A step-by-step guide to becoming a real-world superhero
image via youtube screen capture
Take away the horrific personal tragedy and subsequent compulsion to dress like a flying rodent, and Batman’s got a pretty great thing going: Cool car, cool clothes, cutting-edge gear, and exciting evening plans every night of the week. Sure, Bruce Wayne’s nocturnal past time isn’t for everyone, but for those looking to add a little adventure into their lives, the folks at Break’s AWE Me YouTube channel put together a helpful, step-by-step guide to becoming Batman...or at least his real-world equivalent.
First, the bad news: To go full-Batman, utility belt and all, AWE Me estimates you’ll need in the neighborhood of $700 million bucks. The good news is that anyone with an itch for super-heroics (but lacking a Bruce Wayne-esque fortune) has plenty of other options for doing a little good in their respective communities, as you’ll see below.
Not that ordinary folks adopting heroic alter-egos is a new phenomenon. But as AWE Me’s video makes clear, it’s never been easier for anyone to join a super team (or to gain super powers), and start patrolling the streets. Many cities have their own amateur costumed leagues patrolling the streets en masse and working with professional crime fighters (that is: licensed and legal police officers) to help make their community a safer place.
For some, however, costumed crime-fighting is more of a solitary passion. This past spring Phoenix Jones, one of the most famous real-world superheroes operating today, dissolved the Rain City Superhero Movement, the costumed team he’d founded in 2011. He explained in a caps-locked statement:
"I REALLY THOUGHT THAT HAVING A LARGE GROUP OF CIVILIAN CRIME FIGHTERS WAS A GOOD IDEA… I WAS WRONG. IT TAKES A CERTAIN TYPE OF PERSON TO DO THIS JOB CORRECTLY, AND UNFORTUNATELY, I HAVE INSPIRED, WORKED WITH, AND EVEN TAUGHT SOME OF THE WRONG KINDS OF PEOPLE. AS OF TODAY, THE RAIN CITY SUPERHERO MOVEMENT IS OVER.”
While Jones (real name: Benjamin Fodor) may prefer to go solo on his nightly sweeps of the Seattle streets, he has the benefit of spending his days as a professional mixed martial arts fighter. He is, to put it mildly, not intimidated easily (just last week he chased and disarmed a stabbing suspect in New Haven, CT). But, as the video cautions, the bulk of real-world super-heroics really boils down to being a crime-discouraging presence, more than a crime-fighting one. Batman may be above the law (or at least one step ahead of it) but in the real-world, acting like a super hero doesn’t give you license to break the law yourself.
Or, put it another way: Being a hero can often mean “don’t be a hero.” Cape or not, if you see something shady going down, its best to call the cops.