10 Weirdest Headlines of 2011


6

Real-life Superheroes Thwart Criminals (Sometimes)

We've been to enough pop culture conventions to understand that not everyone grows out of dressing like a superhero, but with great power comes great responsibility.
We've been to enough pop culture conventions to understand that not everyone grows out of dressing like a superhero, but with great power comes great responsibility.
Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Thinkstock

There are many accounts of real-life people having secret identities, but few have gotten more publicity in 2011 than one mild-mannered Seattle man and his superhero alter-ego.

Ben Fodor, a father and husband who spends his days working with autistic children and his nights as the yellow-and-black clad superhero Phoenix Jones, was unmasked in October 2011 after allegedly squirting two separate groups of people with pepper spray in a single night. Fodor was arrested on four counts of assault stemming from those incidents after police received complaints from some of the people who were sprayed. They claimed that they weren't causing trouble, but were simply dancing and partying, when Fodor arrived on the scene.

Fodor is a member of the Rain City Superhero Movement, a group of self-professed crime fighters that includes his wife and fellow advocate for justice, PurpleReign. His efforts aren't always off-base, though. Before the pepper spray incident, Fodor was credited with preventing a carjacking [source: Martin].