Sunday, July 14, 2013

Don't Call Them Superheroes: An Interview With Zero and Dark Guardian of the New York Initiative -Disinformation

Originally published July 14, 2013 via

When I was seven, I told my teacher that when I grew up, I wanted to be a comedian like Johnny Carson. What I didn’t tell her was that I also planned on putting on a mask and fighting crime. Of course, like everyone else, my childhood dreams were shoved through the meat grinder of reality, and I hung up my cape along with my fantasy.

I’d forgotten all about it when, twenty years on, I saw a documentary on HBO entitled Superheroes. It followed grown-ass adults, calling themselves “Real-Life Superheroes” (or RLSH), who dress up in spandex and go out “on patrol.” They even have forums hidden in the backwoods of the internet, where they can trade training tips, war stories, and sweet pics of their sweet costumes.

But one of the groups featured in Superheroes wasn’t like the others. They called themselves the New York Initiative. They were trained in martial arts and parkour, and lived in no-frills apartments filled with exercise equipment. They didn’t wear bright superhero costumes or pose for photos with tourists. They seemed like the real thing, and I was immediately assaulted with concerns about fascism and due process. The idea of actual superheroes in real life, imposing their ideas of “justice” upon the masses was terrifying (see: Watchmen).

Read the rest here...


Post a Comment