The Secret Origin Of That Wonderful Suit

Illustration for article titled The Secret Origin Of That Wonderful Suit

We've told you about the various MySpace pages belonging to the world's "real life superheroes," but perhaps you're wondering just where those brave, unusual souls get their costumes from. Dont worry; all is finally revealed.


Joshua Bearman spent months following self-proclaimed real life superhero Master Legend for a story in the latest issue of Rolling Stone, but not everything Bearman wrote appeared in the article. Luckily, the Rumpus managed to save one of the more fascinating excised parts of the article, and have shared it with the world:

Dave is tall and lean and handsome despite missing half his teeth from fights in his youth. He styles his team after the meaner edge of Marvel — sleek, stark, intimidating — and then turns the sketches over to Mother One, the Black Monday Society’s official tailor. She just stopped by Frankie’s on costume business, picking up material for the newest team member’s pants. “One day,” she says, “Dave asked me ’can you do this?’ and slid a sketch in front of me.” Eight yards of vinyl later, Mother One found herself with a new name and a vocation. “Now when I watch X-Men, Spiderman, any of those movies,” she says, “All I’m thinking is: can I do that at home?”

The "lost" section of the article deals not only with the origin of the heroes' costumes, but also about what inspired them to fight crime in real life:

It’s no accident in Dave’s mind that he quit drinking around the time he started BMS. Another team member’s life was in shambles and joining up helped him right the ship. “There are reasons we all put on these masks,” he says. “I know you can’t jump any farther, but you feel like you can.” And once you put it on you’re committed. “It gives you a nudge,” he says. I ask Dave more about his alter ego, but he pauses and finds himself at a loss. As Dave, he says, it’s sometimes hard to relate to Insignis. “Maybe if I put on the suit, I’ll figure it all out.”

It's a fascinating - and kind of touching - insight into the world of those who have retreated from the real world, slightly, even as they try to make it a better place. It's highly recommended.

(Updated to add: You can find another "deleted scene" from the story on Bearman's own blog.)


Costume Shopping For Superheroes [The Rumpus]


Josh Wimmer

The RS story is great—conveys the sweetness and weirdness and dorkiness of the guy, as well as the good works he's actually done, without being condescending. I hope he doesn't end up taking a bullet.