Superheroes are cool right? Sure they are. Who doesn’t like dressing up as Batman for a night on the town? And no hurricane is going to stop Spiderman from having a day at the beach. Who wouldn’t want to be a superhero?
If you live in Seattle, you’ve probably heard of a man going by the name of Phoenix Jones. After being fed up with witnessing crimes in which no bystanders did anything, Phoenix Jones (real name Benjamin Francis Fodor) put on a mask and costume and decided to take things into his own hands to prevent crime and assault.
He actually gathered quite a bit of buzz on the internet as videos of him were uploaded showcasing his activities breaking up fights and chasing off muggers. It all seemed good at first. He made sure the police were aware of what he was doing and his real identity. Though they didn't approve of what he was doing, Phoenix Jones’ activities hadn’t exactly broken any laws. The only equipment he carried was a stun baton, pepper spray, tear gas, handcuffs, and a first aid kit. He also had a nifty bullet proof suit he’d made which looked kinda cool and had a camera in the chest so that everything he did was documented. Several other people took up the cause forming the Rain City Superhero Movement. But things started to go a little sideways.
Arrests for assault investigations, conflicting eye witness reports over whether Phoenix Jones pepper spraying people was justified, some indications that he was starting to invest in this whole superhero thing a bit too much. Someone decided a line needed to be drawn.
"How did this happen? When I see that our boys in blue are being replaced by a hobo-snitch in a mask gallivanting around with a slew of nerds in tights! I have to wonder…what direction is our fair city heading in?"
Donning a purple suit, bowler hat, eye patch, fake scar, cane, and ridiculous mustache, Seattle comedian Ryan Cory became the super villain known as Rex Velvet and proclaimed Phoenix Jones to be a huge nerd. Because every hero needs a villain Rex Velvet put out a series of videos1 asserting his goal to be putting an end to his black and gold nemesis and those like him. And like any self respecting villain he did the opposite of what the "hero" did.
Rex Velvet freely and openly talked to the press calling Phoenix Jones out in order to talk some sense into him.
Phoenix Jones pepper sprayed black bloc protesters during May Day Protest. Rex Velvet gets "thwarted" by the Make A Wish Foundation.
Phoenix Jones tries to raise money for a replacement suit after his first was confiscated by the police. Rex Velvet forms the Social Villains Alliance2 to raise money for the Seattle Police Foundation.
Phoenix Jones says arresting people for marijuana is a low priority for himself. Rex Velvet...sells vodka?
For his one year anniversary Rex Velvet threw a big party and donated ticket sales to the Make-A-wish Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Freedom Is Not Free Organization.
"My name is Rex Velvet. The people’s villain if you will."
1. Videos: part one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbUQKFcYeU8, part two http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q40bvxBcfYI, part three http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMLBYcciiqw, part four http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOWi1Btf42Q.
2. Social Villains Alliance website