Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Practical Superheroism: Target Lock

Disclaimer:  DON'T.  TRY.  THIS.  AT.  HOME.  There, all caps.  Now do you get it?  Good.  I'm glad this is the final time I have to say that.

This is the last edition of Practical Superheroism.  I figure by now I've imparted enough lessons that you should be ready to go all "Silver Cockatoo Begins" or whatever the hell you're going to call yourself.  I mean we've covered the name, the costume, the vehicle, the gadgets, fighting techniques, and all that stuff.  Just one last lesson to impart.  You must confront Vader again...wait, that was from something else.

Anyway, there was a lot to hate in the "Green Hornet" movie from about 2 years ago, just as there's a lot to hate in any movie that involves Seth Rogen--the #1 thing being Seth Rogen.  But it did make a couple of good points for practical superheroism.  And one of those good points is the focus of today's feature.

That is if you've got all your superhero stuff--costume, gadgets, motorcycle--together, then what?  You know there's crime happening somewhere, but how do you find it?  Now maybe if you live in a bad neighborhood you've already got an idea of this.  But if you're like me and from the suburbs, then you might not know exactly where to find "the bad part of town."  (In Detroit it's called EVERYWHERE!)

In "The Green Hornet" Seth Rogen and the real superhero Kato want to fight crime, but have no idea where crime actually is.  So they end up getting help from his secretary Cameron Diaz who conveniently has a degree in criminology.  Chances are you don't know a criminologist (or Cameron Diaz for that matter) but you can do what she did and study newspapers and so forth to figure out where the hot spots for crime are.

In Batman there's conveniently an area known as "Crime Alley" which would seem a fairly obvious place to get started.  In A Hero's Journey the really bad neighborhood is known as "The Trenches" because there was so much fighting in that area that it was like a war zone.  So it's no surprise when the Scarlet Knight needs to learn how to fight crime, her ghost trainer Marlin has her visit some spots in the Trenches.  A recurring joke in the series is that whenever a new Scarlet Knight needs trained, they wind up at this one convenience store and piss off the clerk who works there.

So anyway, unless you have a ghost to help you, you'll have to do it yourself.  Just look at the newspapers and if you can, some crime statistics, and find some hot spots.  It helps too if you have a police scanner.  Then if you're quick you can get there before the cops.  Also if you listen to it long enough you could mark where the crimes are on a map of the city and get a better picture of what's going on where.

A caveat here is that most of the crimes superheroes fight take place at NIGHT.  I remember watching this movie called "Special" where the would-be hero goes out in broad daylight in costume to look for crime.  He was supposed to be a comic book junkie too so you think he'd realize you don't do this stuff in the daytime.  I mean 1) Most crimes take place at night as I said 2) There are a lot more innocent people on the streets in the daytime and 3) Your costume sticks out a lot more in the daytime than at night.  So really, wait until the sun starts to go down before you spring into action.

There you go, with a little statistical analysis you can find where the bad guys are hanging around and maybe put a stop to their nefarious schemes.  Or not.

BTW, another good tip from "The Green Hornet" was when the Hornet gets shot and needs to go to the hospital, he's worried that it will compromise his secret identity.  I mean how could whatever his name was (Britt?  Brett? Whatever.) get shot?  So they stage a public appearance and then Kato shoots Britt/Brett/whoever with a fake gun so to everyone there it looks like he's been shot.  Plus it makes it clearer to people that Britt/Brett couldn't possibly be the Green Hornet as well.  So when you get shot, you might need to do something like that so as not to compromise your secret identity.

Anyway, I think now you've learned about all you need to learn.  Use it wisely, grasshopper.

And since now you're ready to be a superhero, learn how you can register yourself as a real superhero here!

Tomorrow I review When You Were Young (Children of Eternity #4) by Claire Lachance...


  1. My favorite scene in the Green Hornet movie is Kato making the coffee with the leaf in it.

  2. Great tips Pat. I'm headed for Phoenix's Crime Alley! I gotta say that fake shot thing is the only thing I liked about Green Hornet. Looked great though.

  3. I watched part of The Green Hornet last night for the first time. I had no idea the Green Hornet and Kato had such a problem with each other. I also saw the fake shot...that was pretty cool.

  4. I promise that if anyone thinks I'm a superhero I'll shoot myself.

  5. I love the attention to detail. When I was working at a 24 hour gas station in my youth, we locked the doors from 2 - 5 a.m. and were told that 80% of all violent crimes took place during those hours. In retrospect, that seems really high. But it was what we were told.



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