Meet Black Widow, the Real-Life Superhero You Never Knew Existed

He calls himself “Black Widow”, but his homemade spandex costume makes him look like a cross between Spiderman and Deadpool. He has been patrolling the streets of Norfolk, in Hampton Roads for the past two years, although not many people even know he exists. That may have something to do with the fact that he hasn’t done much crime busting so far.

Black Widow refuses to reveal his face and his real name, but goes by the alias Matsuda Yuuma, and claims to be 20 years old. He says he is a first Dan black belt, and has also tried karate and Muay-Thai, but he hasn’t had the chance to test out his fighting skills in a clash with wrong-doers. In fact, he spends most of his days helping out the homeless, performing first aid in case of accidents, and the little crime fighting that he does mainly resumes to preventing car break-ins and de-escalating potentially violent situations. Still, he always carries a trusty can of pepper spray and a retractable police baton, in case things get hairy.

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Photo: Matsuda Yuuma/Facebook

The masked hero of Norfolk isn’t a big comic book fa, and although he claims to have seen the blockbuster hit Kick Ass, about an average high-school student who puts on a suit and becomes a real-life vigilante, he says that’s not what inspired him to become Black Widow. It was in fact his own childhood experience, and his suffering at the hands of bullies that made him want to do something to help those in need.

“I had ADHD and would do things like crawling around on the floor,” he told The Virginian Pilot. “People were just … they didn’t like things like that.”

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Photo: Matsuda Yuuma/Facebook

“We often get bullied,” he told Alt Daily. “We all have trauma that makes us who we are. It gives you a purpose. It can be a positive or a negative thing. It depends how you take it. I decided to turn it around, to become better.”

After starting his superhero career dressed in a Spiderman suit, Matsuda Yuuma quickly realized he wanted to develop his own persona, and since he didn’t have the money to have custom superhero suit made, he had to put it together himself, out of spandex he bought at thrift shops and pieces of Under Armor apparel. The result is actually pretty good for a homemade superhero costume.

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Photo: Matsuda Yuuma/Facebook

Apart from a few close friends, and some Norfolk policemen who made him take off his mask when they bumped into him, nobody knows what Black Widow actually looks like. He claims to get along well with the local law enforcement, despite the fact that they make him take off his mask all the time. He understands that it’s nothing personal, as the law prohibits people from wearing masks in public, but he feels he should be exempt from that rule, because of his role as a crime fighter.

As for helping out the police in their fight against wrongdoers, it was actually Black Widow who got saved by them. One time, when he confronted a violent husband who was abusing his wife, the real-life hero got punched in the chest. Luckily, the police arrived before the violent man could strike again. Despite his allegedly thorough martial arts training, Black Widow claims he only uses his fighting skills as a last resort. “I prefer to talk people out of a fight,” he says.

 

Black Widow has been around since March 2015, and plans to keep going for as long as he can. “It’s going to be a sad day when I can’t do this anymore,” he said.


   

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