Posts Tagged ‘mask’
With great costumes comes great responsibility.
“Kick-Ass,” an action movie opening this week, spins a tale of average Joes becoming masked crime fighters, but New York has been home to real-life caped crusaders for years.
Gotham’s legion of real-life superheroes includes a leather-clad martial-arts expert who battles drug dealers, a masked religious hipster who feeds the homeless and an engaged pair of relationship counselors, Arjuna Ladino, 42, and Shanti Owen, 50, who don star-spangled spandex as the “Transformational Warriors” to spread the power of love.
“We are just people who really care and try to go out and make a difference,” says Chris Pollak, 25, whose alter ego, “Dark Guardian,” strikes fear in the hearts of drug peddlers in Washington Square Park. “The idea is to be this drastic example of making change in your community.”
The Staten Islander has been patrolling city streets for the last seven years, frequently putting himself in harm’s way. A drug dealer flashed a gun at Pollak once, and he has almost come to blows with thugs.
“My fiancée is very supportive, but she gets worried if I’m doing anything that involves danger,” Dark Guardian said. “When I met my fiancée, I told her I liked to do this thing where I go out and help the homeless and patrol the streets. I didn’t get into the whole costume thing — I waited until a little bit into the relationship.”
Occasionally, Dark Guardian gets an assist from two fellow superheroes, Chaim “Life” Lazaros, 25, and Ben Goldman, 23, a k a “Cameraman,” who has videotaped the Washington Square showdowns. The plucky pair also hands out food to the city’s homeless at least once a week.
Lazaros, who shares a Harlem hideout with Cameraman, said it takes a certain type to don a mask and do good. “They all have extremely strong personalities and a desire to change the world,” he said.
That’s not to say all real-life superheroes seek change through crime-fighting.
“The Phantom Zero,” a 33-year northern New Jersey-based superhero, raises money for charities and donates to the homeless. He has also accompanied Dark Guardian on some of his patrols. “I was scared out of my gourd,” The Phantom Zero said, declining to give his real name.
But his 20-year-old masked sweetheart, “Nyx,” has shown some gumption. Before moving to New Jersey to be with her super man, she lived in Kansas, where she would secretly snap shots of meth labs and send them to the authorities.
“I used to carry weaponry with me. But seeing as how I’m in New York . . . I don’t,” Nyx said.
SOURCE: NYC’s own superheroes
Here is great one sent to us from a reader!
Cincinnati police have a new ally in their fight against crime, whether they want it or not.
He calls himself Shadow Hare, and he wears a mask and a cape to conceal his true identity. He’s Cincinnati’s own version of a superhero fighting crime and injustice where he finds it.
“We help enforce the law by doing what we can in legal standards, so we carry handcuffs, pepper spray … all the legal weapons,” said Shadow Hare. “We will do citizen’s arrests. We will intervene on crimes if there is one happening in front of us.”
The man behind Shadow Hare’s mask is 21 years old and from Milford. Those are the only clues to his true identity that he will reveal. Shadow Hare said he was abused as a child and grew up in foster homes, perhaps leading him to a life helping others.
“My message to Cincinnati is that there is still hope and all we have to do is stand together,” he said.
Shadow Hare is not alone in his quest to fight crime. He heads up a group of men — and one woman — called the “Allegiance of Heroes.” The members communicate with each other in online forums. Among the members are Aclyptico in Pennsylvania, Wall Creeper in Colorado and Master Legend in Florida.
“I’ve even teamed up with Mr. Extreme in California — San Diego — and we were trying to track down a rapist,” said Shadow Hare.
The crime fighters will often pair up to patrol the streets. Even so, fighting crime comes with its share of hardship.
Shadow Hare said he suffered a dislocated shoulder two years ago while trying to help a woman who was being attacked.
And the authorities don’t always take him seriously. In one encounter with a Hamilton County corrections officer, Shadow Hare was greeted with a chuckle and a look of disbelief.
But Shadow Hare said he and his team are not deterred by the criticism. He remains focused on trying to make Cincinnati a better place, whether it’s fighting crime or feeding the homeless.
For now, the law is on Shadow Hare’s side.
It is legal in Ohio and Kentucky to make a citizens arrest, however, the arrester does face possible civil litigation if the person arrested turns out to be innocent.
An unusual disguise has helped a Bangkok fireman rescue an eight-year-old boy who had climbed on to a third-floor window ledge, Thai police say.
The firefighter dressed up as the comic book superhero Spider-Man in order to coax the boy, who is autistic, from his dangerous perch.
Police said teachers had alerted the fire station after the boy began crying and climbed out of a classroom window.
It was reportedly his first day at the special needs school.
Efforts by the teachers to convince the pupil back inside had failed.
But a remark by his mother about his passion for comic superheroes prompted fireman Somchai Yoosabai to rush back to the station, where he kept a Spider-Man costume in his locker.
The sight of Mr Somchai dressed as Spider-Man and holding a glass of juice for him, brought a big smile to the boy’s face, and he promptly threw himself into the arms of his “superhero”, police said.
Read more: Thai ‘Spider-Man’ to the rescue