About The Project

Do you recognize a superhero when you look one in the face? Do you think such men and women truly exist? If not, then look. And think again.

Indeed, there is a real subculture of genuine heroes, that bridge the gap between the fantastic and the practical. Anonymous and selfless, they choose every day, to make a difference in the world around them. Whether it be feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, or cleaning up their neighborhoods, they save real lives in very real ways. These are not “kooks in costumes,” as they may seem at first glance. They are, simply put, a radical response… to a radical problem.

So who are these modern day heroes? They are our neighbors, our friends, our family members. They are artists, musicians, athletes, and yes, politicians. Their actions serve as reminders that as most giving today has become reactive—digital and removed, temporarily soothing our guilt and feelings of helplessness—we have blinded ourselves to simple principles and practice of compassion and goodwill.

Photographer Peter Tangen has earned the trust of this loose network, to visually document the genuine power of these individuals—and in the process, reveal the soul behind their endeavor.

At first, The Real Life Superhero Project was conceived as an avenue to shine some light on this new breed of activism and altruism, through a photographic installation to benefit the established organizations the superheroes believe in. But as more people were brought into the wholly volunteer project, largely through Tangen’s infectious enthusiasm, the scope and purpose expanded exponentially.

Now, what began as a gallery exhibit, has come to serve as the launching pad of something far greater—a living, breathing community that inspires people to become the positive forces for change we all can be. To become more active, more involved, more committed, and perhaps, a little super in the process.

The website you have arrived at is your starting point. Look around, learn, absorb and ultimately, act. Here you’ll find continually evolving content, offering fresh insights into the superheroes themselves and opportunities for you to become involved, as well as news about the project and its progress. And hopefully, you will come to realize that it doesn’t take a cape to go out and help someone, just the desire to become an active force in your own life, and see how that can affect others.

Through The Real Life Superhero Project, Tangen asks you, the viewer to embrace the intention of the heroes, to take a moment to discover the morality and conscience behind their actions, and ultimately, make the commitment to making a difference yourself.

Celebrate and honor them. And find the hero in all of us.

182 Comments to “About The Project”

  1. White Knight says:

    Im just an ordinary guy i know that now, but what i also know is that i have potential, i can be a super hero all i need to do is beleive im a super hero. thank you guy’s for making me beleive in myself again

  2. Mike Jacobs says:

    I don’t have a comment other than my own admiration for what you and yours are doing, but I have a question: If I understand correctly, one of the founders of this site, Zetman, is also a graphic artist. Would it be posssible to contact him through this site?

  3. The Centurion says:

    Hello All. I would like to inform you about an area just outside of Philadelphia. It’s in Delaware County and it’s name is Chester, PA. It is riddled with crime and corruption. If any have the ability to help, may I suggest looking into it.

    Also, for those of you that are fabricating your own tools, may I suggest looking into NextFab Studio. You can learn specific skills needed to create your own devices or design it and have someone else build it for you. Here is the link: http://nextfabstudio.com/about

    Be careful out there and keep up the good work. If I can be of any assistance you may call on me and I will do what I can. Thank you.


  4. NearlySuicidalKid says:

    you know i actually considered suicide untill i found out about this site, guess you guyz were the inspriration i needed to have the will to keep on living guess i owe youse alot, i dont think your rlsh movement is crazy though alota people do, dont really care what anyone else says i aplaud you for trying to make the world a better place

  5. No name says:

    Is anyone here in Maryland?

  6. auzure washington says:

    this awesome ive always been a fan of superheroes!!!!!

  7. What do I have to do in order to become a superhero? P.s. u guys r awesome.

  8. Dark Spider says:

    THIS ISN’T A GAME YOU IDIOT!!! This is about saving people, doing what’s right, and doing whatever it takes to do whatever you can to help!! This isn’t some huge publicity stunt! Those of you that are here today to find a way to become famous, or become a hero for publicity go f*** yourself!!!!!!!!!!
    I need to get a grip but still, to do this for publicity isn’t the right way, the right way is to do it to help people.

    Dark Spider founder of the New Warriors

  9. ? says:

    Right now in New south wales (australia) crazy stuff is going down, Bikers are being shot up, Ice and speed are tearing familys apart and destroying lives along the way, a new wave of knife culture has began, tagging, gang beatings, destruction of pubic utilitys and property.
    I live in a quite little blue mountains town that will be named k-town for now, in my entire life never have i heard of so many people being randomly beaten down within such a matter of week’s. its gone from a once a year thing to a nearly very week ordeal and iv had enough. my best mate who has a kid and wife had thier house broken into, had it not been for the family dog who knows what would have happened. and this is a small town. It’s not even the big city sydney.
    And if the local police wont stop them, then I will.
    I thought being a super hero was just some crazy thought iv had for a few years, now I see it’s not.
    Most respect fellas, thank you for leading the charge.

  10. ?? ?? says:

    Anyone in Canada? Or do I need to start a branch on my own.

  11. Deivy says:

    This is great and all but needa recruit more.

  12. K says:

    Here is a question to all those super heroes out there.
    It is clear that if you plan on doing more than helping the homeless and cleaning litter that physical violence is almost assured. My question is what type of protection do you use?

    I have looked at the gallery of heroes listed here and it certinly seems that a knife or a gun would spell the end of quite a few of them.

  13. Guardian Angel says:

    My name is Guardian Angel, and I came to help. While where I live is not exactly a big city like I want it to be (its a pretty small town in MI), I still am trying to rise up in the society and help anyone who needs it. Whether it be a source of true help, or some reassurance and comfort (Depression, aggravation, etc.), I try to keep up w/ my namesake. So to those who see only the darkness ahead in life, your light is here.

  14. Super woman like Christian Louboutin flavour, feeling is the most important! Sexy, women, noble, elegant, walk on the street wearing Christian Louboutin all let a person enchanted.

  15. Saga says:

    Yes, we need superheroes. Reach out a helping hand.

  16. Alexander the Great says:

    wtf……what’s going wrong with u guys??u pretend to be super heroes in real life????oh god…. little kids in Darfur need fresh water and u spend money to update your magic guns????
    what kind of society r u living in???u believe in vampires, super heroes and whats next???maybe power rangers or even asterix?
    its a petty u morons live while innocent people are getting killed by so many diseases or depressive governments

  17. Felix Lopez says:

    I have decided to make a difference in my neighborhood in my community, and city, bottom line i want to become a Real LIFE Super Hero because I want to help. What can I do and who can i speak with to get started?

  18. My Twin brother and I have been dressing up in costumes ever since we can remember, doing what we can for the community holding up fundraisers for local authorities, and community alike, we even began our very own First Response Program NYS Registered, Whereas we perform Volunteer Neighborhood watch, as confidential informants and other legal services, but that is not all we also help in local food kitchens, and children entertainment.
    So let me say I respect what you do and just know you are not alone, You have fellow RLSH brothers out there patrolling the streets night & day on the 9th hour as true watchmen..
    Remember they may take away our legal rights and freedom of speech, and assembly, they could try to take away our rights to bear arms, or freedom of religion or assemble a NWO, but at that time that is when we the RLSH will all come out and reveal ourselves to the world and stand for what is right, united as one in a Victory Alliance.. be blessed and God speed!

  19. Maybe says:

    This is a fantastic idea THANK YOU! Maybe i will join you when i’m 18!

  20. Crackdown says:

    centurion what kind of gadgets do they make and I will look into going to chester to see whats going on

  21. the burning flame ! says:

    hello im am known as the burning flame! i am a good guy and i have found many videos of theatning supervillans calling out superheroes and i was wondering if i could help you fight crime i am very well protected so please get back to me thanks

  22. Sn1per says:

    I am sn1per I may be young and small but I can and will make a differance

  23. blue galaxy says:

    There are kids at my school that are being beat up made fun of.And i will not just sit there and watch it happen anymore!

  24. KEANU TAYLOR says:

    I know its crazy but im only 14 years old but i wanna be an RLSH how old do i have to be?

  25. KentaroZ says:

    Your project is incredible, if arrive from Brasil, will change the mind from the people in Brasil!!!!!

  26. Sally says:

    Keep up the good work Birmingham, AL needs all the help it can get if anyone is looking to do a duo squad I am game….

  27. joshua says:

    Here in Jacksonville Florida looking for anyone who would really like to make a change. Downtown needs it

  28. snakecharmer says:

    I am 19…. ever since I was little, I have wanted to be a hero… I try to work out every day… I try to be healthy, I try to be as nice as I can to everyone… I stand up against bullies when I can… I just want to know, Is there any way that my dream can be a reality…. Im tired of not knowing which I am… and what I will do in this life…. Im learning martial arts…. I took a security class for nine months… I want to know if it will be enough to go out and stand against those who live every day to harm others. Is it enough?

  29. super hero says:

    I think we need superheros in our life.because the government is not reliable and society is unsafety
    . we need supehero to Punish Evil . but normally the superhero must to defeat many evildoers (it’s impossable for a normal person). so how can be a superhero? how to be a superhero?

  30. The dark shadow says:

    is heroes in europe need some help getting started

  31. The brutle shadow says:

    is heroes in europe need some help getting started don’t know where to start

  32. dre says:

    listen, i was a super hero untill i got my arm broken, tooth knocked out, and ribs fractured. now, im back and working on 2.0 costume and weapons.

  33. Apache says:

    Excuse me if I’m being ignorant, but how does one exactly become a superhero? How do I know I fit the criteria?

  34. ComicNerd147 says:

    Anybody near me in California?

  35. Silver Plummer says:

    Anyone in Greece? Cause I need help

  36. Anyone near troxelville or snyder county i want to get back out there and seek justice and help others like i did befor i stop for a while so i can get a job. 3 years of doin this now i want to coutinue again i love this job

  37. Titan says:

    I am a massive fan of Captain America and a big fan of Kick-ass, I wish Kick-ass really happened because it would inspire me to join, I want to be like Captain America and fight for what i Know is right. Is there anyone who lives in London who feels the same way because I want to do it but don’t have the confidence to do so, but if i see someone go out as a hero or tries to form a team it will encourage me to do it too.

  38. the illusionist says:

    I’m a superhero swell my name is the illusionist I joined a team called the enforcers of the universe I would like for y’all to know about us we serve the city and stop the bad

  39. The Stricker says:

    how do you sign up?

  40. a guy from asia says:

    You guys should consider to help other people not only in the US but also in other countries, I have faith in humanity, I do not live in the us, I live in asia and I am a student, I know that people in other countries would like to help others. so It would be great if you will also start these things outside of the us and start it in asia.

    Serve for the humanity.

  41. a guy from asia says:

    i Have also seen your video on youtube and I think that those are good things to do and everyone should come out and help others.

  42. Shinobi says:

    Anyone in Ontario Canada…Southern perhaps.
    Looking to do community services and handouts in cold weather.
    Looking to get a team together.

  43. Dine says:

    this is a very good prodject ! The world need superheroes in every day life.
    The real life superheroes are an exemple for people because they are so indifferent about the world around them !

  44. xHLERx says:

    I think this project start from a good idea, and has an interressant pupose. The people who launch it are really an exemple for me because they made a very good job on this website to give us some exemple of real life superhero. That is my oppinion, but i am not ready yet to be a superhero but I can make fews actions like pick up waste to put it in the bin.

  45. Pasta says:

    I think this website is a very good project, because it can to motive or push the persons to do good actions. Furthermore, it shows everybody can be a superhero, everybody can be to bright his rock to the edifice. Each person, each role is important to help the world. I will like to be a part of this project, in the purpose to help the world.

  46. lucas69 says:

    In my opinion, this project is great because people must react on that, but it would better that the article gives more exemples and specify in what everybody can help every day life . For having a better every day life, all people on the planet must make a help to feeding the hungry, to comfort the sick, and to clean up neighbourhood. Anyone could be a superhero. We don’t need a cape or a costum to be a superhero. We have just to help people.

  47. l-n 42 says:

    In my opinion, this project it is a good project because it attract lots of people ordinairies who wants to be a superhero in real life. I like the idea of the gallery exhibit because maybe, people find the hero who is in them by seeing differences costumes. I think the website is very rich in information and it is a very good starting point. But I doesn’t like to be part of the project because it is neccessary to be invested in 100% and I think it must be boring after a moment.

  48. jujuof42 says:

    In my opinion, this project can be a very interresting idea because helping people in difficulty is very good for our community. Moreover,according to the text, nowadays there are a lot of persons who need help and we must to help to feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, give a home and clothes to the homeless.
    I want to be part of this movement because i’m totally according to the author. I want to be useful to the community and in particular for the persons in diffuculties to help them so that they have a better life.

  49. Liog42 says:

    The project looks like a good idea but it is difficult to realize. I think, anyone can be a superhero, but there are persons who don’t help their friends, family, neighbors.. The autor wants that more people act for the world, I like this idea, because it is important to help people even if have got powers.
    I would like become a superhero like the persons describe in the text.

  50. Nusca says:

    I think that creating this website was a good idea because thanks to this website you know more about people who need help.
    I love the fact that everybody can be a part of the project, you don’t need special skills to help needy people. So we can say that everybody can be a superhero.
    Futhermore in the website you can find all the news about the project so it is very easy to be part of it.
    In my opinion the creation of this website shows that in a world full of injustices we can still have some hope.
    I would like to be a part of this project because helping destitute people is a good way to make some justice in the world.

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