weapon (the angle grinder, natch) and cutting the wheel clamps off illegally parked cars. What does he charge for this service? Nothing! Action is his reward.
Naturally Angle Grinder Man has numerous and high-ranking enemies in the government so his identity has always been a carefully-protected secret. In fact, we fear the authorities have gained the upper hand because AGM’s phone number has been disconnected and his website went offline in 2007
3. THE HUMAN FLY
Alternate Identity: Rick Rojatt
Milieu: The Friendly Skies
Special Ability: Super Tough
Nemesis: 195 MPH Rain
Gadget: Rocket Cycle
Status: Presumed retired
Rick Rojatt not only wanted to be Spider-Man, but Evel Knievel as well. And in the 1970s this motorcycle stunt-man tried to one-up America’s favorite body-cast wearer by doing his stunts in an awesome red superhero costume. The trick worked, sort of: we saw 19 issues of “The Human Fly” published by Marvel who billed the star as “The Wildest Super-Hero Ever–Because He’s Real!”
But the Human Fly’s greatest super-human act, and tragic defeat, came right around the same time. The Fly had arranged a highly-publicized stunt to wing walk on a DC-8 jet plane in flight. Pilot Clay Lacy recalls taking the Fly up for several test runs in the Mojave Desert. Then the stunt moved to Texas for a television taping, although bad weather was threatening to ruin the show. His reputation on the line, the Fly took to the air and was battered by rain at 195 miles per hour. Lacy reports the hero suffered terrible bruises.
As far as we know, he never attempted the stunt again. His comic was canceled in 1979
2. SUPERBARRIO GOMEZ
Alternate Identity: Marco Rascon Cordova
Milieu: Mexico City
Special Ability: Inspiring Hope
Gadget: Leaflets of knowledge
Active from the late-1980s to the late-1990s, Superbarrio roamed the streets of Mexico City in red tights, a gold cape and a Luchador mask. His mission: to champion the rights of the poor and the homeless.
“I can’t stop a plane or a train single-handed, but I can keep a family from being evicted,” the costumed character told CNN in a 1997 interview.
Superbarrio has donned the red suit to distribute literature, lead protest marches and challenge his enemies in the court of law. He even declared himself a candidate in the 1996 U.S. Presidential Elections where he was defeated by Bill Clinton.
The character hasn’t been seen in the real world lately, but he lives on in a series of new cartoons available on YouTube.
1. THE FRENCH SPIDERMAN
Alternate Identity: Alain Robert
Milieu: Worldwide (Based in Paris)
Special Ability: Wall-crawling
Nemesis: Global Warming
Gadget: Climbing shoes
Signal him: http://www.alainrobert.com/
If anyone wants to be Spider-Man it’s Alain Robert. Not only did the French rock-climber turned crusader start his super hero career wearing a Spider-Man knock-off costume, his remarkable claim to fame is that he scales the walls of the worlds’ skyscrapers without any special equipment. He even calls himself “Spiderman”.
He began wall-crawling in 1994 and since then has scaled such world wonders as The Eifel Tower, The Empire State Building, The Sears Tower, The Petronas Towers and the Jin Mao Building to name but a few. He’s an environmental activist as well, sometimes capping his exploits by unfurling banners with messages like, “Global warming kills more people than 9/11 every week.”
Robert remains active and was registered in the “Guinness Book of World Records” this year for having scaled more than 100 towers.
If you are looking forward to the Kick-Ass premiere, check out some of our Movie Maven Kick-Ass coverage. Here is Tara’s interview with Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. If you missed it last month, Tara got to check out the premiere in Austin at South By Southwest, check out the red carpet coverage