Monday, March 22, 2010


[Part of Law & Lawlessness Week @ Heroes in the Night]


The write up for today is different than I thought; sometimes things follow a forest trail instead of a train track.
I was supposed to meet up with Sentinel, who would travel from Grand Rapids, Michigan to meet me in Chicago. He had something important come up, so we agreed we'd plan to roll to Chicago another time in the near future.

Our plan isn't a major operation, we were just planning to cruise around and check things out, to see what we could see.

Meanwhile, I had the weekend off so I thought I'd cruise down there anyway to visit some friends, get some drinks, and check out the Field Museum.

I rode across town on the el train alone, listening to the clack of the tracks, cruising through Chicago's second story windows, over the Chicago River, past Wrigley Field, and I thought about the city unfolding before my eyes.

This Chicago idea started with a thread I posted on a RLSH forum, wondering out loud why Chicago had no Real Life Superheroes (that I knew of) as opposed to cities like Los Angeles, New York, and my hometown of Milwaukee, much smaller (and close by- just under a two hour drive, depending on if traffic is terrible or really terrible) but home to 3 RLSH.

There were many interesting but inconclusive answers.

"Fear? Lack of motivation/inspiration?" Speculated one RLSH. Another noted that Chicago can be a dangerous place and it would take a team of RLSH rather than a "lone wolf." My issue with that argument is that there are RLSH in cities I would guess are equally or more dangerous.

Someone suggested it was too cold, but Chicago is no colder than Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and other cities that have year round, active RLSH.

Among the other ideas was the argument that Chicago is "A Socialist city trying to deny it's residents their 2nd amendment rights." and that RLSH should not try to "protect a place that denies it's own citizens the right to defend themselves."

I don't know about this idea. I would think that is exactly what might inspire someone to become an RLSH and stand hands on hips on an el platform, the Sears tower and city skyline in the background.

I'll have to pick this story up another day.


I talk to a lot of people about this story. My friends, other writers, anyone I think might be interested. I want to hear their reaction.
Here are the FAQs I get- "Are they crazy?," and similarily- "Do they think they have super powers?," followed by "Where are they from?" and "How many of them are there?"

The "where are they from" part is pretty easy. All over (except apparently Chicago!)- Vancouver, Milwaukee, New Bedford, Washington DC, New York, Portland, Italy, Australia,I've even been in contact with a group from Brazil. So all over. Big Cities and small cities, east coast, midwest, west coast, Finland, whatever.

But how many? That is a really tough question. It's tough because people "retire," some retire and then come out of retirement, some change names (multiple times), new people show up, trolls are exposed,and some people are out there that no one knows about.

I saw a list being compiled that placed the number at around 120. That's probably a good start, but most likely incomplete due to the previously mentioned factors.
Most media sources mention some 250-300 number, but that "fact" is just a media invention, passed from one media source to the next.

So, do you want to know the incredible truth? Yes, folks you heard it here first: NOBODY KNOWS. And probably no one will. And that's one of the things that attracted me to this story in the first place. There's a certain unknown factor you have to accept.


As a postscript today, I'd like to note that if you've seen the last couple entries, things have been (as The Mask would say) "Smmmmmmmmmmok'n!" As in a fire breathing flame war.
I take responsibility for this starting myself, by allowing myself to get irritated. Let me explain. It really sucks when you put a lot of thought into a piece, as well as possibly reviewing interviews and other notes, check it twice,and push the "publish post" button, only to have someone immediately run up and scribble some crappy line on it immediately, post after post.

This should have been ended earlier. As I said I am all for hero, villain, general public, anyone commenting. I don't care if the opinions are in contrast to the blog or other commentators. In fact I think a well thought out debate is a great thing.

And I don't care if people leave jokes or one liners or whatever. I do ask people try to use a sensible level of respect and not use insane sexual comments that can be viewed as sexual harassment, threats, using sexuality as an insult, etc.

I don't want to have an environment where people feel that if they have an opinion different than your own, they're going to be bullied with sexual comments.

And actually everyone except one has been really good about this so far, so I'd like to thank everyone reading and leaving comments! It's great knowing people are reading and taking an interest.

Tune in tomorrow for an interview with the creator of the "Superhero Law" blog.


  1. Yeah, no. Patrolling the Windy City is something not even I have the scrote for.

    Fun story: After being paroled from Lake County I was put on a train to Chicago to be transferred to a bus to be taken back to Atlanta.

    Train passes a sign that says "Welcome To Chicago". Right after that, I see four guys kicking the living shit out of some poor dude in an impound lot. Like some mafia stomping, not like you're a little upset stomping.

    Sick shit, man. Nothing I would want to trifle with.

    Looking out for his own hide like a good villain should,
    -Malvado SV

  2. Try Detroit in 6 degrees wind chill. Was not fun.

    Seriously, though. Tea is trying to do the best job he can, as honestly as he can, and as optimistically as he can (with some of the loonier RLSH).

    I think commentary is ok, but I am backing him up here when I say Tea is cool with me, please do not f@#% with him.

    Thank you.

  3. And I respect him for it. Like I've mentioned before, my shit-talking is just shit-talking. Nothing that should be taken too seriously, but I will admit that I fall off the wagon once in a while (pretty often) and say shit that is a tad ruder than I honestly should be.

    For that I apologize.

    The only time you'll hear me say that,
    -Malvado SV

  4. I think Chicago might be too scary of a place? Some really rough shit happens here but also maybe Chicago is too vast? It is a city that spreads out far and wide...

  5. Or maybe it's as simple as no one doing this kind of thing there is going public.

    I don't think there's any of us left in Detroit right now either.

  6. There's a reason Detroit's robo-police hero was made of STEEL. If ever there was a city in need of fixing, it's the big Delrey.

  7. Anonymous-
    "I think Chicago might be too scary of a place?"

    Yeah, a couple people mentioned that on the forum, too. But I don't think Chicago is any scarier, really, than parts of Philadelphia, NYC, Oakland, CA, or a bunch of other places.

    I don't have first hand experience of Detroit, but everything I've heard is that it's pretty rough.

  8. Oh yeah- I thought I wrote this down. I read this book "Devil's Night (and Other True Tales of Detroit)" by Ze'ev Chafets. (written in 1990)

    I remembered I wrote a particularly grim passage down. Ze'ev has gone out with a local reporter to witness the insane arson of Devil's Night...

    "At dawn, on the way home, I asked the reporter what it was all about.
    'F@%# is I know,' he said in a weary tone. 'Frustration, anger, boredom. I only work here. I stopped trying to figure out this city a long time ago."

  9. I don't think Devil's Night happens the way it use to in Detroit any least not on as grand of a scale as it once did. But that books sounds interesting.

    Detroit is a different kind of scary than Chicago. Detroit is much more of a ghost town like the way places look in a movie after a zombie apocalypse. It's rather chilling.

  10. Oh yeah that should say "F@%# IF I know," not is. It was an interesting book, but from what I remember pretty depressing.

    You're right, Anonymous- fortunately Devil's Night has declined (but not disappeared) in severity, from what I've read. I've never been there other than passing through, but I would like to go sometime, just to see it first hand.

  11. You should see it first hand. I went exploring with friends a few years back near old Tiger Stadium. It was an experience for sure.

    Hope you get some answers about this Chicago thing.
    -Anonymous (aka jessica)

  12. Devil's Night is not as bad as it was. I lived on Jefferson Ave (right across from the GM building) for quite a bit. Detroit is dead, and if you're dumb enough to walk it's streets at night, with no protection, you asking to get robbed.

  13. Z: is there anything you could do to urbanise my uniform and make it more practical than cosmetic ?

    (you can visit to understand what I have created, and email me at if there's potential to work together .. I read that you can do wonders with urban gear and costumes)

    Your friend,

    Captain Australia

  14. I live just outside of Detroit and have lived here all my life, I think we could use someone.