It's a bird, it's a plane, it's....Phoenix Jones, Seattle's real life superhero! Phoenix walked in the door wearing his signature black and gold mask and black, muscle bound body armor. His masked accomplice, Evo, was by his side.
What's new with Phoenix Jones? The Rain City Superhero Movement is hiring and applications are currently available on his website.
"So far I've rejected six of the six applications I've got. They're like, 'I'm seven feet tall and super super buff right now. I don't know if there's a mask that will fit over my giant meat head. But it's cool, I just want to walk around and punch people. Let's go!' And I'm like, 'No.'"
So what is he looking for? People with military, police, or martial arts experience, medical experience and fighting skills.
"We want to make sure we have level headed, smart, intelligent, weird people who like to wear our outfits. Not crazy, violent people who like to wear costumes. It's hard to weed out the two."
The application specifically says "You must not be a journalist or a person going to school for journalism."
"There's a lot of thing that need to stay in-house. Five years from now, when we make mistakes, I don't need a book of all the mistakes we made on the street."
What are the hours and are there benefits?
"The benefit is we get to look awesome (laughs). The hours are anytime that there's a riot and or anything crazy going on in the city. We go out five nights a week. We post a schedule in a secret group, we all pick different days so each of the patrols has one team leader, one medic and one radio guy."
The positions are 100% volunteer, and the 15 current crime fighters pay the bills in many different ways.
"Boomer is a medic and he works as a security guard. One of the guys is a shoe salesman. I work with autistic kids, teaching them general life skills. [Evo is] a boxing instructor, one guy's a swim coach. That's weird."
I wondered if each member of his crew gets to choose their own name and costume.
"Kind of. The new guys get to choose a color. Until you make it past the rookie phase, you just get a color. So for example, [Evo] used to be Mr Blue. You come out and do 15 patrols, stop a violent crime, help with a medical assists, run the GoPro, run the live stream, write a few patrol logs and then we had to vote him in as a team. Then he got to choose a name. Then he just became Evocatus of Seattle. He doesn't get the Rain City title until we vote him in as full member of the team."
Phoenix Jones wife, Purple Reign is the only female team member. I wondered what motivates him to be a crime fighting superhero.
"Someone's got to go out there and look out for the people. The police and I have very different jobs, we're not competing. The police show up after the crime is over, or while the crime is taking place, after you've called. We witness what leads to the crime and then at that point intervene in the crime. When the police show up, I turn over the cameras. Here's the HD footage of what I witnessed. By the way, I'll be in court as a witness, here's ten other guys who will be witnesses in court. We have a legal team, so you don't have to worry about that. We'll see you whenever you need us."
Our very own Sean De Tore had his application ready when Phoenix and Evo arrived, so I set up a mini interview between them. Phoenix took a look at Sean's application.
"I think right here where it says, "Title: Associate Producer, Board Op at KIRO," that would pretty much be a 'no.' But let's continue."
The application asks: "What do you want to gain from this volunteer experience?"
Sean answered: "I think there are some people in this city who are up to no good and need to be taught a lesson. On the other hand, there are lots of good people in the city who get taken advantage of on a regular basis, and that needs to stop."
"Second part of the answer, awesome. First part of the answer, worries me," said Phoenix. "Anytime anyone says 'Needs to be taught a lesson' I get uncomfortable. Your demeanor doesn't strike me as a generally violent type. It could be the Clark Kent glasses that are throwing me off. We don't get to teach lessons, we get to stop people from perpetrating crimes. We get to give them to the authorities that are supposed to uphold the values that we all voted for."
"Where's the fight skills?" Phoenix asked. "Does he have any sort of training in any kind of fighting?"
"I was in a fight once when I was probably in seventh grade," Sean said. "It was just someone swinging me around by my arm and me really wishing it would stop. Then I left and ran for the bus. I don't have any fight skills, really."
"With this application, you're extremely unqualified. But the part of it I do like, is it was really well thought out. As far as joining the main group of the RCSM, you would probably end up getting hurt."
Click here for more information on how to apply to the Rain City Superhero Movement.