Friday, January 30, 2009

Real Life Superheroes: World Superhero Registry

"I am a man who will make a difference in this world. Some may call me a hero, a super-hero, a vigilante, or a nut job. I fight for all that is right and just. I protect the innocent and punish evil. I will drive myself self into the ground to help make this world a better place. I now only live my life for justice and the betterment of mankind."
-- Dark Guardian, real superhero

From The World Superhero Registry FAQ:

Q: What is a Real-Life Superhero?

A: A Real-Life Superhero is a person who does good deeds or fights crime while in costume.

Q: What is the purpose of wearing a costume while fighting crime or performing good deeds?

A: There are a variety of purposes. Here are a few:

-To inspire others

-To illustrate commitment to an ideal

-To protect one's privacy

-To avoid litigation

-To protect one's safety and the safety of one's family

-To conceal vulnerabilities in one's protective gear

-For concealment or camouflage

-To have more fun with public service

Q: Is this a role-playing game?

A: No. This is a movement among ordinary people to make the world a better place in an extraordinary way. There are always those who will take something less seriously, but the Real-Life Superhero community is generally composed of sincere, well meaning people who have finally decided to go out and make a difference.

Q: Is costumed crime-fighting legal?

A: That depends on how it is done and where it is done. Citizen's arrest statutes vary by state. Some states ban the wearing of masks. It would be wise to review the laws of your state and adjust your crime fighting strategy to comply with them. Some Real-Life Superheroes are sanctioned by the local law enforcement, others are forced to avoid the police at all costs.

And from their "Philosophy" page:


Mistakes are unacceptable when one is dealing with matters of Life and Death. Getting into a battle with a villain risks not only the lives of those involved, but those of anyone within range of their weapons.

Non-lethal means of apprehending a villain provide an essential safety-margin, although even non-lethal techniques can sometimes result in injury or death. Sound judgment is always essential to prevent tragedy.

Unless a Hero chances upon a major crime in progress, careful research and planning are essential to any action to be taken. Poor research and planning could result in trying to apprehend undercover law-enforcement officers and other undesirable outcomes


Although it may be tempting to pursue petty criminals due to the ease with which they can be found, in many cases it does not truly serve the cause of justice, nor is it worth the risk.

Apprehending prostitutes saves no lives, protects no property, and does not significantly advance the cause of justice.

Apprehending casual drug users is also of limited value to society.

When confronted by an essentially victimless crime, the appropriate response is, more often than not, a stern lecture.

And, if you should require it, legal advice is also available.


  1. You know, between this and Final Crisis 7, I think the whole damn world has gone cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

  2. So, I wonder, are the men in white coats going to be perceived as bad guys by these costumed vigilantes when they come to place them under observation?

  3. So, I wonder, are the men in white coats going to be perceived as bad guys by these costumed vigilantes when they come to place them under observation?

    It's the Society of WTF Is Wrong With You versus the Bugnuts Brigade.

    I smell summer event . . .

  4. My wife recently got a cape. Wonder if she'll be fighting crime?

  5. Anonymous12:03 AM

    My God... I loved this blog before, since I am a comic geek and all, but I'm a RLSH myself. WSR is a good site, but is the best resource for info.

    If you have any questions, feel free to drop by my Myspace page (, or email me a

  6. Anonymous3:22 AM

    Well, I'm of the camp that there is something kinda cool about this idea, but lean towards the "it'll attract lunatics" camp. The Luchadores (sp?) of Mexico have been doing public service in costume for years. It's definitely an inspiration for some, I'm sure.

    The Guardian Angels were a kind of Super-Hero team. Hell, the "Super-Villians" have been organized for years; e.g. the Mafia and the myriad Biker Gangs dealing in illicit activity.

    What's more reprehensible: Destroying your life and other's selling flesh and drugs, or putting on a costume and attempting to inspire people to do better, and looking for the opportunity to do better yourself?

  7. Sarcastic comments from others aside, I applaud these people for wanting to do what they can to help people and be inspirations. Sure, some of the costumes I've seen really need the expertise of a fashion critic, but hey, if it was ALL about the costume, Speedball would've become a grim, broody, dark moron long before he did. XD

  8. Crazy guy.
    Maybe comics are driving people nuts.

  9. Anonymous10:18 AM


    You know what.

    This needs to stop.

  10. What about those of us who enjoy dressing like superheroes in the privacy of our homes without battling villains or stopping crime?

    For... uh... the comfort. That's right. The comfort of it.

  11. Anonymous10:13 AM

    It'll be fun when they start getting shot.

  12. Anonymous9:30 PM

    You know, this is just like the furry culture. Both dress up, there are crazies in each that think they "are" animals and heroes, there are normal ones that just do community service or draw animal art.

    But.... there's just no reason for it. On a very deep level, it's extremely shallow and cowardly.

  13. Anonymous6:18 PM

    Looking at some of those photos, my first impression was that panhandlers are getting a lot more creative.