In classic superhero style, citizens around the world are taking it upon themselves to fight crime. Just like their illustrated icons, "real-life superheroes" create a second identity and patrol the streets in the dark of the night.

“Dark Guardian” chases drug dealers

New York's Dark Guardian chases a drug dealer out of Washington Square Gardens. Posted on Viméo.

“I spent a night helping a bunch of hobos. They called me their ‘green angel’”

Entomo has been crime-fighting in Naples since 2003. (Transcript of a phone conversation with a FRANCE 24 journalist).

When I was a kid, I used to get masked and do good deeds as a kind of scout. It was in my DNA back then, it's still in my genetic code now — stronger and more powerful than ever. I started my training as a RLSH [real-life superhero] in mid-2003 and debuted as Entomo on March 2, 2007. It has been a long journey. 

I stop vandalism, investigate people and consider myself as a sort of guardian. I also promote environmentalism, because that is the basis of life. We must save this planet in order to save ourselves as race.

I work in a civilian job, then come back home, have my lunch, put on my costume and go out saving people. It's very simple, actually. I sleep very little. It's a hard life, but equally as enjoyable. It requires experience, wisdom, skills and a good deal of self-irony. In the daylight, I investigate situations I sense as wrong. I'm first and foremost a detective.

Wearing the costume brings out varied reactions, but that's not the point. It's a way of becoming a living symbol and to inspire people to be something better than what they think they are. It's a source of energy and faith. The logo on my chest: I call it “Broken Time”. It's the graphic manifestation of what I believe the most: we must transcend time and save the human race, even if we're out of time. It also symbolizes the sum of all the creatures I kind of represent. Insects.   

I'm not a vigilante — I despise vigilantism. I consider myself an “Agent of Balance”. I just call the police if something goes nasty. And yes, of course, I have got in fights. I'm trained in aikido and a bit of krav maga. But it's just self-defence: I really hate violence. Violence is the silly answer. When you are into violence and use violence, you're the loser. No matter who wins the fight.

Plenty of strange situations have come my way. I spent a night helping a bunch of hobos and providing them with food, clothes, blankets — doing my best to protect them. They called me their “green angel”. It was a bit weird, because they weren't really accustomed to superheroes.

The “Black Monday Society” does justice in Utah

The “Black Monday Society” patrols the streets of Salt Lake City. Posted on YouTube by TerranIV.