KIROTV in Lynwood, Washington recently reported a story about a real-life superhero named Phoenix Jones who stopped a car theft by chasing the man down the street. Weird, but not unheard of in this post-Kick-Ass world. In fact, there is an entire website devoted to these real world superheroes -- or at least, the ones that are willing to register themselves.
We've seen similar instances in Colorado before; our own Joel Warner talked with the Wall Creeper (who is retired now) just last year. While some of these characters seem perfectly fit for fighting crime, a few are, ahem, not particularly able looking.
Take Skyman, who is another Washington native. This guy doesn't look like he could save a cat from a tree, let alone a human in peril. And is that Comic Sans on his shirt? Look, we're all for people taking matters into their own hands in a ridiculous and pop-cultural manner, but Comic Sans isn't acceptable under any condition, even for a superhero.
Kind of in the same vein as Skyman, there is also Razorhawk, who gets our nomination for most badass haircut of the century. His costume isn't particularly disguising though, especially considering the fact his hometown of New Brighton, Minnesota, has a population of only 22,206.
We're also rather fond of Mr. Xtreme, who looks like something out of a Mountain Dew Commercial. He's a part of the Xtreme Justice League, which sounds pretty, eh, extreme, but his only tools are cell phones, pepper spray and something called a Double Trouble Stun Gun, which sounds pretty ridiculous to us. Most importantly, perhaps, is that he's been interviewed by John Tesh.
On top of the vast array of local crimefighters, there are also a collection of folks who still want to dress up but don't want to put themselves in any type of danger. These people call themselves things like social activist and humanitarian. Like Treesong here, who looks like some dude you'd run into at Quixote's on a Friday night. Interestingly, Treesong's real name is actually Treesong. Not much a secret identity if you ask us, but considering he's just some weird hippie dude in Illinois, it probably doesn't make much of a difference.
Then there is Angle-Grinder Man, an unregistered vigilante in England who kind of looks like a member of Kiss out of makeup. His superhero power is that he runs around and cuts cars out of "clamps," the UK equivalent of a parking boot. Now that's a superhero power we can get behind.
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Who is our absolute favorite? That has to be Crossfire the Crusader. A man who fights on the side of justice. And Christianity. Better yet is his origin story: he started his superhero reign appearing at community events as Gizmoe the Clown, then he became Crossfire after auditioning for a reality show and a few months of prayer. Weirder still is the fact he's a veteran of the U.S. Navy, trained in a variety of martial arts and weaponry (including sling shot!) and is qualified as an EMS and Hazmat first responder.
Looking through these profiles, one thing is clear: Most people who take on crime fighting need to spend a little less time on their costumes and a little more time on their physique. Just because you don't ever see Batman working out in the comics doesn't mean he doesn't do it, people.