City residents of Gotham, New York, and Metropolis sleep well knowing their hero is perched atop a roof in the shadows or walking among them in black frame glasses waiting to save the day. Alive within the thin colorful pages of comic books that span over half a century, superheroes like Batman, Spider-Man, and Superman have sacrificed the privilege of having a normal family life in order to protect those that need it. They’ve saved us from super villains, city-wide destruction, and intergalactic threats all while maintaining double lives as socialites and journalists, but when you’ve turned the last page of this week’s comic they’ve once again vanished…or have they?
Inspired by comics and modern day events, real life superheroes have begun to emerge within cities all over the globe. Everyday average citizens of the world are stepping up and donning self-made costumes to help shoulder the responsibility of keeping their neighborhoods and metropolitan areas safe. Some of these heroes choose recognition and popularity as their reward for their efforts and big heart, while others such as “Black Cat” choose to keep their actions and identity secret because he feels heroism isn’t something to be rewarded, it’s simply something you should do. This week I spoke with real life superhero “Black Cat” to ask him about this interesting lifestyle choice and the dangers he faces while trying to keep criminals off the streets and behind bars where they belong.
CC: What is the meaning behind your superhero name?
BC: Well… I’ve always loved jaguars, and I used to draw them a lot as a kid. So I ended up just using that as my symbol.
CC: Was there a certain event that made you decide on this lifestyle?
BC: Yes there was. I was at school some time ago, and heard yelling. I investigated, and found a guy beating up his girlfriend. Me being the guy that I am, intervened, and back then I had no idea how to fight, so I got my ass kicked. But the important thing is she got away, and was safe. It was about a week after I decide on this occupation. Since then I’ve trained up to standard of course.
CC: Were you inspired by superheroes in comics, movies, or television?
BC: Well, not really. I used to like batman as a kid, but I wouldn’t really say they were my inspiration.
CC: What is your daily routine as a superhero? For example, do you patrol or listen to police scanners?
BC: I wake up every day at 0400hrs (4:00am) and do three hours of intense physical training. Then I go to school. I have equiptment at home that allows me to listen in on police radios, but I also put together a little device that is integrated into my helmet to listen whilst on patrol.
CC: Is this a secret that you share with your friends and family, or is your superhero identity something you keep just to yourself.
BC: Just to myself, I found an old, empty pool hidden below my deck; the deck had been built over it. So I use that to hold my equipment in special cases that I made. My mother has no idea, as she would not approve. And I haven’t told anyone else just yet
CC: What do you wear as a superhero and what was the inspiration behind the color or design choice?
BC: I built my armour out of old metal, motocross armour and carbon fibre, it’s a two piece tactical, ultralight, high mobility set, with a special bladder for water to drink, it has armour covering areas that will be most commonly attacked. My helmet started out as a modified airsoft helmet, but I’ve added some technology to it, such as the police radio attachment. Among other things. I also wear military grade, very light weight tactical waterproof boots.
My armour is mostly matte black, but my visor is dark orange. And my symbol is on the shoulders. I also wear what I call “Takedown gloves” They are essentially Taser gloves, with contact points along the arm, and the knuckles. These use a series of capacitors to charge up at the push of a button on my arm, and release A LOT of electricity on contact. Also, I modified my helmet with an Mp3 player, to listen to music while I’m out, the controls are on my arm too.
CC: What do you think of movies like “Kickass” that depict average people becoming real life superheroes?
BC: Well, it was a fun movie, but anyone who’d try and act like that in real life would probably not last long. Unless they are well trained, like “Hit girl” and “Big Daddy”.
CC: Is there any advice you’d like to give to others that are contemplating becoming a real life superhero?
BC: Get very very fit. And think tactically. Do not be like phoenix jones (and others) and run around chasing criminals, and carrying spray able condiments. If you want to stop crime, actually stop it. Don’t just call the police (But make sure you are well trained). Look at Jones now, the phrase “Hero or nuisance?” pops up, he pepper spayed a guy and was charged. If you want to be a hero, like me, stick to the rooftops, only be visible when you need to be. And NEVER talk to the police. If you are doing your job correctly, no one will even know you exist.
CC: What’s the most dangerous situation you’ve ever been in as a superhero?
BC: Seven men, 1 with a pistol and 2 with sub machine guns…and one retard with a sword. Two of them ran for it, the guy with the sword went first. The others were quickly disarmed, and incapacitated.
CC: How do the public and the police respond to your presence?
BC: The public doesn’t know I exist, a couple of people saw me once though, and tried to take a picture, but I was gone before they could.
Love him or fear him, he’s definitely determined to keep unsavory wrong doers off the streets. Whether or not you agree with his actions, his intentions are commendable and need no defending. “Black Cat” may be acting dangerously, but some can say that if more people stood up for what’s right and fought for justice, there wouldn’t be countless criminals to fend off. Feel free to catch up with Black Cat on his Facebook page and Real Life Superhero Wiki and share your support.