Real-Life Superheroes in Seattle
Originally posted: http://thesnowballeffekt.blogspot.com/2010/11/real-life-superheroes-in-seattle.html
Here is an interesting article on the recent emergence of a superhero-movement in Seattle. They call themselves “Rain City Superheros movement”, and claim to be part of a US-wide network of similar alliances. With names like Thorn, Buster Doe, Green Reaper, Gemini, No Name, Catastrophe, Thunder 88, Penelope and Phoenix, the group patrols the city by night looking for crime and danger.
The national website of the costumed heroes works as a sort of manual of the trade, as well:
The term Real Life Superhero is variously 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.
Some media reports have focused on an Internet-based community that’s developed around creating superheroic identities and helping others. These people wear masks or otherwise disguise themselves in order to perform “heroic deeds” like community services or fighting crime when they come across it
Yes, these people are real. Apparently MySpace works by augmenting the movement through a communication network amongst the caped crusaders around the world. ( if in need of a local vigilante, happy Hunting in MySpace.) According to Rain City Superhero Movement”- website, they do this, because “somebody has to do something”. And also, “they get a kick out of this”- which is understandable. Every time my Monday looks rainy and grey, I just slip on the Silk Spectre- outfit, perform a few kicks in front of the mirror while the soundtrack plays on the background and feel all powerful -a warrior woman. But these people go a bit further in they pursuit of action and justice.
The police in Seattle are worried that the heroes might hurt themselves, or someone else in the process.
In one instance a man dressed in black costume was nearly shot when running from a dark park. In another case, an innocent bystander mistook the heroes as robbers (sitting in a car with ski masks by the gas station does that to you, don´t think otherwise) and called the cops. The owner of the parked heroe-mobile claimed her godson just drives around going “good deeds”. Nice godmother, lending her Kia Fate for such heroic activities. Not many would understand, such a cruel world we live in.
Seattle police discovered the true identity of “Phoenix”, a mysterious character who is driven around the city by a civilian young woman (read: not into costumes). Phoenix was interviewed by the detectives and arrived to the station in most of his costume (parts were being repaired after an intervention to a drugtrade). In his usual attire, the character wears body armor, ballistic vest, arm and leg trauma plates and a ballistic cup. All this safety helped in stopping a bullet during a previous action incident last year. Note: all our heroes in the alliance do not carry firearms, just plain old pepper spray, tasers and nightsticks.
Seattle police state that there is nothing wrong in ordinary citizens getting involved in the criminal justice process – as long as they exercise caution, call 911 and remain as witnesses.
Call it what you might, I still find it incredibly impressive that these people are trying to do their part in stopping crime. Somewhat crazy, maybe, but incredibly sexy. In the utmost theoretical sense.