Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Real Life Superhero Files: Motor Mouth

Posted By on Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge motor.jpg

In this week's cover story, we presented The Ray, a Target employee from

Antioch who was arrested in the General Strike march in Oakland last

month while acting as a Real Life Superhero. The Ray is far from the

only civilian-turned-comic book hero fighting crime or helping the needy

around the Bay Area.

Oh, there are more. Many more.

Here's Motor Mouth, the yammering crime fighter who claims to have sparked the local superhero scene when he starting crime patrols four years ago. He now heads the Northern California Protectorate, and is always looking to recruit. (He says any superhero aspirants can write him at

Handle: Motor Mouth, for his propensity to talk. And talk. "I like to speak up. Not everything I say may be what they want to hear, but I'm going to say it, nonetheless."

Patrol Turf: San Francisco's Tenderloin, Mid-Market, and SOMA; Oakland.

Day Job:
Former security guard and Eagle Scout, current special ed teacher.

Costume: Black Doc Marten boots with orange stripes, bulletproof vest, face cover, and sometimes a Captain America shield.

Superhero services: Crime

patrols and riot control; supplies drops to Occupy encampments;

homeless hand-outs of bottled water, juice box, granola bars, trail mix,

socks, and a poncho.

What comic books he's reading now:
"A lot of Justice League, Fantastic Four."

click to enlarge motor2.jpg

Manifesto on standing up for what's right: "People

need to realize there is good in the world, things that are genuinely

good and genuinely evil. The problem is people aren't wiling to admit

that it's bad or good anymore. People would rather go with the general

consensus of things than have their own thoughts."

On how to sniff out crime:

almost like old-fashioned beat cops, being steered around the streets

by our senses. I go where my gut tells me to go. Sometimes my guy will

tell me to go six blocks ahead, sometimes my gut will tell me to zig-zag

back and forth."

Motor Mouth vs. Oscar Grant rioters: During

the riot in downtown Oakland protesting Oscar Grant's death at the

hands of a BART cop, Motor and two teammates saw a mob about to break

the windows of a tapas bar. "I was like, 'Oh hell no!' I tapped both my

guys on the shoulder and said follow my lead, and I was sparking my

[stun-gun blast] knuckles, my guy with a Taser on my left and the guy

with a shiv on right, and the whole crowd was just staring at us like,

'Who the fuck are you?' People started seeing the cops coming and

realized it wasn't worth the trouble and walked away."

On why you can be a superhero even with a beer gut:

"I don't care if you weight 400 pounds or are underweight and have

never been in a fight in your life. I believe the beauty of this is

anyone can do it.... If you have the mindset, the other stuff will fall

into place."

On why he likes to wear a superhero costume: "
We can make people believe, for a fraction of a second, that comic book heroes can exist and can help

people. Whether it's helping a lady across the street or catching a

purse-snatcher. You are taking something fictional on every level and

trying to do something that's real."

click to enlarge On patrol with the Nor-Cal Protectorate.
  • On patrol with the Nor-Cal Protectorate.

Photos by Joseph Schell

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Lauren Smiley


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