WRIGHT WAY: Superheroes: How super?
by WILLIAM WRIGHT
Aug 27, 2011 | 5127 views | 0 0 comments | 95 95 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As surreal as it may sound, real people are dressing up in comic-book style costumes and roaming the streets to fight crime in cities across America. Laugh — but this is real.

A documentary was made of these masked heroes trying to make a difference across America.

One superhero team known as the “Rain City Superhero Movement” is made up of volunteer marital arts experts whose mission is to help keep Seattle safe.

Phoenix Jones, a masked man dressed in a skintight black-and-gold costume and armed with a taser, is the most vocal and visible of this new hero-at-large movement. He is joined by fellow crime fighters Red Dragon, Buster Doe, Green Reaper, Catastrophe, Thorn, Thunder 88, Gemini, No Name and Penelope.

“I symbolize that the average person doesn’t have to walk around and see bad things and do nothing,” Jones told reporters. “It’s a pretty simple message. Citizens need to be more accountable. Calling 911 is a great start, but it’s not the end all to end all. Criminals feel free to just run wild in my city and I’m not going to stand for it.”

In San Antonio a masked crime fighter named “Enigma” patrols the city looking for opportunities to do good. In Columbia, Tenn., a college student in a green-and-black superhero costume known as “Viper” was asked to retire by the local authorities. While making no such promise, Viper reportedly said, “I am just a guy trying to do what’s right in tights.”

There are also the eight civic-minded members of “The Capital City Super Squad” in Washington, D.C., “The Crimson Fist” in Atlanta and “Knight Vigil” in Tampa, Fla. Some even have their own websites such as “Real Life Superheroes.org.”

I must admit, when I was a kid I wanted to be Spider-Man and even wore his costume under my clothes a time or two in my youth. I did say “in my youth,” didn’t I? Authorities in some states say there is nothing illegal about dressing up as a superhero, but it is dangerous and they do not encourage it. Do you?

I guess the real problem I have with these real live “superheroes” is that they are not super at all. They are really ordinary people with extraordinary ideals about how to fight crime or contribute to society.

It sounds great that conscientious citizens in superhero attire have descended upon their communities, intent on making a difference. Most of these costumed characters also perform civic activities, including charity work, public safety patrols, distributing missing persons fliers, helping the homeless and performing community cleanups. That’s fine. That’s super!

But when it comes to real crime fighting — is donning a costume the best way to fight gun-toting criminals or vicious street gangs? Without any real superpowers these crusaders against crime could end up as casualties themselves.

I know, I know. Batman, Robin, the Green Hornet and Kato are cases of ordinary men fighting crime. Still, that’s only in comic books. That’s not real life. Besides, Bruce Wayne (Batman) had his billions to invest in a utility belt of endless innovative gadgets and so did newspaper mogul Britt Reid (the Green Hornet) who also had Kato.

Comic book fans may recall that both Robin and other superheroes tasted death. Even Superman was killed by Doomsday and death among the Fantastic Four was a new reality check for their fans.

In real life, however, creative writers cannot manipulate the action, rescue the heroes or bring anyone back to life with a new story line. Death is all she wrote.

Believe me, I understand the desire to fight crime. As a teenager I took karate lessons after watching two men prepare to rob a drunken man in front of several bystanders. I asked a guy to help me stop them but he did not want to get involved. I left the area frustrated with myself.

I believe all good people want to make this a better place to live. The question is, how do you do it? How did the greatest man who ever lived do it?

Jesus Christ could have spent his entire life fighting crime, feeding the hungry and caring for the poor. Instead, he preached the good news of God’s Kingdom and died for our sins. He also foretold at Matthew 24:14 that this kingdom would be preached worldwide before the end came.

God does not ask His people to save the world. He sent His only-begotten Son to do that. The end of all crime, violence, poverty and injustice is coming. But it will not come from human efforts. The problem is too overwhelming. Christians are commanded to tell others about God’s Kingdom and to be no part of the world, says John 17:16.

Only Someone with powers beyond those of comic book superheroes — can truly save us. This One living and true God said at Isaiah 40:25-26, “To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One. Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.” — New Living Translation.

*For a copy of The Little White Book of Light featuring more than 100 Wright Way columns, visit barnesandnoble.com, booksamillion.com and amazon.com.