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Introduction to 10 Real-life Costumed Vigilantes

You might be surprised at just how many masked crime fighters are out there combatting injustice.

©Peter Tangen / Barcroft USA / Getty Images

Batman, Iron Man, Wonder Woman, and Captain Australia are some of our most beloved costumed vigilantes -- wait, don't we mean Captain America, you ask? No snub to Captain America, but Captain Australia is a real-life superhero, who, like the nine other alter egos on our list, protects the city streets from crime and makes a positive difference in the community (or tries to, at least). And yes, he wears a utility belt.

Capes, utility belts, boots and of course a mask for anonymity are all part of the superhero image, and the real-life superheroes on our list do not disappoint. Being a real-life superhero isn't all about the costume, although it's often the first thing that comes to mind. It's about the crime fighting and keeping citizens safe, and it's also about being a role model. But we all know that the costume is important.

While our real-life superheroes don't have superhuman powers, they, like fictional superpower-less hero Batman, don't disappoint in their dedication to others and to fighting crime. Real-life superhero work can be risky; many of the estimated 200 masked crime fighters patrolling our cities have been injured while on duty. Shadow Hare, Cincinnati's costumed vigilante, has dislocated his shoulder while protecting a citizen, and Phoenix Jones Guardian of Seattle (another of the superheroes on our list) suffered a broken nose after being kicked in the face while fighting crime. And because of that risk, vigilantism isn't for everyone. One self-proclaimed superhero -- Knight Warrior -- in Salford, England, for example, gave up his costumed, crime-fighting capers after being punched in the face.

In no particular order, we bring you 10 real-life costumed superheroes. Let's begin with Mr. Xtreme.

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