Most of us are probably aware of people like Phoenix Jones, who dress up like superheroes and patrol the night looking for crime and/or collecting aggravated assault charges.
However, as several recent news stories have demonstrated, sometimes people put on superhero costumes with absolutely no intention of fighting crime and wind up saving the day anyway.
#4. Woman Dressed as Wonder Woman Is Attacked by Transient, Rescued by Guy Dressed as Superman
Last week, a man and a woman dressed up as Superman and Wonder Woman (respectively) were out on Hollywood Boulevard filming a segment for Jimmy Kimmel Live wherein they dumped buckets of water on a Polish tourist.
Jimmy Kimmel Live
As one does.
However, in the middle of the taping, a lady hobo dressed in cowboy boots and misplaced fury ran up to Wonder Woman and punched her in the face. She then ripped her own boots off and tried to pelt the Amazonian princess with them, but Superman (who looks amazingly like a time-lapse photo of William Fichtner) jumped in and deflected one of the boot shots with his Kryptonian might. The assailant evidently realized she was outmatched and fled, vowing that both heroes would be "dead by tomorrow," which would be funny if death threats from a transient psychopath weren't so goddamned terrifying.
Still, the two are debating whether or not they want to file charges, because the woman is both homeless and obviously mentally ill, which is a testament to either their latent superheroic natures or the fact that neither one of them wants to engage in expensive litigation with little hope of a satisfying resolution.
#3. The Green Power Ranger Helps People Climb Stairs
Twenty-seven-year-old Tadahiro Kanemasu wants to help as many people as possible, but offering a helping hand is often viewed as insulting in Japanese culture, even if you're trying to assist an old man carrying four bags of groceries up a flight of rickety tenement stairs.
Since Kanemasu cannot think of any other way to help his fellow man than by offering random assistance to strangers on the street, he decided to avoid the social stigma of charity by putting on a Power Ranger uniform, because it is against the law for any Japanese citizen to be offended by a person wearing a wacky costume.
You couldn't shell out a couple of extra yen for the Tommy suit?
Clad in his Green Ranger duds, Kanemasu now spends his days helping single parents and the elderly carry bags and strollers up the punishing steps of Tokyo Metro's Honancho Station, saving countless babies, egg cartons, and iPhones from an irreparable tumble down into the subway. He's managed to achieve modest fame in Japanese media, which should come as a surprise to absolutely no one ever.
We assume that headline reads "This Is the Most Quintessentially Japanese Thing Ever Printed."
#2. Superman Foils Shoplifter With Citizen's Arrest
Back in July in the English city of Sheffield, a security guard named Luke Junior was wearing his Superman costume as part of a charity event outside of a strip mall, because for some reason the event planners had staked the success of their fundraiser on Junior's uniquely heroic image.
"Judd Nelson powers activate!"
Suddenly, Junior spotted a shoplifter running out of one of the stores, with the shop's screaming staff hot on his heels. Junior sprang into action, swooping in with his red cape billowing righteously behind him and utilizing his security guard training to detain the criminal until the police arrived.
"Nice try, asshole, but I'm Superman."
The event planners played the theme from the original Superman movie as the cops escorted away the handcuffed thief, who was doubtlessly hatching a scheme to resurrect Richard Pryor from the dead.
#1. Batman and Captain America Save a Cat from a Burning Building
Earlier this month, two men dressed as Batman and Captain America were entertaining a bunch of kids at a local American Legion Post (presumably warning them of the dangers of spending anything less than $200 on a screen-accurate superhero costume) when they noticed smoke rising from a nearby home.
"Is that the weird house that keeps trying to elect their own pope?"
"No, they're across the street ..."
Batman -- a former firefighter, Iraq war veteran, and founder of the Heroes 4 Higher superhero organization, which sounds like the name of a Call of Duty clan with a cannabis leaf avatar -- raced across the street with the Captain and immediately busted out a window to see if anyone was trapped inside and in dire need of rescuing. The owners had left town on vacation, but their defenseless cat was lying on the floor, unconscious from smoke inhalation and/or the shock of seeing motherfucking Batman come exploding into the house.
Luckily, the two heroes were able to revive the cat, and responding firefighters were able to power through their thunderous confusion and put out the fire.
"Nice work, Batman ... and Too Cool to Wear a Mask Man."
Check out XJ's $0.99 science-fiction/fantasy novella on Amazon here, with the sequel OUT NOW. Or leave a review and get a free copy! Poke him on Twitter, too.