On New York’s mean streets there is a secretive group of men and women fighting crime, poverty and generally lending a helping hand.
They are part of a loose coalition of people called The Real Life Superheroes.
In the day they do relatively normal jobs, but when the sun goes down the costumes come out and the missions begin.
Nobody knows exactly how many are involved, but Sky News met three of them.
Nicole Abramovici is The Prowler, a ‘superhero’ who specialises in helping animals and the homeless.
She runs her own business as a professional organiser, hired by clients to de-clutter and streamline their lives.
It means there is a ready supply of items to donate to the needy, which she tries to do at least twice a month.
Dressed in her cat costume at Penn Station in midtown Manhattan, she explained to Sky News why she does it.
She said: “It was the way that I could interact directly with the recipients of the goods I wanted to give, and not be held up by any bureaucracy or agency, and if wearing a superhero costume was what it took to do it, I was happy to do it.
“It’s kind of become exciting for me. It helps with approaching homeless people when you have something that makes you stand out.
“They don’t think I’m coming up to arrest them, or pick on them, and obviously something fun is going on, so it’s a little bright spot in their day.
“The Real Life Superheroes are amazing,” she says. “We all do different things. Some of us do homeless outreach in the streets, some of us break up fights that we see outside bars.
“But everybody has a great big heart, everybody has their own style … we welcome more superheroes. please join us!”
Chris Pollak works at the more dangerous end of the spectrum.
He is a martial arts instructor by day. By night, he is the Dark Guardian.
Often joined by other superheroes, he patrols high-crime areas to act as a deterrent… see more