Real Life Superheroes: Expanded Web Content

Ward Rubrecht's cover story on real life superheroes -- "Reals," for short -- is a look into the lives of costumed do-gooders here in Minnesota, across the country and across the pond. You know we have a photo slideshow so you can see some of the people he profiles, but we couldn't let such a fun story pass without bringing the heroes bursting through your Internet machine via multiple media.

To go along with the theme, I've indexed our expanded web content with actual sound effects that appeared in the Batman TV series.

POW!: Check out our Google Map which shows you where dozens of Reals in the U.S. and Europe operate. The map points have pictures of just about all the real life superheroes listed, along with links to their respective websites. The slideshow has photos by Nick Vlcek of Rochester's hero, Geist, along with submitted photos of several other Reals. The map is more comprehensive.

ZZZZZZWAP!: Make your own superhero costume with the Hero Machine, a web application that gives you a frightening number of options.

ZOWIE!: If you find the perfect design, you can buy your own custom outfit from a local artisan at Michael Brinatte, also known as Jack T. Ripper, is the foremost practitioner of this craft. Read endorsements of his work from the Reals that rely on him.

FLRBBBBB!: Check out the heroes from the links in the map, or go to the World Superhero Registry. If you visit no other hero's MySpace, my recommendation is the home of Phoenix's Citizen Prime, who has embedded theme music that may get stuck in your head.

(Wait, "Flrbbbbb"? I gotta find episode 68 of the Adam West Batman series to see what that sound corresponded to.)

Hungry for more? After the jump, we have videos from six different reals whose territories stretch from Florida to Phoenix, from NYC to Indianapolis.


MASTER LEGEND (Florida) "Let's go ahead and do a little paintball action ... BY THE GODS, I hope it didn't get on the camera!"

DARK GUARDIAN (New York City) Dark Guardian (known as "Chris Guardian" at this point), is interviewed by an NYC TV station about his volunteer work protecting the streets. A surprisingly touching moment occurs about 1:45, when Guardian inspires a fellow New Yorker.

MR. SILENT (Indianapolis, Indiana) "Are you a mime? Do you want to get paid for this?" asks the TV talking head. Mr. Silent gives her an origin story she doesn't expect.

CITIZEN PRIME (Phoenix) The "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?" audition film clip features more than 6 minutes of Prime action.

SQUEEGEEMAN (New York City) Composer of a regular video blog, Squeegeeman volunteers at an AIDS walk in this episode.

SUPERHERO (Florida) Superhero addresses the members of Superheroes anonymous. Judging from the sound, he needs new brakes on the 'mobile.

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