What’s in a name? Quite a bit, especially in the case of The Vigilante Spider. Like spirit. And resolve. And personality—lots of personality. And while his chosen name may suggest otherwise, his interests lie not in cracking heads, but rather in opening hearts. And eyes. And minds—as many, and as young as possible.
Working in and around San Diego, CA, The Vigilante Spider has been active for over 11 years, a relatively lengthy career as a Real Life Superhero. “I was a young man when I started,” he says, “though not always costumed, and as ‘The Vigilante Spider.’ I really didn’t adapt into that until after high school, but I did exactly then what I’m doing now—reaching out to my community to stop violence, help with graffiti, and such.” As most of the heroes, The Vigilante Spider was influenced early on by comic books and the characters that populated them—but to a point. “I never really was comfortable with the classic comic book stance that ‘Might Is Right,’ because in real life, when it comes to that, it’s not what people expect.”
But what of his name then, feeding the common misperception of Real Life Superheroes metering out extralegal punishment at their sole discretion? “I call people out on doing things they shouldn’t be doing, and my tactics usually include shining bright lights, sneaking up on people, appearing where people least expect me. Violence is always a last resort,” he emphasizes. Still, he doesn’t see the need to change his name in any way. “I still feel that what I was doing as a teenager—taking matters into my own hands without apologizing or consulting anybody—hasn’t changed, though my tactics certainly have” he continues, “So now, it’s a reminder to me of who I am and what I stand for, of what I can and cannot do. Besides, I like to keep people guessing just a little bit.”
One thing no one need guess about, however, is his commitment to America’s youth. “We will not live forever,” he says, “so the best way we can prepare for the future is to prepare our children. I want to reach out to teenagers, raise their personal awareness of the good they can do. We all could be role models like that,” he states. And does he catch any flack from those he’s trying so hard to reach? “When you see someone in a costume, you’re a target of interest. And yeah, sometimes there are hecklers, but sometimes… they’re interested, and if you have a quality conversation with kids, they’ll get it. Look, you dress for the job, and as silly as it may sound, this is the job I want. But still I dream of a day when ‘The Vigilante Spider’ won’t need to wear a mask, won’t need to defend Truth and Honor and Freedom. But that thought can’t be entertained because there seems to be no end of malicious intent in sight,” he sighs.
But despite those realities, he remains hopeful and undeterred. “We live in a fast-food nation, where everything is done at the speed of thought—we never think past that. We should invest in others. It’s not about us, after all, it’s about our kids, it’s about them.”
Join The Vigilante Spider in support of The Shawnee Foundation at:
And St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital: