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Carolyn Lavender and Brian Hughes' Found Superheroes

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Brian Hughes rescues superheroes.

His wife, Carolyn Lavender, grabs the large bowl full of characters and spreads them out on the couple's patio.

Decapitated, one armed, one legged, non-functioning superheroes (and a few villains) somehow find their way into Brian Hughes' line of vision -- usually while he's driving around for his day job as a buildings inspector.

He snatches them up, (sometimes) dusts them off and brings them home. All the time. And as a result, his large bowl on the patio has become a rehab of sorts for these plastic figurines.

Lavender and Hughes both dislike the term collection (mostly because it implies intent). Instead, Lavender calls theirs an organization of found things.

There are fewer superheroes than pieces of local artwork, books, magazine clippings and miniature figurines in their Phoenix home, but everything still has a special, very organized place; Lavender says she'd like to keep it that way.

Are you ready for some real superhero action? Our Best Of Phoenix issue hits stands this Thursday, Sept. 30. Stay tuned for more superhero coverage (including a "How To" tomorrow) ...

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.