(TMU) – It’s been a week since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis Police officers, and since then the United States has been plunged into raging unrest that for many, seemed completely unimaginable.
As the unrest has spiraled out of control, we’ve also been treated to images that seem to push beyond the limits of reality and appear more like something straight out of Hollywood’s world of make-believe.
Such was the case this past weekend when a man dressed in an uncannily realistic Batman costume made a surprise appearance Saturday at one of the Philadelphia protests demanding an end to police brutality.
He may not be the cosplayer that we need, but we definitely deserve him right now.
Batman has arrived at a protest in Philadelphia looking for corrupt police officers pic.twitter.com/LCxbTMlrCI
— Excommunicado (@JudgementDay89) May 31, 2020
In video footage shared widely across social media, the unidentified man dressed as the Caped Crusader walked out of a cloud of smoke in a spectacle that seemed ripped out of Christopher Nolan’s 2012 superhero epic, “The Dark Knight Rises” – specifically the scene when the hero asks Gotham City Police Commissioner Gordon to “light up” just before he engages in battle with Bane.
This time, however, the Dark Knight was clearly stepping to join the people facing off with the police, drawing instant cheers and applause from the assembled protesters.
One Twitter user suggested that he appeared at the protest while searching for corrupt police officers.
In an interesting coincidence, a man wearing a full Joker get-up also made an appearance in Minneapolis, the epicenter of the national wave of protests. 36-year-old grocery store worker Joseph Pudwill hit the streets dressed as Joaquin Phoenix’s version of the character from last year’s acclaimed film, Joker, complete with green hair, garish clothing, an orange suit and the comic villain’s trademark pained grimace.
While many might wonder why a bloody murderer like the Joker might join the forces of truth and justice, Pudwill explained:
“He has become a model of social injustice, the recognition of the tragedies that occur, I have fallen in love with this character and I think today it serves to push the message.”
joker: Hold my beer Bats…. pic.twitter.com/h3O7oi157c
— Gray Bush (@SsjVegetaM) May 31, 2020
Batman is one of the most iconic DC Comics characters, along with Superman, and is generally one of the most popular comic book characters of all time. The Defender of Gotham has been the subject of countless TV shows, cartoons, and feature films, with an ever-growing list of top actors portraying the superhero including Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, and George Clooney.
In Christopher Nolan’s wildly popular The Dark Knight trilogy, Christian Bale portrays Batman, while Ben Affleck played him in the decidedly less popular DC Extended Universe series. British actor Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame is slated to step into the shoes of the eponymous role of the upcoming film The Batman, which has been put on hold indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For nearly a week, demonstrations have taken place in dozens of cities across the country as local residents connect the killing of unarmed 46-year-old Black man to their own local grievances about police violence and racism.
Floyd died after now-former officer Derek Chauvin held him down with a knee on his neck for over eight minutes and ignored the victim, who begged “Please, I can’t breathe” until he lost consciousness and eventually died. Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.