Eat your heart out, Batman. In a niche of urban life that has evolved in recent years somewhere between comic-book fantasy and the Boy Scout oath, a cadre of self-cast crusaders — some with capes, some without, all with something to prove — are on the march.
They prowl the night in Boston, in San Francisco, in Milwaukee, in Minneapolis, even as far away as Australia. Whether they are making the world safer or just weirder remains an open question.
Some go out armed with gear like mace, pepper spray or police batons; others say they carry only cellphones, aiming to be eyes and ears for the police, who in most cities, including Salt Lake City, are keeping a wary distance.
… Red Voltage (pictured above, center), who in mild-mannered daytime life is a 23-year-old residential leasing manager named Roman Daniels, casually waved a gloved hand to his female drive-by fan. Clad head to toe in a red-and-black leather suit, his face covered by spandex, he is, he said, a different man when the mask goes on — a better man.
“But there are times when I’m putting the suit on, and I’m just like, ‘How crazy am I to do this?’ I do feel odd and out of the box,” said Mr. Daniels, who took over leadership of the group here, called the Black Monday Society, about six months ago, after two years of patrols. “But it’s good,” he added. “It feels really good — for the most part.”