It’s a bird, it’s a plane…no, it’s your crazy neighbor dressed up like the lovechild of He-Man and Wonder Woman.

As thrilled as I am to find out more people are taking the time to help out those in need, no way am I about to throw on tights, a cape, and some leather boots and try to channel my inner super hero.

But that’s what some are doing according to a new report from CNN.

It seems some who find themselves disillusioned from financial troubles and a broken economy are looking for a new sense of purpose in their lives. This has led regular people to take on superhero-like personas to perform community service, help the homeless and even fight crime.

In other words: Don’t be surprised to volunteer at a homeless shelter and spot low budget Batman handing out turkey sandwiches. Or maybe Xena Warrior Princess will storm though your neighborhood for the annual clothing drive.

Ben Goldman – described as a superhero historian – told CNN that the superhero movement is growing. He estimates that the number of real life superheroes is between 250 and 300.


On the thought process behind these do-gooders in costumes, Goldman says: “A lot of them have gone through a sort of existential crisis and have had to discover who they are. People are starting to put value in what they can do rather than what they have. They realize that money is fleeting, it's in fact imaginary.”

Goldman has called his superhero moniker “Cameraman.”

With all due respect to the lovely people pouring out their hearts to the community, it all sounds nuttier than cashews to me.


Still, these would be superheroes are helping people and that’s commendable – even if they do remind me of the people who dress up as Spiderman and Neo at the movies.

As previously noted some are helping to stop crime when they can. One person mentioned in the article thwarted an attempted rape/mugging. Others like him are beginning to patrol the streets at night also hoping to stop criminals in their tracks.


Is that taking the concept of neighborhood watch to the extreme? Shouldn’t they join the police force instead? Like Batman, they have bullet proof vests, too, you know.

I’m really trying to see the bigger picture here, but honestly, after reading the article several times I’m still left with the same conclusion: Obama, get that health plan together already. People are in need of affordable health care – namely cheaper anti-depressant medication.


Just for kicks, though, if I had to choose a superhero name, it would be Bill Beat Downer. Ready to smack a statement with excessive funds at a moment’s notice. Take that, take that, creditors.

What would be yours?

Email me at

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.