“That Phoenix Jones, he’s so hot,” says one of the girls I am having lunch with. Just like any superhero, this one has an avid fan following. The only difference is, unlike his ink and print brethren, Phoenix Jones is a real live Seattleite — and he’s often at odds with police, writers, and the Real Life Superhero (RLSH) community.

For the group of women sitting around over lunch, a photo of him with his mask off had fans at the table in a tizzy. It was the first time I’d heard of the RLSH concept before… sounds like a Seattle thing; however, the discovery was quickly followed by a story from a co-worker who saw a group of heroes in action. “They came out of nowhere and jumped on a woman who was walking past us. She spent the next few minutes screaming obscenities at them as they took her away.”

After hearing this story, I began to wonder if RLSH exist in Canada. They do, and according to Wikipedia they do things like shovel people’s walks and distribute goods to the homeless… something I’d consider normal everyday behaviour for people. (Would wearing a costume make them a hero too?)

A list from a whole variety of RLSH from different countries can be found on Wikipedia. My personal favourite is Super Vaclav from the Czech Republic who “purports to combat antisocial behavior of Prague citizens. He does this by pouring buckets of water on individuals smoking near public transport stops. He also assaults dog owners with their own animal’s excrement if it is left behind on a lawn.” We need a Super Vaclav in Calgary.

Below are views of the Seattle skyline taken from Gas Works Park — and are not really related to the post above.