The Legend of Master Legend in Rolling Stone (complete story) by Joshuah Bearman


BB pal Joshuah Bearman says:

I was planning to tell you about this epic tale I wrote for Rolling Stone about Master Legend, a real life superhero. But Boing Boing beat me to the punch! I was wondering if I could entice you to do an updated post now that the full story is not only available at RS but also, in full layout PDF on my blog

In addition to the layout, I put up a whole series of extra bonus Master Legend pictures. I mean, who can resist ML once you see him striking a pose in the sunset?

And that's the thing about ML. I really wanted to highlight his story for your readers, both because its right on point but also because I know that the narrative at Boing Boing (and in the wider world) about real life superheroes has mostly been bemusement at the weirdos in spandex. That was my perception of the world when I started reporting. But this is most serious look at what it actually means that people are doing this, and having found Master Legend and spent a lot of time with him, I realize that what he's doing is strange, yes, but also strangely sympathetic.

Yes, the story of Master Legend can be very funny at times, because Master Legend lives life like he's in a comic book. He even has a band, also called the Justice Force, made up of his superheroes, and they sing epic prog rock jams about the Manichean struggle of good against evil. But the thing is Master Legend is always trying to help people, every day. He's the type of dude who would give a guy his last dollar, and he doesn't have that much to start with. He made me genuinely think about what I do to help people. Take it from an enthusiastic reader who already saw the article and tracked me down to summarize as follows:

Everyone has a bit of Master Legend in them. But we don't have courage to let him out.

Awesome, right? I want to get Master Legend's story out to as many readers as possible, so they can all experience The Legend of Master Legend for themselves. I feel like the premature link was a bit of a false start, and if you can figure out a way to highlight it again, I'd be forever grateful. As would Master Legend.

The Legend of Master Legend


  1. My first reaction was to ridicule mercilessly, but after reading the article, Master Legend is OK, just a different page of the “Community Service” book.

  2. Mater reminds me of tater
    And taters make me hungry

    And now to channel Sling Blade
    I want me some french fried taters mmmhmm…

  3. bah! hardly any of them listed an arch enemy, what sissies!

    I for one delight in my super-villain status and have the mustache to match. I didn’t decide to become a super-villain, but I cannot deny fate.

    let the arching begin!

  4. (re: Master Legend article)
    I have a world of respect for these guys. They organise charities, help those around them with practical solutions, make a change in people’s lives rather than just talking about it. If their costumes help in getting the job done – even if it is by giving them the confidence to take action – I say great!

    Why should spandex be any different to a cancer-ward clown, a rock-star’s outlandish outfit at a benefit concert, even a priest’s sometimes funny clothing when helping the community? Easy to make fun of, but at least Master Legend is doing, not just talkin’.

  5. #2 – If these guys had actually been made fun of by an anonymous commenter on the internet, I have no doubts they’d wither away and retire immediately. Thank goodness you’ve chosen to use your powers more wisely.

  6. Ohhh humanity…
    You are so very very human, with your pathos and bathos.

    Can someone more erudite than myself please please proffer the perfect quote from Cervantes’ Don Quixote?

  7. I do hate to poke at them, but some polyfilla, fiberglass, and metal flake paint would do wonders for the Battle Truck.

    “To the Battle Truck!”

    “…you mean the Nissan?”

    “Yeah. That.”

  8. That article could have used more pronouns. After about 500 words it is clear we are talking about Master Legend. Repeating Master Legends name every time Master Legend is referred to leads me to to believe that there was still some fun being made of him (Master Legend) although perhaps with more superficial charity than most would offer. The message of the article appears to be that he is a positive, albeit goofy force in the universe – narrating it in toned-down comic book prose undermines that notion, somewhat.

  9. I read the Rolling Stone article. And it made me very happy.

    Master Legend, Mr. Voodoo salutes you. Stay safe.

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