News of the Weird January 31 2009
Brain worms, superheroes and more
LEAD STORY: They're either earnestly civic-minded or people with issues, but in several dozen cities across the country, men (and a few women) dress in homemade superhero costumes and patrol marginal neighborhoods, aiming to deter crime. Phoenix's Green Scorpion and New York City's Terrifica and Orlando's Master Legend and Indianapolis' Mr. Silent are just a few of the 200 gunless, knifeless vigilantes listed on the World Superhero Registry, most presumably with day jobs but who fancy cleaning up the mean streets at night. According to two recent reports (in Rolling Stone and the Times of London), unanticipated gripes by the "Reals," as they call themselves, are boredom from lack of crime and (especially in the summer) itchy spandex outfits.