DangerMan: A modern superhero fighting city crime with LA youth

April 26, 2012, 11:34 a.m.

DangerMan has been fighting crime since 1998. (Credit: Hayley Fox/Oncentral)

Roger Tinsley is a full-time superhero. His alias, DangerMan, has been fighting crime in urban areas for 14 years, through speaking at career days, entertaining at health fairs and developing an extensive youtube channel with daily postings dubbed "A DangerMan Moment."

Although he's based in Los Angeles with an office in Studio City, Tinsley travels to cities across the country promoting child literacy and health, from Chicago to Detroit, Miami, Houston and Dallas.

"This is my full time job... that's right. And I love it," he said.

DangerMan said he began down his path of superpower after a tragic incident in 1998 hit him particularly hard. He said a Latino family was driving down the 10 freeway with their 4-year-old daughter on the way to a birthday party in East L.A., when a stray bullet hit the child and killed her.

"Here we are in the greatest country in the land, our kids are in danger and I wanted to do something about it," he said.

DangerMan's list of causes run the gamut of city issues -- he speaks out on gangs, guns and drugs, sex trafficking, reading and the peril of strangers.

"Theres plenty of people going around in suits and casual clothes doing it," he said, "but I do it as DangerMan.

He added, "It leaves a lasting impression on them -- that a superhero came in -- and it's a brand that i can build as part of my legacy."

And his legacy is extensive and thoroughly modern, embracing technology to create a short film, web series, YouTube channel and professionally designed costume.

"I'm very active on about 10 different social media sites…I have a huge fan base," he said.

The royal blue outfit DangerMan now wears is a "second edition" costume -- his first had padding, a red cape and was extremely difficult to take on and off. The superhero said that he needed something more conducive to quick-changes, so after 9/11 he said he decided to reinvent his image -- and created the two piece outfit he wears today.

Every proper hero needs a slick ride, and for DangerMan it's the "Danger One"; his custom Mustang that sports his logo. He said it goes fast and the kids love it.

DangerMan will do four to five events per week -- this Saturday he has two in one day. He's been recently sighted at Trayvon Martin rallies.

The superhero is sponsored by organizations such as the Aetna Foundation, who provide thousands of dollars in grants for him to educate youth on reading and fitness.

DangerMan has almost 1,500 YouTube subscribers, 68 Facebook subscribers and about 1,300 Twitter followers -- but he has "haters" too, he said.

To them he says: "I didn't know there was an age limit in trying to make a difference in the world," he said.

Stories nearby