Event Spotlight - Batman Unmasked
Article by Adam Ray
Batman Unmasked is the UK's first event of its kind, an unprecedented collection of Batman memorabilia from the character's long and storied history. Iconic items from across the comics and films were all on display like a museum of the Bat. This is the perfect way to celebrate Batman Day and the 15th Anniversary of the release of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. Furthermore, there's plenty for Bat-fans of all ages to interact with. I had a good long rummage through all the treasure, and this is what I saw.
The entire space from the outside was decorated like a beacon to Batman. It's one part museum and one part interactive immersion space. The area downstairs is an atmospheric recreation of the Batcave where a mighty, eight-screen Batcomputer shows newsreels from when the Tumbler was in Trafalgar Square, and a glowing podium around rocky cave walls where one could imagine Batman standing, ready to go forth and dispense justice on Gotham City.
Dare you enter the Batcave? - Image by Adam Ray
We also get that and the creepy insight into the Joker's insanity in "The Joker Room", which I'll leave for you to discover on your own visit.
The majority of the Batman Unmasked venue serves as both a museum and a sale space. After the airy and welcoming cave, you're greeted by the immense motorcycles used by two different Bat-men. Their costumes loom over you, tall and imposing, and their gadgets are laid out for all to see. These are not replicas. Each item has a card saying it was used or worn by the many actors who have played Batman, and in which film it featured.
The event showcased props from all the way back to Michael Keaton's first legendary appearance in Batman '89 to his action-packed return in The Flash in 2023. I do mean it when I say sale space. Each item is for sale, but unless you have a Clooney-esque Bat Credit Card, it's out of the price range for many of us regular citizens.
After the truly terrifying Joker Room, you get the final main hall where the cowls of every Batman are on display, next to the costumes of multiple Jokers. Some of Lego's finest stand side by side with Nintendo Switches loaded up with Arkham City.
The floor mural of a detailed map of Gotham City is almost lost in its crowning jewel, the Comic Book Library. The shelves are full of single issues, facsimiles, and trade paperbacks from across Batman's history. Sealed issues of Batman: Fortnite are also there, next to this week's release of Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham #1. Trades of Year One and The Long Halloween can be found alongside the Dan Jurgens' run of Batman Beyond and the numerous crossovers with Scooby-Doo and the Ninja Turtles.
Some of the immense selection of titles in the Comic Book Library - Image by Adam Ray
This library is the true, genius MVP of the event. Most of the general public will be lured in by the grand scope of the Batcave and Joker rooms, and gawk at the details of the costumes and gadgets. They'll have their fun looking at the Lego or playing Arkham, but the fact the event ends with the comics is incredibly important. Most people who love the movies will get to leave with new Batman reading material of their own, bringing fresh readers to the comics. At the same time, for an enfranchised fan such as myself, the very newest releases are right there among true Bat treasures.
Batman Unmasked is an event like no other. This is the first pop-up of its kind, and they've done everything to make sure it's rightly unforgettable, starting with the magic of the movies and then leading us to the masterful comic-book storytelling that made it all possible. If it goes well this year, then it'll come back bigger, better, and Battier.
Entry to Batman Unmasked is the hottest ticket in town and the show’s only on from September 15th-17th, so you need to check it out for yourself right here!
Mantles of the Bat. The costumes worn by Christian Bale, Michael Keaton, and Robert Pattinson - image by Adam Ray