THE BLOG
03/19/2012 06:05 pm ET | Updated May 19, 2012

Zoltan Kohari: Bat From (Near) Bratislava

DUNAJSKA STREDA, Slovakia - Here's a little morsel per Reuters:

"His utility belt might not be as well-equipped as the TV version and he hasn't had to fight Penguin's henchmen yet, but Zoltan Kohari has nailed the superhero look and grit needed to fight evil in the southern Slovak town of Dunajska Streda."

It's true, apparently. There's a real-life Batman taking care of a town in Slovakia. Kohari, a 26-year-old occasional house painter, spent eight months in jail last year and sources say he attempted suicide before turning his life to the side of truth, justice and the Slovakian way. He now embarks on nightly patrols from an abandoned apartment he converted into his own Batcave and he patrols the streets of Dunajska Streda in a homemade leather costume to the adulation of his fellow citizens.

Says Kohari, "I have decided to do good for the people. I take care of order and help clean up the environment so we can keep living on this planet."

You might be wondering, "Where the heck is Slovakia?" and shame on you. Slovakia is smack-dab in the middle of Europe, right next to Austria, right downstairs from Poland. It's not Slovenia, which is over near Croatia, but Slovakia is a country nonetheless, as is Slovenia, which you should know if you want to seem less typically American than you actually are during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics a mere four months from now.

Enough culture.

Kohari is just one in a recent rash of self-styled superheroes inspired, no doubt, by films like Kick Ass and Defendor. In Seattle, the curiously-dubbed "Phoenix Jones" (Benjamin John Francis Fodor, 23), leader of the Rain City Superhero Movement, was arrested in-character last year after using pepper spray to break up a fight.

It's inspiring, so much so that I would actually consider being a freelance superhero, if not for the fact that I'm an ordinary middle-aged man with no costume and less-than-average courage. I guess I have to save my heroism for the World of Warcraft, where just last night my warrior, Finbar, a superhero in his own right, assisted a blood elf damsel in distress and nobody at Reuters wrote a word about it. And if you think I've got a sad life, well at least I don't own a bat suit.