Not so super, after all

Published 10:00 pm Friday, January 9, 2009

I do believe our childhood fairy tales, lore and legends have finally caught up with some of us.

Apparently there is a faction of men and women rising out of the shadows around the world in places like California and the UK dressed as superheroes of their own conception, with the very real intention of fighting crime.

Recently, “Razorhawk,” a.k.a. Jack Brinatte of Minneapolis, appeared on America’s Newsroom on Fox News talking about his efforts to fight crime in his admittedly low-crime neighborhood.

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While his intensions are admirable, it seems rather off-putting for a grown man to sport a yellow, blue and black costume and ask others to call him “Razorhawk” in his attempt to make a difference.

The kid in me can find a certain romance in the notion of growing up to be a real-life superhero and using my powers to fight crime. I’ve read my share of comic books and seen my share of Batman, X-Men, and Spiderman flicks.

Who hasn’t wanted razor-sharp claws that spring from your wrists, body-supporting webs that propel you across the city, or even your very own bat-cave and batmobile? It’s easy to get caught up in the thought of having that kind of power in a harsh, unforgiving world that can make the everyday Joe seem so helpless.

Personally, I always fancied myself a James Bond type of hero, who could save the world and get the girl, all while dressed in a stylish tuxedo.

After weighing fantasy versus reality, I am conflicted over whether this course of action by Brinatte, a simple uniform-maker from Minnesota, is commendable or certifiable. The fact that he wants to be a superhero and help others certainly puts his heart in the right place.

But I think that people like “Razorhawk” and like-minded crime-fighting wannabes may get overly confident behind the strength of their alter-egos and find their hearts, minds and bodies in the wrong place at the wrong time. This rapidly rising registry of “superheroes” has police departments very concerned.

What it boils down to for me is that it’s a good idea to pick and choose when to be a hero. Being a superhero can be as easy as being a good citizen. Help where you can, but don’t make the job of the police any harder by getting in the way of justice.

You don’t need a sleek, shiny costume to do your part. Remember, real crime is nothing like it is in the comics. It is no costume party to dress up for. Bullets hurt and kill. Knives pierce flesh and garish costumes alike. And the police don’t need any extra “superhero” bodies to clean up on any given crime scene.

So be safe and be smart. Don’t be super.