Lots of children say they want to be Batman when they grow up but few keep that dream alive past puberty. For a man named Eric Blumenshine, that dream never faded.
State Press Magazine recently did a feature on the twenty-year-old who told them, “It’s not ‘Batman is real and I am him,’ it’s ‘I’m me and I want to be like him — that’s where it ends.’” Blumenshine is a Justice Studies major at college and has black belts in both Tai Chi and Kempo and according to his Twitter profile, also enjoys Parkour.
The Batman-to-be has always identified with superheroes, in preschool he would wear a Superman costume under his regular clothes. "He harvested his fighting skills from his father, who taught Blumenshine how to throw knives into a human-shaped target and how to walk without making noise at a young age," wrote SP. But it wasn't until age fourtheen, when his mother was diagnose with cancer and he saught refuge in The Batman Handbook: The Ultimate Training Manual by Scott Beatty, David Hahn and Chuck Dixon that his mission began to solidify. “I realized there was nothing in there I couldn’t do,” said Blumenshine.
"And so the training began," wrote SP, "Blumenshine would train when he woke up in the morning and before school, then during martial arts classes at school, during lunch, at the martial arts dojo after school, and finally for two or three hours after work. This schedule added up to sometimes 12 hours of martial arts training daily, particularly in the summer."
Photos by Peter Lazaravich
“I want to help people. I want to be Batman. I might as well help people while being Batman,” said Blumenshine. I've often wondered why we haven't had a Batman in our world yet. Sure, there have been a few jokers (pardon the expression) who have put on a cape and cowl and run around town but they usually get arrested and taken for psychiatric evaluation. The SP made sure to reiterate that Blumenshine did not fall into that category.
They write, "He described imagining oneself as a fictional character as 'just plain creepy,' and wanted to use Batman only as a means to achieve his humanitarian goal." Although the young man does ask that people call him Batman.
While still in school, Blumenshine says he's learning, “the true nature of crime and the true nature of injustice," and "training for something I believe in that I think is going to change the world." Sounds like Batman to me.