Masked vigilantes have been around for hundreds of years, but their popularity has been on the rise since the release of comics and films such as Kick-Ass. Some real-life superheroes cite Kick-Ass as their inspiration, whilst others just want to give something back to the community after a rough time growing up. These superheroes disguise themselves in costume and roam the streets not only helping to fight crime, but also to help the homeless and those in need. Many of these real-life superheroes even have their own websites and social media pages, where you can contact them directly in your time of need.
Some of the superheroes even have their own crime fighting teams and allegiances like a real-life comic, but others prefer to keep their identity a secret and fly solo. There are hundreds of real-life superheroes in America alone, but here is a list of 15 of the craziest real-life superheroes world-wide.
15 CAPTAIN OZONE
Captain Ozone differs from the other caped crusaders in that he isn’t interested in fighting crime, but in protecting the environment. Claiming to be from the year 2039, he was first spotted in 1989 a year and a half before the popular TV show Captain Planet aired. Often considered the "father" of the real-life superhero movement, he has appeared in comic book strips and music videos, as well as starring in environmental radio, television and cinema public service announcements throughout the '90s.
With his only superpower being time-travel, his original mission on earth was to stop the oil barons from destroying the planet in the future, by going back in time to save the world, Terminator style. His only weapon is his famous toiletrang, and his crime fighting efforts focus on promoting clean energy, saving endangered species and educating children and the general public about clean energy.
14 THE BLACK RAT
The Black Rat is a real-life superhero based in Sydney, Australia. Dressed all in black to blend in well in the shadows, his suit is said to be resistant to knife attacks. As well as the black suit, the Rat comes equipped with a "Rat-Pack" that contains items such as a fire extinguisher, blanket and first aid kit to help those in need.
He is quite happy to be interviewed on TV and have the hosts try to destroy his impenetrable suit, but prefers to not get into too much trouble. Said to be trained in martial arts, the Black Rat tries not to use his skills when out on patrol; instead, he would rather call the police, citing his mobile phone as his most important weapon in crime fighting.
13 REDBUD WOMAN
The Redbud Woman is one of the few known masked superheroes based in Asia. Also known as the Beijing Bauhinia, she has been spotted helping out those that need it the most in Beijing. Donning a skin tight black outfit, bright blue mask and flowing black cape, even on the cold winter nights, her selfless acts often coincide with the Christmas period. Giving out coats and food to the homeless, she gives a bit of winter cheer to those that need it most. She communicates with the general public through her own microblog, which gathered 7000 followers before she even graced the streets, with her popularity peeking at roughly 20,000. Having gained a lot of criticism as to her reasons why she was helping -- a strange thing to ask of a good samaritan -- she has not been seen to be active for a few years.
12 THE STATESMAN
The Statesmen is one of a handful of real-life superheroes found in the UK. Based in Birmingham, he is a Banker by day and crime-fighter by night. Wearing a black mask and Union Jack, he is a cross between the Comedian and Captain Britain. The Statesman came to fame not long after number one on our list, Pheonix Jones, dubbed himself the "real-life Kick-Ass."
Claiming to have foiled robberies and drug deals, he comes prepared with own crime fighting kit consisting of a notebook, flashlight and first aid kit, but can also hold his own in a fight. Having boxed since the age of 11, he is prepared if things turn violent, but says quite often just shining a torch in a criminal’s face succeeds in scaring them away.
Entomo was the first known Italian superhero. Also known as the Insect Man, he fights both crime and vandalism, and is an environmental advocate similar to Ozone Man. His first time spotted out on patrol in costume was in March 2007, but he already had a background as an unknown masked activist since May 2003. Still active today, he even formed his own Italian crime fighting team, Theta Force. He has appeared on multiple TV shows and interviews, and has even had a team film him out on one of his night-time patrols. Dressed in black and green, and a logo the means, quite cryptically, "broken time," he has no known weapons apart from his fists. Having trained in the Israeli martial art Krav Maga, he is still actively fighting crime today.
10 URBAN AVENGER
The Urban Avenger is one of the many real-life superheroes based in America. Fighting lawbreakers in San Diego, he has been a member of the crime fighting team, the Xtreme Justice League, since 2010. He cites Kick-Ass as his inspiration to become a superhero after being a victim of crime himself. Often spotted out with his spring-loaded power-bocks that extend his small frame to a staggering 6 foot 8, his costume is ever evolving. He is most well-known for his gas mask with green lenses and armoured red top, but wants to make his costume more "cyborg like." He claims his powers include the ability to jump four feet and run up to 20 miles per hour, all while patrolling the streets with his trusty nunchaku.
Seven is another Italian masked vigilante, one who didn’t appear on the scene until 2014. Dressed in an outfit with a black and white mask similar to that of Spawn, he says his name is inspired by the seven deadly sins, and of course, fighting them. Patrolling the streets of Moldova, he searches for drug dealers and sex abusers to try and stop them in their tracks. While he tries to warn authorities of any trouble, he is trained in multiple martial arts including kickboxing and Krav Maga, so he can easily handle himself in a brawl. Unlike some of the other superheroes, he carries multiple weapons such as shurikens and his polycarbonate fighting sticks. He even has his own Judge Dredd like catch-phrase "I am Seven, and I am the law."
8 KNIGHT WARRIOR
Knight Warrior is another UK-based crime fighter, and the youngest on the list. Based in Salford, Greater Manchester, he started fighting crime back in 2011 when he was only 19. Clad in black and blue lycra, he is a gardener by day and vigilante by night. With no special skills known except, as he has said, "a supernatural desire to make the world a better place," he says his costume alone is often enough to deter criminals. He once tried to run for major of Salford, but his bid to become major failed due to not being able to raise enough money to run. His partner in crime is his now wife, known as Knight Maiden, who teams up with him in her pink and white suit. Knight Warrior and Knight Maiden now have their crime fighting team, after their first child together arrived in 2013.
7 MR XTREME
Mr Xtreme is another San Diego-based superhero, and one of the more famous ones. A security guard by day, he is a costumed crime fighter by night. Self-taught in many martial arts as well as being trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he can be seen defending the streets in bright yellow and black armored outfit that he says was inspired by the Power Rangers. He carries around a taser, handcuffs and pepper spray in case things get out of hand. He grew up in a household of abuse and has been a victim of violent crimes, which was his inspiration to be the founder of the real-life superhero team Xtreme Justice League and for him to become Mr Xtreme. Despite creating the Xtreme Justice League, his identity has managed to stay a secret.
Superbarrio is a real-life Mexican superhero who is inspired by the Luchador Wrestler El Santo. His costume is a famous red and yellow wrestler's mask, and a red suit with "SB" in big yellow letters in a pentagonal shield. One of the first known superheroes, he is also non-violent, preferring to use his image to organize civil protests, petitions and rallies. The character was first created in 1987 by Asamblea de Barrios, an organization fighting for affordable housing, after the 1985 Mexico City earthquake left thousands of people homeless. Superbarrio has even appeared in the 2000AD comic Crisis, by Pat Mills and Carlos Ezquerra. Superbarrio has not been seen since 2007, and his real identity has never been discovered, but the character has appeared in many books, documentaries and films.
5 MASTER LEGEND
Master Legend is another well-known real-life superhero based in the US. Hailing from Orlando, Florida, and known for his big personality as well as masked crusades, he co-founded the crime-fighting team known as Team Justice, as well as another team called the Justice Crusaders. As well as fighting crime, he is known to be seen on the streets giving out water to the homeless on hot days, running toy drives for local hospitals, and helping out the elderly. Donning the superhero mask for the first time at 16, he came to fame in an article published by The Rolling Stone that focused on the real-life superhero culture in America that was rising in popularity at the time. With no known fighting skills, he is a man with strong morals that both fights crime and does charity work
4 CAPTAIN AUSTRALIA
Captain Australia is a celebrity crime fighter from Brisbane, Australia. His outfit is similar to that of Captain America, but instead is in the Australian green and yellow colors with an @ sign in the middle of his chest. He first started his vigilante escapades back in 2009, and has his own YouTube channel, as well as a website. A stay-at-home dad by day, he strolled the streets during the dark Australian nights. With only a utility belt, mobile phone and flashlight to defend himself, he has four main goals as stated on his website, which includes, but is not limited to, "patrolling and thus intimidating the criminal element," solving crimes, "demonstrating a level of moral excellence that I hope will serve as an example to the people I meet," and of course, "amusing or shocking people, having ordinary citizens lighten their hearts by amusement or surprise."
3 DARK GUARDIAN
Dark Guardian is a real-life superhero like no other, because he even has his own superhero academy. Another American on the list, Dark Guardian is also known as Chris Pollak and he does not hide behind a mask or secret identity. Running his own martial arts school, he teaches children self-defense as well as heroic ideas and values. He explains to kids how to deal with bullies and how to help out the local community. Inspired at a young age after the death of his best friend’s mother, he patrols the streets of New York with a team of superheroes known as the New York Initiative, including fellow heroes Spider and Zero. Said to be trained in a range of martial arts including boxing, kickboxing, Filipino stick and knife fighting, grappling, Shotokan karate and Kenpo, Dark Guardian wants everyone to find the hero inside themselves.
2 SHADOW HARE
From Cincinnati Ohio, Shadow Hare wears a black suit with a white hare’s face on the front. Trained in Shōrin-ryū karate and mixed martial arts, he carries around handcuffs, mace and a taser for protection. Using the catchphrase "I see the shadows of shadows," he is often seen at public events trying to protect people from violence. He patrols the streets with the Allegiance of Heroes, and has been known to travel to other cities to help out other heroes. As well as trying to stop criminals in their path, he has also been seen to give out meals to the homeless. Known to have suffered multiple injuries while out protecting the world, including a dislocated shoulder while stopping a robbery, this dedicated hero does not let mere pain deter him, and can often be seen carrying out citizens arrests to help the local police.
1 PHOENIX JONES
Phoenix Jones is perhaps the most famous real-life superhero in the world, due to his also being a mixed martial arts fighter of some renown within the World Series of Fighting. Starting out with just a ski-mask for protection, his costume has since evolved into a full black and gold super suit. Said to have made over 130 arrests over his time as a hero, he was inspired to don the mask after his car was broken into and his son injured, with multiple witnesses doing nothing to help. Leader of the Rain City Superhero Movement, he is married to a fellow real-life superhero known as Purple Reign. Somewhat of a controversial hero, he has been known to take his crime-fighting too far, and has himself been arrested for assaulting someone with the pepper spray he carries with his kit.
For more about real life superheroes, and to see how you can contribute to their cause, check out RealLifeSuperheroes.com
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