Batman has been celebrated throughout 2019 for his success his comic books, television, films and video games.
On Wednesday night before a crowd of more than 400 fans, celebrities and artists, the Caped Crusader was celebrated as an idea.
"Batman is real in every person who summons the strength and resilience to keep going. That is a superpower. There's no other way to describe it," DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee said, accepting on Batman's behalf as the Caped Crusader became the inaugural inductee to the Comic-Con Museum’s Character Hall of Fame.
The ceremony was the highlight of "The Gathering," a "black carpet" event at the Museum’s future home in San Diego's Balboa Park that doubled as the first fundraiser for the Comic-Con Museum, which is set to officially open in 2021. It was also a sneak preview of "The Batman Experience Powered by AT&T," a massive exhibition featuring the largest-ever collection of Batman-related props, costumes and vehicles that will be on display at the Museum throughout SDCC.
But the evening belonged to Batman and his 80-year legacy that has been the focus of a yearlong celebration that has included activations at events such as WonderCon and South by Southwest, partnerships with the Boys & Girls Club of America and May's history-making visit to Kuwait that brought the "Tumbler" Batmobile to five U.S. military basis in cooperation with the USO.
"Batman connects with everyone no matter where you may come from in the world. Batman is a hero for all people," said Pam Lifford, president of Warner Bros. Brands and Experiences. "That's why he resonates across every medium: comic books, cartoons, TV shows, toys, video games, even theme park rides and postage stamps. Batman is everywhere."
On the eve of the 50th San Diego Comic-Con and before a room packed with writers and artists that have contributed to Batman’s character and iconic comic book storylines, DC Publisher Dan DiDio explained how Batman starts with publishing – and continues with publishing.
"Comic books are the test lab for Batman. It’s where we take chances, where we experiment with new ideas, new concepts and storylines," DiDio said. "Those experiments in turn inspire other artists, filmmakers, and writers. I love to see stories we've worked on become the basis for other media like video games, movies, and TV shows."
Following the ceremony and throughout the night guests viewed and interacted with the mind-blowing elements of the Batman Experience, including:
- The Dark Knight Dive, a one-of-a-kind, VR indoor skydiving experience where fans take on the role of Batman as he chases Scarecrow over Gotham City.
- The Batcave Gaming Lounge, featuring all generations of Batman video and arcade games straight from the DC archives.
- Hundreds of rare pieces of iconic DC comic book art and large-scale film and television props.
- The Rogue Gallery Rumble, an interactive punching bag experience that uses projection mapping and lights to trigger classic and iconic animations and sounds throughout the space.
- A 6-foot tall Black & White Batman Statue commissioned by acclaimed artist and writer Todd McFarlane, which is the 100th collectible figure in the line that dates back to 2005 and which was auctioned later in the evening with proceeds going to the Comic-Con Museum