Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Rain City Superheroes meet Sky Man- L-R: Troop, Dee, Phoenix Jones, a fan, Buster Doe, No Name and Sky Man

Seattle superheroes have hit the news in a big way over the last week as the Seattle media (and beyond) have gone into a feeding frenzy over the Rain City Superhero Movement, a new group of Seattle RLSH who seemingly have appeared out of thin air. Who are these people? That is something everyone, including the RLSH community, are still trying to figure out.

History of Seattle RLSH

Seattle actually has a RLSH history that goes back several years and has an interesting cast of characters. My observations on these guys are mostly based on online interactions I’ve seen and from watching episodes of, which revolves around Portland superhero Zetaman, and his team The Alternates composed of Portland and Seattle RLSHs. A few episodes were filmed of group meet ups in Seattle.

In those episodes, we are introduced to Neurocybe’X (status unknown), who is by all accounts, including video footage-is an oddball. He claims to be a some order of jedi knight, with a working knowledge of ice planet Hoth.

Black Knight (Retired-also went by many other different names) had a dramatic falling out and retirement from the Real Life Superhero community,for reasons a bit complex to get into here.

Mr. Ravenblade and The Dreamer, both still active, have very different looks and methods- Mr. Ravenblade is clad in all black and actively does crime patrols. Dreamer has a bright blue and white motif and seems to focus more on charity events and such. The Alternates briefly disbanded after the falling out with Black Knight, and now list The Dreamer as their sole Seattle represenative.

More RLSH began to appear- The Irishman, who I met on a trip to the West Coast, White Baron, who joined Mr. Ravenblade and Black Knight on a patrol, and Sky Man, relatively new and eager to participate. This newer crew has done patrols and things like a water handout (which I wrote about HERE).

My Trip to Seattle

In February I joined RLSHs for a meet up in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics, hosted by Thanatos. After the meet up, I found I had an extra day or two free before I needed to be home and decided to check out Seattle. I joined The Irishman in a Greyhound trip from Vancouver to Seattle. The next day I joined Irishman for a walking and driving patrol of the downtown area.

I also had the opportunity to meet four members of the “real life supervillains” organization ROACH, at their West Coast HQ- a gourmet hot dog stand called Po’ Dogs. Real life supervillains are people who mock RLSHs online. I felt it was important, journalistically, to hear an opposing point of view.

I wasn’t able to meet up with the other Seattle RLSH at the time.

Unsuccessful Article Attempt For Seattle Weekly

After returning home, I decided I would try to pitch an article to a Vancouver or Seattle publication about my adventure. This concept had been successful after I attended Superheroes Anonymous 3, in New Bedford- I was able to land a good sized article in the Boston Phoenix, and would again prove to be a success after my trip to New York, with a cover article in the New York Press. These were win-wins- I got to write an early draft of part of the book, see it in print, and get a little bit of money to help with the travel costs. Pitching the Vancouver story was a bust, though.

After getting no response from a couple of publications (which is really, really annoying) the Seattle Weekly gave a reluctant response.

The editor then suggested I hand the story over to them so they could assign it to a staff writer who would meet up with the RLSHs and join them on patrol. In exchange, they would give me a modest amount of money to offer my insight to the writer and get him in touch with the Seattle RLSH. I thought about it for awhile and then decided to go with the offer. I would still be part of the story in an advisory role, and would get some money reimbursed from what was a somewhat expensive trip.
I spoke with the writer, the writer spoke with the RLSH, and for whatever reason, the story flatlined and never happened, and I never got paid. And that, folks, is the glamorous life of a freelance writer.

Rain City Superheroes

The Rain City Superheroes have adopted the RLSH concept to fit into their own group in their own style and have had little association with the larger RLSH community, something that has caused some alarm and frustration from established RLSH who are being tied to the group. The group is led by a young man named Phoenix Jones. Other confirmed members include Buster Doe, No Name, Dee, and Troop.
More alleged members are listed as Thorn, Green Reaper, Gemini, Catastrophe, Thunder 88, and Penelope.

Rain City has what I’ll call a “minimalist” look- Phoenix Jones has a mask, fedora, and chest piece but the rest of his crew simply wears ski masks and bandannas. This look has gotten them in some small trouble- they’ve been reported to police as robbers at least once.

Reaction From RLSH

Emotions have flared over the group and the media representation of them, in particular with the established Seattle RLSH. Some have tried to reach out and communicate, while others have denounced them as “liars” and “posers” who have fabricated who they are for “street cred.”
Several items in the flood of news reports raise alarm bells as well.

As the Seattle PI site reports:
“In one instance, police say a caped crusader dressed in black was nearly shot when he came running out of a dark park. In another case, a witness on Capitol Hill saw the crusaders wearing ski masks in a car parked at a Shell station and thought they were going to rob the place.”

It also reports police found the group confronting a violent man using a golf club as a weapon.
“Police took the golf club as evidence. The "costume-wearing complainants" refused to press charges because they didn't want to identify themselves to officers,(department spokesman)Kappel said. So the suspect walked.” Phoenix Jones addresses these issues in an interview that follows this entry.

On a more positive note, the article does report that Phoenix Jones did go to police headquarters to talk to the police there in person.

Komo News also reports:
“Phoenix says police were extremely wary at first, but now accept his help. He says he calls them ahead of time to tell them which neighborhood he’ll be patrolling. He fills out police reports and gives witness testimony.”

Particularly vocal in deriding Phoenix Jones and company, is the aforementioned Seattle RLSH Mr. Ravenblade, who issued an open letter to Jones on his LiveJournal. In addition, he wrote an entry titled “Real Real Life Superheroes Follow Through And Don’t Wimp Out,” and in that entry, Mr. Ravenblade says:

“The fact is, This "Phoenix Jones" guy is a fake hero. A wolf in sheep's clothing, and I really want to do my best to protect people from people like him that are OK with criminals walking the streets able to hurt people. He talks the super hero talk, but he does not walk the super hero walk.”
You can read the entry in its entirety on his LiveJournal page HERE.

This in turn prompted New Jersey RLSH Phantom Zero to issue his own open letter in reaction, posted on his Facebook. He starts it by saying:
“Recently, you've come to my attention. Because of this, I began questioning someone who has made strong, but baseless, claims.
I believe he hates you and very much resents you. This individual is acting in a highly subjective and emotional manner, and I believe this person's negative emotions stem from personal reasons: primarily jealousy over you getting press attention while he, feeling entitled because of his assumed seniority, while he himself is being completely ignored (despite being in roughly the same geographic area).”

You can read that letter in it’s entirety HERE.

The most proactive person in communicating with the Rain City Superheroes has been Seattle’s own Sky Man. Sky Man has taken a diplomatic approach, meeting with Jones and company three times over the weekend, joining them on patrol , and trying to make sense of the whole thing. After patrols Friday and Saturday, Sky Man says Phoenix Jones and crew blindfolded him on Sunday and took him to a secret hangout spot. It was there that they discussed RLSH politics while enjoying a snack of pudding.

I have been informed that an additional newscast featuring the group will be out soon.

To break journalistic character for a moment here, I have to say this is all very strange and I don’t quite know what to make of it, and where Phoenix Jones and company fit into the scheme of things. But I thought a logical next step would be to interview the man himself, and look at some of the media surrounding him, which you will see in parts 2 and 3 of this write up.


  1. Sky Man lost all respect when he joined Master Legend's fan-wank forum of homophobes and bible thumpers that haven't read their own book.

    Nothing good is coming out of that place except paranoia and religious worship of every insane thing ML posts. It's like they're all competing to be "revealed" as the next archangel. It's like every little girl's dream of becoming a princess, but way WAY more disturbing.

    Phoenix Jones, stay the hell away from that crazyland unless you want to be in WAY over your head in some very unscrupulous goings-on.

  2. My question towards angry little Ravenblade is thus: Does being a hero always have to be about getting people in the wrong arrested? If you want to stick folks in the slammer, then become a cop instead of continuing to be someone stuck in some strange comic book inspired fantasy-world that invovles having to wear a costume to be a proactively "good" person, not when it's needed, but when you WANT to be. The first step to being truly humble is understanding. Understanding that there are more layers to a person's actions other than "I'm right and he's wrong".

    Then again, I feel I'm wasting my time reasoning with someone feels justified in carrying weapons at a charity walk.


    P.S.: ...What Agent B said.

  3. Tea, I have to admit that I blew off Vernal Coleman when he asked to inverview me. I hope that didn't lose you your story...

  4. @ Victim: No, don't worry about it- it was their story at that point and they should have been able to come up with something. I just mentioned that, maybe out of spite, because at that time they were like "oh ho hum, Krulos, maybe you got a story here, but we're not too interested" and now the entire Seattle media is hot to trot for this.

    I'm either ahead of the curve or bitter.

  5. ...this just seems kinda masturbatory to me. Not particularly your post about it, but the whole Phoenix Jones "situation."

    What we're talking about here is a guy who's patroling the streets of Seattle now in a latex/rubber outfit. I mean no offense to him, but really... if I convince five people around here to wear capes... and I dunno... panty hose on their heads or something... can we get this much attention, too?


  6. Well, I've been giving it attention because a lot of other people have. In this particular post, I actually tried to divert attention and look at the bigger picture, Seattle wise at least.

    Like I alluded to in my last comment, I tried- TRIED- to tell Seattle this was an interesting story 9 months ago, before Rain City showed up.

    Now, if you had five dudes in pantyhose masks and capes, I certainly would report it. As far as you getting tons of flame wars, online bickering, and a scale of media from 0-10...who knows? Try it...?

  7. Heh... yeah. Maybe. I could get a whole audience to go for it if I supplied the gear. I don't fault you any, Tea... but we definitely made this whole thing pretty ridiculous.

  8. Well, elaborate- how was this whole thing made ridiculous? I'm seriously asking that because I'd like your insight into this. I'm still not sure what to make of it.

  9. I'm not cool with the whole blindfolding Skyman thing. Phoenix Jones is being WAY too paranoid, and doesn't realize that people can find out who you are anyway. I pointed this out on his facebook.

  10. ...Just as I have gathered heavy amounts of information on a handfull your caped friends, just as I can do the same to you, Victim. Jones is someone that goes after 'crime' in a way that openly puts him harms way and if there was indeed enough information about him floating around that same info can be used to have him hunted down or worse. So can you really blame him for wanting to take the extra step?

  11. Could rehash the classic debate in a world with no on the street Villains for them to combat the only people they have to go after is each other. Sure they are out there looking for that magical street tuff to thwart.. but no luck yet. Perhaps the criminal element goes into "WTF?" mode after seeing an assortment of people as shown in this picture?

    On this picture I am somewhat confused... why is Skyman there? The rest of them look like a street gang.. then there is Skyman. It is like he was going to join Alpha Flight and he got the wrong directions and became a package boy in Compton. Maybe he is like their comic relief?

    Velvet Jones: "SkyMan stay there and don't touch anything!"
    Skyman: "Dahhh no problem Boss... hey what does this button do?"
    Velvet Jones: "SKYMAN!!!!!!!!"

    Would for sure make for a much needed good RLSH web series.

  12. For the record, Tea you have your facts wrong.

    I posted the open letter and then made it private again after I was sure that he had read it; I never replaced anything, that additional blog post was simply yet another item I had written. It was created "In addition, not "instead of". Look at the time stamps.

    Oh and I talked to Vernen as well; He didn't really seem interested in the facts as they were, more about the facts as they could be, he seemed more interested in dramatizing everything and while he seemed like a nice guy he didn't seem to be interested int the real story. Since I don't usually like media attention anyway and really didn't want the wrong thing to get out there - and could care less about PJ's recent exposure if it was not for the misrepresentation and lying he is doing - I was actually kind of happy it flat-lined at the time, but now I have reason to feel otherwise and I am sorry that it went the way it did as I had no idea you were involved at all as he only mentioned that he had talked to you, not that you had money on it. My apologizes, if there is anything I can do, let me know.

  13. Sorry about the error, Mr. Ravenblade, I edited the entry to reflect that.

    Also, no need for you or any other Seattle RLSH to apologize for the Seattle Weekly article,I was only mildly involved and it was completely their fault for not realizing they had a good story they should have been putting more effort into.

  14. I've shown my face a few times. Finding out who I am isn't difficult.

  15. Whoa... I was just alerted to this clusterfu@$ by another RLSH to come and read it.

    @Poopknife... dude, I cant stop LMAO at you and your truth. So uhmmm... I dont guess youve ever had an intelligent idea that youve created on your own huh? How about if I told you this, my niavity and goofy antics are what make me who I am! Its a persona you ass-clown!!

    @ Malvado... hey, an RLSV who can actually put two words together is awesome... I miss you on the forum... you always were highly intelligent in my books dude.

    So can i say something here Tea? I will anyways... to all of you "so-called" RLSV... i thought I had way too much time on my hands but you guys are the best!!! Keep up the drama and name-calling and you guys might make it past the mediocrity you guys are relegated to.

    Also, at OverLord and Agent Berillium... I know who you 2 chicky-babes are and gotta say, Im quite flattered that you think of me in that fashion. BTW, Tothian says hey to both you gorgeous babes... yall make a good hotdog!

    Tea, I gotta tell you, this is one of the most interestingly inventive and creative ways to be acknowledged by these RLSV for actually being a real guy. Im both proud and overjoyed that this RLSV are interested in Seattle.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Sky Man, I know you've faced a lot of conflict with this story and that you are frustrated. Let's not make this a Sky Man v.s. Villains flame war.

  18. You are absolutley right, to those that I offended, Im sorry and it wasnt intentional. Very UUN-heroic on my part and I am again very sorry. It was pointed out to me that I may have come off as sexist toward Berrillium and OverLord and for that I am incredibly sorry. What can I say, Im as human as everyone else is and probably more prone to stick my foot in my mouth lately.

  19. The ridiculous-ness is just that whether you're for the guy, against him, or indifferent, people are expending energy and focusing on it beyond any reasonable level. It's not that big of a deal, really, IMO. It's kind of morbidly fascinating to see, though.

  20. Tea Krulos,

    One still can't seem to get a handle on this. It seems to be that Young Turks are stealing the press of the established order? Their message though, appears to be substantively the same (Run around in masks, glory hogging, and inciting criminal behaviors)?

    Of import is that Silver Sentinel, a voice of reason, who has earned the respect of many, has scrubbed his blog. This can't be a good sign, for any. If this Has happened, this loss is not a Victory for Villainy: His loss is a direct response to more Hero Ego Drama. Free from the fingerprints of Evil, one might add with satisfaction.

    One doesn't know Ravenblade (and probably hates him anyway), but recognizes his vitriol is potent, and must have a reason for its presentation. The hated, thrice cursed ArchNemesis Phantom Zero, in a break from innocuous forgettable vapor advice, has instead thrown gasoline on this fire, for what purpose one can not discern. However, for prolonging the internal conflicts within the heroic community, one approves!

    This at worst is only the inevitable course of devolution. The next iteration of so called real life superheroes will be far more interesting.

    What qualities does the North West have to bring out this abnormal behavior? The coffee? Liberalism? The coasts are littered with this detritus. Something there...

    Skyman, the Tri-Colored Crusader,
    One will only believe that Tothian: Leader of the RLSH, has advised you on your tactics, and that you have employed them well. You have caught one's attention, and this is no small feat. One hopes to hear more of your exploits in the future.

    An Evil discussion! Points of view expressed, details corrected, and a better understanding manifested. New truths revealed, and weaknesses exposed.

    Thank you Tea Krulos, for another well reported story,

    -Lord Malignance

  21. Hey Tea. Heroes. Vernal Coleman here. Just thought I'd chime in since my name is mentioned a number of times.

    The story did have its champions, Tea. Myself included. To fill in the blanks about what happened, I did, as indicated in the comments section, attempt to make contact with a number of folks in Seattle's RLSH community.

    I had some success, but not nearly enough. So, if I seemed at all focused on the facts "as they could be," it's because I knew that while the topic of real life heroes is an interesting one, I was going to have to turn up something more substantive before I'd have a decent shot at hooking my boss' interest.

    Not to get all pedantic, or reduce something that folks obviously care very much about to some sort of entertainment product, but sometimes it's not enough that something exists. There has to be something extra to make it worthy of the long form treatment, which is what papers like the Weekly do best.

    I pushed ahead with what I had, Tea. But my boss balked at the pitch, which was his right as editor in chief. Sorry this is coming to you so late.

    I think we both saw potential in the story. And had I been able to turn up more on the apparent rivalry among different generations of heroes in Seattle's RLSH community and the lightning-rod that is Phoenix Jones, I'm pretty sure that it would have been greenlit. I doubt that Seattle's heroes would have been happy with a piece with that as the focus, but its obvious that that's why the community has received so much media attention lately.

    Anyway, I'm no longer in Seattle, having returned to the east coast. But I think if you pressed, Tea, you'd find editors at Seattle's news publications a lot more open to the idea of an in-depth piece on the community now than they were 10 months ago. But I'd hurry before coverage becomes just completely over-saturated.

  22. The gentleman has a point...

    Jet city supervillains, meanwhile, will continue to get utterly blitzed on microbrews and Po Dog's.

    No need to thank us, we're just doing our civic duty.

  23. RLSH is bullshit; all these faggots that dressed up in super hero outfits before Phoenix Jones showed up are mad at him for the same reason the cops are: he makes them look inadequate. Phantom Zero is right about Raven Cunt, he/she is jealous and is not willing to admit that it is stupid to dress up as a super hero and do charitable acts if you aren't going to fight crime. Firemen wear fire retardant suits, police men wear badges, Super heroes wear suit to protect their identities and themselves from harm and so citizens and the police can readily identify them. Phoenix Jones and company finally brought some muscle and balls to the existing hero community and everybody is pissed because they realize what worthless sacks of shit they are. I apologize for my blunt language, but it's the truth.