Representing just what we need right now in terms of inspiring hope, albeit without the vigilante associations, a seven-and-a-half-foot tall statue of Batman has been put up in Burbank, CA. Funded by DC Entertainment, who have their home in the city, the move is a more officially planned example of branding than something like the crowdsourced RoboCop monument in Detroit, with the Dark Knight presumably not having any spiritual connection to sunny California.
Weighing 600 pounds, this version of Batman is based on the art of Jim Lee, whose notable credits include Batman: Hush, and is now the publisher and chief creative officer at DC. Developed in collaboration with the city of Burbank, the sculpt was designed by Alejandro Pereira Ezcurra and brought to life with a team at the Burbank American Fine Arts Foundry and Fabrication group. You can see Lee below with the statue, while a full message of praise is available via his Instagram.
“It’s been an honor to contribute to the legacy of one of the world’s greatest superheroes,” said Lee. “I’ve worked in comics now for over three decades and there have been very few characters that I’ve worked on in my career that have endured for decades like Batman and inspired that next level fervor and passion that you see in his fan base. Batman fans are fan for life, he’s not just a character but a way of life and I’ve seen people literally transform their homes into their own version of the Bat Cave or get Batman tattoos simply because this character means so much to them. While Batman’s base of operations is in Gotham City, he truly is a character that is beloved all around the world.”
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In addition, Danny Kahn of Visit Burbank explained the decision to work with DC on the project as a way of drawing tourists into the area, where they can take selfies with the newly installed creation.
“On behalf of Visit Burbank, we’re delighted to see this project come to fruition today. Our original idea was to gain social media exposure with a series of selfie spots around the city using iconic figures created right here in the media capital of the world, and we felt that the best way to do that was to partner with Burbank’s large and resourceful entertainment industry whose skills lie in creating content that is seen and admired around the world. So we thank our talented partners in the Batman project, DC Comics and DC universe, home to one of the most popular superheroes and designers of this phenomenal bronze statue. Our hope is to build on this project with other superheroes in spots around the city, encouraging visitation throughout Burbank.”
The trend for superhero and entertainment icons to be added to public spaces has been going on for some time, with other notable examples including Captain America in Brooklyn, and the Rocky tribute in Philadelphia. Furthermore, there’s a two-ton bronze Superman in Metropolis, Illinois, and various other installations around the world highlighting local characters and franchises.
Of course, DC are a well oiled machine when it comes to promoting their properties, with Batman Day now a large multi-platform event that takes place each year and celebrations timed to align with some recent milestones in the franchise’s history. And with a Batman-themed restaurant reported to be coming to London, we’re all for there being more public excuses to show off Gotham City’s protector.