As most people who know me are aware, I love superheroes like other people love sports. That love began for me at an early age with the “Super Friends” cartoon, the Superman movies with Christopher Reeve, and even the silly Batman TV series from the 60s, which I thought was a serious adventure show as a kid. What made me a full-fledged, diehard comic book fan was the first “Year of the Bat,” 1989, which was filled with hype for the Tim Burton-directed Batman film, starring Michael Keaton as The Batman and Jack Nicholson as The Joker. That film made me a voracious comic book reader, and cemented Batman as my favorite comic book hero.

One of the coolest things I’ve discovered while enjoying my hobby is “The Brotherhood of the Bat,” a group of Batman fans who make highly-detailed, often better than movie quality costumes. While some of these fans make their costumes for their own personal enjoyment at comic book conventions and other related events, there is a large group of fans who dress as The Batman or other characters to visit children’s hospitals, appear at charity events, or even sometimes just make a child’s birthday party one for the history books.

Making these costumes is expensive and difficult work. While I am a pretty decent artist, I’m far from being a sculptor or fabricator, but I decided to buy an inexpensive Batman cowl one year for Halloween. I put together a makeshift suit to go with it and escorted my daughters, who dressed as Batgirl, on their trick or treating adventures. I still wanted to do more, however.

A longtime friend of mine contacted me and asked if I or someone I knew had a Batman costume. I sent her a pic of me suited up, thinking she’d want me to find someone with a better costume. Instead, she asked me to appear at the birthday party of a child who loved Batman, the son of one of her friends. I agreed, suited up, and appeared at his party.

I think I had more fun than the birthday boy and his friends did. My friend had me deliver presents wrapped in black paper with yellow ribbon. Judging by the silence of the kids, I was either terrifying or awe-inspiring. One boy told me he wished I could have gone to his party and that he lived two houses over. I promised him I’d make it next year. After posing for a pic, the mayor of Kaplan arrived and announced that I was needed because the Joker had escaped from jail. I made my exit, and my friend told me that the kids enjoyed my visit, especially the birthday boy himself.

I’m now saving up for a good costume, and hope to offer my services to anyone who needs The Batman  to make an appearance.  

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