Krypton Radio Newswire
Oh, the irony.
In a petition posted on July 10, 2012, self-described real life supervillian Rex Velvet seeks to have real life superhero vigilantes outlawed. In the petition, targeted to Washington State governor Christine Gregoire, Velvet (who declines to state his real name and sports a bowler, an eyepatch and a fake handlebar moustache in photographs) suggests that costumed vigilante superheroes do more harm than good and, for the safety of themselves and the communities in which they operate, should be outlawed.
In the petition, he specifically targets Phoenix Jones, pointing at him as the example of why real life superheroes don’t work as intended. He describes the superheroes as “hobo snitches”, “fakes” and “problem children” who insert themselves into private disputes. He complains that Phoenix Jones in particular is asking people for donations, yet he himself is making a buck off his own notoriety by selling a line of t-shirts. While Jones’ fundraising is ostensibly used in service of the public, it’s not clear where Velvet’s t-shirt money is going.
However, while he calls for superheroes in real life being made illegal, his distaste for the immensely popular Phoenix Jones in particular is well recognized, and he resorts to insulting rhetoric instead of supporting his premise.
Comments on the online petition range generally from observations that self-styled superheroes are largely untrained and have unrealistic expectations of their ability to even survive a significant conflict, much less prevail in one, to favorable statements of support for the superheroes. One poster said that violent crime has dropped 73% since the costumed heroes had taken to the streets in Tampa Bay, Florida (this statistic could not be confirmed). This seems to be in line with the general approval Phoenix Jones has had in his home territory of Seattle, Washington – while his patrols have not been without their problems, and he was, in fact, arrested on suspicion of assault last October, the Seattle press continues to recognize and be supportive of his work with the public.
Rex Velvet’s petition was posted about six weeks ago, and in that time has only accumulated 207 “signatures”. Unfortunately such online petitions are not taken very seriously by law makers, since there is no way to verify the identity of the people “signing” them. Abuse of such online petitions is common, with creators often stuffing the ballot box with supportive votes.