Welcome back, fair reader. When I last promised to explain what a real life superhero is, I didn’t quite realize the undertaking I had signed up for. As is often the case, any attempt to define a group of individuals (or dare I say subculture) is tricky at best. At worst it can be horribly offensive. That being said, here goes nothing.
A real life superhero is an individual who seeks to better society through acts of public service, social activism, and/or crime-fighting and community watch endeavors, generally while in a self-styled, theatrical persona reminiscent of comic book superheroes. Generally, this persona is achieved in part by a costume or uniform.
Normally, this is pretty straight forward; if you see someone dressed as a superhero while doing a good deed, chances are you’ve just found yourself a RLSH. The problem with my definition is that it does not account for spandex clad do-gooders who don’t self-identify as a RLSH or those whose personas aren’t superhero inspired.
But we’ll talk more about those exceptions next time.