Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Phoenix Jones

Speaking of superheroes, I'm a big fan of Seattle's new vigilante, Phoenix Jones (yes, he's even got a secret identity!) Unfortunately, he's probably going to get killed or injured again, but that comes with of the territory of keeping the city safe. Meanwhile it's pretty cool to watch the news and realize it could have come straight from a comic book or movie.
The "real life superhero" genre has already yielded a couple really good stories, such as Mark Millar's foulmouthed Kick-Ass and the incredibly grounded Defendor.
But of course, the original DIY superhero, the one who made good on the possibility of an ordinary citizen becoming something extraordinary, the one who proved that with an unlimited income source and proper training anyone could kick ass, is Bruce Wayne.
Yes, Batman comes from a tradition of masked, non-superpowered vigilantes, such as the Green Hornet, Zorro and The Shadow (Batman's truest inspiration), but the Dark Knight embodies and distills the best of them all.
Batman's popularity is a complex phenomenon, and the news from Seattle confirms its ingrained appeal. A regular man who decides that he doesn't have to see bad things and do nothing. Good luck to Phoenix Jones. He's gonna need it. Even though he's in good company...

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