Batkid rescues grateful San Francisco damsel, pursues Penguin

Batman and Batkid to the rescue!
Batkid, right, runs with Batman after saving a damsel in distress in San Francisco. (Jeff Chiu / AP)

By day, he’s just a 5-year-old boy from Northern California. But when the city needs a hero, he becomes the Batkid.

And today is one of those days. The Riddler and the Penguin are terrorizing San Francisco, in a nefarious plot hatched by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The group has also converted two black Lamborghinis into Batmobiles to escort Batkid around the city as he battles the forces of evil. Along the way, he’ll be guided by dispatches from Police Chief Greg Suhr and cheered on by at least 12,000 grateful citizens.

“We have done other superhero wishes before at Make-A-Wish, and no city has embraced it like this one,” Patricia Wilson, the foundation’s director for the Bay Area, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Chronicle loaned out its presses for a special edition, the Gotham City Chronicle, with a front-page story by Clark Kent. (Reprints will be available in Saturday’s regular edition.) Batkid is also being aided in escapades by the San Francisco Giants, the municipal government, a social-media consultancy, and what seems like most of the city.

 

Batkid’s crime-fighting achievements are all the more impressive as the boy has been suffering from leukemia for almost all of his life. His cancer is now in remission, fortunately for him and his family — and unfortunately for the villains who picked today to make mayhem.

Already Friday, he has rescued a damsel in distress who was strapped to an extremely mysterious device on the cable car tracks at Hyde Street, apprehended the Riddler during a bank heist, and stopped for lunch, since even superheroes have to eat.

As of this writing, he is rescuing San Francisco Giants mascot Lou Seal from the Penguin.

It won’t be easy. If Batkid emerges victorious, though, it’s widely expected that Mayor Lee will award him the keys to the city later this afternoon.

San Francisco’s hero arrived in the city Thursday, apparently unaware that his special abilities would be needed.

The true identity of the Batkid remains a mystery (as his parents asked the Chronicle that the family’s last name not be made public). Newspapers are calling him simply “Miles,” reporting that he is from somewhere in Siskiyou County, near the Oregon border. But that’s no surprise; the most remarkable superheroes hail from humble and unknown origins.

Batkid’s trainer had this to say to the San Jose Mercury News regarding the enigmatic vigilante’s two personalities: “He’s an excellent superhero because he’s a totally mild-mannered kid when the mask is off, but when he puts on the armored Batsuit, he’s uncontainable. He shines.”

Max Ehrenfreund is a blogger on the Financial desk and writes for Know More and Wonkblog.
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Mark Berman · November 1, 2013