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What Could Possibly Go Wrong Releasing 1.5 Million Bats for Batman’s 80th Anniversary?


Christian Bale, flocked by bats, in Batman Begins.

2019 marks the 80th anniversary of one of the most iconic and beloved superheroes in comic book history. We’re talking, of course, about Batman. The Caped Crusader, created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, was introduced in Detective Comics issue No. 27 in March 1939. Nearly a century later, Batman and Bruce Wayne are household names with millions of fans worldwide.

Warner Bros. and DC Comics are celebrating the milestone anniversary with a year of promotional events, which kick off this weekend at South by Southwest in Austin, TX. The SXSW celebration includes exclusive merchandise, photo ops, and art from local artists. But wait, there’s more!

In an unprecedented promotional event on March 15th, more than 1.5 million bats will be released and fly over Austin’s Congress Bridge. You read that right: Over 1.5 million bats will be released over the city of Austin. Oh boy.

Bruce Wayne aka Christian Bale is surrounded by bats in Batman Begins.

Look, I’m not a zoologist nor a bat expert, but does this strike anyone else as a real bad idea? First off, who is wrangling these bats? Are they all trained? That’s not possible, right? And what if they go batshit (pun intended) and start biting people? This promotional event honestly sounds like the beginning of a horror movie (or at least the beginning of Jaws 3D). Will the bats drop rabies vaccines on the residents of Austin as they fly over?

This entire thing sounds like a stone cold nightmare factory. Look, obviously I’m not rooting for the bats to go feral and start attacking people, but if they do … well, let’s just say I won’t be surprised if Austin ends up looking like this:

Tippi Hedren and some kids run the fuck away from those birds.

Like, BEST-case scenario here is that Austin gets covered in bat guano. This event is giving me anxiety, and I live in California. Anyways, aside from the giant bat release, there are plenty more Bat-promotional events coming in 2019. March 19th will see the release of the hardcover Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman — The Deluxe Edition, followed by a super-sized Detective Comics No. 1000 on March 27.

WonderCon will host a “Happy Birthday Batman” panel, and more events are being planned for San Diego Comic Con. September 21st officially marks Batman Day, which will be celebrated across the country with events like cosplay fun runs, art shows, and exhibits, and a worldwide coordinated lighting of Bat-signals.

Other bat-related celebrations include the 30th anniversary of Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman, and the Joaquin Phoenix-starring Joker film, which is set to bow in October. Major brands like Funko, Apple, Amazon, LEGO, and the Six Flags theme parks will have their own exclusive Batman events.

You can follow along with all the bat-happenings with the hashtag #LongLiveTheBat. DC has also released exclusive artwork for the celebration, designed by artists José Luis García-López and Admira Wijaya.

We’re excited to check out all the Batman anniversary events, assuming that we don’t all die of batflu from 1.5 million bats taking a dump on Austin. Fingers crossed!

The Batman official 80th anniversary poster by José Luis García-López and Admira Wijaya.

(image: DC Entertainment)

(via The Hollywood Reporter, featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.