Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, and it’s not Superman either: It’s Seattle’s very own Red Ranger, a self-described superhero and crime fighter who patrols the city’s streets looking for criminals to fight and damsels to save.
With a strong Instagram presence and a growing TikTok profile, the Red Ranger has become an internet sensation, particularly in his hometown of Seattle. A member of the Emerald City Heroes Organization, which is basically like if the Avengers were just random people without any superpowers, the Red Ranger has been defending the city’s residents since at least 2013.
@redranger.of.seattle (Disclaimer: archived video uploaded from Instagram) Patrol tonight in Seattle! We were able to greet members of the community and deter crime in the area. We will continue to patrol the streets, so stay safe and we'll see you out there! #Seattle #seattlesuperhero #redranger #emeraldcityheroesorganization #ECHO #patrol #pnw #rlsh #reallifesuperheroes #crimewatch #communityaid #washington #emeraldcity #seattlesuperheroes #washington #pnwlife ? original sound - Red Ranger @redranger.of.seattle (Disclaimer: archived post uploaded from Instagram) Out supporting People's Rights after the decision by the SCOTUS to overturn Roe v. Wade. We support all people's healthcare rights and are out here to keep our community safe as they protest and share their voices. Stay safe, all, and we'll see you in the streets! #emeraldcityheroes #emeraldcityheroesorganization #echo #redranger #rlsh #superhero #reallifesuperheroes #seattlesuperheroes #seattle #protest #roevwade #pnw #washington #patrol ? original sound - Red Ranger
The Red Ranger sports a red and black costume that looks like a cross between a Transformer, a Power Ranger and Deadpool and can often be seen brandishing a shield with his own logo — an upside-down peace sign — emblazoned on it. According to the Red Ranger himself, he is “martially trained,” has emergency response and de-escalation skills and is also schooled in lawful use of force and carries “several nonlethal armaments” (the specifics of which he doesn’t name).
The Red Ranger’s allies include other members of the Emerald City Heroes Organization (or ECHO), including Justin Service, with whom he often does patrols and who sports a white and green costume; El Caballero, the founder of ECHO who wears a luchador mask and claims to be a real knight; and Phoenix Jones, who was unmasked in 2011 after being arrested for pepper-spraying people who were fighting outside a club.
In one post, the Red Ranger describes a typical evening patrol during the worst of the COVID pandemic, which included delivering food, water and essential medical supplies including PPE to unhoused people around Seattle, as well as “deescalat[ing] some violent scenes” and providing some first aid.
Other activities the self-described superhero participates in include toy drives for hospitalized children during Christmas, and attending protests and marches to act as an observer and “help people stay safe.” At one such protest last year, the Red Ranger confronted a homophobic and anti-Semitic counter-protester and turned him over to the Seattle Police Department.
Neighborhood patrols are by no means a new phenomenon, and it seems like the Red Ranger is doing decent mutual aid work within his community, but the question must be asked: Is the costume necessary? Are the “nonlethal armaments” necessary? Nothing he’s describing goes beyond work that plenty of regular people manage to do day in and day out without costumes and armaments, but being a volunteer/good samaritan isn’t nearly as gimmicky or attention-grabbing.
Without the costume, he’s just a guy standing on a roof; with it, he’s a guy standing on a roof who thinks he’s IRL Batman.