Winter Park rests easy under superhero’s watch
Originally published from http://www.valenciavoice.com
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By Victor Ocasio
A masked man ducks and dodges between dingy streets and alleyways, seeking to vanquish evil wherever it appears. His gadgets are ready, his fighting skills honed, and his costume complete. He is the superhero of Winter Park, Master Legend. But unlike his inked counterparts of Marvel and DC, Master Legend is very real.
He is part of the growing international community of real life superheroes who have, in recent years, gained popularity due to the slew of comic movies that have been flooding the mainstream market. But the overall message of these masked heroes is much bigger than mere imitation and role-playing.
“The real life superhero thing is about getting out there, being ready to fight evil, jumping into action and putting your life on the line if you have to,” said Master Legend. “You have to accept that fact as a superhero.”
Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Master Legend has been a masked hero for well over 28 years, and in such time has managed to find the world’s first non-profit superhero organization, Team Justice, Inc.
His first act of super-heroics was in second-grade. In an attempt to stop a classroom bully while remaining anonymous, the prepubescent Master Legend fashioned together a mask and an emblem clad shirt and physically confronted the boy. After successfully vanquishing his first villain, Master Legend had found his calling as a masked crime fighter.
“I feel that this is the best way I can serve a good purpose in this life,” said Master Legend. A majority of the work he has done involves acts of community service and aid for the homeless, such as food, clothes and blanket donations and gift drives for children during the holiday season. But the work isn’t always easy for the 44-year-old hero.
“I’m the guy walking the streets in the dangerous parts of town with some food and a jacket for somebody,” he said. “I go to places scarier than you’ll see in the movies.” Claiming to have been in more than 1,000 fist fights, shot twice and involved in numerous gang battles, Master Legend is not your average volunteer and is certainly used to danger.
“Some people would be traumatized to have a knife pulled on them,” he said. “For me though, that’s just another day.”
Some may see his caped crusading as mere child’s play, but to him it’s all part of his daily life. His dedication to the superhero lifestyle makes it difficult to have a weekly scheduled job, so he makes his living doing property management and tree removal services.
He believes that a regular job would hinder him from being able to help the community when disaster strikes and villains appear. Master Legend doesn’t hesitate to jump into action when and where he is needed.
In the end, that’s what it really is all about for this unconventional humanitarian.
“The world can see that there are people out there that really do care, and who are willing to fight evil,” said Master Legend. “Some people may laugh, but hey.”
Being a superhero has also affected his social life and personal relationships. Although many of his close friends believe in his cause, he has lost friends and family who could not understand or accept his calling, including his former wife, who
divorced the crime fighter more than 12 years ago.
“I have a 16 year-old daughter,” said Master Legend. “She really doesn’t have much to do with me. She doesn’t really know much about what I do. Her mama has made it so I hardly get to see her anymore.”
Unlike other superheroes, Master Legend believes he has a very clear message about the direction society has taken and that society’s biggest problem is “the greed of the rich.”
Although not against the idea of physical confrontation, as evident by the many tools and gadgets he has madeincluding the Iron Fist, the Master Blaster and the Legend Bomb, Master Legend believes that there are better alternatives to dealing with his community’s problems.
“One of the best ways to prevent crime is to prevent desperation,” said Master Legend. “That’s one of the reasons why I help the homeless so much.”
Life isn’t all about disposing of drug dealers and corralling crack-heads for this superhero. When not on patrol, Master Legend enjoys playing guitar, dancing with pretty women, eating crawfish and having a few beers.
“I may be a superhero, but I’m not perfect!”
Despite what some may think, Master Legend has truly made an impact on his community and has even been commemorated for his actions by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. And although he does not know where his heroics will take him, he is confident he will always do his part. “I’m the hero of the people. The voice of the silenced!”
Winter Park rests easy under superhero’s watch