Holy Vigilantes, Batman!

“I feel a new identity coming on. I feel it! I’m not sure what it is yet, but I’m sure it will thrill and amaze us all.” ~H.M. Murdock, “The Taxicab Wars”

To the Cabcave, Socki!

Every so often, I read about an amateur “superhero” who foils a car thief or purse snatcher while dressed in a homemade outfit. This month’s candidate is Phoenix Jones, of the Rain City Superhero Movement in Seattle.  Here’s a story about Jones and his would-be Watchmen, from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:


I’ve long been a fan of the amateur superheroes. Whether it’s Defendor or Blankman, Mystery Men or Dom DeLuise with delusions of grandeur in Cannonball Run, these are the average Joes and Janes who manage to wear a semi-silly costume and do good because no one else wants to bother. To quote the creed of the Rain City site, “a Real Life Superhero is whoever chooses to embody the values presented in super heroic comic books, not only by donning a mask/costume, but also performing good deeds for the communitarian place whom he inhabits.” Sounds good to me.

Another thing I’ve found over my lifetime: most people are simply fairly content to be spectators. Not just spectators, but in many cases, passive observers. This means that they just don’t give a crap about anything other than how it pertains to their next meal or the next episode of Dancing with the Stars. They might as well paint themselves purple and dance naked at Centre Court at Wimbledon than become an amateur superhero. These people are the ones whom superheroes always seem to save in movies from terrorists, school buses on fire, or killer sharks. They are the innocent bystanders, the spectators, the ones who say “It’s a bird!” “It’s a plane!”

Me? I’m not one of those people. All my life I’ve been a woman of action, and my heroes have been men and women of action: superheroes, vigilates, Soldiers of Fortune, warrior princesses. I want to be a hero not for the adulation and the fame it brings, but because I can make a difference in an often indifferent world. With great ability comes great responsibility. And as a Lawful Neutral, I have the natural temperament to want to be a hero. Xena, Dirty Harry, John McClane, Hannibal Smith, Ripley…all fictional heroes of mine, all alpha wolves who crave justice and will achieve it by any means necessary.

Mom and Dad were always mildly amused by this side of me. Their precious little daughter who never wanted to take part in schoolyard games of “house” or tea parties, but who invented alter egos and secret passwords for herself and had constructed a homemade “Batcave” at age 9. (For the record, I appreciate Batman largely for the fact that in lieu of any actual superpowers, he uses his intellect and cunning to fight crime. Plus, the Batman cast of villains is just cool.)

I still sorta want to be a superhero when I grow up. I understand that while most people, unlike Mr. Jones and his posse, don’t in fact run around in purple tights shouting catchphrases, there are superheroes everywhere one wants to look. The soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who risk their lives in hellish places, completely voluntarily, so that we might all be safer at home. There’s a great place to start. While I may never join their ranks, my heart is certainly with them, and their families, wherever they go.

One reason I think many (including myself) love superheroes so much is that they represent good kicking evil into next week. There is so much moral ambiguity today that even superheroes themselves are often dubiously “good” (Watchmen, Kick-Ass, X-Men). While there is no true 100 percent “good” or “evil” in the world, any reasonable person will see that there exists very real evil. People who sell their daughters into a life of sexual slavery, children who torture animals, religious cults who kill their followers in the name of God. And of course, there’s the garden-variety drug dealers, convenience store robbers, or rapists who exist in every city in the world.

Why can’t there be superheroes to fight evil? I’m not suggesting a vigilante justice movement. But in a world gone completely wrong, maybe it takes insanity to fight insanity.

As for me, I’m patiently awaiting the day when it might be OK to swoop out of the sky and tackle a perp, then dash away with a glint of silver boots and purple cape, then have the Innocent Bystanders ask, “Who was that mysterious woman?”

Overworked police departments, strained military units, and touchy-feely TSA officers might benefit from having a few Dark Knights and Men of Steel on their side. Just another howling mad suggestion on my part.

It could happen. I’ve got my cape ready just in case.

If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you brought Goat Chow...

Like what you read? I love to hear from readers! Like my post or post to Facebook. Holy social network, Batman!

~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on January 5, 2011.

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abandonen toda esperanza aquellos que entren aqui


You - philosophical, thoughtful, witty. Me - still thinks fart jokes are funny. We should DEFINITELY get together!

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