By Blake Jones
In a summer filled with blockbuster superhero movies such as “The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” and “The Amazing Spiderman,” Free Press Houston set out on a mission to find some real caped crusaders. For the past few years, a group of civilians calling themselves the Xtreme Justice League have been patrolling the greater San Diego area in an attempt to “suppress evil.” Geared in masks and armor, and equipped with pepper spray and stun guns, these masked crime fighters take to the streets to help out those in need. Recently FPH got the opportunity to speak with XJL leader Mr. Xtreme about his tireless efforts keeping the streets clean, his run-ins with the law, and why George Zimmerman is a dipshit.
FPH: First of all, tell me about yourself and the Xtreme Justice League?
MRX: The Xtreme Justice League (XJL) is a group of costumed crime fighters that are part of the global Real-Life Superhero movement. The purpose and goal of the XJL is to prevent and stop violent crime in the communities that we patrol. We also strive to raise awareness about violent crime issues that affect us. We strive to inspire and empower people to get involved and make a difference in their communities. We want to work to further the growth of the RLSH movement, promote unity and work with other groups, and give at-risk youth an alternative to gangs, drugs, and criminal lifestyles. The XJL was founded in the summer of 2006 by me. San Diego is the mother chapter and most active. There are other chapters and affiliates in Portland, Inland Empire, New York, North Carolina, etc. The name Xtreme Justice League comes from the Justice League of America and the Xtreme Football League. I currently serve as the San Diego Chapter Leader. I run the day-to-day operation of XJL SD. The other chapters are autonomous. Eventually when we grow more and develop a fundraising program, I will be able to travel and assist the other groups with their efforts.
FPH: What are the reasons for the public activism and the XJL? Was there one single event that led to you taking justice into your own hands?
MRX: The reasons for our involvement vary among us. For me, my reason is to make a difference, save lives, and inspire others to do something positive. It also serves for me as a form of therapy. I myself have experienced bullying, abuse, and violence in my upbringing. I could have joined a gang or gotten involved with the wrong crowd, but I chose to go out and try to do something good. I also got fed up with all the violence, apathy, and indifference. I felt compelled to do something. Before I got involved with the XJL/RLSH, I was involved in another crime prevention group for many years. Also I don’t feel that we take justice or the law into our own hands. We strive to work with the police and handle all situations professionally.
FPH: I’ve read on numerous websites that other civilian crime-fighting groups have sprung up in other cities. Do you or the XJL have anything to do with these? If not, what do you think of them?
MRX: I think the existence of other civilian crime-fighting groups is awesome – the more eyes and ears out there the better. People need to get involved. As long as these groups are following the law, not violating people’s rights, and being safe on patrol, I support those efforts. I don’t support vigilantism, firearms on patrol, or dipshits like George Zimmerman. The XJL has inspired quite a few others to get going. People contact me all the time from everywhere asking for advice or just telling me how we have inspired them. They pretty much do their own thing though. Eventually we will work more on our expansion efforts and help out other teams. We have also worked with the CA Initiative, Rose City Rebellion, and LA Initiative before. Good people.
FPH: How do you go about protecting and defending yourself? From the pictures I’ve seen, pads and helmets seem to be the standard among the group. How about weapons? Do you guys have an approved list or standards?
MRX: We work with a martial arts instructor every week and we train as a group in scenarios monthly. I, myself, train in different arts weekly on my own also. Some of the other guys train on their own also. Most of us have some type of armor on our patrol gear. A few of us have ballistic and stab resistant armor. Some have only motocross armor. We encourage our members to armor up. For certain patrols, ballistic armor is required. As far as weapons go, only legal, less-lethal weapons can be carried. Pepper spray, stun guns, and tactical flashlights are the most common. We pretty much have to follow our state laws as far as what we can carry. We also prohibit guns, big knives, swords, etc.
FPH: Have you guys run into any backlash from say, other groups, other citizens, or even any trouble with the police?
MRX: As far as backlash goes, we do get our fair share of disses out on patrol. I also lost one of my jobs because someone in the organization I once worked for didn’t like it and felt it was a conflict. I don’t give a shit what the naysayers think; I stand up for what I believe in and that’s it. The amount of positive responses lately seems to outweigh the negativity and for that I’m really stoked. In the early days in SD, our relationship with the police was a little rough, not too bad though. We’ve been detained, had guns pulled on us, and the police have tried arresting me before. We were once branded as vigilantes by the Chula Vista Police in 2008 when we tried to assist them with raising awareness about a sexual assault suspect running around. The police in general seem to be more supportive of us. The police officials won’t give us an endorsement, but the beat cops seem to work with us when we do get involved in a situation.
FPH: Have there been any serious injuries to any team members?
MRX: No serious injuries. Thank God! The most that has happened so far that I can think of was Urban Avenger got his ribs bruised, Divine Force got a fat lip, and Rouroni (RIP) got some blowback pepper spray in his face. Radnor did get socked in the face and got some blowback from my pepper spray during a Code Xtreme in downtown SD. Safety is very important. Getting hurt on patrol means you fucked up. It’s nothing to go around bragging about. I think I broke a nail during a Code Xtreme. So maybe I fucked up and need to get to the dojo more. Just kidding about that part!
FPH: Have you or anyone in the team landed in any really bad situations, such as being outnumbered or a hostage situation? If so how was it handled?
MRX: There’s been a few hairy situations. The guys on 4-man patrol had to deal with a Code Xtreme downtown – a group of people were fighting. The XJL wedged in to break the fighters apart and disperse the crowd. A few of the fighters in the situation turned on the XJL and began swinging on the patrol. Urban Avenger pulled out a can of pepper spray and sprayed them all. That stopped the situation pretty fast. The mutants ran off writhing in pain. That was the incident where UA caught full blowback of his own spray. Another really scary one was me and Grim were patrolling in Escondido, CA. Our 2-man patrol crossed paths with a bunch of cholos. They threatened to fuck us up. We tried to walk away, but they followed us. Next thing you know, we were facing 8 gang members threatening to do us in. I pretty much talked them down and we were able to walk away and go back to our cars. That situation could have easily escalated. We got lucky. Of course if they did try to press an attack, we would have to defend ourselves. Not fun.
FPH: Is there a level of anonymity amongst the group or even in within individual social circles? What I’m trying to say is, do your friends and family know what your up to or is this a very secret type of thing?
MRX: We pretty much know who each of us is. Most of our families know we do this. We try to keep our identities secret from the general public though. For me, however, it’s much more difficult now since I’ve been in the media quite a bit. Even if my name was posted, it would not stop me from continuing to fight the good fight. There’s just way too much evil in this world.
FPH: What is the most satisfying encounter you or a team member has had?
MRX: For me the most satisfying event in my life was when I saved a woman’s life from being murdered in a dark alley. If we had not intervened, she might not have survived.
FPH: Finally, who is your favorite superhero and have they inspired you in any particular way?
MRX: I, myself, have quite a few heroes that have inspired me – both real and fictional. Dark Guardian was one of my first influences. He’s got skills and is very courageous. I definitely consider DG a pioneer of the RLSH movement.
Shadow Hare was a strong influence on me also. We worked together and he was my good friend. I knew him personally. He inspired me to stand up for what I believe in and not care what the naysayers think. Just do it. He taught me that it’s ok to get a little wild sometime.
Lord Chain and 9 of 10 did a real good lecture on the RLSH movement many years ago. I got inspired by that video and still refer back to it from time to time.
The Guardian Angels – the crime fighting patrollers in the red berets. I learned much from them and met many great people. A few assholes, but many wonderful and dedicated folks in the GA camp.
James Richards – original LA Guardian Angel and Venice anti-crime activist. He lived for the cause and wanted to make his neighborhood safer. He paid for his efforts with his life. He was gunned down by gang members in 2000 in front of his home. I’m glad I had the chance to meet and work with him before he died. People like James Richards is one of the main reasons I continue to do this work. Speaking of James Richards, we will be working on establishing an XJL chapter out in LA next year in his honor.
My teammates and all RLSH’s. You guys rock!
Finally, the fictional superhero that inspired me most is Mirage Man. This movie changed my life! It’s about a Chilean martial artist whose family was violently victimized in an attack. He saves someone’s life and then becomes a crime fighter. Best and most realistic RLSH movie ever!!! Definitely check it out.
This whole XJL effort is dedicated to all victims of violent crime and their loved ones. Our hearts go out to them.