There’s Batman and The Punisher, and then there’s real life which is much more interesting.
Anti Horse Thief Association
This group was founded in 1859 in Fort Scott, Kansas by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to protect honest folks from having their horses stolen during the Kansas-Missouri Border War. Over the next several years, the group expanded and there were chapters in several other states during a lawless period after the Civil War when gangs hid in the Indian Territory and survived by stealing livestock. So successful was the AHTA that their activity was considered a valuable contribution to law-enforcement and today the group still exists as a fraternal organization.
The Guardian Angels
This vigilante group is still active, and their website presents them as upstanding members of the community. But when they first started getting known in the 80s, the news made it sound like they would kick your ass just for looking like a bad ass.
Cincinatti has its own real life super hero, and I’m not talking about Venus Fly Trap. Meet Shadow Hare – he lurks in the shadows, interferes with petty street crime, and hands out food to the homeless. He’s even a member of a real-life Justice League called the Alligiance of Heroes that includes Aclyptico in Pennsylvania and Mr. Extreme in California.
The Black Monday Society
Protecting the streets of Salt Lake City, Utah comes the Black Monday Society. Founded by a tattoo artist and comic book fan named Dave, the BMS patrols on Friday and Saturday nights, but uses Monday in their name because “it sounds cool”. Their roster includes heroes like Ferox, Ghost, Silver Dragon, and Oni (whose wife makes the group’s costumes). Where Shadow Hare focuses on community outreach, the BMS interferes with drug deals and gang activity. Somebody is going to get hurt.
The Sombra Negra
Their name translates to “Black Shadow”, and they’re a group of the craziest people to have ever stepped foot upon the Earth. This Texas-based death squad took it upon itself to wage war against one of the most ruthless and dangerous criminal organizations in the world – El Salvador’s Mara Salvatrucha. Stats are hard to come by because they are more shadowy than the shadowy criminal organization they’re after and it is alleged that their ranks include police and military personnel. Not much is known about them, aside from that their preferred method of justice is to bind and blindfold the accused and solve the issue with a point-blank shot to the back of the head.