It is a case of ‘To the Batmobile’ for superheroes and villains in Leeds city centre this bank holiday.
Masked mavericks and caped crusaders are assembling in their thousands down at Leeds Dock for their fill of all things comic book, where life-size models of Batman’s famous ride are on show.
But this is no crime-caper emergency, the summit of costume-wearing enthusiasts both junior and senior is part of a hugely popular Super Heroes Weekend being staged at the Royal Armouries museum.
Over 2,000 visitors attended the first day of the event yesterday and organisers expect today’s numbers had soared higher, with one more day of the event to come tomorrow.
It is a chance for guests to ‘meet’ Iron Man, Batman and Star Wars Storm Troopers, while delving deeper to discover the connection between super powers and real martial arts disciplines.
Leeds-based Peter Doherty, the 2000 AD comic book artist, is leading creative workshops over the weekend, there are film screenings, have-a-go craft sessions, and the chance for children and adults to learn the self-defence skills demonstrated by their fantasy heroes.
Mr Doherty, who has drawn extensively for the 2000 AD character Judge Dredd, is also delivering free, twice daily drawing workshops.
Michael Clayton, sensei of the Royal Armouries’ Taekwon-Do and Kobudo clubs, is giving talks and demonstrations of some of the weapons used by heroes and villains on the big screen and will tomorrow be delivering a special superhero training sessions using foam replicas of the weapons used by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - this session is now fully booked.
Siona Mackelworth, head of marketing at Royal Armouries, said: “This is the third year we have held the Super Heroes Weekend and this time it has been very successful.
“What’s been fantastic about it is we’ve not just had our super heroes - Batman, Iron Man and Judge Dredd - but lots of super kids that have made an effort to dress up and turn out in their hundreds. We have even had a little girl come as a pink Robin wearing a pink cape.
“There are lots of Batmans, Captain Americas, Judge Dredds, Supermans and Superwomans, and a few adults have turned up - more as super villains. I saw Penguin walking around earlier, and I think one or two of the children thought ‘woah!’
“A lot of super heroes use arms and armour and have special skills that tie in quite nicely with what we have here at the museum, so as well as having handling sessions of some of the weapons, we are getting our visitors to think about the type of armour behind their favourite super hero.”