So apparently Batman is turning 80 this year. Good for him, I'm sure it's hard to wear that bulky suit and fight crime at that age.
In honor of reaching true elderly superhero status, DC Comics is putting on a bunch of celebrations this year in honor of the Dark Knight. One of which, apparently, involves the 1.5 million Congress Avenue bats.
A pretty good idea overall. But within this brilliant stunt came the widespread misconception that DC Comics was going to bring in 1.5 million bats and just release them out of nowhere.
Let me clarify for anyone outside of Austin who might be in town and is very confused on why this notion is absolutely ridiculous: The Congress Avenue Bridge is a well-known bat habitat. A ton of bats live there. And they release themselves every night. On their own.
Can you imagine attempting to ship bats to a city? How would that even work? Or imagine even trying to control the timing of a bat release. That's an absolute nightmare that would create absolute chaos for everyone involved.
One article asked, "What if you’re in Austin, Texas, on non-Batman-based business and are just f****** petrified at the sudden outburst of bats descending on the city?" It's cool, it happens every night. We're used to it, whether Batman is celebrating his birthday or not.
To DC Comics' credit, they never explicitly claimed they were going to be the ones releasing the bats. Today's Austin event only claims that "SXSW will also set the stage for an incredible moment when more than 1.5 million bats fly into the night over Austin’s famous Congress Bridge on March 15," according to the press release. Good for them for just piggybacking off of bats' natural schedule. It makes sense.
Either way, you can celebrate Batman and his birthday today with photo opportunities, merchandise and an "Instagrammable" mural by a local artist. And you can go see the bats.