The Route 29 Batman — Lenny B. Robinson — has ditched his Lamborghini Batmobile for a $200,000 replica of the original Batmobile. It breathes fire. It is 21.5 feet long. It has no roof.
“It looks like the Batmobile, and it acts like the Batmobile,” Robinson told me. “As much as people liked the Lamborghini, this thing blows that away. I’ve seen people’s mouths literally drop when I’m out on the road.”
Robinson picked up his new wheels earlier this summer from a custom
car maker in British Columbia, and he’s been driving cross-country back to his home in Maryland, avoiding the rain, visiting children in hospitals, appearing in parades, and raising awareness for his new charity, Superheroes for Kids.
He started the group after I unmasked him as the dude dressed as Batman who was pulled over on Route 29 for not having proper plates while headed to visit sick kids. Robinson became an international star. He was on Diane Sawyer’s show. He was on CNN. He was on TV in countries he’s never heard of. Warner Brothers sent him t-shirts and Batgear to give sick kids.
Robinson’s new Batmobile has a special license plate, thanks to help from Maryland’s motor vehicle department. It is: 4BATMAN.
I caught up with Robinson while he was in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. It was in the hours before the new Batman movie was to open, and he was naturally very excited, with plans to see the midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in his Batman gear.
Early the next morning, following the massacre a couple states over in Colorado, I woke up to a text message from Robinson. He was deeply saddened by the shootings at the start of the “Dark Knight Rises.” The text message said, “What is this world coming to when one can no longer enjoy a movie without real fear?”
But Robinson has not been disheartened. He has vowed to press on, visiting sick kids wherever and whenever he can — as Batman.
He posted the following message on his Facebook page:
My heart goes out to the family and friends of those who were affected by the shooting in Aurora, Colorado on Thursday night. This senseless act of violence has nothing to do with the Warner Bros’ Batman franchise. At the heart of the movie is a central heroic figure that gives hope. The shootings in Colorado was a tragic event, but will not stop me from portraying Batman. I will continue to portray this iconic superhero, giving courage to sick children around the world that need it most.
He was just in St. Louis. And then he’s headed for Chicago. And then Indianapolis. And Ohio. And West Virginia. And onward.