You know what a real life superhero (RLSH) is, but why do they do it? What’s the point of a mask? According to Phoenix Jones there are several reasons.
1.) Protects Identity – This may seem ridiculous, but Phoenix claims it can actually be a real problem. He says that when he started patrolling sans suit, people started to recognize him as “that guy who breaks up fights.” Now with the anonymity granted to him by his mask, he can live a normal life when not on patrol.
2.) Physical Protection – This is another practical purpose as many RLSHs include protective gear as part of their suits. Phoenix’s uniform incorporates bulletproof material, as well as stab plates.
3.) Recognizability – Civilians, law enforcement, and criminals know his intent. This keeps him from being confused with the people he’s after. Furthermore, he claims that when confronting a potential lawbreaker, his reputation of escalating situations gives police probable cause to get involved. It should also be noted that this recognizability can also help to inspire others.
4.) Turns an Individual into a Symbol – This is really the focus of my Dragon*Con presentation. RLSHs use their persona to become more than they could ever be alone. Rather than just being Steve from down the street, he can be Phoenix Jones or Super Barrio. People die, but a symbol can live on forever.
In the words of Super Barrio: