“Today, the 30th of October, is the day we remember the service and the sacrifice made by the Batman to Gotham. Today is the day we all say, in unison, that Gotham will endure, Gotham will survive, Gotham will thrive and Gotham will prosper. Today is the day we reaffirm our faith in the Batman and today is the day we all resolve to be Batmen…to stand up for what is right, to voice our opinions on issues that concern the City and to love and care for all. For the greater good of this City and for the peace and prosperity of Gotham, my dear citizens, to you, I say this: Anyone Can Be Batman”, said the Mayor of Gotham City, amidst a jeering crowd, all fancying Batmen costumes and posing to be the protector of Gotham.
“And, to all those filthy creatures posing to be Batman and committing crimes under the guise of the protector of Gotham, I and all the people who believe in the Batman have just one thing to say: Screw you! Gotham has seen and endured people who almost destroyed this City. It has seen maniacs, demented minds and people with homicidal intentions. It has survived it all and well, come at us if you will, we will crush you. You can play, but you can’t hide. So, my dear Gothamites, Batman is the Hero we deserve and the Hero we need right now. And since any of you can be Batman, any of you can be Gotham’s hero. So, we leave it up to you to decide what you want to be. If you can find the Batman in you, then the Bat Society welcomes you with open arms. Let there be hope, let there be prosperity, thank you,” said the Mayor with great pride and bowed to an ear-shattering applause. The crowd was ecstatic. The unanimous intoning of “Batman…Batman…Batman…” could be heard even inside the boardroom at the Wayne Towers and the Solitary Confinement Cell at Arkham, so to say. The Mayor smiled at his voters, as he donned a cape and said, “I’m Batman”.
Gordon shook hands with the Mayor and ascended the pulpit. He looked at the gathering and recollected the event that had occurred a few years ago when Jokers men had opened fire and had caused chaos. He cleared his throat, shook the thoughts of the past off his mind and said, “This day, the 30th of October, nine years ago, we were attacked. Our cops were all stranded, our streets were all wiped clear, people were thrown and stripped from their houses, children were terrified and Gotham was without hope. However, Batman put the life back in Gotham, he revived Gotham from the dead and he sacrificed himself for it. We, the Gothamites, fear none and we get the kick out of staring danger in the face. So, instead of trying to erase the gruesome memory that this day brings with it, we replace it with a memory that would beat the hell out of the wretched recollection of the past. Say with me, “I am Batman””.
“I am Batman,” yelled a little boy, holding a Batman toy in his hand.
“I am Batman”, screamed a younger man, who was clad in a tee that said, “ACB”.
“I am Batman”, shouted a woman who had a banner that read, “If you don’t believe in Batman, you don’t believe in life.”
“I am Batman”, whispered an old woman in a wheelchair, as she smiled at her caretaker, who also said enthusiastically, “I am Batman”.
Thousands of miles across the Atlantic, Bruce Wayne, Selina and Lucius stared at their television and said, “I am Batman”, with smiles the like of Jokers on each of their faces.
And at Arkham, the Joker, who was sitting in a huge room with none except Lyle Bolton at the door, listened to the guard’s whisper, “I am Batman,” and said with a crooked smile, “I am Batman”.
I have been obsessed with Batman for so many years now and well, when I was young I really couldn’t get my hands on a Funskool action figure of Batman. So today, when my friends gifted it to me, I was ecstatic and well, I had to somehow tell people that Anyone Can Be Batman.
So, if you think that this story kind of breaks the decorum of the series, I’m sorry, but some things are allowed to be taken personally, after all, “I am Batman”.