A New Documentary Unmasks Real Superheroes in Brooklyn and Elsewhere

08/05/2011 2:42 PM |

This is where Brooklyn superheroes shop.
  • This is where Brooklyn superheroes shop.

In our epoch of big and annoying summer superhero blockbusters, it’s not so surprising that masked and caped superheroes are now completely real. But maybe you haven’t heard of The Conundrum, Master Legend, or Mr. Xtreme? Maybe you aren’t that cool…

Documentarians Michael Barnett and Theodore James traveled across North America (spending a good deal of time in Brooklyn) over the course of a year filming the emerging “Real Life Superhero” community. The result is Superheroes, due to debut on HBO August 8th at 9pm. Based on the trailer (see below) and critical reception, the documentary seems promising. Shots of grown men in colorful tights and garish masks are paired with commentary from an apparent psychiatric professional who tells us, “They’re doing it for maybe noble reasons, but perhaps they’re not using clear judgment.”

Though Stan Lee is a little worried about these people wielding “sonic grenades” and stun guns against legitimate crime, he must remember that Spider-Man took many great risks as well. Battling a dumb, psychotic rhino person and a lizard in a lab coat was not always easy. If Master Legend and his Justice Force want to make the world a better place, let them. Maybe that can knock out a few baby snatchers in China.