Arrest of Phoenix Jones marks growing pains for superhero movement

Oct 17, 2011

Superheroes are no longer just in comic books or on movie screens. The patrolling of city streets by "real life super-heroes" has been getting more popular.

That's thanks largely to mainstream attention in movies and the recent HBO documentary "Superheroes."

But recently a self-proclaimed superhero in a black mask and matching muscle-suit — Benjamin Fodor, better known as Phoenix Jones — was briefly jailed in Seattle for investigation of assault.

That shook the small community of masked crime-fighters across the U.S.

Many fret that even well-intentioned vigilantes risk hurting themselves, the public and the movement if they're too aggressive.

However, the debate is raging in the online world where these 'superheroes' converse. One writer on the subject, stated:

"Some People in Gotham think Batman’s methods are too harsh, the same goes with Seattle and Phoenix. Neither one is wrong they just stand up for what they think they are doing is right. That is all we can ask, Phoenix or ourselves are not perfect and are still getting used to the very idea of being a superhero."

Edward Stinson is a writer from Boca Raton, Fla., who advises real-life superheroes on a Website. He tells them to build trust, work to earn the title, and take some kind of oath.

For more on the debate you can find links and stories on Real Life Superheroes.