A group of caped crusaders with names like Thorn, Green Reaper, Penelope, and Phoenix Jones have sprung up in Seattle. These masked vigilantes say they're part of the Rain City Superhero Movement -- self-described superheroes who patrol the streets at night and fight crime. They're part of a larger movement of crime fighters who host this website for the Real Life Superhero community -- giving tips to Regular Joes and Janes who want to take to the streets and perform "good deeds for the communitarian place whom he inhabits." Someone's been watching too much 'Kick-Ass.'
Seattle police are getting a bit antsy about people putting themselves in unnecessary danger. A group of superheroes outside a gas station in ski masks didn't bode well with authorities, and one dressed in all black was almost shot running out of a dark park. Phoenix claims he was stabbed "while trying to intervene with a drug dealer and a citizen." Why do they risk it? "Because someone's gotta do something," the author of RLSH says.
These heroes don't carry automatic weapons -- opting for Tasers, nightsticks, and pepper spray instead -- and Phoenix doesn't think just anyone with a mask should be wandering the streets. "Everyone on my team either has a military background or a mixed martial arts background, and we're well aware of what its costs to do what we do." His costume includes a black cape, black fedora, blue tights, white belt and mask. His sidekick? A woman not in costume who usually drives him around to do his thing. So far, no confirmation if this is actually his mom.
A department spokesperson, Jeff Kappel, doesn't seem to be having the same reaction to the group that former NYC mayor Ed Koch had to the Guardian Angels in the late '70s. "There's nothing wrong with citizens getting involved with the criminal justice process -- as long as they follow it all the way through." Kappel still recommends calling good old 911.