Canadians in Costumes

Last week, Longbox of Awesome brought you a much overdue review of the HBO documentary Superheroes. The flick focused on “Real-Life Superheroes (RLSH)” – people who dress up in costumes and keep their cities safe or do good deeds for people.

But the documentary had one major flaw for all of us living north of the 49th parallel – it focused mostly on Americans. Aside from Thanatos, a pensioner from Vancouver who dresses up  like the bastard child of Rorschach and The Spirit, there weren’t any real-life Northstars or Captain Canucks.

Or this guy. Holy crap. Let's face it, Canada is not exactly well-represented in the comic-book superhero world. The Stallion Canuck is proof of that.

For those of you wondering what the RLSH scene in Canada is like, it’s very Canadian. So much so that, for the most part, the masked maple leafers are just very polite people who spend their time helping the homeless and drawing attention to social problems. And apologizing to those they bump into.

Allow Longbox of Awesome to introduce you to a couple of these people.


Probably the most famous out of all of the powered-up poutine gobblers, Polarman has a budding Lanny McDonald moustache, which earns him respect and fear throughout the land.

What you can't see is that Harper's knees are shaking.

Home base: Iqaluit, Nunavut.

Superpowers: None. Polarman relies on pure brute strength and charm, like the late Jack Layton did.

Mission: To keep from freezing stiff. To make his community a better place to live. He manages this by shoveling elderly folks’ sidewalks, patrolling for vandals and amusing kids. It’s actually kind of surprising that there isn’t more RLSHs in Iqaluit – there can’t be that much else to do, can there?

Origin: Polarman bases his identity on an Inuit legend about a white man that rode on the back of a polar bear who gave food and clothing to the needy. Although it would be an 11 out of 10 on the Holy Crap That’s Wicked Scale of Awesomeness, he doesn’t ride on the back of a polar bear. He walks around like a normal dude, like he’s either trying to stay humble or he thinks that polar bears totally sold out when they posed for the Toonie.


Femme Fiscale & Golden Boy

Femme Fiscale is an orange-haired, purple-caped superheroine (just imagine if your mom quit drinking and wore less spandex you’re pretty much there). Golden Boy is, ummm… A spandex version of the famous statue.

She also asks tall hippies poignant questions like, "What's up with the ponytail, dude?"

Home base: Manitoba somewhere. Probably under a lake. They have tons of those.

Superpowers: None. Much like Batman, she relies on gadgets and brains. Her Point-of-View glasses help her review annual provincial budgets to determine if the government is keeping its promises.

Mission: To bring to light issues that are often overlooked, such as women’s economic inequalities and the effect of budget cuts on at-risk populations in Manitoba.

Origin: Although this was clearly a publicity maneuver by the United Nations Platform for Action Committee, Femme Fiscale is still kind of badass. She appeared at the annual budget meeting at the Manitoba legislature in March 2006 and hasn’t been heard from since.

… And those are only two.

There are more where these folks came from (like Toronto’s Stray Cat and Mississauga’s Timber Wolf), but none that make the news quite as much as these two. If anyone knows of any more, send them this way.

The RLSH craze is certainly catching on, and with HBO’s documentary, along with hundreds of other features from places like the New York Times and BBC, it doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.

So when your roommate puts on body armor and says he’s “just going out for a walk” you know what’s up – he’s a real-life superhero.

Or a meth addict.

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