CEDAR CITY — The beloved comic book character Batman made a surprise public appearance in Cedar City Monday evening, waving to passing motorists from the corner of Main Street and 200 North.
Clad in an all-black cape and cowl reminiscent of the costume worn by Michael Keaton in the classic 1989 film “Batman,” the Dark Knight waved and interacted with onlookers for more than two hours.
Numerous drivers passing through the busy intersection honked their horns in appreciation, as many passengers also waved back. Several small children approached for high fives, while other pedestrians and bicyclists passing by stopped and asked if he could pose with them for a selfie, which Batman gladly obliged.
Cedar City News spoke with the Caped Crusader himself shortly before he made his way over to Main Street Park.
Although he did divulge his secret identity to Cedar City News, he asked that he simply be referred to either as Batman or his alter ego Bruce Wayne for the purposes of this story.
He explained that he lives in Indiana but is in Southern Utah for awhile, visiting relatives in his extended family. He further stated that he is not selling anything, nor is he motivated by anything other than altruistic reasons.
“I chose to do this because I want to bring something positive to my community back in Indiana,” he said. “I want people to have something that takes their mind off of negativity.”
“Wayne” said when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, he went around giving away free toilet paper to those in need, especially people who couldn’t find any on the store shelves.
“They did a news story on it, and once that started happening, that story just really took off,” he said, adding that the TP shortage was alleviated before too long. “I feel like maybe people realized how being selfish and taking things for yourself was not the right approach to life and that when we’re in times of need, we need to work together.”
A few months later, in September 2020, Wayne said he decided to turn his long-standing affinity for Batman into a full embodiment of the character. He pieced together a custom-made costume, purchasing some parts and making others himself. The cape, modeled after an actual bat’s wing, took a day and a half for him to cut out and sew together, he said.
Capping it all off was a protective face mask bearing the famous Batman logo.
“As COVID was progressing, face masks were a big thing,” he recalled. “And I thought, you know, you got to have an example. So why not represent Batman to help encourage people that (mask wearing) is a step that should be taken to help with the situation?”
Batman said his only goal is to bring smiles to people’s faces and help them have a more positive outlook on life.
He said he has made a number of appearances in character throughout various communities in Indiana, including attending a Colts vs. Bengals NFL game last October, when the TV cameras focused on him for 17 seconds.
“I guess this costume can become a symbol of hope for people,” he said, noting that Batman’s wide-ranging appeal spans generations.
“I’ve seen people from little kids all the way up to the elderly,” he said of the many fans that he’s interacted with to date. “I mean, Batman’s been around since 1939.”
Whenever people approach him excitedly, Batman said he can tell he’s helping bring the character to life for them.
“And that, in itself, is just so wonderful, that I even have the opportunity to do such a thing,” he added. “I feel very honored that I can even put on this costume and try to make some kind of difference in people’s lives.”
Anyone who missed seeing Batman on Monday is advised to keep an eye out for additional planned appearances at Main Street Park on other evenings throughout the week.
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