Friday, December 30, 2011

Real Life Caped Crusaders or RLSH

I only read about these RLSH (real-life-superHero) in the papers recently but it seems like they have been sprouting up all over the world lately, more so in America than anywhere else. In a niche of urban life that has evolved in recent years somewhere between comic book fantasy and the Boy Scout oath, a cadre of self-cast crusaders are on the march, prowling the nights in Boston, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and even Australia.

As reported in The New York Times: In Salt Lake City, Red Voltage and two of his masked crime-fighting colleagues patrol the streets at night. Red Voltage, who in daytime is a 23-year-old residential leasing manager named Roman Daniels, casually waved a gloved hand to his female drive-by fan as she shouted,"I'm in love with you guys!"

Clad head to toe in a red-and-black leather suit, his face covered by spandex, he is, he said, a different man when the mask goes on — a better man. “But there are times when I’m putting the suit on, and I’m just like, ‘How crazy am I to do this?’ I do feel odd and out of the box,” said Mr Daniels, who took over leadership of the group here, called the Black Monday Society, about six months ago, after two years of patrols.

Mike Gailey, a burly former bouncer at a strip club whose crime-fighting persona is called Asylum, said that for him, joining the Black Monday Society was partly about making amends for things in his past, like the time he spent collecting debts for drug dealers. “I was a thug,” said Mr. Gailey, 31. “There are a lot of guys like me that have pasts they’re trying to make up for.”

The Rain City Superheroes patrol the streets of Seattle giving food to the homeless and watching for crimes to stop, but things turned sour recently when their flagship character, Phoenix Jones, tried to break up a fight and ended up with a broken nose.

A group of real-life superheroes in New York, calling themselves the New York Initiative, are out to teach potential women victims how to protect themselves. The New York Initiative is made up of martial arts and weapons experts, none of whom are affiliated with law enforcement.

Even Wikipedia has an entry on "Real-life superhero" and describes them (RLSH) as people who engage in different forms of activism using the thematic device of the costumed superhero, many of them adopting pseudonyms and wearing custom-made outfits. Some real-life superheroes, hand out supplies to the homeless, while others seek to combat crime through community patrols in which suspicious activity is identified and reported to the proper authorities. Many choose to directly deal with crime by vigilantism.

This is certainly a case of life imitating art, in this case, the movie "Kick-Ass" which is a 2010 black comedy superhero film based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. The film tells the story of an ordinary teenager, Dave Lizewski, who sets out to become a real-life superhero, calling himself "Kick-Ass". Dave gets caught up in a bigger fight when he meets Big Daddy, a former cop who, in his quest to bring down the drug lord Frank D'Amico, has trained his eleven-year-old daughter to be the ruthless vigilante Hit-Girl.

So anyone out there ready to put on a costume to fight crime?


Little Plastic Man said...

This is interesting...
Well bro if you are interested...I can be the invisible man..LOL

Super-Duper ToyBox said...

while i admire their courage & good intentions, i'm worried about the safety of these people & those they claim to protect. the powers of heroes in comic books are far beyond what a normal or even trained professional are capable of- one bullet or nunchuck upside the head could be the end of it

alex teo said...

Adrian, that is the best superhero power of all ;p

Totally agree with you there, Colin. It's one thing to put on a mask and costume and looking cool like in CosPlay but quite another to go head to head with a thug armed with a gun!

Jeremy E. said...

I really admire these people and I would like to be a rlsh but I cant find a place to get and costumes or make any lol please help

Anonymous said...

Go to im mercy pleasure to be at your assistane

Anonymous said...

I am mercy a rlsh i am not old enough to do the crime fighting section however i volenteer but dont have a costume look me up on

Unknown said...

I disagree, I admire these people and what they do. There attentions are high and mighty. It doesn't matter what powers you have, how strong you are, nor if you can fly. A hero doesn't have to be super, a hero just have to do what is

Unknown said...

A hero doesn't have to be super, a hero just have to do what is righ, in the face of danger, or helping other people with small deeds like holding the door open for people, pulling over and help when you see someone struggle getting something out of there car, the small things add up, no matter how small or ridiculous.