Last Sunday, an attempted car theft in Seattle was thwarted by a super-hero, and when I say "a super-hero," I don't mean that in the sense that, as Superman says, we can all be super-heroes if we do the right thing and care about each other. I mean a dude in a bulletproof costume with a codename and a secret identity. Specifically, this guy:

Phoenix Jones, Guardian of Seattle, one of the vigilante LARPers known as the Real Life Super-Heroes.

According to a report by Seattle's KIRO that includes a pretty amazing video, a man known only as "Dan" was in danger of having his car stolen when Phoenix Jones, Guardian of Seattle (who is legally obligated to use his full title or risk a lawsuit by a band of the same name) "dashed in" and chased off the would-be thief, before returning to his secret hideout in a secret room at a comic book store.

Yes, really.Despite the fact that you'd think they'd be thrilled about a news story where one of their own actually fought a crime rather than just, say, having a Facebook page, some members of the Real Life Super-Hero community have claimed that the whole thing was a setup designed to get Phoenix Jones (Guardian of Seattle) media attention. In fact, as seen on Talking Points, one member of an RLSH forum went so far as to claim that PJ (GOS) was being funded by Hollywood, although I cannot imagine a world where that possibility is actually more likely than the alternative.

I will say, though, that in KIRO's video, the semi-anonymous "Dan" does have the air of someone delivering a well-practiced speech...

...but let's be honest here: If this happened to me, I would've told the story at least a hundred times by the time the reporters showed up to get my statement.

Either way, it's a victory for (Phoenix) Jones (Guardian of Seattle), who claimed in an interview to have been motivated to fight crime when his car was broken into at a water park. On the scale of origin stories, that's not quite as dramatic as, say, being rocketed to Earth from your exploding home planet, but it does have the benefit of leaving a souvenir: a jar of broken glass that he keeps to this day, presumably next to whatever Seattle's versions of a giant penny and a robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex are.

As to where Phoenix Jones, Guardian of Seattle keeps these things, that's the best part: He has a secret headquarters located in a hidden room at a comic book store.

This is basically amazing -- for one thing, there' s a comic book store with a secret passage behind a bookshelf, and that's rad even without it being used as a super-hero hideout -- but from a security standpoint, I've read enough comics to realize it's pretty lacking.

For one thing, changing into your alter-ego in an extremely conspicuous public place isn't exactly the height of secrecy, and while there was always a chance that Aunt Harriet would find the secret button in Bruce Wayne's bust of Shakespeare, someone opening up that shelf while reaching for the latest Walking Dead seems like more of a mathematical certainty.

Especially now that it's been on TV.

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