The recession can be blamed for any number of things, ranging from home foreclosures to layoffs to business closings. Now add to that list the rise of real-life superheroes.
CNN reports that the dismal economic environment is leading more people to don masks in an effort to help their communities and fight crime.
Ben Goldman of Superheroes Anonymous estimates there are somewhere between 250 and 300 real-life superheroes worldwide, up from around 200 just last summer.
"A lot of them have gone through a sort of existential crisis and have had to discover who they are," Goldman tells CNN.
But Stan Lee, for one, sees the increase in real-life superheroes as a positive sign.
"I think it's a good thing that people are eager enough to want to help their community," he says. "They think to do it is to emulate the superheroes. Now if they had said they had super powers [that would be another thing]."