January 05, 2009
There are, according to the recently launched World Superhero Registry, more than 200 men and a few women who are willing to dress up as comic book heroes and patrol the urban streets in search of, if not super-villains, then pickpockets and bullies.
Civic mindedness is all well and good but something is wrong with this picture...
“This is a more serious business than it looks,” said Citizen Prime, whose $4,000 (£2,700) costume disguises an Arizona businessman and father of a toddler who thinks his cape, mask and stun-gun are cool.
Prime patrols some of the most dangerous streets in Phoenix but, like most Reals, is reluctant to speak about the villains he has dispatched with a blow from his martial arts-honed forearm. He does admit helping a motorist change a flat tyre.
“Kids love the costume, so I seek to keep them out of the gangs today rather than take them on tomorrow,” said Prime who, at 41, regards himself as on the mature wing of the Real community.
What is wrong you ask? OK fine let me spell it out...
$4000.00 for a costume?
In these tough economic times one who is trying to set a good example for the youth of today must be frugal.
All you need is a mask, some sort of costume...say a ninja suit with a logo, a stun gun, some twist-cuffs and maybe night vision goggles. You can get the basic kit for a hundred fifty bucks and look damned snazzy if you're friends with a cosplayer who is inclined to enable your wacky civic minded shenanigans.
Assuming you get decent body armor add 2-500 dollars and if you have decent first aid training a hunters first aid kit with trauma pads (in case you happen upon an injured person) is going to be around 60 or 70 dollars.
One should be able to put something pretty impressive for under a thousand bucks.
What, exactly, did 4 grand buy?
For those of you concerned about whether there is a costumed crimefighter deficit in your area, there is the World Superhero Registery.
Note that despite the Times articles implication that this is a strictly American thing, there seem to be several in the UK at least.
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