It is a safe assumption that culturally, super-heroes have never been a bigger deal. Movies, comics, cartoons, action figures; they’re everywhere we look. Even, in fact, in real life.
Meet Phoenix Jones, Washington-based costumed adventurer that patrols Seattle’s streets at night, protecting her citizens. Phoenix Jones is the leader of the Rain City Superhero Movement, a citizen patrol group self-described as a “crime prevention brigade.”
Jones’ origin story doesn’t include a meteorite, nuclear waste, alien abduction, or the brutal murder of a loved one. Jones is simply a man that became sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, and decided to do something about the crime in his neighborhood. His car was broken into and was witnessed by several people but no one did anything. He helped a friend that was being assaulted outside a bar where seventy onlookers did nothing to help. Why don’t people help each other, he asked hiimself? He decided to act.
He developed the “Phoenix Jones” alter-ego in order to protect his identity and to set himself apart from the other creatures of the night, so police would know he’s one of the good guys. His costume includes a mask and bulletproof vest with stab plating, and his arsenal includes a stun baton, pepper spray, tear gas, and a first-aid kit.
Since he began his war on crime in 2011, he has stopped a car theft, he thwarted the hijacking of a bus, and apprehended a man that was being chased by police for stabbing another civilian. He also helps the homeless and intervenes when the bars let out and intoxicated patrons attempt to drive home. He has also been shot, stabbed, arrested, and been questioned in several incidents involving the possible “excessive use of pepper spray.”
So who is this mysterious masked man? Well, thanks to the Seattle legal system, Phoenix Jones has been outed as none-other than rising professional fighter, Ben Fodor. Personally, I think this gives the man greater credibility as a crime-fighter and if I were a Seattle criminal, I’d certainly think twice about taking him on. For the safety of Ben and his family though, it would have been nice if he would have been allowed to maintain his anonymity. To his credit though, despite his identity becoming public knowledge, he has continued Phoenix Jones’ war on crime.
In fact, he has inspired a superhero movement in Seattle, spawning accomplices such as El Caballero, Midnightjack, Thorn, Buster Doe, Green Reaper, The Mantis, Gemini, No Name, Catastrophe, Thunder 88, Penelope, Red Dragon, and Purple Reign (rumored to be his wife).
In a public statement following prosecutors dismissing the charges that were pressed against him in 2011, Phoenix Jones issued the following statement:
“I will continue to patrol with my team. In addition to being Phoenix Jones, I am also Ben Fodor, father and brother. I am just like everybody else. The only difference is that I try to stop crime in my neighborhood and everywhere else. I think I have to look toward the future and see what I can do to help the city.”
Bravo, Phoenix Jones.