DC Comics may be celebrating the 80th anniversary of Batman, but the publisher is doing it in the most irresponsible way possible. First, DC released thousands of live bats during the South by Southwest Festival earlier this year, endangering festivalgoers with the wild, bloodsucking creatures. Then, the company held a ceremony at a museum where Batman was inducted into the Comic-Con Hall of Fame, practically begging one of the Caped Crusader's psychotic foes to attack and put hundreds of people in danger. Miraculously, no one was hurt during either event.
But now, DC is planning their most irresponsible celebration yet, as later this month on Batman Day, September 21st, DC has arranged for the Bat-Signal to be shown in cities all over the world, starting at 8PM local time. A press release provides more info:
Like fireworks on New Year's Eve, the glow of the distinctive Bat silhouette will illuminate the edifices of skyscrapers and landmarks around the world in rolling fashion as the sun sets in each city. And just like a solar eclipse, this may be a once-in-a-lifetime event!
Fans can zoom in and follow the festivities with the new interactive Batman Bat-Tracker launched by DC today. As cities flip the famous switch illuminating the insignia, the Batman Bat-Tracker will mirror the real-time projections. Additional information on Bat-Signal celebrations and activations in those cities can be found at Batman80.com.
To see one of the projections in person, all that is required is to go outside shortly before 8pm local time in cities set to light up their skies. So, start deciding which Batman t-shirt to wear Melbourne, Australia because you will be the first to celebrate under the Bat-Signal at Fed Square facing Flinders Street, 9 hours ahead of London and 14 hours ahead of New York (Gotham City!).
Other cities to send up the Bat-Signal include:
Tokyo at MAGNET by SHIBUYA109 at Shibuya Scramble Crossing
Berlin at Potzdamer Platz 11
Paris at Galeries Lafayette on Champs-Elysées
Barcelona at Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
London at the Senate House
São Paulo at Itaúsa – LMB
New York TBA
Montreal at Complex Dupuis
Mexico City at Torre Reforma
Los Angeles at City Hall
But what DC has failed to consider is: what if there is a real emergency requiring Batman's attention? How will cities be able to signal the Dark Knight if he's just going to assume any Bat-Signal in the sky is simply part of this unnecessary celebration?
"The Bat-Signal is easily one of the most recognizable images among all superhero iconography and this is going to be a remarkable sight as we transcend borders, languages and cultures to bring us all together with this single experience," said Warner Bros Global Brands and Experiences President Pam Lifford, forgetting the fact that the Bat-Signal is also an important communication device that lets Batman know when the city is in danger, allowing him to quickly react and save law-abiding citizens from the menace of masked criminals. "We are proud to send up the Bat-Signal on Batman Day because it is an important beacon of inspiration that makes us all believe that it's possible to take hardship and turn it into something good. Batman Day is a global celebration for all the fans."
And the plans to dilute the meaning of the Bat-Signal couldn't come at a worse time, with Batman Day events planned around the world that are ripe for attack by dastardly villains such as The Joker, The Riddler, the Scarecrow, or Bane.
Of course, a Batman Day celebration wouldn't be complete without something extra special in Gotham City. Barnes & Noble Union Square is hosting a talent signing and panel discussion moderated by DC Publisher Dan DiDio and featuring award-winning Batman writers and artists Scott Snyder, Peter J. Tomasi, James Tynion, IV and Brad Walker, as well as special activities all day long for kids and families.
In Los Angeles, DC and Warner Bros. will host a special Batman 5K night run and fan celebration. Fans can sign-up to participate at DCBatmanRun.com. Batman runs will also take place throughout Asia (Shanghai, Manila, Singapore and Bangkok), Latin America (São Paulo and Mexico City) and Australia (Brisbane).
Sure, doing a 5K run sounds like a fun and healthy way to celebrate one's love of Batman, but how healthy will it be to be cryogenically frozen by Mr. Freeze's freeze ray while Batman is erroneously responding to a false Bat-Signal halfway around the world?!
Hopefully, DC will come to their senses before anyone is seriously injured this September 21st.