Thia year marks the 80th anniversary of Batman, and to celebrate the Dark Knight's legacy, DC brought the stars of the Arrowverse and the comics to the "real life super heroes" unable to join in on the festivities at home: the 12,000 service members currently stationed in Kuwait.
DC joined forces with The United Service Organizations (USO) to bring the World’s Greatest Detective--and some of his friends--to the Middle East, with an assembled League of DC talent that includes legendary artist Jim Lee, award-winning Batman writer Tom King, Black Lightning's Nafessa Williams, and The Flash's Candice Patton and Danielle Panabaker. Not to mention the vehicular star of the show, the ‘Tumbler’ Batmobile made famous by Christian Bale's Batman.
To honor the service members in Kuwait, DC toured five military bases in total, giving military units at Camp Buehring, Camp Arifjan, Ali Al Salem, Camp Patriot and Al Jaber for meet-and-greets and photos with the celebrity visitors. Not to mention the chance to see and take photos with the Tumbler, and take a seat behind the controls. Service members were also given a preview of the Pennyworth TV series from Epix, chronicling the origins of Batman's guardian (a former British SAS soldier) ahead of its premiere on July 28th, 2019.
DC's Chief Creative Officer, Publisher and legendary artist Jim Lee notes the parallel between the heroes that have defined the company's catalogue, and the men and women serving every day overseas:
“It was an absolute honor to meet with brave service members that exemplify real life heroism. These heroes inspire the world every day with their valor and commitment to freedom, the same courageous qualities that Batman has symbolized for eight decades. DC is extremely proud to have joined forces with the USO to deliver an unprecedented Batman experience to our troops.”
With San Diego Comic-Con coming into view, the service members were treated to a convention experience of their own, with DC and the USO organizing exclusive screenings, cosplay contests, and special group panels where Batman comic writer (and newly announced New Gods movie screenwriter) Tom King shared his experience as a former CIA counterterrorism operations officer and his transition into comic books. Jim Lee also taught an art masterclass for service members interested in illustration. And covering DC's TV universe, stars of The Flash Candice Patton and Danielle Panabaker, and Black Lightning's heroine Nafessa Williams, signing autographs, taking part in panels, and visiting with service members on the job.
The Chief Operating Officer of the USO, Alan Reyes, spoke on the debut tour--as well as the continued Bat-themed items being sent to service members to continue the celebration of Batman's 80th anniversary:
“The USO is honored to join forces with DC to bring this first-of-its-kind tour to service members in Kuwait. As we close out Military Appreciation Month, this tour will strive to share America’s appreciation and support with our men and women in uniform. We are also excited to extend our partnership with DC beyond this tour by distributing Batman-themed USO2GO kits to service members across the globe.”
The special Batman-themed USO2GO kits are confirmed to include comic books, movies, TV shows, games, and more. The kit is intended to continue the excitement for service members stationed in remote locations around the globe, ensuring that they, too, can take part in the celebration of the world's favorite caped crusader. Is there anything Batman can't do?
Photo Credit: DC