Real life superheroes transform into masked vigilantes to protect cities of America
By Sy Bean and Kara O’Neill
Most of us have heard of a neighbourhood watch – but this man is taking his citizen’s duties to the next level.
Five nights a week, Phoenix Jones dresses in a superhero outfit of his own invention to chases car thieves, breaks up bar fights and change he tyres of stranded strangers in Seattle.
And he’s not the only one as around 200 real-life superheroes currently patrol America’s streets, looking for wrongs to right.
There’s DC’s Guardian, in Washington, who wears a full-body stars-and-stripes outfit and wanders the troubled areas behind the Capitol building.
Then there’s RazorHawk, from Minneapolis, who was a pro wrestler for fifteen years before joining the Real Life Super Hero movement.
And not forgetting New York City’s Dark Guardian, who specializes in chasing pot dealers out of Washington Square Park by creeping up to them, shining a light in their eyes, and yelling, “This is a drug-free park!”
Most undertake basically safe community work – helping the homeless and telling kids to stay off drugs .
They’re regular men with jobs and families and responsibilities who somehow have enough energy at the end of the day to journey into America’s neediest neighborhoods to do what they can.
But what does being an urban crime-fighter involve and why do the ‘real-life superheroes’ feel a need to put their lives at risk?
Phoenix explained: “We are basically a citizen eye witness group. If we see a crime, we run to the victim, see if they want to press charges, at that point we’ll go after the bad guy, catch him, and either hold them in position or dial 911 and wait until the cops arrive.”
“When I see someone being a victim of crime, I’m not just going to watch it,” he adds.
His side-kick and wife Purple Reign emphasises that they are definitely not vigilantes and have lawyers who instruct them on how to intervene in a crime legally.
Purple Reign said: “The police have seen how we are not out there breaking the law or hurting people, we’re helping victims and we’re capturing video evidence.”
Phoenix uploaded clips of the vigilantes’ brave work to his YouTube channel , and the short videos have now topped over 800,000 views.
According to Purple Reign, the body areas of the outfit are “slash resistant” and come in a D30 material which “turns hard upon impact.” They also wear arm guards, bullet-proof vests and protective gloves when they are out on patrol.
Part of the attraction for fans and admirers of the couple are the outfits that they do their crime-fighting work in. But it’s not a latex fetish that makes them squeeze into those tight suits.
So do they think that ‘ real-life superheroes ‘ are needed in the UK?
“They are needed everywhere.”
Phoenix added: “Any time you see something wrong, you need someone to stand up and say that is wrong.”