10 Notable Real-Life Superheroes (Aside From Phoenix Jones)

By Andy Hughes in Daily Lists, Nerdery
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 8:05 am
5) Nyx

As one of the most well-known female heroes now that Terrifica has retired, Nyx has certainly got a great deal of attention from the media, though I fear this may have as much to do with that Hot Topic-friendly fishnet costume she's worn in several promo photos as her abilities. For the record, her actual patrol outfit seems much more sensible. Nonetheless, Nyx is a very active figure in the RLSH community, working together with other heroes and providing food and aid for the homeless and underprivileged. Like many real lifers, her commitment to the cause comes from the loss of someone close to her. Also she appears to be operating out of NYC and New Jersey these days, and that can't be an easy beat, even for a superhero.

4) Zetaman

A "costumed activist" based in Portland, Oregon, Zetaman seems to be a little more level-headed than some of his costumed brethren. Much like Life and other altruism-first heroes, he prefers to use his persona to focus on helping charities and worthy causes, though as the video above shows, he still carries protection. He's also one of the more media-savvy of this bunch, with a webseries chronicling his various philanthropic exploits. All of this is fine and good though it continues to raise the question: why do you need a costume if you're basically just a nice guy helping the homeless?

3) Super Hero

What this guy may lack in name-creating skills he makes up with in dedication. Based out of beautiful Clearwater, Florida, Super Hero talks like a Dan Aykroyd character and fortunately seems to take himself less seriously than the Phoenix Joneses of the world: he doesn't wear a mask, he doesn't have a secret identity and he admits he mainly does the hero gig because "it's hella fun." But one advantage this guy has over his brethren is actual police academy training, professional wrestling experience and crime-fighting tools, particularly his Supermobile. He's also notable for founding Team Justice Inc., which is a non-profit group for Real Life Superheroes with "absolutely zero overhead." One major disadvantage this guy has? With a name like that, he's not exactly google-friendly.

2) Citizen Prime
His track record marks him as a friend of kids and a role model in his community. His photos, on the other hand, rather clearly say: Do not fuck with this guy. Arizona superhero Citizen Prime comes across as relatively genial online. Much like Super Hero, he says he his best asset is his sense of humor and spends much of his time in classrooms. But unlike Super Hero, he wears armor and carries weapons and... just... just look at him. Even if he's no longer active and was never really of a confrontational nature when he was, Citizen Prime looks kind of like a badass, even if that helmet does remind me a little bit of that George Clooney '40s football movie from a few years ago.

1) Angle-Grinder Man

He may be yet another retiree but his legacy lives on, and he's just too crazy/awesome not to touch upon here. Basically, if your car ever got a clamp on its tire in southeast London, until recently you could do one of two things: pay the steep removal fee or call Angle Grinder Man, a lanky-haired dude in blue and gold with a mask, cape, and grinder apparatus, who would then proceed to cut your clamp off for you. Needless to say this man is technically a criminal who dismantles property put there to enforce parking regulations, but would you turn him away? I've got to admire this guy's chutzpah. He certainly fits in the vigilante category well, asking for no money and acting against the authorities. Or maybe I should say "fit," past tense, as he seems to have abandoned his old ways in recent years, probably due to lack of funds and pressure from outside sources (he was apparently arrested at least once). Even though you can make an argument against him, it's hard not to see this guy as Robin Hood with a circular saw. At the height of his popularity he would even advise others on how to get the boot off themselves. Unfortunately, just as autumn fades to winter, so too has Angle Grinder Man seemingly put the tights aside for good, his former website now a place you can by bathroom furnishings. Still, he had a good run, and think of all the appointments he helped people meet and things he allowed them to get done through his good works.
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