Superheroes in Real Life
Originally posted: http://pmsoden.com/2010/10/26/super-heroes-in-real-life/
When you think about Superheroes what do you picture? Do you picture guys running around in tights with their capes flapping in the wind inside comic books ? Men and Women with Supernatural powers either from a radioactive insect bite, born with some mutated gene , or came from a dying planet? Or do you picture ordinary men and women out there doing good deeds for citizens? I bet you chose the first couple and not the later.
I have actually been reading comic books since I was 12. They started out being just Archie comic books or teenage mutant ninja turtles at the time. I never really got into Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman until an incident sparked at my house and I sat on a bathroom floor crying wanting to die. I didn’t really have the good life growing up. I was accused one time of always getting whatever I wanted. They had no idea the kinds of things I went through growing up and seemed to not even care. Sometimes people can hide things so well that people are often led to believe that they are something else. I guess in a way I had my own secret identity. The one I showed on the outside when smiling and hanging out with friends and the one that was at home where I would spend hours locked in my room to avoid certain situations such as being yelled at just for spilling a soda on the floor. The was a suicide prevention seminar that they gave out free comics of Superman who was helping a little girl out with her problems. Something sparked in me, almost like a light bulb went on.
That day I came home from school straight off the school bus my step-father was sitting at his desk smoking his cigarettes and spitting crud into his ashtray. He was sitting there with no shirt on , hair a mess and writing on his yellow pads that he always wrote on. I later found out what he was writing and regret to this day to find out what kind of sickness that was inside his head. I don’t remember the events the events in detail that happened that day besides showing him the comic book. Mom was in the kitchen cooking something and didn’t know what was going on. I remember being yelled at because I wasn’t doing something right. I remember running into my room and locking my door behind me. I remember him beating on it , yelling at me to open up my door, my mother yelling at him to stop yelling at me and my baby brother crying somewhere in the background. After it all died down I went into the bathroom and locked myself in there. I sat against the toilet holding the comic . I started to read it and was instantly inspired to do more with my life. It was like someone was telling me that it would be okay and that is where my Superman obsession came from.
I always wondered what it would be like if someone were to be a superhero in real life? What would this world do with someone like that?
I never really wanted to run around in a cape and tights myself except for the one year for Halloween I was Wonder Woman. Years later I am doing a project for a college class on the psychological effects of superheros on children and I discover some very interesting things. I just happen to fall on top of various random links to REAL LIFE SUPERHEROES! I was instantly interested and I had to find out more.
Wikipedia says that ,” Real-life superhero is a term applied to real-world people who dress and/or act like comic book superheroes. Sometimes, this label is bestowed upon them by those whom they have helped or the media, while at other times, the aspiring superheroes apply the label to themselves. Sometimes, the term is applied to firefighters, police officers, and other good Samaritans. The actions of New York City police and firefighters during the September 11, 2001 attacks led to frequent use of the term.”
I started talking to RazorHawk on twitter. I instantly added him as a friend.
Razorhawk does a lot of work involving children such as Toys For Tots. He told me in an interview that they don’t go out looking for trouble but a lot of them do train to deal with this when it does comes up. He really wants people to be inspired and do good things for others. Kids especially accept superheroes in their lives and makes them go forward with doing good deeds later in their lives as well. It is almost like a Pay it Forward type of deal. He is working with the 2011 Homeless Organization to raise awareness on Homelessness. They are accepting all kinds of donations not just monetary! RazorHawk is a part of the Great Lakes Heroes Guild which includes other really great heroes such as Geist, Watchman,Doc Spectral, and Celtic Viking. He also runs Hero Gear so if you are looking for a super costume contact Razor Hawk! He is very passionate about what he does and he has already inspired me to do more for where I live.
Another Superhero I interviewed recently is Metatron Arc Angel. He does his best to help anyone he can. He actually started wearing a mask in second grade to beat up bullies. Like Razor Hawk and other Real Life Super Heroes he had training in street fighting , defending yourself, how to protect yourself, etc. He is with a group of other Real Life Super Heroes called Team Justice. It is a legally registered non-profit organization. Like all other Super Heroes they have to coöperate with the law and even though Metatron Arc Angel went to jail once he was recognized by the Sheriff’s Department with an Award. Look out for a book by him sometime in the future giving you all sorts of information and advice on RLSH’s!
Shadow Panther is another hero who since younger always wanted to do some good in the world . He didn’t just want to do good but wanted to be remembered as well. He wanted people to remember there are people out there that do help. His costume was designed after his favorite superhero of all time Black Panther. He is a member of the CFA (Fire Brigade) outside of his costume. This is another example how in or out of costume these heroes still manage to do some good! He also taught himself some martial arts and received training to work on the streets. All of these heroes know how to take care of themselves and the bad guys as well. He wears a bullet proof vest and carries pepper spray with him to protect himself. One of the questions I asked was if there is a moment you ever feared for your life and he said ” All the time ….,” because he loves his family very much and is constantly worried about them. His group is the “Stealth” group . All of these heroes have their own uniqueness about them and the groups they are in are one of those things.
I focused on the recent movie Kick-Ass and how it shows an ordinary person dressing up as a comic book hero. Most of these heroes did read comics growing up like Spider-Man was one of Shade Panther’s inspirations. There is not , however, the violence you see in this movie. This movie over exaggerates the vigilante to get people’s attention. I think in a way they got their attention the wrong way. Yes, it is inspiring to see people doing what this guy did but it is another thing to see the blood shed and the lives lost during watching this movie. In some way I really don’t like the vigilante justice thought of being a superhero. To me being a superhero is not about revenge and taking lives it is about making lives better and helping people who have no way to help themselves.
I really liked Shade Panther’s answers about advice on becoming a RLSH ,” Yes definitely, here are some options of what hero you could be..
Crime Fighter: Expect to die, just because it seems easy in the movies doesn’t make it easy in real life, you have to be committed, have training, and know what the hell you are doing and have a goal..
Green: Be consistent, take care of the earth in whole and encourage recycling and stopping logging. This is a very important role, add Treesong on facebook if you want to ask some more questions about this role..
Lifer: Walk around with a bag full of food (Bread, rolls, canned food, etc..), clothes (Shirts, pants, shoes, jumpers, jackets, etc..) and sheltering items (Umbrellas, tents, and pretty much anything that could help them in staying warm and dry).. This is a very kind and selfless thing to do, even I do this.
Patrol: Safer than crime fighting and very helpful, you patrol the streets or watch from buildings and report suspicious looking characters to the police. You could also call ambulances, fire brigades, and report crimes being committed, the possibilities are exemplary for this group.
Extremist: Nobody is in this group and I do not suggest it in any way, I am only putting this here because it is a category. The extremist will push there limits and generally go after high-end criminals (Mass Murderers, Serial killers, rapists, etc..) and also stop massive drug rings and prevent mafia hits. This I could only suggest to an extremely qualified Navy SEAL or members of the SAS or SWAT.”
These guys are not just doing it to show off their flashy capes and hide behind masks to make money. Some of these guys and gals are out there doing what they do and having to struggle to pay their bills when they get home. They sacrifice themselves everyday for the common good. They are out there doing what some only dare to dream to do . If you see someone needing water on the street do you walk over them and keep going or do you stop and give them some water or some change? Sometimes you might think ” well, they will only use it on alcohol or drugs” and in some cases that might be true . Most cases I can tell you for a fact it isn’t.
I do what I can when I can for people. My own daughter has taken the gloves off her hands for another child who needed them. If a 8-year-old little girl can do it , why can’t you?
Sometimes all it takes is a bit of caring to make the world a better place and this is what these guys and gals are all about . I really admire what they are doing and why they are doing it. I would be honored to one day meet one of the RLSH’s in person and shake their hand. They are not just standing by and letting the world revolve around them, they are making the world revolve.