Every Friday is Black Friday, when you’re inside the mask. I can’t decide what kind of Instant Pot I want to get Alfred. The larger model reminds him that he’s forever cooking for one. The smaller model says I’m a cheap employer. Burbank is light in the way that I am dark. Just sunlight, relentless, unceasing in its sameness. This is my Arctic Circle, my permanent noon, and the emotional trauma is just as long-lasting.
They say you need a car in L.A. Nobody said anything about the speed humps. Or the corners. I’ve had the Batmobile’s undercarriage replaced four times. The car culture in this city means you never want for friends, but nobody ever asks what that means for a guy who doesn’t want friends.
Batman expands his base of operations to Burbank, CA! Thank you to Doug Prinzivalli from my team for shepherding this project from start to install, sculptor Alejandro Pereira Ezcurra and @VisitBurbankUSA for making this a reality! Virtual induction https://t.co/l7XAHzSZL3 pic.twitter.com/9I6zsprArA— Jim Lee (@JimLee) November 21, 2020
I spent some time out here in the ‘90s, you know. It was good, until it wasn’t. I met Bono. Do not get me started on that fuckin’ guy. Jim Carrey, though. Incredibly kind. It’s a LOT harder to stand out as a billionaire here, but much easier to wear sunglasses indoors.
Anyway, the AMC Walkway. There used to be like three different competing AMC movie theaters in a one-mile square radius here. God help you if you parked for the wrong one. I say competing, of course they weren’t, but whenever I see something like that I always wonder if their staffs have, like, an intramural softball league that’s just a little too intense? Like putting a CVS across the street from a Walgreens. What are any of us trying to prove?
You think I hate it when bystanders rub my metal crotch. What might make it worse for you to know is that … I really don’t.
But one of those multiplexes, the big one, was laid out like a horseshoe, which is just begging to hop from one movie to another, and that’s what I’d do. Get a tuna footlong from the Subway around the corner at like 11:15 in the morning, tuck it under my cape, and just slink from theater to theater, all day. The hallways were too bright, but at least in between showings I could sit in the dark. Maybe sleep a little. People used to ask me if I worked there all the time. Lady, this isn’t Hollywood Boulevard.
Sometimes I don’t think the city of Burbank thought this through, considering that the presence of Batman necessitates the accompanying presence of a thriving criminal underworld. But I’m here to find that world, wherever it is. Also, I’m frequently ending the day covered in chewed-up gum and the subject of myriad unwanted selfies, so it’s not that different from Gotham.
Seems like every third kid I see out here has a set of throwing stars that he’s just winging around for fun. Maybe I should get some more wards.
All the dry-cleaners out here are corporate owned. This is the only thing I miss about New York. The corner shops, where you could interact with real people while firmly separated by some kind of physical barrier. I have friends who are thriving working from home, but honestly, I don’t even mind the social distancing mandates. People used to step on the backs of my boots just walking down the street. You have no idea how hard it is to get just the heel of your foot back down inside these boots without taking the entire costume off.
To the skater who hit me with their board yelling “Who’s your daddy?”, I can only say that you know the answer, and asked just to be cruel.
Anyway, no, I don’t know why the city’s tourist bureau wants to highlight vigilante crimefighting. Everything I can see from here is either an Old Navy or looks like it was at one time an Old Navy. But I’m told I’m “timeless.” Look, it’s just Crème de la Mer. Martha Stewart turned me on to it. It’s the most expensive face cream I’ve ever heard of, and she slathers it on like body lotion. I sleep in a vat of the stuff now, looks like a coffin. For years it was just Nivea, but you do get older.
Being Burbank Batman is one thing. But you could wake up one day and be Bakersfield Batman. His toolbelt has a gun he calls a “gatarang.” It’s rough.
… holy shit, being Bakersfield Batman sounds amazing. Now there’s a town that knows from a dark night. Always makes me think about Sherry. It’s not that she might come back. It’s that she ever left at all.
The worst part is being able to hear standup at night from Flapper’s. The depths of madness can’t compare to prop comedy. But I appreciate Warners making some kind of feint against the notion of this being a Disney town. I’m close enough to where I used to have to eat lunch at the same places as all these Marvel animators, back when we got to eat lunch around people we didn’t like.
Still. Don’t see a bronze Captain America anywhere near here. Eat shit, Rogers. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Of fucking course.]
Right, the statue. I have a neck, you know. People forget. They list me as 600 pounds, but most of that’s gear. Aquaman won’t get a statue. But if he does, it’ll just sink to the bottom of the ocean where it can only be seen by Aquaman and his fish nerd friends. Enjoy that, you soggy bitch.
Anyway, parking’s free everywhere after 6:00, except on – excuse me for just one minute. You think your Shelby GT Mustang makes you an iconoclast. Carl, this is California, and the sun is always shining. It’s a fine muscle car, but it’s not exceptional, and if you so much as put your blinker on, I will tear your physical form limb from limb. I can read your eyes. Remember, I’ve been wearing this mask a long time. I’ve had some fun with them in my time, but being around this many parking garages, I gotta say they really lose their charm.
This interview has been edited for clarity and condensed.