Superheroes. We dream about becoming them. We fantasize of one swooping from the skies to save us. And right now, they do live among us.
Of course they don’t have superpowers, but they do embrace the idea of enforcing social justice and helping others in need. They are collectively know as The Real Life Superhero Project
The Project is described on their website, as a project that inspires people to become a positive force for change, anonymously helping their communities around them. To quote the site itself, “Simply put, they are the radical solution… to a radical problem.”
The Real-Life Superhero Project had taken off when photographer, Peter Tangen, had decided to depict the actions and the enthusiasm of 2 costumed crusaders, codenamed, “Thanatos” and Geist”, and since then, the Project has been supported by many companies and individuals and, of course, other superheroes.
Most superheroes involved in this project are involved in humanitarian efforts, such as feeding the homeless. Delphine Schrank, a Washington Post staff writer, in her article, “Public Service with a side of Spandex”, depicts of a superhero group bringing home cooked food to the homeless , as a “unique way to approach community service”
Real-Life Superheroes haven’t been just doing community service and charity work, The Project has been seen before in today’s modern media, when reports of Seattle’s costumed protector, “Phoenix Jones” was shown attempting to prevent crime and safeguard his city, pepper spray can in hand. This may seem extreme, as police involved in his cases are not a fan of his style of justice.
Seattle Police spokesman Mark Jamieson, was quoted on the issue, saying, “If people want to dress up and walk around, knock yourself out, Our concern is when you insert yourself into these situations without knowing the facts, it’s just not a smart thing to do.”
Other responses to this style of justice have been varied, from fellow superheroes to citizens who either say he’s messing up, or offering support.
Citizens on his Facebook Page are very supportive, and are in favor of his crime-fighting.
With this kind of support for just one person handling crime on his own, one wonders why others have not followed his example? Well, the law has a clear definition on the legality of “Vigilantism” that citizens should know they can defend themselves, but in a reasonable manner.
However, in today’s world where violence is rampant, and crime is prevalent, maybe the world could use more superheroes.
Superman once said, in a quote that sums up the point nicely, in the comic book storyline, “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and The American Way?” he states, “Dreams save us. Dreams lift us up and transform us. And on my soul I swear… until my dream of a world where dignity, honor and justice becomes the reality we all share… I’ll never stop fighting. Ever.”
Superheroes are among us, and doing a great job of it.