Real Life Superheroes Saving the Day

 In Everyday Heroes, Hero Training

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a Real Life Superhero! Find out about how these masked do-gooders are spreading hope and justice in their communities.

We found this community of Everyday Heroes from a paper by Elaine Fishwick and Heuson Mak, which can be accessed at the Western Sydney  University databases. Fishwick and Mak explore the world of real life superheroes and costumed crime-fighting.

An online network of superheroes

The real life superhero community is a forum connecting individuals across the world who use their superhero persona to act as model citizens. Just one example of a RLSH network is The Real Life Superheroes Project, which photographs and documents these extraordinary individuals.

A video from the RLSH Project can be viewed below:

What do they do?

The goals of RLSH are different for each person. Some offer crisis support, aid to the homeless, and some provide a shoulder to cry on. Others still perform everyday tasks that brighten their community, such as picking up trash or putting away shopping trolleys.

Overwhelmingly, the activities of Real Life Superheroes involves charity work, community services, and crime prevention. Less often is crime fighting, but many superheroes patrol their neighbourhoods to aid crime prevention. By having a presence of a real life superhero in areas of high crime density, it was thought to dissuade potential law-breaking behaviour.

The heroes of the RLSH project are a diverse group of people. For example, The Crimson Fist draws inspiration from their own struggles and seek to improve the lives of others, particularly homeless people. The plucky child duo Soundwave and Jetstorm offer community service and volunteering at charitable events. Phantom Zero, on the other hand, focuses on one-on-one support and guides people through their personal journeys. Each of these Real Life Superheroes has their own Hero’s Journey that they live and breathe everyday.

Why the costume?

As we have discussed in a previous blog, the superhero persona can be a source of empowerment for people to do good for others. Fishwick and Mak report that many of the superheroes do not view their outfit as a costume, but rather as a uniform. For these individuals, the outfit is not a novelty, but a representation of their cause and a belief in truth and justice.  The bright appearance of the superhero uniform also creates a memorable impression on others and inspires them to do good in turn.

For many Real Life Superheroes, their superhero persona is an extension or an exaggeration of their personality. Inspired by their heroes from childhood comic books, real life superheros take the values of justice, truth and kindness in their everyday lives. Their superhero persona is who they are, or allows them to express a side of their personality that was previously hidden or unfulfilled.

You too can become an Everyday Hero

And don’t worry, you don’t need to create your own costume to join the League of Everyday Superheroes! (Although we do approve of capes…) Simply enroll in Hero Training to learn about how you can become an Everyday Hero in your own community.

 

Steph Downing
Stephanie Downing is the administrative assistant for Hero Town Geelong. Born and raised in Geelong, Australia, Stephanie is a graduate of Deakin University with her Honours degree in Professional and Creative Writing. She adores words of all sorts and is especially infatuated with the medium of poetry and fiction, with publications of her work being featured in magazines such as WORDLY Magazine, Plumwood Mountain Journal and Cordite Poetry Review.
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