By Jason Hood, November 16th, 2010

Past the quaint, stroller-lined streets of Park Slope, Brooklyn, there lies hidden a secretive establishment dedicated to serving those who serve this city in the name of truth, justice, and looking really awesome. I am talking, of course, of superheroes.

And did I say “secretive establishment”? I meant, a shop right on 5th Avenue with a big flashy sign. And a slick website. Hey, even superhumans could use a little advertising.

I may be a bit late on this, but I only just saw Kick-Ass a couple days ago. And when the title character wonders why no one has ever decided to be a superhero before, he must not have known about this place. (Or maybe he didn’t want to have to navigate all the way to Park Slope? I don’t blame him).

But no matter what, it’s an interesting concept that I’m surprised no one has tried before: a store providing those aspiring to be superheroes with all sorts of various gear, costumes and manuals to help them live out their comic book-inspired dreams. And while this writer doesn’t advocate readers putting themselves into dangerous situations in an effort to clean up this city, there certainly appears to be something for everyone here, including a rather tongue-in-cheek “secret identity program” for those heroes who have trouble fitting in amongst the masses. This includes costumes ranging from “cranky head chef” to “suave airline pilot,” secret identity T-shirts, and for a price, a “mild manner.” Every successful undercover superhero is going to be looking for one of these. You certainly don’t want to be the only hot-tempered reporter at the Daily Planet, do you?

For those not so interested in assimilating, there’s also a number of essential gadgets for your utility belt such as a Sonic Blaster, a Thunder Inducer, an Air Cannon, and various bottled tonics such as Mind Control, Truth Serum, and bottled Justice. They also have a selection of capes for heroes and sidekicks, leotards, masks, and glasses, both in the rear-view and X-ray varieties.

And while it may appear to all be fantasy-based, the people behind this store actually do their share of good deeds—all proceeds go directly to support 826NYC, a nonprofit organization that helps students develop their creative and expository writing skills.

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