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Romana A Pernaa

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   Recent articles by
Romana A Pernaa

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Where Are the Superheroes?
by Romana A Pernaa   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Posted: Friday, June 08, 2007

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I wonder why there are no real-life comstumed crime-fighter or superheroes

There has been a hundred years of intensely evil world events, and it all continues unabated.  However, in comic books, costumed crime fighters and superheroes deal with this sort of stuff, but in the real world, no one seems to be able to make any impact at all.  All the millionaire and billionaire playboys (and playgirls) just seem to fritter away their time in self-indulgent activities, rather than to help rid the world of its scourge of evil, while giving a much needed boost to local law enforcement agencies, who are often strapped for cash and manpower.


When I get up in the morning, I do put on a type of costume, when I get dressed in my transwoman outfits.  While this might strike fear in many people, I am not cut out or rich enough to tackle the problem of evil.  Besides, my extensive wardrobe of dresses and skirts is just not the clothing that will support death-defying acts of strength, even if I had the physical ability.

To make matters worse, I had looked forward to being called Ms. Adventure, but that name has already been taken.


Costumed crime fighters have been big in comic books for decades, and now they are realistically depicted in endless motion pictures.  The Superman and Batman franchises are now even entering their second incarnation in the movies.  Yet, for all the investment, not even one costumed crime fighter or superhero has shown up in real life.

There might be a variety of reasons for this:

·        Many municipalities do not appreciate these people, so they erroneously label them as illegal vigilantes.

·        Secret identities are necessary, to make these people effective, but this immediately conflicts with all the current guidelines for national security.

·        Men’s dress codes have never become liberal enough to allow men to run around dressed in tights without shame and ridicule.  On the other hand, now that women have become more liberated, the ladies should have no trouble fighting crime in such flashy outfits.

·        With the appearance of gay and even transgendered superheroes, many right-wing groups are now voicing vehement opposition!

·        Society now frowns on grown men running around with teenaged side-kicks, especially considering that Captain America’s young side-kick, Bucky, was killed in action on a mission with his hero.

·        Many costumed crime fighters, such as Batman and Spiderman, suffer from deep, melancholy depression, which raises much concern among public officials. Then there is The Hulk, who suffers from nearly uncontrollable anger management!

·        Truly powerful superheroes would actually be feared and vilified.  Just consider the public reception of the mutant X-Men.  Technically, all superheroes should be labeled as mutant or alien.

·        Once the floodgates have been opened, we will run the risk of having super-villains, who will invariably create enormous mischief and tie up much of the time superheroes have for fighting evil; besides displaying terrible fashion sense.

[Note: News Flash!  Captain American was just gunned down on his way to register!  This is a prime example of what happens when the government interferes!]

Fictional costumed crime fighters and superheroes have many complex rules, so I suppose that real ones would not be much different.  I remember in the first Spiderman comic, when Peter was looking for connections and meaning, he tried to join the Fantastic Four, who turned him down.  No convincing reason was given; I suppose those uniforms were too expensive to be altered from a “4” to a “5

Membership numbers do not seem to bother the X-Men, however, since they seem to have endless members, and they are always taking in new ones.


Of all the costumed crime fighters and superheroes, it is the X-Men that I can identify with the best.  After all, this genre is obviously about people who are different; so different, in fact, they can scarcely fit into society.


We must act now, before the forces of evil overrun the world!  It now seems obvious that we need to create petitions to public authorities, and recruitment posters for costumed crime fighters and super heroes.  We especially need to appeal to all the aliens from other worlds, who are hiding or living on our planet.  Instead of just appearing in supermarket tabloids, these aliens should be doing something useful.

Here is what we need to do:

·        We need to match fighting skills to various kinds of evil.  We need a list of the worst evils to be sorted, prioritized, and published.

·        We need some way of registering authorized costumed crime fighters and superheroes, while at the same time excluding potential super-villains and Hulk-types.

·        We need to generate handbooks, such as How To Be A Costumed Crime Fighter or Superhero For Dummies.

·        We need self-esteem seminars, so all these people will not be so self-conscious about what they are wearing.

·        We need to amend the national security regulations, so that secret identities will be protected.

·        We need to encourage a cottage industry that can discretely supply all the crime fighting gadgets, and we need to bar criminals from using all this sophisticated hardware.  Especially, if amateur super-villains have no access, they will never become professional.


Now is the time to take action.  Everyone should write their elected representatives, both local and national, imploring our civil servants, to support the much-needed talents of costumed crime fighters and super-heroes, in the never-ending battle against the scourge of evil.

Special Supplement: A History of El Zorro


Guy Williams, who played the part of El Zorro for Walt Disney Studios, once referred to El Zorro as an Early California Batman.  In its historical setting, early nineteenth century, El Zorro became one of the first, if not the first, of the Costumed Crime fighters.  This paved the way for many others, such as Batman and The Phantom.
El Zorro had all the elements, which we now call standard, of a Costumed Crime Fighter.  He had a dark outfit that terrified villains, he had tremendous fighting skills, he was extremely cunning and resourceful, he took great risks to bring about justice, and he had a secret identity (Don
Diego de la Vega), as well as an underground hideaway.

In English, El Zorro translates directly as The Fox.  In the New Zorro television series (1989-1993,) actor Duncan Regehr carried on the tradition.  In one episode, he even went to France, where he was correctly referred to as Le Renard.

El Zorro is a larger-than-life character in the tradition of Robin Hood.  El Zorro was born in 1919, as a new literary character of the pulp writer Johnston McCulley.  While there had been many Robin Hood-type bandits in early Spanish American history, none had been quite so over-the-top as El Zorro.
El Zorro moved to the cinema almost immediately, and it has become a franchise that seems to keep reinventing itself.  Douglas Fairbanks played the character to the hilt in the 1920’s, even performing his own acrobatic stunts.  Most recently, the dashing actor Antonio Banderas has become the new El Zorro.
This franchise generates its own urban legend, since Los Angles is always shown possessing a sophisticated Spanish American feudal culture that never existed.

Like all Costumed Crime Fighters, El Zorro has always been ripe for parody.  In a Far Side cartoon, young Don Diego had already developed an annoying penchant for carving the letter-Z on everything.
In Zorro, the Gay Blade (1981,) George Hamilton played the legendary swordsman as well as his gay twin brother.  All the stock situations are milked to the maximum for their inherent absurd humor.
In the brief television series, When Things Were Rotten (1975,) Richard Gautier plays the satirical version of Robin Hood.  In the first episode, there are endless sight gags, but the greatest of them all is when Robin disguises himself as El Zorro, in order to break his friends out of jail.  The most hilarious scene is where Robin uses a bullwhip, to whip the keys right off a jail table and deftly fling them right into the lock.


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Snake Eyes and Boxcars, Part II by Jay Dubya

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