A handful of superheroes appears to have joined the protests against racism and the death of George Floyd in the United States, after individuals dressed as Batman and Spider-Man were spotted among demonstrators over the last week.
New York City’s friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man swung by — or more likely walked — to a protest on Manhattan Bridge on Tuesday, video shows.
The costumed individual climbed up on an arch around the bridge and quoted a line from Spider-Man 2.
“You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us!” he said, quoting a moment from the film in which several New Yorkers stepped in to defend Spider-Man from Doctor Octopus.
The costumed protester also held up a “Black Lives Matter” sign at the demonstration.
Gotham City’s own Dark Knight dropped by a protest in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, video also shows.
A man dressed as Batman could be seen speaking through a megaphone outside the security fencing surrounding the White House.
“Everything will be all right. You can go home now,” he told the security forces on the other side of the fence.
“I’m here to save the day.”
It was the second sighting of Batman in less than a week, after another person donned a more intense-looking costume for protests outside Philadelphia University on Saturday.
Video posted online shows the Batman cosplayer striding through a cloud of smoke while people shout.
Several people on Twitter compared the moment to the finale of Dark Knight Rises, in which Batman leads a rebellion to take back Gotham from the villainous Bane.
“He’s here, he’s f—ing here!” a person shouts in one clip, which has been viewed more than 3.5 million times online. The clip shows protesters shouting “Batman” and applauding.
WARNING: The following video contains coarse language. Discretion is advised.
The caped crusader was a local cosplayer who calls himself “Bucks County Batman,” according to his Instagram and YouTube accounts. Local reports have previously identified him as a dad named Bob Gable.
“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me,” he wrote on Instagram.
Many people sympathetic to the protests on Thursday shared footage of a towering man in full tactical gear, including a helmet. The individual appeared to throw tear gas back at police in one scene, and to yell at officers in another.
Global News has been unable to verify the location or time of the video recording. However, Black Lives Matter supporters have held up the video as tongue-in-cheek evidence that Master Chief, the protagonist in the Halo video games, is on their side.
A number of celebrities have also been seen among the protests sweeping the U.S., including John Boyega, Halsey, Jamie Foxx, Arianna Grande and Keke Palmer.
Demonstrations have occurred across the United States over the past week, ever since the death of George Floyd on May 25. The 46-year-old died in Minneapolis after a police officer pinned him down with a knee on his neck for several minutes on suspicion he had a counterfeit $20 bill.
“Please, I can’t breathe,” Floyd said, before dying while in police custody.