Offbeat

Are Real Life Superheroes for Real?

When we think of comic book superheroes we imagine them possessing some sort of power that doesn’t exist in reality, whether their aliens, mutants, or acquiring powers from a chemical or other worldly accident. After all, isn’t that the point? Comics are just another form of media created for our enjoyment, and to make a profit too.

Every now and then, however, we have heroes who can’t fly or have healing power. We’re talking about characters like Batman or The Green Lantern. But, those guys are filthy, stinking rich. They can afford all kinds of gadgets to assist them in their quest for justice. There’s also The Punisher, but, if any of us tried his style of vigilantism, we’d be fried faster than a turkey on Thanksgiving. As of late, we’ve been exposed to heroes that are a bit more like us with the movie adaptations of The Watchmen and Kick-Ass and 2009’s Defendor .

Even Stan “The Man” Lee cashed in on this rising phenomenon. In 2006, Lee created a reality series entitled “Who Wants to Be a Superhero?” He invited a number of people who had invented their own heroes, to compete against each other. The winner would get their character featured in a Lee written Dark Horse comic, as well as, starring in their own Sci-Fi original movie. The series lasted only two seasons, but, we got to see a lot of nut-jobs coming out of the woodwork.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgzSZljAqAQ[/youtube]

Still, even the addition of heroes with no powers to speak of in comics and movies, and a lame reality show, they still weren’t real enough. Sooner than later, life would imitate art. Right now there are several sites where you can register you, and, your superhero alter-ego. But, are these “heroes” a gimmick? Are they just some wacky people who want attention and five minutes of fame?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7pB2gLZtlY[/youtube]

There some to be two big real life superheroe sites. There’s The Real Life Superhero Project, where you can register and share your tales of heroism, like taking on drug dealers or saving people in a car crash. The other site is The World Superhero Registry, which is pretty much the same as the previous site mentioned.

These heroes have been getting plenty of media attention for almost the past decade. Rolling Stone, CNN, The BBC, ABC, The New York Times and numerous blogs have covered stories on real-life superheroes.

And yes, there’s always the plethora of videos on YouTube.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjkgc92NEjk[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hohnzMe0cWw&feature=related[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mytGyg79hTs[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMVQleoj79E[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da1ADqPplQ4&feature=channel[/youtube]

Finally, keep your eyes open for the documentary Superhero Me.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-JASoqYzcY[/youtube]

After emerging myself in the world of real life superheroes, from the comfort of my home, I honestly feel that these folks are the real deal. Sure, some of them may be a little off, but overall, these average Joes just want to make the world a better place, more so than the rest of us, like Bono. You gotta give them credit for that.

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