Real Life Superheroes?

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Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by hippie_mama » Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:11 pm

Well not *really.* I've read about plenty of people that have what can only be described as superpowers, but this article is about people who dress up to perform acts of community service; what i found interesting was the estimated number of people who do this:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/06/04/real.life.superheroes/index.html

(CNN) -- Mr. Ravenblade, Mr. Xtreme, Dark Guardian and hundreds of others. Some with elaborate costumes, others with haphazardly stitched outfits, they are appearing on city streets worldwide watching over the populace like Superman watched over Metropolis and Batman over Gotham City.

As people become disillusioned from financial woes and a downtrodden economy and look to put new purpose in their lives, everyday folks are taking on new personas to perform community service, help the homeless and even fight crime.

"The movement is growing," said Ben Goldman, a real-life superhero historian. Goldman, along with Chaim "Life" Lazaros and David "Civitron" Civitarese, runs the New York-based Web site Superheroes Anonymous as part of an initiative dedicated to organizing and making alliances with superhero groups.

According to Goldman, who goes by the moniker Cameraman because of his prowess in documenting the movement, economic troubles are spawning real life superheroes.

"A lot of them have gone through a sort of existential crisis and have had to discover who they are," Goldman said. People are starting to put value in what they can do rather than what they have, he said. "They realize that money is fleeting, it's in fact imaginary."

Estimates from the few groups that keep tabs put the worldwide total of real-life superheroes between 250 and 300. Goldman said the numbers were around 200 just last summer.

Mr. Ravenblade, laid off after a stint with a huge computer technology corporation, found inspiration for his new avocation a few years ago from an early morning incident in Walla Walla, Washington.

"I literally stepped into a woman's attempted rape/mugging," Mr. Ravenblade said. While details were lost in the fog of the fight, he remembers this much: "I did what I could," he said, adding that he stopped the crime and broke no laws. "And I realized after doing what I did, that people don't really look after people."

Public response to real-life superheroes has been mixed, according to Mr. Xtreme, who founded the Xtreme Justice League in San Diego, California.

"Sometimes it's been really positive with people saying, 'Woohoo, the superheroes are here,' and then the usual barrage, saying 'Oh, these guys are losers.' Other times people will look kind of freaked out, and then sometimes people just don't know what to think about us."

Like Peter Parker kept his Spider-Man identity from his editor boss, Mr. Extreme and Mr. Ravenblade have asked CNN editors to keep their identities secret.

The current superhero movement started a few years ago on MySpace, as people interested in comics and cool caped crusaders joined forces, Goldman said. It goes beyond the Guardian Angel citizen patrols of the early 1980s, as the real-life superheroes of today apply themselves to a broadly defined ethos of simply doing good works. Video Watch Crimson Fist help the homeless in Atlanta »

Chris Pollak, 24, of Brooklyn, New York, can attest to the appeal. "A lot more people are either following it or wanting to go out and do it," Pollack, who goes by the name Dark Guardian, said. By "do it," he means patrol the harrowing streets late at night.

"A lot of kids say they're real-life superheroes [on MySpace]," Mr. Ravenblade said. "But what are you doing? Being in front of a computer is not helping anybody."

Comic book legend Stan Lee, the brain behind heroes such as Spider-Man and the X-Men, said in his comic books doing good -- and availing one's self -- was indeed the calling card for superheroes.

"If somebody is committing a crime, if somebody is hurting some innocent person, that's when the superhero has to take over."

"I think it's a good thing that people are eager enough to want to help their community. They think to do it is to emulate the superheroes," Lee said. "Now if they had said they had super powers [that would be another thing]."

Without super powers, real life superheroes confess to a mere-mortal workload, including helping the homeless, handing out fliers in high-crime areas and patrolling areas known for drug-dealing.

Mr. Ravenblade said he and some of his superfriends would soon be trying to organize a Walk for Babies fundraiser in Portland, Oregon.

"We work with charities that help children," he said. "We think a lot of crimes happen because of people who didn't get a lot of love when they were younger. We do what we can to help that there."

"Homeless outreach is the main thing I like to do," said Chaim "Life" Lazaros, of Superheroes Anonymous. "We give out food, water, vitamins, toothbrushes. A lot of homeless people in my area know me, and they tell us about what they need. One homeless guy said 'I need a couple pair of clean underwear.'"

For Christmas, Lazaros said his group raised $700 in gifts and brought them to kids at St. Mary's Children's Hospital in New York. "They were so excited to see real-life superheroes," Lazaros said.

Many of the real-life superheroes even initiate citizen's arrests, but what's legal varies by state. And in North Carolina citizen's arrests are illegal. Real-life superheroes who grab a suspected villain may find themselves under a specter of trouble.

"Not a good idea," said Katy Parker, legal director for the ACLU of North Carolina. "Seeing as how there's no citizen's arrest statute [in the state], people who do this are running a serious risk of getting arrested for kidnapping, and being liable for false imprisonment."

"Vigilantism is never a good thing," said Bernard Gonzales, public information officer for the Chula Vista, California, Police Department. He's had some interactions with real-life superheroes. "The very best thing a private citizen can do is be a good witness."

Mr. Ravenblade said he's just that.

"If you're a real-life superhero you follow the law. If you catch somebody you can't just tie them up and leave them for the cops, that's for the comics. You have to wait for the cops and give them a statement," Mr. Ravenblade said. iReport.com: Cincinnati superhero speaks

While citizens helping out in the community is encouraged, Gonzales said the costumes can go.

"Where these people are out in public, and there's children around and everything, and these people are not revealing their identities, it's not a safe thing."

But the costumes go with the gig, right down to the do-it-yourself approach to good deeds, including, apparently, recycling.

"The costume I have is simple," said Mr. Xtreme. "I made it myself. I had a graphic designer design it for me and just took it down to the swap meet and had somebody imprint it on for me."

"The mask," an old bullfighter's piece, "I got from Tijuana."


http://www.worldsuperheroregistry.com/

http://superheroesanonymous.com/

http://www.reallifesuperheroes.org/index.html

https://rlsh-manual.com/WELCOME.html
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by verdilak » Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:38 pm

Very cool, and it's nice to see people doing good things. And as always, it sucks to see the officials naysaying this because they aren't giving out their identities or because there is no citizen's arrest rule... why don't they see that the private citizens are wanting to do right and make a damn law then?
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"I'm imagining Kiera Knightly, Katherine Zeta-Jones, Angelina and Meg Fox sitting around your map wearing bandanas vigorously shaking fists full of d20s." - Aval Penworth, in regards to a map I made
"We're talking about the GM that made us fight giant Fruit, Verd is totally unpredictable." - Nikurasu (one of my players)
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Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me."--Ferris Bueller, 1986
To the human body, a spoonful of flour and a spoonful of sugar are identical.
"Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn't believing. It is where belief stops, because it isn't needed any more." - Terry Pratchett, Pyramids
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by The Novastar » Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:53 pm

Then they can join the Police Acedemy.
Seriously, would you want your kids grabbed by some freak in a mask, because he's "saving her"?
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by verdilak » Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:19 pm

Yeah i would.
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"I'm imagining Kiera Knightly, Katherine Zeta-Jones, Angelina and Meg Fox sitting around your map wearing bandanas vigorously shaking fists full of d20s." - Aval Penworth, in regards to a map I made
"We're talking about the GM that made us fight giant Fruit, Verd is totally unpredictable." - Nikurasu (one of my players)
Everyone is an atheist about some gods, we just went one god further. - Richard Dawkins
Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me."--Ferris Bueller, 1986
To the human body, a spoonful of flour and a spoonful of sugar are identical.
"Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn't believing. It is where belief stops, because it isn't needed any more." - Terry Pratchett, Pyramids
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by hippie_mama » Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:55 pm

I wouldn't mind any more or less than a non-masked person doing the same. I would be freaked out if i didn't know what their intentions were (and they would probably suffer my wrath for it), but that goes for any person i don't know: masked, uniformed, or plainly dressed.
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by NulSyn » Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:34 pm

What about SuperHippos that chase away the baddies?

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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by Zamion » Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:16 pm

............ :yahoo: :s_biggrin :s_biggrin ........
your baddies are every day black folk in africa ahhhhhh...sigh.....and i used to get called racist on the nexus boards ahhhh sigh it warms my heart
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by Chick » Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:07 am

I'm all for the superheroes, it's not something I'd do, I'd go out as a ninja.. but that aside, they're doing good, they're doing what we as a people have become too apathetic or afraid to do for ourselves, and they're teaching a younger generation that the future is in everyone's hands.. I guess that's why the authorities hate it the most.
R.I.P. any superhero who decides to interfere with gang/professional crime scene
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by Zamion » Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:12 am

i say if you have the balls to to try to shut down a meth lab in the middle of no where , more power to you , but just be aware that these villians dont tell you your plan or fight even remotly fair. ( ie smg's, rifles, and hitting your mom where she sleeps.)

but serriusly good luck to anyone who try's to help problems i know the cops round here are more interseted in pulling you over and searching your car and making your rights look like stool that solving a crime that the rest of us can easly point to and say ohhh yeah theres a lab there and there and ooohhh that kid gets beat ...its pretty sad
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by Pyriel » Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:40 am

That's the true point of the mask. Superheroes in either version (comic and irl) use masks so villains dont know who their mom etc. is so they cant shoot her. That been said, exactly *because* we're talking about reality, there are a bunch of things besides fighting a "real life superhero" could do.
The true source of the problem is, to be an actually effective real-life superhero you need not only training like in the comics, but also the kind of life and personality background that focuses you and gives you the clarity to know what to do in such situations.Cause real life danger takes place and resolves very fast, you dont have time to think or whatever.I have met some persons that i'd deem fit for such a life, but the exact same background that makes them fit for dangerous situations makes real everyday peaceful life *impossibly exhausting* for them. They usually dont have the energy to decide to help themselves, let alone people . this is why unlike comics (where training is enough) , in real life there will never be an actual, effective, superhero. These guys are just costumed philanthropists. I 'm all for it, but superheroes(even heroes without superpowers) they're not.
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by Pyriel » Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:55 am

I add something to conclude what i'd say:
There are only 2 things existing in comics that are absent in real life. Everything else is there;
Impossibly well-trained individuals(i know of real life stories that are too impossible in comics!) are here.
Impossibly powerful individuals (how would you judge a person that survives 20+ bullet shots?) are here.
What is REALLY absent is...
HOPE
and FAITH.
reality,especially everyday life, for both citizens and(especially) aspiring superheroes, is just too desperate and painful compared to comics where crime-aside everything works out.
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by verdilak » Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:11 am

The superheros are a symbol... a symbol of humanity's faith in itself. To me, these people are more of a superhero than their comic counterparts.

Look at it this way... if I have a natural talent for dance, or computers, or swimming... doing such things, even extremely well, does not make me a hero. Being extremely strong and using that strength to pummel bad guys doesnt make you a hero either (more like a vigilante who has loads of jail time comming at you). However, going against the grain and helping out your community in the form of soup kitchens, donations to the poor, ect, that's heroic. And getting other people to help out their community due to wearing a costume of a comic superhero because the ideal behind the costume speaks to everyone... now that's a superhero.

You bitch about how these people don't have training, but come on, what type of training do they need to "helping the homeless, handing out fliers in high-crime areas and patrolling areas known for drug-dealing." or stopping a rape? Thats right, ZERO. None. Who gives a flying fuck how much you can benchpress or if you are a 10th degree black belt, because on the streets, no matter how fucking "trained" you are, a gun will take you down just as easily as it will a pot-bellied guy in orange lycra.

I guess it comes down to the fact that when something is wrong, most people talk about it, bitch about, condemn it, but int he end, do nothing.These people are doing, and in their action, they are influencing and inspiring and encouraging others to act instead of talk big, or ignore the problem.

Again, these people are superheros of the highest quality.
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"I'm imagining Kiera Knightly, Katherine Zeta-Jones, Angelina and Meg Fox sitting around your map wearing bandanas vigorously shaking fists full of d20s." - Aval Penworth, in regards to a map I made
"We're talking about the GM that made us fight giant Fruit, Verd is totally unpredictable." - Nikurasu (one of my players)
Everyone is an atheist about some gods, we just went one god further. - Richard Dawkins
Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me."--Ferris Bueller, 1986
To the human body, a spoonful of flour and a spoonful of sugar are identical.
"Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn't believing. It is where belief stops, because it isn't needed any more." - Terry Pratchett, Pyramids
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by Pyriel » Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:58 am

i am not saying that these guys do not have training verd. instead, i say that training which is important part in comic superheroes is SECONDARY compared to other things in real life superheroes/real life citizens too.

what i am whining about is not lack of training. its the impossibility of a man to have the combination of faith and hope to carry on in something magnificent.
These people are philanthropists with costumes. Maybe they are MORE important than supeheroes, i agree to that, but to change the terminology of what superhero means is different :P
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by verdilak » Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:27 pm

I dont. There are many in the comics who have no powers but just training and are considered super. Same difference.
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"I'm imagining Kiera Knightly, Katherine Zeta-Jones, Angelina and Meg Fox sitting around your map wearing bandanas vigorously shaking fists full of d20s." - Aval Penworth, in regards to a map I made
"We're talking about the GM that made us fight giant Fruit, Verd is totally unpredictable." - Nikurasu (one of my players)
Everyone is an atheist about some gods, we just went one god further. - Richard Dawkins
Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me."--Ferris Bueller, 1986
To the human body, a spoonful of flour and a spoonful of sugar are identical.
"Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn't believing. It is where belief stops, because it isn't needed any more." - Terry Pratchett, Pyramids
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by The Novastar » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:58 pm

Ok, anybody else here old enough to remember the early 80's clearly?

Remember when the crazy-ass, hopped-up on speed D&D group decided their characters were such "bad-asses", and their characters were merely an extension of their own cosmic "bad-assedness", that they went out to fight crime in costume with period weapons? (Note: several of these people WERE actually quite well-trained both in the use of their weapons, and the martial arts)

Out of seven, three ended up in the morgue later that night.

People dressing up in funny costumes and engaging in vigilantism are not just dangerous to themselves, but to anybody nearby. A drug dealer isn't gonna limit his automatic fire while shooting the crazy guy in a mask, and god help anyone else in the way.

You want to help fight crime?

Join the Police Acedemy. Volunteer for the Neighborhood Watch.

Dressing up in a costume is a "Look at me!" attention whore stunt, if you're looking to actually make a difference.
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by verdilak » Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:36 am

Nope, never heard of them. But since there have been zero news reports about these caped crusaders getting killed, and there would be, I think your analogy doesn't work.

And sorry, ask anyone who they would rather be, a police officer or a costumed crimefighter, and see what you get.
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"I'm imagining Kiera Knightly, Katherine Zeta-Jones, Angelina and Meg Fox sitting around your map wearing bandanas vigorously shaking fists full of d20s." - Aval Penworth, in regards to a map I made
"We're talking about the GM that made us fight giant Fruit, Verd is totally unpredictable." - Nikurasu (one of my players)
Everyone is an atheist about some gods, we just went one god further. - Richard Dawkins
Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me."--Ferris Bueller, 1986
To the human body, a spoonful of flour and a spoonful of sugar are identical.
"Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn't believing. It is where belief stops, because it isn't needed any more." - Terry Pratchett, Pyramids
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by Chick » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:51 am

A police uniform's so yesterday :pardon:
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by The Novastar » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:35 pm

verdilak wrote:Nope, never heard of them. But since there have been zero news reports about these caped crusaders getting killed, and there would be, I think your analogy doesn't work.

It was during the early 80's (I think 83, but maybe 84). I remember it because my church at the time had a good ole fashioned book burning, to "denounce the devil's game". :fool:

I'll see if I can find it, since it followed "Mazes and Monsters" so wonderfully...

And sorry, ask anyone who they would rather be, a police officer or a costumed crimefighter, and see what you get.

Ask anyone whether they'd rather be an astronaut or flippin' burgers, and see what you get too.
Some professions are sexy, but not meant for everyone.
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by verdilak » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:46 pm

That analogy isn't all that good, since flipping burgers are not related to astronauts, whereas police officer and costumed crimefighter are.

Simply this, the costumed crimefighter inspired people to do random acts of good. The police, do not.

Oh, and yeah, I remember when they were trying to show that rock music was the work of the devil. All it means is that some fundies are crazy.
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"I'm imagining Kiera Knightly, Katherine Zeta-Jones, Angelina and Meg Fox sitting around your map wearing bandanas vigorously shaking fists full of d20s." - Aval Penworth, in regards to a map I made
"We're talking about the GM that made us fight giant Fruit, Verd is totally unpredictable." - Nikurasu (one of my players)
Everyone is an atheist about some gods, we just went one god further. - Richard Dawkins
Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me."--Ferris Bueller, 1986
To the human body, a spoonful of flour and a spoonful of sugar are identical.
"Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn't believing. It is where belief stops, because it isn't needed any more." - Terry Pratchett, Pyramids
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by Pyriel » Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:19 pm

well, you guys dont read what i'm writing. I am not saying that to be a suerhero is to have powers. I am not saying that to be a superhero is to have training.

Merely, i am saying that these people are not superheroes(and this has NOTHING to do with not having powerspowers). to be a superhero has to do with BEHAVIOR, not "amount of altruism".

superheroes defeat masterminds and organized crime. these people, they just stop smalltime robbers.(hey, i know lots who have done that without costume/uniform, does that make them superheroes or even heroes?)
superheroes, anthropologically(i dont care for what comics say, i care about the psychological effects their existance has to readers and imaginery citizens too) are SCARY to the commonpeople and inspire MESSIANISM and "sitting on our asses, waiting for someone ELSE to rescue all". these people inspire hope.(thats a plus compared to superheroes, but its still a different situation)

dont you see? GREENPEACE inspires good just the same way these people do. the TERM for these people is "philanthropists of such calibre that are preferable to even superheroes, who(superheroes) are something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT and maybe UNWANTED".
the fact that these philanthropists wear masks doesnt change anything nor makes them different/more important. "just because someone wears a robe doesnt mean he is a priest" we say in Greece.
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Re: Real Life Superheroes?

PostPosted by verdilak » Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:46 pm

Yes, stopping smalltime robbers without a costume would make them a hero. I reserve the term superhero for those who wear a costume, help out their community, possibly stop crimes, and most importantly, inspire the people around them to be a superhero as well.
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"I'm imagining Kiera Knightly, Katherine Zeta-Jones, Angelina and Meg Fox sitting around your map wearing bandanas vigorously shaking fists full of d20s." - Aval Penworth, in regards to a map I made
"We're talking about the GM that made us fight giant Fruit, Verd is totally unpredictable." - Nikurasu (one of my players)
Everyone is an atheist about some gods, we just went one god further. - Richard Dawkins
Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me."--Ferris Bueller, 1986
To the human body, a spoonful of flour and a spoonful of sugar are identical.
"Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn't believing. It is where belief stops, because it isn't needed any more." - Terry Pratchett, Pyramids
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