When news of the Route 29 Batman’s death spread Monday, it prompted a deluge of sorrowful responses, including one from the actual Dark Knight.
By Tuesday morning, the comment from the Caped Crusader, who is listed as a “public figure,” had elicited 45,000 likes, more than 10,000 shares and about 2,000 comments, including several from fans who called for the upcoming “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” movie to honor Robinson in the credits.
“Respect to the legendary Route 29 Batman,” wrote Shane G. Walsh. “Not a normal man, he’s a true hero. A person who stood out above the rest and became a symbol of hope for those who have little to be hopeful about.”
An unofficial but widely popular Superman account, @SupermanTweets, also posted a message along with an image of Robinson visiting a sick child: “I’m so sorry to hear about this. Earth needs more people like Lenny Robinson. So sad. #RIPBatman.”
Former NFL star Ray Lewis, who some in Baltimore would swear is a superhero, honored Robinson on his Facebook page:
And on Instagram, musician John Mayer (a pop heartthrob, which in some circles is cooler than being a superhero) posted a screenshot of the ending of the Washington Post story and this personal message:
“What a moving tribute to ‘Route 29 Batman’ Lenny Robinson in the Washington Post today… This last part leveled me. This is the most beautiful, human, real, dignified thing you’ll probably read all day. Isn’t that such a big part of what life is all about, the struggle and adventure of being your own person – the one and only true version of yourself, even when you have dreams of being more like someone else? #RIPBatman #thisonegotme.”
In a single hour, it drew 18,000 likes.
About 10:30 Sunday night, Robinson, who was driving his Batmobile, pulled over with engine trouble on an unlit stretch of Interstate 70 near Hagerstown, Maryland state police said. His car was stopped in the median but still “partially in the fast lane” when he got out to check the engine, according to police. A Toyota Camry then slammed into the Batmobile, propelling the steel-framed hunk of black metal into his body. Robinson, 51, died at the scene.
DC Comics, which owns the Batman brand and has 1.5 million followers, offered its condolences:
Our thoughts are with the family & friends of Leonard Robinson, aka Route 29 Batman, who shared his love of Batman with everyone around him.— DC (@DCComics) August 18, 2015
Many others in the comics world — artists, fans, bloggers, comic con groups and news organizations — also mourned his death.