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A letter to Batman from the Gotham Tourism and Business Development Council

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Please open immediately.

Photo by Onur Dogman/NurPhoto via Getty Images. Banner Society Illustration.

Dear Batman,

First and foremost, we want to express our gratitude for all you have done on behalf of Gotham City. Thanks to your brave and tireless intervention, our city has been saved from total destruction on countless occasions.

With that said, the most recent economic reports indicate that new business growth in Gotham City is flat, and tourism revenue continues to plummet. We’ve conducted surveys of people who vacationed in Gotham to see what they enjoyed about their trip and what could have been better. The three items most germane to your interest are listed below.

QUESTION 17: You mentioned you’d been placed in peril during your trip, due to a ferry being wired to explode, the release of a hallucinogenic nerve toxin, missile-laden penguins, or a similar threat. How satisfied were you with the resolution of that event?

Very Satisfied (67%)

Mostly Satisfied (14%)

Mostly Unsatisfied (5%)

Very Unsatisfied (3%)

Too Traumatized to Say (10%)

QUESTION 18: What is one thing you would have changed about that experience?

Not been in the situation in the first place (91%)

Situation resolved more quickly (5%)

Better/more audible dialogue (3%)

Other* (1%)

* Most of the responses in this category were sexual in nature, and too graphic for further discussion here; many can be summarized as “Batman rescues us, but with his dong out,” as one respondent phrased it.

QUESTION 23: Other than villainous plots, what did you NOT enjoy about your Gotham experience? Please select all that apply.

Streets/alleys poorly lit (63%)

Restaurant windows smashed or covered with tarps (44%)

Awakened in the middle of the night by the roar of the Batmobile (27%)

Henchmen falling from windows or rooftops (12%)

Child found loose Batarang on the sidewalk (5%)

While we recognize there’s only so much you can do about many of these problems – we’ve passed your Brutalist Architecture Restaurants-Only proposal on to the Department of Buildings – the lighting conditions of Gotham City are, to be frank, unacceptable. Visitors to our city will never feel safe so long as they have to walk down darkened sidewalks and spooky pathways. Unlike you, they are not armed with an array of custom gadgetry and years of martial arts training. Even a foiled mugging (while easier on the wallet than a successful one) does not encourage return visits to our town.

Therefore, we are writing to you today with three requests.

1. Please avoid unnecessary destruction of streetlights.

We understand that part of the Batman experience is the element of surprise, the shadow of night, and so on and so forth. But when you smash out several lights surrounding a loading dock to scare the bejeezus out of some unsuspecting mob underlings, you create a safety hazard in that same loading dock that persists for weeks or months. In the future, please submit a Streetlight Turn-Off Request to Gotham Power & Light at least 36 hours in advance of any caped crusades. This will help the city make sure its lighting system stays in good working order while giving you the shadowy theatrics you crave.

2. When we bill you for streetlight damage, please remit payment promptly.

In some cases, the destruction of city property is unavoidable. That does not mean that damage is not recompensable, however. You can set up an account with the city’s Municipal Collections Department to see the charges you have accrued in the course of your crime fighting and pay those fees online. There is a 1.5% fee to pay with a credit card, and we must reiterate that cryptocurrency is not accepted by our systems.

3. Consider naturally dim options for your clashes with the villains of Gotham.

The streets of downtown and the gathering areas of Gotham are less than ideal places for your work, from an infrastructure perspective. Fortunately, our city has several alternative venues that should provide what you’re looking for without requiring damage to the lighting grid. The waters of Gotham Harbor, for instance, offer a perennially moody darkness. You could also try any one of our city’s abandoned factories/orphanages/circus grounds, and the Department of Civic Planning would be happy to provide an updated list of grim, decrepit properties to you on a quarterly basis.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. We will be following up separately to confirm that the Batmobile has passed the state-mandated emissions test for this calendar year.