Real life costumes

hero-gear-hardwire.jpg
(Image ©Hero-Gear.net.)

If you’ve ever wished your HeroMachine design could come to life in three large-as-life (which in my case is quite large indeed) dimensions, Hero-Gear.net can now make your dreams come true! I love that several of the designs were laid out in HeroMachine first, I feel like I’ve helped make the world a more colorful place.

I wonder if the people ordering these are just having a lark or if they really, you know, think of themselves as actual super heroes? If the latter, one would hope they’d have the sense not to send in their photo and testimonial as that’s pretty much Rule Number One in the “How To Protect Your Secret Identity” manual.

Note that there’s a separate manual for how to keep your secret identity secret if you’re a movie super-hero instead of a comic-book super-hero. It only has one rule in it, though — “Don’t get a girlfriend, because it’s mandatory for every single movie super-hero to reveal their identity to the first hot chick who locks lips with them.”

About Jeff Hebert

Jeff is a 45 year old city boy who has somehow found himself located in Colorado, fulfilling his lifetime dream of making a living drawing super-heroes all day.

53 Responses to Real life costumes

  1. Well, to be fair, it looks like they took the body types for the pattern templates from the old version of Hero-O-Matic:

    http://hero-gear.net/bodysuits.aspx

    Personally, I hope no one tries to become a superhero without getting superpowers first.

  2. Oh, yeah, that guy’s Hardwire. He’s a cyber-based crimefighter. There was a whole article in the CityPages (Mpls/St Paul) about real-life superheroes. They call themselves Reals. There are some 250 networked internationally. One guy in Florida played vigilante and ended up in the slammer. Some of them are just do-gooders in costume, picking up trash and visiting nursing homes and such.

  3. Geez … there are some strange people in St. Paul:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaoQ7IJMFxY

    At least Indianapolis Mr. Silent hunts down missing purses – but by doing this interview, he doesn’t live up to his name:

  4. I like the idea of real life superheroes but the sad truth is that they will never be like say the Watchmen. We just wont have the resources available. You never know where crime will be so you can’t always prevent it. There is no use responding once cops have been called. Its illegal to actually take the law into your own hands most of the time. I wish it could be something like the comics though…

  5. As a Real Life Superhero myself, I feel the need to set the record straight.

    Many of us are public dogooders, doing charity work, feeding the homeless, etc.

    Others of us are crimefighters, and do patrols, usually at night, of bad areas and do our best to protect people. We have weapons, gear, uniforms, body armor, and have been doing this for several years now. Master Legend, Amazonia, Superhero and others were recently featured in Rolling Stone.

    Most of us have a secret identity, like Hardwire, who’s a friend of mine, and others, like me, don’t, and we can be more open, so don’t call me on not wearing a mask.

    For more information on what we do, visit:

    http://www.freewebs.com/heroesnetwork/
    http://www.therlsh.istemp.com/
    http://superherowiki.pbwiki.com/

    And by the way….Hero-Gear.net is amazing! if you ever need a suit he’s easily the best out there and for very reasonable prices. ;)

  6. Nate,
    Superpowers are not required, but training is preferred.

    Whit,
    There is nothing superheroic about picking up garbage or visiting people in nursing homes. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but people who do that are ‘costumed samaritans’. That doesn’t mean that those who actually ‘ARE’ Superheroes “CAN’T” do all that extra stuff. Personally, I don’t do all that other stuff, I prefer to stick to only doing superheroic stuff. To be a real life superhero, one must be ‘superheroic’ in their actions. We protect people and fight evil. Oh yeah, and we NEVER call ourselves “reals” – we all voted against using that term, because it’s not specific enough, and when you say it out loud, it sounds like a retarded handicapped person is saying it.

    DJ,
    I’m trying to be nice here, I really am, but stupid comments like that just piss me off like all hell. I hope you can understand why though. Here I am, dedicating my entire life to doing what real superheroes do. PROTECTING PEOPLE, AND FIGHTING THOSE WHO DO EVIL! I’ve done it before. I’ve protected & saved the lives of women and children who unfortunately found themselves in dangerous situations. Out of respect to all I’ve ever helped or saved, I don’t feel too comfortable in bragging about the situations. So yeah, I’ve stopped some crimes too. I also had to defend myself from 8 people at once. I kicked 7 of their asses, but the 8th one ran like no tomorrow.

    But it’s not just me. Master Legend beat the bloody stinkin’ crap out of a child molester and sent him to prison.

    Superhero helped the cops chase down a hit & run driver.

    Ecliptico recently took a wanted criminal to jail, who I believe was wanted for assult charges and missed his court date.

    REAL LIFE SUPERHEROES ‘DO’ patrol. We have ways of finding out where crimes. We talk to people. We make connections. We network. We look for patterns. Some who believe in the paranormal rely on other such sources to guide them. We have our ways. And we have accomplished a lot. Not everything is recorded & documented, but I guarentee you that it is happening. We are out there doing our parts to keep our streets a lot safer than they would be if we were not out there at all.

    So for future reference, please look further in to things before you talk about it openly, because when you “assume” you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. Like right now.

    -Tothian

  7. Tothian-

    I don’t see how my comment was stupid. Yes it is LIKE comics in a small way but it will never be exactly how it is because we have limited resources. I support reals and have even thought of doing it myself but even I realize that most of the time you can’t save people. You can patrols the streets all you want but that doesn’t mean you will be able to respond to something halfway across town from where you are patrolling. I know a lot about Real life superheroes and what goes into being one. I have researched and drooled over them for years. My point still stands though. It will NEVER be like in the comics because regular humans do not have the resources.

    I didn’t mind what you said to me but what you said to Whit caused me to lose a crap load of respect for you. Nothing you do is SUPERheroic. Heroic? Yes. But not super. What those other costumed people do are still heroes. They may not be physically protecting people but they are still helping which is all a hero needs to do. A person who picks up trash today is helping save the world. A person who visits a nursing home is helping brighten the lives of people. It is just as heroic as what you do but in a different way.

    I do believe that the only person making an “ass” out of their self in this conversation is you.

  8. Man I didnt even know this site existed…lol.

    I could elaborate more but I feel that this “line of work” will never get the kudos it deserves, but for all of you out there, there are those who watch, and there are those that do. Thankfully there are some of the latter. Lets not be fooled by cheap immitations.

    Tothian: Good call, if I hadn’t patrolled with you myself I would be wary of your claims, however I know you and Zimmer both and you are both admirable and honorable in your fight against the threat that the in-action of police and government seem to set before the American and worldwide people. For ANYONE to say we are cooks, I say…tell us that when we save your ass.

  9. Let’s all try and keep it civil, folks. Everyone’s got a different take on how they should best live their own lives, all I demand is that we be respectful towards the choices others make, even when (especially when) they’re not choices we ourselves would make.

    We’re all geeks here, or we wouldn’t be reading comic books, so a little understanding of other people who are also “different” than the mainstream is in order.

  10. DJ,

    Please stop calling us reals. I already stated that most of us don’t like being called that.

    Anyway, what I was referring to was the risk factor involved. Protecting people and fighting evil is what people think of when they think of a superhero. And it’s what my mission is. All that other stuff is fine & dandy, it’s just that it’s a slightly different type of mission, in my opinion. But it depends what motivates the individual rlsh to get out there and do what they do. I don’t focus too much on the other stuff because I feel I need to spend that time keeping a watchful eye, ensuring the protection of the innocent & defenseless.

    As for being able to run in to stuff, have you ever tried to be a real life superhero? It may not be like the comic books, and we can’t save everyone. But we do what we can with what resources we have. And sometimes, it works.

    -Tothian

  11. Sorry about calling you all reals but that’s the term I know and use.

    I understand that is what most people think of but a hero doesn’t have to take huge risk or any real risk in all. I am happy that you do what you do and I like your mission.

    Yes I have though I don’t consider it quite being a RLSH because I don’t use a costume and I don’t think I would if I did. I just walk around my neighborhood at night with my dog and check on stuff because there have been some cases of robberies,vandalism and other stuff.

  12. Oh and I can ask all the RLSHs that read this. Why do you wear costumes?

  13. Tothian, I appreciate the fact that you fight evil and all, but go easy on DJ. I’ve read his comments for a while now and I’m pretty sure he isn’t evil.

    However, in your earlier post you said, “Master Legend beat the bloody stinkin’ crap out of a child molester and sent him to prison.”

    That’s scary. Child molestation is unquestionably evil, but going around beating someone up – not OK. The law is clear on this one, citizens do not have the right to dole out punitive measures against other citizens. You basically accused Master Legend of being a criminal. It doesn’t matter what the person he beat up did, the cops aren’t even allowed to beat up child molesters.

    It’s really questionable how much good being a vigilante does for anybody. You may say you network and look for patterns, like trained police officers and detectives do (even if you lack their very specific training), but bear in mind the police sometimes grab the wrong person. It’s better to be falsely arrested than beaten up by a guy who puts on a costume because he wants to beat someone up so his buddies can brag about it on the internet.

    I was thinking that the real-life superheroes were just some harmless people having fun, but if you’re actually engaging in acts of violence that takes out the “harmless” part. Eclipto bringing in a fugitive is fine as long as he didn’t do anything a bounty hunter wouldn’t do, but if a few people in costumes are willing to throw punches over patterns and rumors then a lot of innocent people are going to get hurt for no reason. That’s the way it historically happens for vigilante groups.

  14. DJ,

    Real Life Superheroes are defined not by the uniforms we wear, nor what we call ourselves. We are defined by our actions. But by our actions, we represent what it means to be the names we call ourselves, and wear the uniforms we wear.

    There are different reasons some of us wear uniforms. Some of the reasons any of the following:

    -Protection.
    -Making our presence known.
    -Camouflage, blending in with our surroundings, or the crowd.

    The reason I myself wear it, is because I feel the style represents me. I don’t wear it to draw attention while I’m out patrolling, it does allow me to blend in with both the crowd, and sometimes even my surroundings(depending on where I patrol). But I still wear a symbol on my chest. It gives people something to remember, for whenever I am doing something that they might consider heroic.

    -Tothian

  15. Nate,

    I’m just very honest and passionate about my views. I probably sound like an asshole on the internet, but it’s not my intention.

    As for Master Legend, he was cleared of any criminal charges by the police, because it was in defense of his family, and friends of his family. I met him in person, and he even showed me the paperwork.

    -Tothian

  16. Hi this is Jack from Hero Gear, and I am honored to have such a wonderful article out there on my behalf. Thank you very much.

    Let me just state that I have worked with Real Life Superheroes for the last two years and many of them that posted comments are good and valued friends and colleagues. They do some good things out there, they are not thinking they have powers or are in any way delusional. They have found an interesting and eyecatching way to go out and do good deeds. I have been lucky enough to help out in this capacity, going out last weekend for a toys for tots drop with members of the Great Lakes Heroes Guild. These guys and gals, for the most part, have great and generous hearts and do this to bring attention to the fact that people can do good deeds and have fun doing it.
    There are some who take what they do very seriously And sometimes their responses aren’t quite PC, but they do good things as well.
    Thank you again for the honors, and I love what you have going on with HeroMachine, it helps alot of people out there develope their persona’s! Keep on rocking into the New Year!

    Jack

  17. Nate,

    I don’t consider myself a vigilante, because that would suggest that I am a criminal for wanting to protect people. That’s what I do.

    I know that cops sometimes get the wrong person. I don’t go around hurting those I suspect to be criminals. I have however, fought people while in defense of the innocent and defenseless. Sometimes, there is no time to call the cops and wait for them to arrive. So sometimes action needs to be taken. Somebody’s gotta do it.

    -Tothian

  18. MUAHAHAHAHA TheNate you don’t know me very well! For you see at midnight tonight my plans to blow up every Starbucks in the US using 1000s of water balloons shall take effect LEAVING THIS COUNTRY WITH OUT CAFFEINE! In doing so I will cripple the work force and send the US INTO CHAOS! MUAHAHAHAHAHA

    Tothian-

    Yours allow that but someone like Mr.Silent who wears a mask or Hardwire who stands out in a crowd with his make a kind of target and/or someone that criminals will watch out for. If I were to become a RLSH then I would stay in regular clothes with concealed (legal) self defense weapons. The only extras I may wear would be props to lure criminals TOWARDS me instead of towards innocents.

  19. Well, this is certainly an interesting discussion. I think when most people think of “costumes” they think of bright colorful things that draw attention to the wearer. Many of us in the RLSH community wear uniforms that are more utilitarian than anything you would ever see Superman or Spiderman wearing. The reason I finished my uniform with a mask also has a purpose. Most of the patrolling I do in uniform has been in areas that most people avoid given the chance. My actions have occassionally led to arrests and often led to physical confrontations between myself those who are up to no good. I’ve been shot at at least 7 times, all while in uniform. By hiding my true identity I lessen the odds of someone trying to take revenge against while I’m on my way to work or by burning down my house.

    I would imagine that every RLSH has a different reason for wearing what they wear, but those are mine.

  20. Hmmm ..actually, Tothian, you addressed my concerns quite nicely and politely. Happy Holidays.

  21. Tothian is.. a bit over enthusiastic in his responses, but he is, for the most part correct. And to DJ, many of us do, in fact, stay in the shadows and use self defense weapond. I’m not going to give out names because, as has already been stated, that is kind of the point of the secret identity. There is actually a slarge divide in the community between the colorful and the non colorful, and the masked and the non masked. Some, such as Clearwater’s SUPERHERO, wear bright spandex and don’t wear a mask. But they do so because that is how they choose to operate. They aren’t the type to slink in and out of the shadows. That’s not to say they ONLY do charity work- they do that a lot, but Superhero regularly gives roadside assistance and keeps a lookout for crime. I would bet my life that if he saw someone getting mugged, he would intervene. The fact that he has no secret identity means nothing. Find a picture of the guy, he’s built like a lighthouse.

    But he knows there are risks. We all do. many of us have seen firsthand. One of the greatest among our ranks had an injury that ended up in him being blinded in one eye for several months. We accept that we may end up the same or worse (and yes, the lying dead in an alley idea is not new to us. we accpet that it is very likely). But we are prepared. I can’t even count the number of conversations of seen about kevlar and pepper spray and stun guns and dragonskin. Most of us our trained in martial arts, from jiu jitsu to krav maga to escrima sticks.

    The costume question? It’s hard to place. For some people, it’s a matter of camoouflage, and being able to belnd into the shadows. For others it’s a matter of theatrics and inciting fear in those who confront you. Others still use it as a way to be a symbol, a beacon or a rallying point for your cause. Many of us, though, cannot explain it. Dropping your casual everyday clothes to wear a costume is… oddly empowering. You feel closer to the ranks of Batman and Superman, even though you know you don’t have powers or a billion dollars worth of equipment. It just feels right. Why does a police officer wear a unifrom? Why does the president wear a suit? It’s just the way it’s supposed to be.

    Believe me, we’re not just a bunch of geeks who think you can put on a costume and start catching crooks. It’s wierd on the surface, yes. I didn’t hardly believe it when I first stumbled upon the community. But after I really met these people… I was inspired enough to devote myself to training so that I will someday be ready to make a difference the same as them.

  22. I had some concerns similar to TheNates. It is well and good to want to protect people, but violence should only be used against violent offenders, and then ONLY if witnessing the violence and while said violence is occurring. It is legal to attack someone who is attacking your or someone else in defense of yourself or that other person. but illegal to attack that self same person after the fact.

    Example: If you know for a fact and have “proof” that your next door neighbor is a child molester you can not barge into his house and beat the stuffing out of him no matter how evil the man is UNLESS he is at that moment in the process of molesting a child.

    Then there is the nonviolent crime out there such as drug dealers. In cases such as those all you can do is phone the police, and testify at trail against them. I personally were I to take up your line of work would NOT wear a costume for one simple reason. The general population of the country I am certain views the “Real Life Super-Heroes” to be crackpots at the worst and extreme oddballs at the best and your costume is likely to hurt credibility with a Jury.

    There are plenty of organization out there that legally patrol the streets, intervening in violent crimes and documenting and reporting all crimes to the police. The Thousands of Neighborhood watch groups on a local basis as well as the Guardian Angels on a large scale, which started in NY and has spread out to 13 countries worldwide.

    That being said I appreciate, and even admire your desire to help your fellow man, so long as you do not cross that line of legality because doing so would in fact make you into what you are fighting “Criminals”

  23. DJ,
    That’s the beauty of it. We all have our own different methods, with different reasons behind them. Our different tactics each have their own sets of advantages & disadvantages. Oh yeah, and don’t blow up Starbucks.

    Nate,
    Glad I could help. Happy Holidays to you too.

    Kaldath,
    My allegiance is not to the law, as much as what is morally right. Which is why I call myself a Warrior who destroys evil, and a Protector of people – instead of a Crimefighter. I don’t, however, engage in any illicit activities. I do totally agree with you that physical action should not be taken against anyone except if it’s immediately required to defend someone else, our even ourselves. The difference between a real life superhero, and groups like neighborhood watch groups, or the Guardian Angels, is pretty much self-explanatory. We all represent different ideals and methods in heroism. We wear different uniforms. We all want to do good, just not in the same way. In my non-rlsh identity, I have served 5 years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, as an Infantry Machine Gunner, while studying martial arts at home. All of that did not define me, but it did contribute a lot to who I am as Tothian.

  24. Thank you Antithesis. I love your answer! :-D

  25. Hello all,
    First I would like to state that the view of Tothian does not represent the view of all Real Life Superheroes.
    There are many reasons why individuals chose to call themselves Real Life Superheroes. It does seem like an over glorified term for basically costumed activist, but it is one of the many terms used by the media.
    A majority of Reals, if you wish, work within the confines of the law. A few actually work with their local police too. They act as any responsible citizen would, but have chosen a dynamic way of conveying their message. And definitely anyone can do what Real Life Superheroes do.
    Personally, I do safety patrols (which I do walk around in both costume and regular clothes) with First-Aid and CPR training as well as a chock full of phone numbers for different divisions of the police. Real Life Superheroes should not act outside the law. Vigilantism is a crime. At the same time, I have been working on a lot of fund raising stuff. And if I put on a silly costume but is able to raise money for charities, then hey it’s worth it.
    So yeah, I think a majority of us understands how this looks. And yeah, it’s kind of geeky. But you know, I can look back on my and life and say “Hey there was a crazy time I did this. But a lot of good came from it; we’ve help a lot of people and it has helped me lead a more fulfilling and positive life.”

    DJ,
    As for concealing weapons, you need to look into the laws of your city or even state. Some states allow certain self defense weapons; others do allow them as long as they are out in the open. I myself carry a baton, stun gun and pepper spray. I don’t have a taser because that is illegal in Multnomah County and mucho expensive. But then again, for the few times I broken up fights between homeless people, a taser is like overkill and doesn’t solve really any situation. This is another reason why some RLSHer do their homework and figure out what would make impact in their community and dress accordingly. What I do have is solely for my protection and if need be the protection of others. Self defense weapons are only for self defense. Breaking arms and legs doesn’t not solve the overall problems on why individuals chose to commit crimes. It only puts a band-aid on a greater social problem. Other RLSHers realize this and work to inform and teach their neighbors on how to protect themselves and how to utilize the crime fighting resources in their cities. But yeah, research what is legal and not where you live. Buying just any old weapon and walking around with them is kind of asking for trouble.

  26. Tothian-

    What if your view of what is “morally” right is different then someone else? For example. A couple start to fight in the middle of the street and the female strikes the man hard. He strikes back equally hard. Who do you think is in the wrong?

  27. Kaldath,

    I think you hit the nail on the head of what most superheroes do. It is unethical to use violence against a non-violent criminal no matter how evil they were in the past. The only exception to this would be if they did indeed blow up a Starbucks by means of water balloons, because I need my fucking latte too. :)

    If we see violence happening, we stop it. We try to focus our energies on crimes that the police for whatever reason don’t fully investigate or solve, like missing persons, human trafficking, hard drug trade, wanted criminals, etc. Also, some people are much more comfortable with a superhero in the neighborhood than a cop in the neighborhood, but that’s a loaded issue (no pun intended) and there are alot of great police officers out there that I respect alot.

    Why do I wear a costume? Being a symbol to people is a good thing. Showing criminals what you’re about and not being afraid of it can do the job. I’ve had criminals get very angry and target me because of my patrols, and it was their undoing. They never did any harm to me, but talking big got them in trouble. Although my uniform (superheroes generally prefer the tem “uniform” to “costume”, but it’s no biggie) can blend in fairly well, people can easily identify me as “dressed like a superhero” and because of that have called me “Hey Superhero Guy”, asked for help and understand why I’m going out of my way when most people wouldn’t.

    As far as resources? I’m a geek so I can call you on this one. Silk Spectre patrolled without any weapons at all, Dr. Manhattan had near unlimited control over physics. We are certainly somewhere in between and we always update our gear when we can. Technological advancements will only make it better. Will we ever be Dr. Manhattan? Doubtful. Will we ever be Ozymandias or Comedian? There are already some pretty good contenders out there, IMHO.

  28. “The law is clear on this one, citizens do not have the right to dole out punitive measures against other citizens.”-Nate

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”- Declaration of Independence

    “Its not who we are, but what we DO that defines us”-Batman

    There are so many ways to justify and disenchant but in all reality, I’d like to think that we are just defending that which has been besmudged by media before and taken out of context more time than it probably ought to have, but all in all I’m sure we can agree that the RLSH community in general is here to help and would do ANYTHING for justice and our fellow man. Some of our means may not be conventional, but they are effective in the least.

    I’m so glad we are able to communicate with those who are willing to ask good questions. This site is ok I guess but I hate online crap…lol.
    Take care all of you.

  29. I would like to add that comments such as “I kicked 7 of their asses” and “not everything is recorded & documented” set off my BS detector. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. There should be police reports and news stories about all this. Until then I reserve the right to doubt this. You may get as indigent with me as you would like, but I don’t take people seriously when they are in spandex.

    Be a bounty hunter, a cop, or do neighborhood patrols. Be involved with your community, serve as a guardian ad litem, or pick up litter. But costumes, secret identities, and ‘unknown to the public’ dealings sound like sad posturing.

  30. Comment #4 by DJ put it best.

    Mr.Whit: can you find me a link on the Real Superhero that got arrested in Florida? I patrol Clearwater and I’ve only heard of one arrest of a superhero over in Orlando & It turned out to be false.

  31. Cavalier,

    http://www.YouTube.com/Tothian – I have some YouTube videos showing some basic martial arts techniques and some training that I do. Most of them are pretty old, but it’s some stuff I felt like showing people.

    If you want some more information about things I’ve done, go to http://blogs.myspace.com/Tothian

    I don’t wear spandex, but you can see pictures of me in my uniform on my myspace. As I mentioned in my statements in posts I’ve made here above, I’ve served in the Marine Reserves for 5 years as an Infantry Machine Gunner. Would you judge someone differently if they were wearing something else? Like a military uniform? Because it’s not all that much different. Not just Real Life Superheroes – but people in general, should be judged by what they do, and not by what they wear.

    Bounty Hunting works and can be synchronized with superhero activity. But it’s not required. It just helps sometimes.

    I’m sorry but I’m not a garbageman. I protect people & fight evil.

    And as I also already mentioned, everything else just contributed to who I am. It doesn’t truly define me. I do that as Tothian. It’s my nickname that I’ve used for years, and I use it as my RLSH name. So I’m not like most other RLSH’s as far as the whole secret identity thing goes. I don’t even wear a mask. The best way I can explain it is like how some actors are with their stage-names.

    -Tothian

  32. HalLoweEn JacK

    This question is not intended as inflammatory ro condescending; an honest answer would be appreciated;

    Why not join the police, child services, federal police, or any of the other agencies whose every day job is to enforce the law?

  33. HalLoweEn JacK,

    I didn’t imply that it was intended as anything insulting(so no worries there). I just don’t think people are reading what I’m writing when they’re asking me the same questions in a different way, and I don’t know how many more ways I can explain it.

    There probably are some RLSH’s who may be working in those jobs as their civilian identities. But as a real life superhero, we don’t do this for money(save for the ones who do bounty hunting – but that just funds their missions to do other heroic stuff that they wouldn’t necessarily do for money). We like that we can do this when and where we want to, work our own hours (be it less OR more than a regular job). And not have to answer to a boss. For some of us, it’s more of a lifestyle than a job.

    As Real-Life Superheroes, we become symbols of heroism, in a different way than what the world already has. We’re much more diverse. We have the freedom of being enigmas.

    And you know how it’s been said that we should be the change we want to see in this world? Well, my whole life I felt that the world needed real life superheroes. People can trust real life superheroes in ways they cannot trust the police. And vice versa. That’s why they’re both needed in this world, but for different reasons.

    -Tothian

  34. “My allegiance is not to the law, as much as what is morally right.”
    -Tothian

    That’s kind of a dangerously slippery-slope kind of thing to say, in my opinion. Who made you the moral arbiter of the world? That kind of hubris, found in a comic book, would spell ‘super villain’ to me…

  35. DJ,

    Just now saw your question of “What if your view of what is “morally” right is different then someone else? For example. A couple start to fight in the middle of the street and the female strikes the man hard. He strikes back equally hard. Who do you think is in the wrong?”

    Good question, actually. For something like that, it would really have to depend on the situation. People have always advised me to never intervene in domestic disputes like that. But it’s literally in my nature to feel the need to protect people, so I couldn’t just hold back. Sometimes, bad action is better than no action. So I’d attempt to mediate the situation. But if that deemed unsuccessful, I would then kick both of their asses. It might make me ‘look’ like the bad guy, but it would make both of them come together to try to kick my ass, therefore causing them to settle their dispute more easily, when there’s a common enemy for both of them to unite against. Until they realize that I just made them get along again. But like I said, for something like that, it would really depend on the situation. And don’t take my word on this. I would rather let my actions define me, rather than my words. Sometimes people don’t know how they would react in a specific situation until they are actually in it.

    -Tothian

  36. Imp,

    Probably the exact opposite of what you just said. What I mean by what I said, is that I am not a Cop. I am not out to punish those who break minor laws, in such a way that a cop might. I am not bound by the jurisdiction of the specific places I have ever been to, to patrol. Laws are different in different areas. And I feel that it would be hypocritical of me to enforce a law in one area, but let it slide in another.

    As I said before (I don’t like repeating myself so please read everything I write before asking these questions – thanks!), my primary focus is to protect people, and fight those who do evil. By evil, I refer to the actions that put the lives of the innocent & defenseless at risk.

    Who gave me the right to do this? Well, I’ll just have to ask you – who truly has the God-given right to say I “can’t”? I am not “enforcing” any morals on others, neither. I’m just doing what I feel in my heart is the morally right thing to do. And again, that is protecting people, and fighting those who seek to cause harm upon the innocent & defenseless.

    I’m a pretty cool, easy guy to be around. So I don’t try to be a dickhead to people. I just need to see people safe.

    -Tothian

  37. The reason I don’t join the police is the same reason the police are very help helpful to me in my city. Honestly, I can get away with alot of things they can’t.
    Police are constantly attacked for just trying to help people, And not in the sexy late night Cinemax way. They are attacked for patroling certain dangerous streets, because the residents could call it ‘profiling.’ It even shows up in the fact that they literally have to call people Mr. or Ms. otherwise people will say they dis-respected them and mayebe even get off their conviction because of it.
    There is nothing, though, that says I can’t keep a vigil on these dangerous areas for muggings, rapes, street mimes, that sort of thing. And certainly nothing in the Citizen’s Dentention law that says I can’t demean them verbally while restraining them.
    And I guess the big reason is yeah, I don’t like alot of the laws I’d have to waste time enforcing. I’m well aware that alot of them are there for a reason, and I’m fine with it, I just don’t wanna be the hall monitor that divies out the detentions for them.
    My moral compass points basiclly to fairness. Right and wrong is synonimous with fair and unfair. People get paid for doing work, at jobs, which, in theory, help society. You get paid for helping others, hey, that’s fair! Right. You’re walking home with your fair pay and some guy in a hoodie with a knife takes it from you, that is so not fair. Wrong, in other words.
    No I could go on and on with examples for muggings, rapes, burglaries, and 13 year old chinese gymnasts in the olympics but I’m sure you get my point.

    MK

  38. Wow!
    This is the reason I worked with others to create http://www.therlsh.com

    There are a lot of different people who call themselves real life superheroes. Many go out and help others and make a positive impact. Unfortunately many do not help anyone, make outrageous claims, talk about fighting “evil”, and try to live out some ridiculous fantasy to feel better about themselves.

    The majority of RLSH who actually go out and help others are responsible people who care to go out and make a difference in their communities. Speaking for the RLSH’s I work with, we all follow the law and understand that we are not the police and we work with and support our local law enforcement agencies.

    We do various things like safety patrols, charity work, homeless outreach, community clean ups, hospital visits, school talks, distributing wanted and missing persons fliers, various civic activities, and more.

    Myself along with other real life superheroes are creating a non-profit organization to help implement programs to accomplish all of the above stated and more. We even have started working with the Department of Homeless Services of New York City.

    I hope this gives you all an idea of what most real life superheroes do.

    Now onto why do we wear costumes?
    We wear costumes to stand out and be symbols. Now I could do all of the things stated above without a costume and not many people would really notice or care. It gets attention to our causes and deeds. It helps us get out our message that there is a hero in everyone and we need to we need to get up and be that hero with or without a cape and mask. If we all tapped into our inner superhero we would live in a much better world.
    Also about being a real life superhero. This is my experience as well as others I know. It makes me live my life to a higher standard. I try to be the living embodiment of a superhero and comes with that is responsibility, vigilance, caring, compassion, and the unending battle to make the world a better place.

    I am glad to see interest in real life superheroes and would be happy to answer any questions. Feel free to e-mail me
    chrispollakwho@aol.com
    or join my forum http://www.therlsh.net

    There is so much more to talk about please keep in touch.

    God Bless
    -Dark Guardian-

  39. Oh just a quick note…I am a bounty hunter…I thought it fitting…lol

  40. HalLoweEn JacK

    I understand the desire to do good unfettered by beurecracy and the perception of corruption of power, but I have other questions and concerns. Again, please take this seriously, I’m not trolling.

    If someone goes out and does the right thing, and is a help to police and manages to even form a working relationship with them – possibly even building up a bit of a public profile in the mean time – then that’s great. People are getting help who possibly weren’t getting helped before.

    But what happens when others take up the cause with less restraint – sure, if there’s a guy who stalks suburbia with a rifle and kills a man for beating his family then the shooter is probably going to get caught and go to jail, but if such unhinged individuals feel inspired by other RLSHs, then what? The example being set of taking the law into your own hands is a dangerous one in a world filled with as many disenfranchised people in high density urban areas (especially in a country like America with such ready access to firearms).

    Will the walls of Arkham open and the streets be flooded with psychotic killers? No it won’t. But is it possible that even one or two individuals might be inspired by the vigilante actions of RLSHs such as those posting on this thread or others like them? Yes, it’s possible, and for peopel claiming to ‘take responsibility’ for the problems in society, will people such as TOthian take personal responsibility for any deaths or injuries or trauma casued by the actions of those less intelligent or morally balanced individuals who follow your example? If so, what actions will manifest as ‘taking responsibility’? and if not – if you are able to distance yourselves from such possibilities (and heaven forbid these possibilities ever become realisites) then what is the acceptabelo casualty rate for your actions and lifestyle?

  41. HalLoweEn JacK

    Just for clarification – I’m responding specicialy to some of the claims made on this forum about physical violence used by RLSHs – in particular Tothian’s claims to ‘kick both (their) assess’ if a couple were having a domestic, and similar statements.

  42. anybody interested in Becoming a Real Superhero please watch this:

  43. Hey Halloween Jack,
    I should let Tothian explain his position. But I will explain mine… maybe that will help.
    There is always the danger of inspiring less than stable individuals to do something stupid. The lucky part of the RLSH idea is that it is a rather small community and not mainstream. If anything, they’ll look at comics rather than us. Granted, we have to be responsible in what we type and what we do. For example, I’ve had kids asked to be my sidekicks. I tell them that they should instead seek to make a difference by going to college and getting a good job in the government instead. Make the difference where it would make the most impact so guys like us don’t feel the need to go out there and bust heads or something. But don’t get me wrong, one of the biggest fears my peers and I have is a kid getting it in their head and doing something stupid. So we try to focus our messages in a pro social way.
    It is our responsibility as adults to act and present ourselves in a responsible manner, considering the ideas we are trying to emulate. Outside of that, if anything does happen, at least we tried our best. And that is anything anyone can hope for when doing something like this.
    But we currently have no monitoring system to screen individuals who call themselves “Real Life Superheroes”. It has always been and always will be an unresolved issue within the community. There is just no honest and agreed upon way to figure out who is somewhat stable and who’ll go on a shooting spree in the next couple of years. A few of us have been trying to create a site with heroes we’ve interviewed and believe are 100% legit and for the public, it’s at http://www.therlsh.com. So pretty much that is what we can come up with for the time being.

  44. This is the article I was referring to:

    http://www.citypages.com/2008-01-16/feature/superheroes-in-real-life/1

    If you go over to page two, you’ll see a RLSH in *Michigan* got arrested for *drunk driving*. I had seriously misremembered the details of the article. I should have reviewed it first, and I’m sorry for any misunderstandings I may have caused.

  45. Responsibility is turning into a joke in this country. Responsibility (or blame) can only lie upon the individual committing the act. If an individual is so unstable in his actions that a RLSH can inspire him to violence, then take away the RLSH and something else will inspire his modus operandi. Blame the movies, blame television, blame the well meaning fellow in the costume, it still takes an individual’s moral (or immoral) decision to act. I cannot and will not blame another’s behavior for my own or anyone else’s.

  46. well said, Bael

  47. Bael-It may not be that the person is crazy or something like that but more so the person WANTS to do good (after seeing said RLSH) and does so in a manner that hurts people.

  48. @Whit: Oh yeah, we know that guy. he has recently started trying to befriend other members of the “Superhero community” again thru myspace & such. If he has his act together, we’ll be suportive.

    It’s the Superhero thing to do :)

  49. Hey Bael,
    That is true responsiblity is up to the individual. At the same time, encouraging dangerous behavior is not the way would also be harmful. I mean if it’s adults to adults… well they are all over 18. And telling people that “hey, it’s totally okay to go and put someone in a hospital,” that is kind of harmful. In some RLSHer’s patrols, violence is apart of that. But to glorify it like it’s fun to do, that sends a mix message. Like go out and fight cause it’s fun and makes you cool to the other people. It makes you look like a bad ass. Then what is the point? Are you a RLSH because you want to look like a bad ass to your friends or blog buddies, or are you really thinking about protecting the public. Either way, violence should not be glorified. Perhaps expected and given solid tips on defense, but not glorified.
    We did have a case of a person who was encouraging a teenager including giving that kid designes to make his own weapons and stuff. The kid ended up passing the notes along in school and got into major trouble. Now granted, the kid could get any information off the net. But just because they can do that, doesn’t mean RLSHer should have been that source of information. It was a lesson for a lot of people.
    There are many debates on different forums on what to say or not say. But again, it is a topic we are totally aware of and after like 2 years I’ve been active, it still has not been totally resolved. But I think it is because of our sense of responsiblity on that subject. We just want people to be safe and we just want to do our best.

  50. Hello,

    To the nay-sayers, first of all, allow me to address some of your concerns.

    I have been a member of the community for a year now, but my primary occupation is as a firefighter/EMT. When I first found the subculture of RLSH, my worry was similar to those you voice, namely the rash actions of deluded individuals. But in a week or two, I will have reached the one year milestone as a costumed activist, and I’m pleased to report that my earliest misconceptions have been largely abated.

    There are cliques within, that is a fact. Crimefighter v. charity worker, public operation v. urban myth approach… and the differences continue on into microcosmic scale. But the uniting factor is the overwhelming desire and feeling of responsibility for the world around us. Unfortunately, so precious few are willing to stand, that it will take just the type of paradigm shift we present to society at large to instigate awareness and the inspiration for others to become involved in taking a proactive role in making things better.

    You ask why we aren’t sanctioned police officers and the like. well, I myself have been involved with public safety for about 4 years now, and many of the people you meet in the community have professional records comprised of military, law enforcement, medical, and first responder training. When I joined the forums and created an online presence, I made a conscious effort to serve my fellow “heroes” as well as the public. I routinely share tips, tricks, and dole out advice on equipment and methods I find in fire/rescue through MySpace blogs, and my newly created website. Knowledge is enabling, and I hope to help people vicariously through my colleagues by offering further education to their training.

    Also, while I cannot defend the actions of others, as they are ultimately responsible, I can speak on their behalf after getting to know them. I consider many personal friends, and have been blessed enough to meet and patrol with several of them. They might be rough around the edges, as it is entirely easy to become jaded when immersing yourself neck deep in the depraved actions of desperate people. But I don’t judge their actions, and I can speak to their unwavering character and willingness to do what is necessary to protect life and property.

    upon further investigation, I have no doubt you will discover that the majority of us work tirelessly to maintain legal operations when it comes their methods and equipment, owning sanctioned weapons and learning the proper approach for appropriately dealing with violent encounters. The heroes who study martial arts do so out of a desire to be prepared, not a blood thirst for pummeling a bystander. I and others practice combat styles like Krav Maga, the official fighting system of the Israeli Defense Force. Now, I am a very calm & passive person by nature, but the primary reason I train in these particularly brutal methods is simple: when somebody decides they want my life, they are going to need a bring considerable violence in order to incapacitate me, and I intend to exceed their level of ferocity. Simple as that. Life is precious, and I will protect mine and those around me whenever possible.

    And lastly we do NOT condone vigilante activities. You will not see an alleged criminal hogtied and gift wrapped on the steps of a courthouse, NOT EVER. We encourage citizens’ arrest and due process at every possible juncture. The circumstances when force is required are extenuating, such as witnessing a felony, in which case, you are legally permitted to restrain. For those folks who worry that we are confused and fantasy role players, I can honestly state with unequivocal veracity that they are of the MOST sober mind. Contrarily, working in public safety and dealing with law enforcement, I submit that there are plenty of cops, firefighters, and soldiers who only took the job because they wanted to boast their line of work and stroke their ego. Just like the line from ‘The Departed’ when Martin Sheen inquires” do you wanna be a cop- or APPEAR to be a cop?”

    Things are evolving, and I hope you all pay close attention to the positive things we are accomplishing in the near future. 2009 will be a big year for us.

    Anyone with questions is welcome to contact me through my various online profiles and my creator-owned site:

    http://www.rlsh-manual.com
    http://www.myspace.com/vigilanteknights
    http://www.youtube.com/user/KnightOwlRLSH

  51. Inspiration is a funny thing. Something small can inspire people to greatness. Works of fiction can inspire people to make a true difference. But as you said attempts to do good can inspire people to go about things the wrong way. Well the only thing we could conceivably do about that is to disband our efforts. But even if we do that, us leaving might inspire that one guy to take drastic measures to make up for our absense. And even with us gone there are people out there who will do the same thing, inspired by something else.

    I take of, While it is unfortunate that people can take what we do and turn it into a reason the hurt people, there’s not a great deal we can do about it, so I’m just going to try and help people. It’s better than holding back lest a true vigilante appear of my entirely indirect doing.

  52. well to start off i am the carbin a real superhero in my town and people idolize me but no one knows who i am and it is great try it

  53. what are you a power button or somthing and they like a lil tit dont they