The Way of the Superhero
'The way of the superhero' is something I like to talk about a lot (believe me, I never stop!) and to me consists of taking three aspects that a superhero has (and that I admire) and to imitate them in real life. These are a strong body, outstanding mind, and a great style. That's why, as a fan of superheroes, I came to see the Real Life Super Heroes community (RLSH) as role models for the age of the hero. At first I was surprised that more people shared my enthusiasm; that there are people that are brave enough to put on a costume and go out and try to change the established status (yes! I'm talking about you Mr. Hero!). But did they have what it really takes? Sadly, as I came to discover some do, but others... not so much! It's as if they just act super when they have the costume on, and that's a shame! A hero most be a hero all the time - like a state of mind if you like. This might be why many also seem a little out of shape - YES , GOOD PHYSIQUES ARE IMPORTANT. Didn't want to mention it but, it certainly does make people feel safer than if they're next to a wimpy superhero. So to better know if they have not just the 'Heart of a Hero', but also the body and mind of one too, I talked with one of them to discern if my doubts were justified!
For all of you, here is Dale Pople - AKA. 'Super Hero':
Hello Super Hero and thanks again for taking time to answer my questions... first of all:
I've heard that the hero persona must be a better version of yourself, one that improves on whatever flaw one has. For example: if you lack confidence then use your alter-ego to find that inner strength that's missing. Is that true?
That's possible, but everyone is different, so it may apply to some but not others. I'm pretty much the same guy in or out of my suit I think. Although some people have said my voice gets a little 'Deeper'.
Do you exercise constantly? If that's the case can you tell us your normal routine?
I have been a weightlifter since I was 17 and always liked to train heavy, I even ended up power lifting (see MySpace video) nowadays I do a few days a week of kettle bells as well. I hate to say it but although Batman & Superman are built like Bodybuilders I think a real Superhero would do a lot more kettle bells than just about anything else. The give you strength, Endurance, Cardio, agility, all of it. So that's what I recommend as a 'Superhero Workout' nowadays.
Do you think it would be wise to improve first your civilian background (your secret identity, if you like) to make a better SUPERHERO in the future? Is it worth it waiting until you get stronger or its ok to train while patrolling the streets?
Well, I'm an odd case. I was in the military, always worked out, even went thru the Police academy & was a Pro Wrestler before becoming a Superhero. So I 'groomed' myself for this lifestyle for a long time without really knowing it. I was also almost 30 when I did (I'm 41 now) as for a younger guy? I'd say yeah, go ahead & do it but keep learning & training as you go.
Everybody talks about taking martial arts, self-defence lessons or preparing for physical confrontation for their crime fighting quests. Is that really as important for a superhero as everybody thinks? How many times have you used your fighting skills on a real situation?
Hardly ever, BUT that being said I'd rather know how to fight & never need it then need to fight & not know how. Take something. No art is going to hurt you.
Some say that the best way to improve you is in a competitive atmosphere. Does being on a sport team would improve you as a Superhero? I think no, a Superhero has to have a 'Put the other guy over' attitude. Like a Pro Wrestler. That's why I was a better wrestler than a Football player or something (I'm not into sports) so I'd say no.
What sports do you recommend for developing your strength? Or you speed? What about your agility and reflexes? Is there any kind of super-training that let you develop all of these aspects at once?
See above (Kettlebells - check them out on YouTube)
Do you think that the general RLSH community needs to make an improvement into their own physical aptitude?
Eh, not really, most guys train somehow, there are a few guys who I wish would put some more meat on there bones, but they're young and are trying so I don't hold it against them.
Do you have any health advice for those who are starting training?
Pick up some magazines like Muscle & Fitness, read the routines, I used to have a CPT, Hire a trainer & have him show you around the gym, you'll make gains quicker if you have a clue what to do. Watch the other guys & ask questions.
Another great fundamental part on the 'way of the superhero' is the awesome minds that some of them have (say Batman, Tony Stark, Sherlock Holmes, etc.), and everybody knows that Spiderman always wins because under the whole spider-like package (I mean his powers not his package...) there's a genius. So.... Do you think it's important to hit the book and, improve your mind?
You forgot Reed Richards & Hank Pym (now the Scientist Supreme) but at any rate yeah, improving your mind is paramount. Learn your local laws so you don't break any. Maybe study profiling, I study a LOT of criminal cases (Columbine, the North Hollywood shootout etc) and history in General. I feel History is the best teacher.
Do you exercise your mind to become more capable in helping others?
Nah, I feel that's instinctive, you either stop at accidents or keep driving, it's two different types of people.
Do you know of any exercise to improve your memory?
What about the skills you need to know on daily basis in the superhero world? Say fist aid or mechanics? Is there any other that you think would be useful? What about public relations?
PR is a HUGE one, I get asked to represent the Superhero community on a VERY regular basis, but I have a unfair advantage as I have worked in broadcasting for 15 years. I'm a extrovert, & enjoy the public a great deal. A Lot of the guys who do this seem to be very introverted & I have no such problem. Just to be fair I've also been asked NOT to on a few occasions.
And the final part: the style! Yes, my friends, the style! That cool thing that great characters have that make them immortal legends (or at least famous enough to be on the big screen); the ability to reinvent yourself, to create your own new persona, your own code of honour - and then to follow it to the end. Superheroes have it and so you do. But with great style comes great individuality. You must be original. You must not copy others (Do you see Wolverine asking Ironman about fashion tips? (Iron Wolverine? Hmm... interesting!)). Yeah it's hard, but at the end you will feel great to know that you stand out from the rest.
Well, just about every great superhero design has been done before, so you're going to borrow unintentionally or not. I AM very different from the rest of the pack in the fact that I am VERY colourful, that seems to be frowned on pretty badly by the bulk of the community. Most of the guys seem to think 'The more black the better' I blame the new batman films personally.
Did you design your own costume?
What where you thinking while designing it?
Function, colour, Classic Superheroes
Why don't you use a mask? Does it have anything to do with being more easily trusted by the people?
I'm in Florida, masks are hot, they are also not nearly as convenient or practical as comics make them seem. Somebody can crank it, then you're blind & in trouble. they also limit your vision. I just don't like them.
Do you consider the practical value of it when making it?
How do you fight against the heat or cold with that costume on?
My suit was built with Florida in mind. It's all heat friendly, even the gloves are ventilated.
What are the materials you used?
Spandex & lycra mostly.
Do you use any kind of gadgets? If that's the case can you name them?
let's see. Stun gun, 37mm shot cannon, bear mace, ASP Baton, Mag light, Body armor, Bokken, sonic grenade, scanner, GPS. Exacto knife, multi tool etc.
Do you make your own gadgets? Or have someone make them for you?
No, some guys make their own but I'm very 'Soviet' with my equipment. I like proven reliable tech.
Do you think it's important to develop you own tech no matter the time it takes to achieve it?
If that the case what gadget would you like to have?
Having a trademark gadget is awesome (batarangs, web-shooters,) do you know any RLSH that has developed their own gadgets?
Yes, The EYE makes a ton of his stuff. and Death's Head Moth actually has Motherangs!
Do you know what TRANSHUMANISM IS? In that case would you consider it as an important part into a superhero's life-style?
You got me on that one, & I didn't want to Google it because that would be cheating & I'm a superhero LOL