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The superhero down the street

After checking out sites about real-life superheroes, Edmond Woychowsky admits that there's a part of him that would like to don tights and fight crime. Would you like to be a real-life superhero?

The movie Kick-Ass, which opens Friday, April 16, 2010 in the United States, has been getting a lot of press the last several weeks, especially about the character Hit-Girl. If you haven't been paying attention, Hit-Girl is a prepubescent trained killer and, for some reason, this bothers some people. Go figure!

Kick-Ass follows Dave, a high school student and comic book aficionado, who decides to become a superhero. Unfortunately, Dave has no training, no super powers, and nothing driving him to be a superhero except for the fact that he wants to be one. What I found surprising is David has a number of real-world counterparts.

Google the words real life superheroes and you'll get more than two million hits. One of the sites you'll find is Real Life Superheroes.org, which heavily promotes the Kick-Ass. This Web site makes me think that the alternate reality of The Watchmen is real. Check out the FAQs, the forum, hero tips, and the shop run by Cafe Press. My favorite site feature is an interactive map that shows where you can find superheroes in your area.

Another hit on Google is World Superhero Registry, which unlike Real Life Superheroes.org, doesn't appear to have any movie tie-ins. What this Web site does have that's really neat is the group's history going back to its founding, as well as a comprehensive list of reasons for wearing a costume; my favorite reason, which is almost like something right out The Incredibles, is to avoid litigation. Yeah, it sounds weird, but it's one of those things that a superhero should worry about.

On some level, I find real-life superheroes a little odd. These are adults who run around in costumes like comic book characters; many of them wear tights, masks, and armor and use gadgets and train in martial arts. It's almost as if they were right out of the film Mystery Men. However, on another level, they remind me of John Ritter's character in Hero at Large; they want to give people hope and make the world a better place. Honestly, there's a small part of me that would like to don tights and fight crime. Maybe a costume like Nite Owl would be better -- it could hold in my gut; although... tights might make my job easier because the evildoers would hurt themselves laughing.

My question is: If you were given the chance, would you become a superhero?

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17 comments
DadsPad
DadsPad

Seems like NY had the Guardians, they had a costume. Could be there are other groups that may patrol neighborhoods to make them safe. They could be superheros. Just the news would make fun of them if they were in a masked tight costume! :) Just like the spiderman that climbs buildings, of course he is arrested at the top of the building.

mafergus
mafergus

Sometimes I think we take things too seriously. What is wrong with wanting to be a hero? Most of us would like the opportunity to save someone and to right a wrong. It doesn't take a special mentality, just a caring one. For me, it was the elderly gentleman who stood up to a bunch of punks who wanted to kick my ass when I was five waiting for the bus.

sboverie
sboverie

I liked the watchman movie because the crime fighters donned masks to fight criminals who were wearing masks. The other interesting aspect of Watchmen is that there was no clear definition of who was a hero or a super villian. The Watchmen were a combination of hero and criminal.

jarzemdl
jarzemdl

totaly enjoyable movie only too many 'f-bombs'

Rhodent
Rhodent

It would definitely appear so. Since an entire nation is seriously obsessed with something any rational human being should grow out of at about the age of 5. And now this 'article'.... what is it with you people, why can't you understand that every society creates it's criminals, and in the case of the American government, it also finances most of its own criminals and quite a few abroad. Why can't you understand that so many criminals are, in fact, victims of society or of circumstance? You wanna fight crime? Fight the government. Fight yourselves. Ram your head into the wall and home you get some sense into it this way.....

TheProfessorDan
TheProfessorDan

I understand that you come from an area where tolerance is not exactly an option but we have the freedom to respect other people's views. If you don't like the article.... don't read it.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

You're from Israel and talk about rationality in regards to humans? I almost drowned in my coffee laughing so hard. Humans are rarely rational to each other. And there's nothing intrinsically wrong with viewing the world through the eyes of a 5 year old. One of the reasons Jesus of Nazareth urged us to be more like children is an innocence that doesn't make excuses to justify all our misdeeds. I already know I have a nearly infinite capacity to do evil. I'm currently content to keep myself from doing so. But if I could channel the wolf to serve humanity ...

harryolden
harryolden

Fantasy goes along way I have had a vision as a child that I will be known for what I did in history for the world when I die it is slowly coming true and if I did not have that vision it would never happen it gives me something to live for some people call it a fantasy.

Ron K.
Ron K.

I've got your 'should' right here.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"...why can't you understand that every society creates it's criminals, ... Why can't you understand that so many criminals are, in fact, victims of society or of circumstance?" I'll remember that the next time a Palestinian sets off a bomb in your country. He's just a victim of circumstance.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Whether someone located in israel is a zionist or not? And then, 20% of israelis are palestinians, or however the terms go, maybe they're called israeli arabs. Well, anyway, there's those too. Ultimately, we're all victims of our discourse. The kind of rhetoric that zeroes in on empoverished minorities because of crime rates is often used against moslems in Europe, and that's one of the better examples of why not to go that way. Poverty and crime do correllate, so poverty prevention/alleviation should be a part of crime prevention efforts. And no, I'm not talking about that "Why the poor should be blasted into space - we have the technology, you know" idea from the Critic. P.S. I don't know why Rhodent got ticked off so much by the Watchmen post though. Of course, it's creator has some serious democracy-issues. Frank Miller is another one I wouldn't want running anything at all.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

We haven't lost the ability to dream and make our dreams real.

sboverie
sboverie

If you are thinking of just comic books; you may have a point although most 5 year olds are not sufficiently literate enough to read most comic books. Every culture has heroes and many stories have been passed down through generations about heroic acts. It serves to inspire as well as to comfort people. Think of stories like Robin Hood, who stole from the rich and gave to the poor while standing up against a local tyrant.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

Weren't you the one under the bridge, messing with the 3 billy goats or something??

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

Rorschach really fits into both categories, hero and criminal. I especially liked when Night Owl said in a matter of fact way, "Rorschach threw him down an elevator shaft" when Silk Spectre asked about a wannabe villain. Even the Watchmen knew that they sometimes walked the line.