'The Emergency Heroes Superheroes Are heroes or Heroine's that are featured in games like Emergency Heroes and many more, this will also have an amount of work placed for real life Superheroes.'
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Another Non-Realistic Superheroes featured in the game: Captain Walters.

Some work in costume with existing community service and volunteer organizations to raise their visibility while others patrol the streets in a neighborhood watch looking for people to help with the costume functioning as an informal uniform. Some work on crime prevention and awareness while others work to help the powerless like the homeless. This growing movement of people have many differences but their one shared trait is their wish to bring the superheroic ideals of fiction to life.


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Due to the nature of how superheroes have been portrayed in media and the changing perceptions of how the concept of superheroes are internalized, there is a great deal of tension between the various forms a real life superhero can take on. As the current RLSH community draws on several traditions already present in popular culture and modern society, the real life superhero is actually a culmination of a variety of influences.

Comic BooksEditEdit

Real Life Super Heroes are obviously influenced by comic books but since RLSH don't have superpowers like their comic book counterparts, many of them are influenced by DC Comics' Batman (who doesn't have powers) and other such vigilante characters.

Superhero MoviesEditEdit

The RLSH community started to gain momentum after the release of the movie Kick-Ass, which focuses on a regular teenager who tries to become a superhero and eventually does. This has been the subject of much criticism of the RLSH community, which calls them "Kick-Ass wannabes."

In addition, due to the worldwide popularity of the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman film trilogy, many RLSH's costumes have been influenced by the iconic costumes portrayed onscreen such as Beast or Nomad who has said that his costume was influenced by the dark costume of the villain Bane in the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises.

Internet CultureEditEdit

The RLSH community arose due to the advent of the internet, making it easy for those with previously unknown hobbies or lifestyles to connect and exchange knowledge. Thus, an activity and lifestyle where only a few embarked upon in solitude became something that was a shared experience. However, with the rise of social media sites and a corresponding interest by the news media, there has been criticism of some RLSH for giving the appearance of "spending more time advertising themselves instead of trying to make a difference." Conversely, there are RLSH out there who do not have a web presence and the only information on them are through third party channels such as through news reports or secondhand knowledge.

The Guardian AngelsEditEdit

The Guardian Angels was started as a squad of volunteer citizen watch in 1979 by Curtis Sliwa as a response to widespread crime on New York City subways, which were lawless at the time. The Guardian Angels could be considered a vigilante-type of neighborhood watch that quickly gained mainstream acceptance. In recent years, they have now evolved into a non-profit volunteer organization and can be identified by their uniform consisting of a red beret and red jacket, a white t-shirt with the Guardian Angel logo, or a combination of the two.[citation needed]

Modern RLSH MovementEditEdit

The popularized concept of the modern Real Life Superhero can likely be traced back to the 2008 Rolling Stone magazine feature article written by Joshua Bearman that focused on Master Legend but also mentioned in passing other members of the movement. Due to the prominence of Rolling Stone magazine, which included several full page photographs of Master Legend, this article became one most cited in later writings on the RLSH movement or by RLSH themselves in terms of bringing awareness to the phenomena in general.

Real Life SupervillainsEditEdit

Year of the Real Life SuperheroEditEdit


As interest has grown in the RLSH movement, there have been a number of media created about them.

Alternate Labels to RLSHEditEdit

In recent years, due to the population and growing profile of the RLSH movement, a subset of RLSH in the established community have felt the label of RLSH has been diluted and does not accurately describe what they do. Thus, some RLSH have been adopting alternate labels for themselves, such as Extreme Altruists (X-Alt), Costumed Vigilantes, or Citizen Heroes, to distinguish themselves from other RLSH. But due to the popularity of the term "real life superhero" amongst the mainstream media, many still use the label for themselves in order to more easily describe what they do to members of the general public.

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