It’s not just movie or #TV screens that are filled with #superheroes. The real-life superhero (RLSH) movement can be found in cities all over the planet. The dawn of the real-life superhero movement can be traced back to the 1990s in Mexico City where the real-life superhero Superbarrio donned red tights and a wrestler’s mask and used his masked persona to organize labor rallies, protests, and battle against corrupt landlords who tried to evict poor families.
Since his first appearance, an online subculture has formed and developed with other real-life superheroes popping up to perform community service or even participate in the neighborhood watch, heroes like the former MMA fighter Phoenix Jones, who patrols the city of Seattle. Easily one of the oldest members of the RLSH movement is Master Legend, a man who patrols the great city of Orlando and has received a great deal of attention for his crusade.
Master Legend has been featured in documentaries and in Rolling Stone magazine. Recently, #Amazon purchased the rights to the original Rolling Stone article to commission a pilot for The Legend of Master Legend with Oscar nominee John Hawks playing Master Legend in the series. Amazon studios even invited Master Legend himself to come on set and consult during the filming of the pilot. The legend himself, Master Legend, was kind enough to take time out of his crime fighting schedule to answer a few question for us about the new series and his superhero career.
How was your trip to LA and how was it like to be on set and sit down with the creatives of the series?
ML: I have been to Hollywood four times now. I have to miss work and ride in airplanes which I don't like. LA is not like the hype it is given, very over crowded and I see more excitement in Orlando. As for the set, I never even seen it. I met a lot of the actors, but have a feeling of unrest in my spirit
What do you think about being played by Oscar-nominated actor John Hawkes?
ML: He seems like an OK guy. I haven't really seen any of his movie or watched any of his shows. Didn't even know him 'til I met him in person. I will say he is nicer than most I have met out there.
How does it feel to have your real-life superhero persona translated into the fiction world of a TV show?
ML: I really don't know how to feel. I worry it may not depict the real me so much.
When you were on set for consulting did they decide to draw any of their future storylines based on your experiences?
ML: I was not asked to go to Las Vegas or see the set. It is really a mystery to me.
The upcoming Amazon show is slated as a comedy. How much input did you have on the tone of the show, and how much did you collaborate with the creative team?
ML: Most of it is based on comics I drew and my life story. They take what they want and change it to their liking from what I see.
If the show is successful and goes on for multiple seasons, is there any chance they’ll look to your other super heroic stories for inspiration or will they create original material?
ML: I don't really know.
What do you hope most that people will take away about the real-life superhero phenomena from the Amazon show?
ML: If it is based on any of my true ideals I hope it will get help bring unity to people.
You were also featured prominently in the HBO documentary Superheroes. How did your experience with fiction crew compare to your experience working with a documentary crew?
ML: It seems different, but its the same business.
Who else in the real-life superhero community do you think deserves their own TV show?
ML: After all I've gone through and endless disappointment I don't think I want to wish that on any of my super friends. If it turns out to be a good thing I think Tothian would be good.
What’s the most difficult thing you’ve faced in your career as a real-life superhero?
ML: I have fought many bloody battles and been on emergency room table many times, I have have so many injuries i cant remember it all. I have even lost count of the concussions.
What kind of training do you do stay in shape and prepare yourself for your nightly patrols.
ML: I have worked very hard all my life. I am a kung fu master. I eat healthy food and concentrate on endurance and agility more than big muscles
How long does it take you to construct your costume? Have you ever helped another hero make theirs?
ML: There have been many and takes various times for each one, it is constantly evolving.
In numerous documentaries and films we’ve seen you building your own gadgets. What inspiration and engineering skills do you seek out when you're building a new crime fighting device?
ML: I try to be a real-life McGyver. Learning new things and modifying old methods. I have went to school for a number of trades including electrical, welding, and carpentry. These skills actually help me be a do it myself type.
Have you ever found any individual or group you would consider to be an arch nemesis?
ML: I consider the modern-day Illuminati my enemies.
You were around since the very beginning of the real-life superhero movement. How does it feel to see how much it’s grown in recent years?
ML: That is a dream come true. I just hope to find a way to progress it further to a fully functional community that works together to fight evil.
How did you come up with your name, Master Legend?
ML: I was a motocross stuntman known as The Legend. Later, I thought kung fu and was called Master Legend.
What’s your origin story? What inspired you to become a superhero?
ML: I came from badly abusive home. I can't stand to see others abused. In like second grade I made a mask to fight bullies. Nothing has changed and I'm 50 years old now.
One of the most classic problems that superheroes face is managing a dual life with two identifies. Has there been any times when your superhero life has created great difficulties in your civilian one?
ML: All the time. That is why I tell people it's a triple life not a double life.
What do you think your most heroic moment has been?
ML: I think it was the time I saved a number of lives in one day helping the cops after a hurricane. I got a certificate of commendation for that, but there are so many things hard to weigh and balance. Maybe it was the time I shut down a human trafficking ring or maybe the time I captured a horrible child molester or maybe the time I saved woman's life from man trying to murder her or maybe the times I supplied Christmas to thousands of homeless people — the list goes on.
There you have it folks! Words from the Master Legend himself. You can always see more of Master Legend on his website, or you can just wait until Amazon puts out their brand new show to see how the real-life Master Legend stacks up to the Legend of Master Legend.
Let us know what your thought are in the comments section!