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Kimmage's own Caped Crusader attracts the crowds at Comic Con

Ireland's Comic Con has become one of the highlights of Batman O'Brien's year.

The 33-year-old Caped Crusader from Kimmage in Dublin adopted his hero's name at the age of eight and has spent the past 25 years perfecting his persona.

At the weekend, he joined thousands of sci-fi and comic fans at the National Show Centre in Swords, where everyone dressed up as comic book or movie characters.

Crowd-pleaser Batman has a big collection of genuine movie costumes bought at auctions, and yesterday he wore his Batsuit - the original one from the film The Dark Knight Rises.

bullied

On Saturday he attended Comic Con in the original armour Tom Cruise wore in The Last Samurai.

He told the Herald he 'became' Batman as a young boy because "like a lot of people, I was being bullied. Comic books were an escape into a different world".

He added that he saw Batman as a guy who studied hard and worked out, and thought: "I can do that."

When he left school, Batman influenced his career. He studied martial arts and acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine which were all "part of the Bat plan".

"To be Batman I had to work out and I can now bench-press 400 pounds and lift a grown man over my head with one hand," he said.

He also studied escapology and neuro-linguistic programming and is currently doing a course in forensics.

He runs a personal fitness business called Boru Fitness and the Meridian Acupuncture Clinic which he says "fit seamlessly" into his Batman activities.

Two years ago before he got married, his fiancee Orla Coffey, a solicitor, suggested he change his first name - which he wouldn't reveal - by deed poll to Batman.

"She said she knew me as Batman, everybody else knew me as Batman, so why not? I didn't even know you could do that."

zombie

This weekend, apart from displaying his costumes, he also took an active role in Comic Con, giving a talk on Samurai culture to enthusiasts.

It's the second year Comic Con has been held at the Swords venue. Participants could meet up with characters from Alien films or take part in a zombie survival course.

Guests included Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman in the animated show, and Alan Grant, who has been writing for 2000AD for more than 25 years. Young and old queued to get into the Alien corridor where they could be chased by a character from the movies.

csheehy@herald.ie


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