July 7, 2006 | Post Archive
Supposedly art imitates life, but all evidence suggests a more cyclical relationship. Live-action role playing (LARPing), where fantasy enthusiasts live out their favorite stories and characters -- medieval, vampire, "Lord of the Rings," or something else -- is one thing. With LARPing the fantasy is restricted to a controlled environment governed by rules. In short, live-action role playing is a game. Even superhero-based LARP groups subject themselves to specific rules and limitations, drawing a clear line between play and everyday living. But what happens when real-life superheroes emerge in our cities, fighting crime in full costumes with bona fide (in most cases) super hero names?
According to INtake Weekly, super heroes are emerging in cities all over the world, and a life of reading comics aside, these fledgling super personalities got their inspiration from one place: Indianapolis, Indiana. Mr. Silent, named for his abilities to traverse the crime-ridden streets of Indianapolis with absolute stealth, and Doktor DiscorD (3D for short), have been patrolling the city's streets for over a year -- their faces covered in masks and adorned in full costumes. Mr. Silent sports a black derby, a pin-striped suit sans the jacket, and a silver tie. What tops it off is a menacing silver cane he carries in the name of Lady Justice. Doktor DiscorD also carries a cane and wears a pair of large goggles with one red and one blue lens to compliment his mostly-black ensemble.
Often mistaken for strange-looking mimes, the do-gooder, business-card-carrying duo doesn't just fight crime. In the mind of Mr. Silent, anyway, being a super hero isn't just about throwing punches and being unbelievable cool-looking. He told INTake Weekly, "You don't have to have superpowers to be a superhero. We see heroes every day. We're just the ones with costumes on." And though they aren't wealthy enough to be major philanthropists (their costumes originated with items already in their closets), Mr. Silent and Doktor DiscorD's duties extend to humanitarian causes like helping the homeless.
Apparently, social networking is in a super hero's best interest. A simple search in Google reveals both Mr. Silent and Doktor DiscorD have MySpace profiles where they convene via the Internet with the adoring public and their superhero friends. Other heroes in their group, humorously named "The Justice Society of Justice," which offers "twice the justice as the leading competitor," include Liquid Courage, The Human Robot, the Apostolic Avenger, Cap'n Whiskey and the Hamburger Helper, among others. Sounds like a motley crew to me. Somebody better send out the bat signal. (link)