Legends in their Own Minds

superheroVillains beware! The homegrown superhero movement is scoring big ink in the latest Rolling Stone in an article entitled, The Legend of Master Legend.  The piece is about the curious assembly of costume donning folks calling themselves ‘real life superheroes’, and claiming legitimacy via the World Superhero Registry, a wide-reaching attempt to put an umbrella over all of these would-be crime fighters in masks and spandex. 

While silly funny, it’s difficult to tell to what extent some of these people take their persona projections seriously or are just hamming it up for grins.  Here’s a snippet from the Rolling Stone article:

Like other real life super-heroes, Master Legend is not an orphan from a distant dying sun or the mutated product of a gamma-ray experiment gone awry. He is not an eccentric billionaire moonlighting as a crime fighter. He is, as he puts it, “just a man hellbent on battling evil.” Although Master Legend was one of the first to call himself a Real Life Superhero, in recent years a growing network of similarly homespun caped crusaders has emerged across the country. Some were inspired by 9/11. If malevolent individuals can threaten the world, the argument goes, why can’t other individuals step up to save it? “What is Osama bin Laden if not a supervillain, off in his cave, scheming to destroy us?”

There’s an element of cosplay in this (minus the anime fantasy) , but maybe also a sort of genuine hero idealism…and probably some good old fashion delusion. Reminds me of the Ben Stiller movie, Mystery Men.  Behold, The Waffler…

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