Real life superheroes

Originally posted: http://www.uwmpost.com/2010/11/29/real-life-superheroes/
By Kevin Kaber

Real Life Superheroes are protecting communities like Riverwest for the greater good. The red mask-wearing Watchman and the secretive Blackbird patrol the streets during bar time in Riverwest and other Milwaukee areas.
Real Life Superheroes are similar to members of neighborhood watch groups. They keep an eye on any suspicious activities and help those in need. More specifically, they resemble UW-Milwaukee Safe Walkers in super hero garb.
“They might not be actual superheroes, but at least they are trying to do something instead of sitting on their ass, watching TV, and whining about how awful everything is,” said Tea Krulos, a local author.
Krulos is writing a book on the Real Life Superheroes. He first met with The Watchman in 2009 and his “life has been fantastically weird ever since.”
The Watchman, as his name implies, is a man that watches for the safety of citizens, albeit he does so while in costume.
“What I do really isn’t that different from what anybody could be doing,” Watchman said. “Anybody could take an interest in their neighborhood; anybody could give to charities or do more in their communities.”
Watchman and heroes like him patrol bar-scattered areas as well as places with a history of crime. His utility belt includes a maglight, some pepper spray, a first aid kit, and perhaps most important, a cell phone which is used to call for professional backup when needed.
“It’s [normally] boring,” Watchman said. “Occasionally something interesting will happen.”
The Watchman started patrolling neighborhoods dressed as a superhero in the early ’90s. Around the same time, he found himself homeless, then enlisted in the Army. Afterwards, he put the super hero life on the backburner while he got married and started a family.
“Saving the world starts at home,” Watchman said. “That’s the highest priority.”
Only a few close family members and friends know his secret identity, though some have figured it out from pictures and videos.
Lately, The Watchman has received considerable attention from local media outlets. Along with a surge of comic book movies being released, people everywhere have been gaining interest in these caped crusaders.
Along with his counterpart, the wildly mysterious Blackbird, Watchman invests a considerable amount of time in giving back to the community. The duo has organized charity efforts such as toy and food drives. The Watchman claims that his superhero persona garners publicity for these missions.
“Obviously, you don’t dress like this unless you’re looking for attention,” Watchman said.
The Watchman says he will continue his mission as long as he’s needed. He may not be saving Riverwest from a hipster mad scientist’s plot to steal the neighborhood’s supply of Pabst, but he is making it a better, safer place.
“I haven’t had a single person in Riverwest come up to me and say; ‘I don’t want you here, what you’re doing is stupid,’” Watchman said. “I’m not a vigilante. I’m out there to watch.”
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.