In HBO’s Superheroes documentary, Stan Lee said this about Real-Life Superheroes (RLSH):
“I’m worried about the person who doesn’t have an actual super power, who puts on a costume and then runs around challenging criminals or a person who’s armed. I figure that person could get hurt.”
As it turns out, Stan Lee co-hosted History Channel’s Superhumans with contortionist Daniel B. Smith. The show, which debuted August 10, 2010, covers a range of astounding, uh, “powers” from around the world. (Yes, it’s X-men in the real world.) This made me spend endless,
unproductive hours pondering how the featured real-life superhuman would fare as RLSH?
There are some extraordinary abilities that would come in handy for a street crime-fighter, such as the ability to withstand a blow to the head from a sledgehammer (not taking into account long-term brain damage) or enough accuracy and speed with a katana to cut a projectile bullet. There are some effective crime-fighting talents that seem almost fictional, such as a man who exhibits telekinesis or another who can stun opponents without physical contact. Oh, and a man from England believes his dreams predict the future. (Note: the hiring of a scientist or medical professional is not in the production budget.)
Then, of course, there is the human beat box, a man who can perfectly mimic complex rhythms. Here’s where the crime-fighting gets a bit tricky. I suppose it can be used as a distraction tactic—get the criminal groovin’ to beats so that the hostage situation turns into a dance party? An Algerian man has incredible gastronomy that allows him to eat things from plastic to nails. Hmm, I guess he can disarm the assailant by digesting his weapon? Really, the possibilities are endless.
Silliness aside, RLSHs don’t really need a cliché comic-hero super power to accomplish their goal. The RLSH Project includes Water for Africa, an organization that aims to bring accessible and clean sources of water to West African countries. Donating ten dollars may not require a spandex bodysuit (though I’m all for dressing up) but it makes a difference. Check out other RLSH profiles for the areas they patrol, the charities they support, and Halloween costume ideas.
In case you were busy kicking a child molester’s ass and missed HBO’s Superheroes, read about it and watch clips here.