I’m sure you all remember the bizarre RLSH – Real Life Super Hero – thing that blew up here back at the end of 2008. If not, refresh your memory with this post (that I had to close after more than 150 comments, many from “super heroes” themselves). That saga continued with this post. Now, I’m happy to report, the saga continues to continue.
You know when you read something and you think those time honoured words, Only in America! Well, now we can’t apply that to the RLSH thing any more as Britain and Australia are getting involved. That’s right. We have our very own Real Life Super Hero. He’s called Captain Australia and this is him:
(Picture from www.bleedingcool.com)
Now seriously, how can that guy not strike fear into the hearts of villains everywhere? Although, by his costume, I think he’s actually Captain At. He probably deflects evildoers with his super belly. He patrols for crime around the Brisbane area apparently.
According to Captain At, “During one patrol, I stopped two sexual predators from taking advantage of a very drunk woman at a taxi rank. Unfortunately, I was unsure of my ability to conduct a citizen’s arrest and the two predators ran away before the police arrived. But I was able to prevent a near-certain sexual assault.”
You’d think a super hero would have some idea of the law regarding citizen’s arrests. You’d also think he’d just kick their arses, vigilante-style, but regardless he did do a good deed. So more power to Captain At!
Britain’s caped crusader is no less… well, less. Called The Statesman, but dubbed the Phan-Tum by the The Sun newspaper (that unquestionable paragon of quality news), he fights crime in Birmingham. Seriously, between Captain At and The Statesman, I’d take the Captain’s beat any day. The Statesman is one of at least 16 amateur crime fighters in Britain, according to researcher Tea Krulos, who is writing a book on the subject. Here’s The Statesman:
(Picture from www.bleedingcool.com)
The News of the World lists The Statesman’s crime fighting CV as “He helped three other superheores and Police Community Support Officers capture a drug dealer and managed to scare off burglars breaking into builder’s merchant.”
Along with people like Vague, Swift, Black Arrow, Lionheart and Terrorvision, The Statesman is keeping the streets of Britain clean. (Incidentally, what kind of super hero name is Vague? It’s a little… vague, isn’t it?)
When Krulos was told of the British heroes he said, “In America we have many, but they tend to seek publicity.
“In Britain it is a very secretive underground society. They do all they can to avoid publicity and communicate online. Whole forums are set up and often they operate in groups. I have spoken extensively to The Statesman, and he takes what he does very seriously.” (Source)
According to Krulos, “These are normal people wanting adventure and to improve communities. They achieve more than you’d think.”
I have to admit, I bloody love this whole thing. I just can’t leave it alone – it’s like picking at a scab. There’s a part of me that wants to laugh my arse off at these overweight comic book lovers running around the streets at night in costume. Then again, another part of me has a lot of respect for people that would run around the streets at night and put themselves in danger for the good of others, silly costumes or not. I love reading super hero comic books. I’ve been a regular Batman reader for decades. I’ve dreamed of what it would be like to fight crime, vigilante-style. But I’ve never followed through and done it.
I most certainly have stepped in on a few occasions when I’ve seen injustice done. I’ve got into fights before by getting involved when someone else was getting a beating, I’ve interrupted people that were clearly trying to break into a car and some other stuff like that. I’m also a career martial artist, so I’m probably less vulnerable than most in situations like these. But those were events I happened to stumble across. Going out and deliberately seeking this stuff is another matter entirely. And, let’s be honest, walking around the streets dressed like Captain At or The Stateman is the kind of thing that’s likely to attract a beating on its own.
I really hope these guys can stop a bit of crime and help some people. I hope they have adventure and a sense of fulfillment doing it. I really hope that more people will stand up for the oppressed when they see injustice instead of just walking by, and maybe one day we won’t need the super heroes that we don’t really have anyway. I just hope I don’t read about one of these guys eating a bullet or a blade in the meantime. We’ve all seen the movie Kick Ass. If you haven’t, you really should.
What do you think? Ever wanted to be a super hero? Do you think these guys are heroes or total fucking nutcases?