Robert Slattery is a writer living in Western North Carolina. He enjoys music and all sorts of other things.
The Dark Knight
Just Weird – In what is surely the strangest change with the New 52, a town in Brazil and a town in Slovakia have taken on homegrown caped crusaders to help with crime and social problems.
In Taubate, Brazil, former soldier André Luiz Pinheiro has been hired to patrol crime-ridden areas. Working with the police, he is situated as a “conduit” through which the police and community can interact. The hope, according to local police, is that Pinheiro can lead to solving the significant ills that the city suffers, including murder and drug-trafficking.
In Slovakia, infinitely more creepy Batman, Zoltan Kohari, aka the “Slovak Batman” is less about fighting crime and more about helping out the local poor. Though he is only 26, he is familiar with the struggles many of the citizens of Dunajska Streda face — terrible living conditions and joblessness. Living in an “abandoned building without water, heat or electricity,” he earns his food through helping out in the community (and probably scaring away any unwanted guests or girlfriends).
While the real Batman is fake and the fake Batmen are real, there’s something to be said for the blend of eccentricity and community service going on here. Let us hope that there is no DC Comics lawyer penning a very Two-Face(d) cease and desist letter for these Dark Knights.
The video below is footage of retired soldier and Batman impersonator André Luiz Pinheiro, seen here in a 1979 Brazilian children’s show.