Green Pilgrim

Alias(es): The Emerald Enforcer
Identity: Secret Alter Ego N/A
Category: Public Service
Location: Rochester, MN, USA
Status: Active (4/2007)

While he may be a man of few words, Green Pilgrim reserves his strongest ones for those who are considering donning the gear and joining the movement. “Wanna become a Real-Life Superhero?,” he asks, “COOL! But get ready to pay the price for all the secrets you’re gonna have to keep.”

Working to protect the people of southeastern Minnesota, kitted out in what can only be described as “green Space-Cowboy chic,” Green Pilgrim focuses his efforts on those who need it the most; the victims of tragedy, the homeless, and various non-political local charities, getting in quickly and quietly, and getting out the same way, much like the ghost from which he takes his name. “I become a lot less interesting if I hang around,” he claims. He also devotes a considerable amount of time running crime deterrence patrols—fully cognizant of the boundaries between his work and that of the police—and is prepared to make a Citizen’s Arrest, if necessary. And he does it all with a uniquely humble wit that borders on the self-effacing. “I’m basically just a guy who tries to do some good things,” he says. “I’ve succeeded at some, had marginal success at others, and have had my fair share of total screw-ups.”

A relative newcomer to the world of Real Life Superheroes, Green Pilgrim has quickly become admired and respected by his compatriots, which explains why so many potential Superheroes seek him out for advice. Eager to hit the streets swinging, they are quickly met with Green Pilgrim’s own brand of tough love, actively discouraging such newcomers from taking on what he characterizes as a highly-compartmentalized life. “I keep my identity a secret among a few close friends. The rest [of my former friends] don’t think I like them anymore, and I’ve given them a lot of good reasons to keep away.” That said, once a neophyte demonstrates a sincere commitment to the principles of life as a Superhero, Green Pilgrim is there for them 100%. “I’ll do anything to talk them out of it, but then, I want to help them do it any way I can.”

Yet beneath the no-nonsense demeanor, lies a heart that beats for the sole purpose of selflessly doing everything he can to comfort, aid, and assist those in need, whether it’s watching over the safety of others, exhausting his “Green Pilgrim budget” to provide treats for cats and dogs in a local shelter, or bringing a smile to the face of a child living in Ronald McDonald House. “We’re all people who have met through the Heroes Network,” a stronghold of information, strictly limited to those in the Real Life Superhero movement, “who are trying to be good. We’d be doing this whether we get press or not. It’s awesome, sure, but with or without it, we’re doing it anyway. And we’re going to keep doing it. Someone has to watch over those who no one watches.”

Serving as a symbol to encourage others to think about—and act upon—what they can do to make their world a better place, without wearing a uniform, Green Pilgrim readily admits to the transformative effect of suiting up and going to work. “You have to be pure, and when the costume goes on, it becomes pure. It’s the best thing you can possibly be, it’s the best I can possibly be. And every moment that costume is on, I am the best that I can possibly be.”

Cartoonist and creator of Totally Naked Man (https://totallynakedman.com/) and The Schlub (https://theschlub.com/).

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