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"One of the reasons we're drawn to these stories now is because the real life heroes in our world are evaporating," said Culp. "The sports athletes are turning out to be frauds and cheats, our politicians are turning out to be liars and sex addicts, the celebrities are just egomaniacs who are just looking for the next twerk so they can be tweeted about… I think we're looking for heroes, and if our real life heroes are going to let us down, we're going to be drawn to these fictional heroes."

If you need Batman to help save you or just show up for a benefit or as inspiration, you don't have to project his logo on a cloud with a high-powered spotlight: Petaluma Batman suggests you just leave a message on his Facebook page.

(Contact Christian Kallen at argus@arguscourier.com)