Meet The Real Life Superheroes Trying To End Crime In Seattle
Batman is one of the most revered vigilante superheroes due to his high-tech get-up, high sense of morality and high levels of badassery. But the film Kick-Ass tried to present a more realistic form of the neighbourhood hero - like the caped crusader, he had no powers, but neither did he have a filthy-rich bank account or a stash of cool weapons.
Most people would think that type of heroism exists only on movie screens and the pages of comic books, but they'd be wrong.
The latest episode of Unplanned America sees our hosts meeting with the Rain City Superhero Movement as they try to clean up Seattle
They're not exactly helping old ladies cross the street or getting cats out of trees. This group of 10 to 15 people, led by Phoenix Jones, is dedicated to helping tackle real crime in the Washington state capital. The vigilantes respond to gang fights and even very literal shots being fired.
His identity obscured by a black and white mask, a member known as Midnight Jack describes his reasons for joining the Rain City Superheroes: "I spent a lot of my life being not a good person - you know, I was selling drugs, beating people up for money. I got to find a way, where I can go out and I can make up for all these things."
Another member, El Caballero, says: "We saw an increase of petty crime, prostitution, drugs and such, which really worried me. And after even stepping out of my own place, I just couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't stand to see this happen. So, reading comic books as a young man, I decided to put on this persona."
During its peak, Phoenix would patrol the streets of Seattle five nights a week to ensure people of all ages and backgrounds are safe. He, along with his team, would wear masks, outfits, bullet- and slash-proof vests, arm guards and protective gloves.
But they're weren't alone in their mission, with the Mirror claiming there are around 200 real-life vigilante superheroes around America. But the Rain City Superhero Movement don't like the term 'vigilante', saying that lawyers have told them how to intervene in a crime legally.
Ok, so their outfits may seem like a step beyond the usual garb of your average IRL law enforcement enthusiast. Still, it's nice to see people taking a really keen interest in keeping their community safe.
The Movement seems to have gone quiet since this interview, but we need not fear. As superhero fans will know, even Superman came back from the dead.
You can watch more episodes of Unplanned America on Netflix.