Why hasn’t anyone REALLY tried to be a superhero or crime fighter? Seriously?
Now before anyone responds I know the basic answers.
1) It’s dangerous
2) Vigilantism is illegal
But we’ve seen people do a lot of illegal things out there: Selling drugs, carjacking, robbery, murder, and a lot of this stuff is both dangerous and illegal. Then you have some people who do dangerous thrill seeking stuff like cliff diving, bungee cord jumping, or base diving. One dude climbed a building in NYC like Spider-man.
I imagine people do a lot of these extreme things for the thrill, the adrenaline rush, and just to say that they did it, and some people don’t even get paid for doing things like this. Wouldn’t taking down the bad guys be one of the biggest adrenaline rushes out there? So the question to ask again is, how come someone (crazy or not) has not suited up yet and become a hero?
Well let’s examine this more closely.
Training – I’d image you’d need some type of training as well as being in some form of peak conditioning, probably on the level of a soldier or greater. That’s not too hard to do, there are various forms of martial art schools to get into that can teach you from Jujitsu to Krav Mara. There are also gyms to build your strength and gymnastic classes to give you some form of agility if you need it. You can even learn the French art of Parkour to easily travel from building to building.
Equipment – F KickAss, you need to gear up like Big Daddy, which isn’t hard to do if you know where to look. Things like body armor you can actually get on E-bay…a bulletproof vest goes for 350 bucks and good plates go for $10 to $12 bucks. They even have bullet proof face-masks, cut resistant gloves, and armored boots.
Looking for a costume? Also can be found on E-bay because let’s face, it’s not a good idea to have someone to make it for you and then get caught running around in it (Got to keep that secret identity safe!). You can get an actual Batman Dark Knight Professional grade costume and modify it, or you can go the Kick-Ass route and get a wetsuit and make sure to add body armor to that sumbitch like that little idiot should have done.
Need weapons, E-bay is kind of limited when it comes to that, you can get things like bow and arrows, crossbows, boken swords, sais, batons, kendo sticks, bo staffs, REAL swords, knives, and battle axes depending on the theme of your persona. You’d have to look elsewhere to get things like taser and tranquilizer guns, or real firearms which let’s face it isn’t really that hard to do either, the bad guys do it every day.
There’s really nothing you can’t get for your crime fighting needs if you look around; I’ve seen sites and actual stores that sell FBI and police issued surveillance equipment, military issued binoculars, and police scanners.
There’s also stores out there that will not only sell you stuff to supe up your car for speed, but reinforce it into a tank like the Bat or Green Hornet mobile.
So you’ve trained yourself into an unstoppable fighting machine, and you’ve got the gear to take on an army of bad guys…what’s stopping you from walking out that door and standing on a roof top looking out into YOUR city searching for trouble?
Is it fear? Or maybe it’s the fact that we really don’t give a damn about our fellow man enough to take the risk like our heroes glorify in the books we love to read.
Soldiers, police officers, and firemen are heroes there’s no disputing that, but let’s face it they’re also paid to do their job too. They’re also insured that incase anything happens to them their families would be taken care of. Mind you it’s not top notch pay or benefits but they get them none these less.
Actual heroes and heroines in the books that we read whether driven by revenge or a calling do not get that luxury. Other than the recognition they may get in the papers (unless it’s owned by someone like Jolly Jonah Jameson) heroes don’t get a regular salary, benefits, nor health or life insurance for battling the forces of evil. They do it because it’s the right thing to do, they do it because they believe someone needs to stand up for the weak, they selflessly stand in front of the drawn line fighting against tyranny and those who wish to oppress people who cannot stand up for themselves and fight back, and they do it willing to make the ultimate sacrifice if necessary not expecting a reward or even a thank you even with the possibility that someday they may end up in a casket before their time.
And that’s the difference between the fantasy of comics and real life...in the comics Peter Parker either goes to school or holds down a regular job while making the selfless act of taking on the bad guys. In real life we worry about getting to our jobs on time, making an income and paying our bills and taxes, and working for that dream of a house, a wife or husband, and the 2.6 kids or whatever we wish for in this life. It’s not that we’re not afraid to risk our own lives, I’ve seen people do it for lesser more foolish things; we just don’t give a damn about our own fellow man to stick our neck out for them.
I just finished reading Fantastic Four #587 and the aftermath of the Chaos Wars in the issue of the Incredible Hulks #621.
Then I remember the gunman who shot US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the head and killed six other people. I remember Columbine, and may other tragedies; a lot of these guys got their influences from horror or action movies, many career criminals also get their influences from movies like the Godfather, Scarface, and New Jack City.
Isn't it sad that people would rather take the risk to be a Ne-No Brown, but not a Batman?
I think it is…despite it being illegal and dangerous I think if there was someone who took up the calling, a lot of criminals on the street would be scared for a change. Maybe Columbine and the shooting in Arkansas would never have happened. Maybe so many people’s loved ones wouldn’t be taken away from them before their time because of some gutless piece of garbage.
Some may say this is dangerous talk, maybe it is, but I don’t know...why do we read comic books people?
Some may say it’s for entertainment purposes only, but how many of us idolize these fictional guys and gals. Go as far as to buy the toys, models, posters, calendars, t-shirts, dress up as them for Halloween; make at least ONE journey to a Comicon?
Am I crazy to say that NONE of us really wished to be a hero? That no one ever looked at a horrible crime on television and thought if there was a Dark Knight on the scene this would ever happen, we’ve all done it...I have...
And before anyone asks the question...yeah...as crazy as it sounds...I wish I had stepped up and taken the calling.
I know I’ll probably get a bazillion hits on the moral fibers of upholding the law, and the dangers of dressing up as a masked crime fighter.
But screw it, I’m opening up the flood gates of this discussion anyway...so why hasn’t someone stepped up yet and become a superhero?