Citizen Superhero “Shadow Hare” Gets 15 Minutes of Fame

May 03, 2009 07:00 AM
by Rachel Balik
Wielding legal weapons such as pepper spray and handcuffs, “Shadow Hare” is one of many around the country to don a costume and fight crime in real life.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s … Shadow Hare?

Armed with pepper spray, a Taser and handcuffs, a 21-year-old man from Milford, Ohio, has been patrolling the streets of Cincinnati in a costume for the past four years fighting crime. The costumed vigilante calls himself “Shadow Hare” and identifies himself as a superhero, although he does not possess the superhero’s typical physique. Shadow Hare says he is prepared to perform citizen arrests, which are legal in Cincinnati; however, if he falsely accuses someone, he risks legal trouble himself.

Shadow Hare was featured on Cincinnati’s WLWT news and his story was quickly picked up by publications around the globe. The WLWT video, hosted by CNN, follows Shadow Hare around Cincinnati, where he works with other members of his team, the Allegiance of Heroes. He also communicates online with other self-proclaimed superheroes around the country. Shadow Hare told a reporter that he would do anything to help people; he once even dislocated his shoulder protecting someone.

Many people on the streets simply laughed at Shadow Hare and his colleagues. But after the WLWT report aired and was picked up globally, Shadow Hare found himself flush with supporters. He told the station that hundreds of people have reached out to him through the Internet to praise his cause. He also experienced celebrity-type status at a public party in the city. But he told the TV station that he didn’t seek fame: “I’m doing this for justice—a justice long since forgotten,” he said.

Reactions: Is this a joke?

In a post entitled, “Man Buys Unitard, Declares Himself a Superhero” the TMZ blog gave the Shadow Hare a mixed review. While the blog speaks disparagingly about Shadow Hare’s diminutive stature, it also notes that he hands out food to the homeless. He is fighting on behalf of a good cause, but TMZ speculates he’s probably putting himself in danger.

Related Topic: Portland’s real-life superhero: Zetaman

Zetaman calls himself a “costumed activist” and patrols the streets of Portland, Oregon, with a sidekick, called Agent Null. Current TV has a video of the two in action.

Reference: Shadow Hare’s My Space Page and the World Super Heroes Registry

The 21-year-old Shadow Hare, who wears his costume to protect his identity, does have a MySpace page with a blog, a theme song and a video called “A Bunny’s Life.”

Shadow Hare and other members of Cincinnati’s “Allegiance of Heroes” are all associated with the World Superhero Registry. The registry has a blog and a philosophy page invoking fairness, justice and temperance; it also offers tutorials on crime fighting.

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