In recent months, the western world has been inundated with an inexplicable epidemic of people dressing up like creepy clowns and setting out to terrorize unsuspecting citizens. These masked marauders don't seem to have any particular goals in mind, and are seemingly just scaring the heck out of people simply for the fun of it. Thanks to horror characters like Stephen King's IT and Captain Spaulding, clowns have already had a pretty negative image for decades now - but this latest onslaught certainly isn't serving as good public relations for the profession.
Outside of just freaking folks out in general, the clown problem has extended to claiming in-direct victims like McDonald's child-friendly clown mascot Ronald McDonald. With creepy clowns on the loose, The Wrap reports that hanging out with Ronald is really nobody's idea of fun anymore, as people presumably are wondering just how long it's going to take for the stress of the situation to make Ronald snap too. (That is if the McDonald's ambassador wasn't already a few fries short of a happy meal, as some have posited over the years.)
That all said, where there are villains, one assumes there will also eventually be heroes, and that's now the case for the town of Cumbria, England. According to BBC Cumbria, a man has now taken to patrolling the streets looking out for creepy clowns, and taken it upon himself to protect their potential victims. As if that wasn't cool enough if and of itself, there's another small detail to add: he's doing it while dressed in full Batman costume.
In a way, this makes a lot of sense. After all, Batman's greatest foe is himself a terrifying clown, that being The Joker. Plus, Batman's usual mission statement is to protect the innocent, and some of the people getting accosted by these creepy clowns are little kids. One imagines that getting chased by an evil clown is likely to lead to many sleepless nights for any kid, if not years of therapy.
For those wondering where this self-styled Dark Knight procured his spot-on costume, it turns out that this particular Caped Crusader was dispatched by local company Cumbria Superheroes. The company usually hires out costumed characters for kids parties and other public events, but apparently decided to step in after local children were victimized by the clowns. In this time of worldwide turmoil and political strife, it's nice to be reminded that sometimes people still do things just to be nice. Not that the free publicity hurts either.