Photo by Joyce Nelson
An Inside Look At Norfolks Own Superhero, "The Widowster"
Joyce Nelson | Contributing Writer
Superheroes seem to only exist in comic books or movies. Norfolk is certainly not Gotham City, or even New York City in the Marvel Universe. It is a city with its own problems and issues that people try hard to fix each and every day. Sometimes, however, a hero is not just a 911 call away. It could be just a person you know being kind and doing a good deed.
Norfolk has its superhero, a man who calls himself, "The Widowster." He roams the streets in an outfit similar to Deadpool because of the red and black colors, or Spiderman from the insignia on his chest, depending on how people see his suit. The one thing he has in common is that he is out there helping others, fighting crime in his own way.
Berkeley was known for not being one of safest areas in Norfolk, but in the past year or two it has slowly changed into a quiet area. This of course could be the result of many different things, or, it could be the ardent work of the Widowster.
He patrols the night in his Widowster uniform, being careful to check what is going on around him through Facebook.
“Waking up is just like a normal day. Even when it was really hyped,” he said. He goes out around 7 p.m. and heads home around 11-12 p.m. “ When it is cold I head home earlier, unless I am prepared with hand and feet warmers.”
Of course, every good superhero needs a sidekick, even if it's just a close friend. When The Widowster is not patrolling the city alone, he has his friend Marcus with him. They have known each other since the end of their senior high school year. He is his the yin to his yang. “I am more of a hothead, he is more of a peacekeeper” Marcus said. “ I come along to make sure things don’t get too bad out here with him.”
The Widowster dosen't have much in the way of a background story, but takes pause to talk about how he got started. “At the time, after my ninja days, I was welding a batman suit at the time. But my mentor, Tony, gave me the idea to become a potential Spiderman”
He has clearance from the Norfolk District Administration to wear his mask and carries a baton for his protection. At one time he was known as Black Widow, but soon decided to change it to The Widowster.
His main mission is de-escalating situations that could be solved easily, rather than have them become a bigger problem. He is out mostly helping the homeless, doing special events like birthday parties, and sometimes stopping small fights. Nothing so far has been dangerous.
“Everybody has a chance, everybody deserves a chance,” the Widowster said. There are local panhandlers that do not help the situation. “The first fight I stopped was at ODU’s Mini Con 2016, which two guys were fighting over a phone,” he said. “It was the first one that didn't involve me defending myself.”
With every superhero, there is a always a villain that tries to stop them. “Everyone has their obstacle, Man Man, is just one of those, ”the Widowster said. Man Man is the Widowster’s villain.
“He is just using the ladder system to get people to follow him,” said Marcus.
“But yeah, I just play along with that he does,” the Widowster commented.
We live in a world with people complaining about the help we don’t get and are divided in the tension. “People who complain are just adding to the problems. If nobody does it who will?” he said.
There is no competition between him or the police. He does not want take away from what they do because he is just one man. He has been working on various projects, such as Project Persona, which is a way for people to find themselves.
“I am here to help my community. Make a difference in the community,” he said.