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January 6, 2011 10:04 AM   Subscribe

Evil doers beware! An actual costumed avenger is patrolling the streets of Seattle. Maybe he'd like a few tips. Or maybe a few villians
posted by The Whelk (61 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
If I were shown a lineup of, say, 10 guys, and I had to choose one of them and then fight him or outrun him, I'd pick the guy in the head-to-toe latex costume wearing a mask with limited peripheral vision and neck rotation.

Also, CNN: it's "Lynnwood", not "Lynwood".

I really want that bookcase, though.
posted by gurple at 10:10 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's going to get himself killed.
posted by Pendragon at 10:11 AM on January 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wow, that's depressing.
posted by odinsdream at 10:11 AM on January 6, 2011


Immediately brought Real Life Superheroes to mind for me. A friend linked that to me awhile back, and it kind of broke my brain. Browsing the forums was both interesting and terrifying.

I still haven't decided if I think this kind of thing is totally awesome or dangerously naive. My opinion shifts a bit more toward the latter if I spend any amount of time reading through those forums.
posted by Stunt at 10:12 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh no no no no no no no no no no

nice use of the 'rubberabs' tag, though

posted by jtron at 10:15 AM on January 6, 2011


Very Attractive Crime Victim was what made this worth watching for me.
posted by hermitosis at 10:15 AM on January 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


He's going to get himself killed.

No, he's not! He's got a "ballistics cup." Duh.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:15 AM on January 6, 2011


He's going to get himself killed.

I think he'll probably just get bored first.
posted by Think_Long at 10:17 AM on January 6, 2011


Taking bets on this being outed as viral marketing in 10...9...8...
posted by Ryvar at 10:18 AM on January 6, 2011


A friend linked that to me awhile back, and it kind of broke my brain.

Considering that uh ..Lycra and spandex and the like are a known fetish, I just assumed it was a front for a sex thing.
posted by The Whelk at 10:19 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe he can hassle the chairty muggers who hang outside the art museum downtown who stole my credit card.
posted by hellojed at 10:19 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Previously (me) and previously (loquacious)
posted by Shepherd at 10:19 AM on January 6, 2011


Taking bets on this being outed as viral marketing in 10...9...8...

The Cape, this Sunday 9/8 Central on NBC.
posted by phaedon at 10:20 AM on January 6, 2011


"On May 2, 2003, local newspapers in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, published a story about mysterious "caped crusader" who appeared to be a real-life superhero. He was wearing a monkey mask and a cape, and had a large brown "O" emblazoned on his chest. He helped old ladies to cross the road, escorted people home from a pub, and saved people from harassing youths.

British media had a field day and even international news organizations got interested.

[...]

On May 16, 2003 the superhero was revealed to be a hoax, created by B3ta member "ccc" (Chris Shaw)."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkeyman_superhero_hoax

It starts out as a friendly competition on a comedy forum to see who can get letters about dog shit published in newspapers, or who can sneak euphemisms for dog shit into their letters ["shed monster" is one I remember].

Somehow it evolves into people writing to thank the mysterious monkey superhero for helping them. The thread spans a fair amount of time and is quite funny.

http://forums.thedivinecomedy.com/viewtopic.php?t=678&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=40

I thought the dog shit letters were way funnier than the monkey superhero.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:27 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Cincinnati, for possibly the first time ever, actually did this first with Shadow Hare!
posted by banannafish at 10:34 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I believe the beer drinking leader in the USA has a whole GUILD of superheros. (I'm guessing the whole idea sounds better drunk)

The Watchman. I believe he also has a dog.

Hint for supervillians: Offer snacks, pets and ear scratches to the dog, for dogs are hedonistic at heart.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:35 AM on January 6, 2011


Seattle's masked vigilantes got some local buzz before the CNN piece - there we see Phoenix's earlier, lower budget costume.
posted by newton at 10:47 AM on January 6, 2011


All the real life superheroes died on 09/11.
posted by pianomover at 10:47 AM on January 6, 2011


sorry, unbroken link: local buzz
posted by newton at 10:50 AM on January 6, 2011


That's a pretty bad-ass costume, though.
posted by empath at 10:51 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you don't have superpowers, you're a vigilante, not a superhero.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:52 AM on January 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


All the real life superheroes died on 09/11.

?
posted by odinsdream at 10:53 AM on January 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


A latex cowl? Does he really think that turning your head is an unnecessary skill for a superhero to have?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:55 AM on January 6, 2011


If you don't have superpowers, you're a vigilante, not a superhero.

I'd point out Batman, but being ridiculously wealthy is a super power.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:56 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Batman growl "I'm not wearing hockey pants!"
posted by lattiboy at 10:59 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Apparently, one of the folks has adopted the nom de guerre "Penelope".

Speaking as a supervillian, I'm really not intimidated by that.
posted by steambadger at 11:02 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Hello, Batman's House, uhhh I mean Wayne Manor".
posted by yeti at 11:02 AM on January 6, 2011


I wonder if Angle Grinder Man is still in business.
posted by exogenous at 11:03 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hate it when people steal my act.
posted by Avenger at 11:15 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I just assumed it was a front for a sex thing.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:22 AM on January 6, 2011 [12 favorites]


(Spelling note: villain.)
posted by pracowity at 11:25 AM on January 6, 2011


I'm all for this, but these guys can't call themselves superheroes - yet. Just putting on a costume isn't enough; you need an origin. When you watch your parents get killed, or you accidentally let your uncle die, or your planet blows up...THEN you're a superhero.
posted by mgrichmond at 11:31 AM on January 6, 2011


He's going to get himself killed.

Cops got better things to do than get killed.

So just sit tight, hold the fort, keep the home fires burning. And if we're not back by dawn... call the president.

/Jack Burton
posted by chambers at 11:43 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, villian is a number - comes after zillion.
posted by Mister_A at 11:43 AM on January 6, 2011


I am actually a supervillein. You know those guys who have more rights and higher status than the lowest serf, but are under a number of legal restrictions that differentiate them from freemen? Well, I am like that, but with a black cape and a mask.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:46 AM on January 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Will not end well.
posted by fixedgear at 11:47 AM on January 6, 2011


This guy makes me want to dress up in a red cape and big dome helmet, beat him up, kidnap him, and suspend him over a child's inflatable pool pool full of goldfish. All the while I'll be cackling quips like:

"I'll bet THE EYE didn't see THIS coming! MUWAHAHA!"
or
"You're about to learn a terrible lesson my unwilling pupil!! AAAHAHAHAHA!"
or
"Vitreous humour is thicker than water! HEHHEHHEHHEH!"

I might also call myself "Andalusian Dog" or "Bastardly Bataille"
posted by clarknova at 11:48 AM on January 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


Saw one of these guys in downtown Portland on New Years Eve. Can't remember his name or find him in any of the lists, but know I've seen him on these roundups before; dressed in blue, with blue hair and blue facepaint (it's not Zetaman, this guy looks rather more scraggly).
posted by curious nu at 11:48 AM on January 6, 2011


To bad this isn't happening in D.C.
posted by pianomover at 11:49 AM on January 6, 2011


I prefer to keep my light under a bushel, as it were, but: you know that guy in the ExtraNormal ads, whose talent is to stand awkwardly in one place for far too long?

I can do that.
posted by everichon at 11:56 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The bare ankles sorta bother me.
posted by notmydesk at 12:03 PM on January 6, 2011


I've actually run into Phoenix with his entourage a couple of times on Capitol Hill, but just passing by on the street. The exchange was more or less limited to "Whoa, cool." from me and "Good evening, citizen!" from Phoenix.

Apparently he works well w/ Seattle PD, who seem to be supportive but wary. From what I've read he's not so much a vigilante or superhero as he is a citizen's patrol in a fancy costume. He knows when to call in the officially and legally mandated pros, from what I'm gathering. He's not out there on the docks trying to meddle with organized crime or something.

He's apparently stopped a handful of drunken moron monkey fights. In a local interview he talked about how it's a lot easier to stop altercations like that then you would think, that you basically have to just show up and have the courage to say "stop!" Both sides get to save face and walk away since a 3rd party stopped them, and so on. I'd imagine the sheer WTF and comedy factor of having your fight interrupted by someone in a super hero costume helps a lot.

I wish he would come patrol Belltown during drunk bastard hour. Hell, I'd consider joining him.
posted by loquacious at 12:07 PM on January 6, 2011 [19 favorites]


Taking bets on this being outed as viral marketing in 10...9...8...

I'd bet against you. I've never met this guy but a couple friends of mine know him; one got him to show up at her birthday party in costume.
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:08 PM on January 6, 2011


Saw one of these guys in downtown Portland on New Years Eve. Can't remember his name or find him in any of the lists, but know I've seen him on these roundups before; dressed in blue, with blue hair and blue facepaint

I hope it's not Rem Lazar, the creepiest superhero of them all.
posted by chambers at 12:08 PM on January 6, 2011


Now if we could just get the furry community interested in fighting crime. We know they're cool with the dress code...

I've been hearing about this for months- I also live in Seattle and they've made the news and the Capitol Hill blogs- and part of me laughs, part of me worries they're going to get hurt, and part of me cheers what's basically, as loquacious notes, a citizen patrol in fancy dress. Phoenix doesn't look any weirder than a 5' nothing lesbian in Q Patrol garb trying to look tough.

And part of me thinks this is "Falling Down" meets "Kick-Ass". Actually, how all these comic-book geeks (the Phoenix literally has his secret lair in a comic book store?!?) could watch Kick-Ass for the 5 or 6 times they likely did and still think "I'm going to go do the same thing", I can't imagine.
posted by hincandenza at 12:19 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Everyone knows that nothing strikes fear in the hearts of criminals like 6 ft geoduck. John Poneman your time has come.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 12:21 PM on January 6, 2011


It's an international phenomenon. Bogota, Colombia has a man who carries ninja swords and does nightly patrols dressed up like Osama Bin Laden to scare local thugs and street criminals. He's got Batman beat in the "scary symbology" department - and "Osama Bin Laden Man" would make a great member of the Justice League International.

Then there's Angle Grinder Man in the UK, who wears a cape, mask and tights, and attacks parking boots with a golden gas-powered angle grinder to free the cars of the innocent... err... guilty. I guess he's more of a villain, in terms of vandalizing public property and assisting law-breakers, but a popular one. Batman would totally team up with him if the adventure involved cutting through hardened steel and/or corrupt metermaids.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:27 PM on January 6, 2011


So this guy and his comrades are essentially the pro-law enforcement version of Burners. L'chaim. Good for them for finding the place on life's Venn diagram where "Heavily armed kevlar-sporter" and "Dorkasaurus rex in bright plumage" intersect, and setting up housekeeping there. They make my world so much more-- more-- well, they make it more. Let's leave it at that.

I do hope, however, that if any of them witness serious person crime, they'll be willing to file police reports and testify in court. In the article that Newton linked, it sounds like some of them value their anonymity over seeing a prosecution through.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:31 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Then there's Angle Grinder Man in the UK

Screw these other twats. Their shtick revolves around dressing up and calling the cops when they see something they don't like.

That man is a true hero.
posted by clarknova at 12:56 PM on January 6, 2011


So here's a story, and I assure you it is absolutely true.

A person I know, whom I will spare further agony by not naming specifically (but he's probably reading this), was really crazily into superhero comics as a youth. About middle-school age, say. Twelve or thirteen. This would have been back in the early nineties.

And as is the case sometimes - as it was for the dude in this article and his ilk - he was inspired by the colorful and awesome exploits of these costumed folks, and their moral character, and he wanted to do something like it. He wanted to be a superhero.

I mean, this was on the South Shore of Massachusetts, and a very sleepy part of it, and crime wasn't a thing that really happened. Sometimes a kid might steal another's bike, or there'd be some shoplifting or petty vandalism or, you know, whatever. But that wasn't what drove him, I don't think; it was just the excitement and adventure in these comics and he wanted to have a life full of that sort of thing.

He selected a theme: He would be The Ghost, because ghosts are scary and mysterious, and also they are cool. The costume was about what you'd expect. He eschewed a chest symbol, mostly because he couldn't think of what would represent a ghost in the sort of visual shorthand that chest symbols use. So: White sneakers and socks, white sweatpants and a white tee-shirt - gleaming white thanks to this fearless crimefighter's Mom and her fastidious separation of lights and darks, and liberal use of Clorox.

But there must be a mask.

In the laundry room he found an old discarded placemat, sort of thing, all white with fringes on its edges. He was able to sort of tie it around his entire head, such that the head was covered and the ends of it hung from the back, like a badass sort of ponytail - or more to the point, the sort of ridiculous-looking bullshit that would have flown in a comic of the period.

In the front, two eyeholes were cut.

It was this wispy-chinned boy who lifted the mask to his face, but it was The Ghost who arose where the boy had sat, moments ago. And tall he stood, as well - having had a growth spurt early on, he was a full six feet tall and looked very much like an adult from a distance, or if you couldn't see his face.

On that night, late spring if memory serves, he went on his first patrol. It was also his last, for reasons which will have to wait until the end of the story.

It was entirely uneventful except for when he got up the courage to actually patrol around where people would be, and a drunk in front of a bar broke out in a laughing fit and asked, "What the fuck are you supposed to be?"

In a sepulchral, gravelly voice, this mysterious defender of the innocent stated only, "I am The Ghost." Whether his voice broke during this or not must remain a mystery for the ages, I am sad to report. Trailed by absolutely hysterical laughter, The Ghost kept his head high and walked on, disappearing into the shadows.

The phantasmal crusader returned home, a little deflated, and reflected on how the world of comic books appears to differ from our own in a lot of ways, and is significantly less exciting.

Anyway.

I said that this was a quiet, sleepy small town, and it was. It was also not the most diverse town in the world, being in the middle of nowhere. So there were some things that The Ghost hadn't thought too hard about, because they were nowhere near the front of his mind. This is one of the many reasons he would not make much of a superhero: if you don't have powers then you need to have brilliant observational skills, and a capacity for forethought which is second to none.

Lacking these qualities, our heroic Ghost had failed to take a couple things into account.

The most notable of these conisiderations was the black family who'd just moved in next door.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:08 PM on January 6, 2011 [14 favorites]


Slap*Happy: Then there's Angle Grinder Man in the UK, who wears a cape, mask and tights, and attacks parking boots with a golden gas-powered angle grinder to free the cars of the innocent... err... guilty.
Angle Grinder Man is wearing a golden eye mask as well as safety goggles... on his forehead.

The only superhero he's going to end up like is Daredevil...
posted by hincandenza at 1:12 PM on January 6, 2011


You think Ben Affleck is going to play Angle Grinder Man?
posted by dubold at 1:18 PM on January 6, 2011


Something like this could be incredibly cool if you actually had like a dozen people in the shadows acting as support; invisibly subduing bad guys, silently thwarting crimes, all while Captain Rubberabs walked down the street taking all the credit.

Done right it could seem like that single mask actually had superpowers.

Which would be neat as hell. (Until someone got through their perimeter and put a knife into him),
posted by quin at 1:21 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I ran into this guy last night! Or drove past him when he popped up around a corner as I was heading down 2nd and Spring (maybe). He was heading south so I'm not sure what area he had in mind he was patrolling, but keeping empty skyscrapers safe at night seems like a pretty easy job. If he was heading into Pioneer Square or Chinatown than I'd probably give him some cred.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:30 PM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Quin, like this? Thank you for saving Seattle from the darkness, Electron Boy!
posted by loquacious at 2:20 PM on January 6, 2011


Wouldn't it be awesome if that guy is tkchrist?
posted by everichon at 2:20 PM on January 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


What comic book store is that?
posted by bq at 2:40 PM on January 6, 2011


Let's hope no bad guys shoot him in the face owing to his body armour.
posted by bwg at 4:44 PM on January 6, 2011


Did they just totally reveal where the bat-cave is? Because that's the impression I got from the video.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:44 AM on January 7, 2011


We do vigilante superheroes better in the UK.
posted by Decani at 5:29 AM on January 7, 2011


Attack leaves Seattle 'superhero' with broken nose
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:15 PM on January 11, 2011


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