Batkid busy saving San Francisco in epic fashion

Batkid is taking to the streets of Gotham City on Friday with an assist from Batman, the superheroes at the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and hordes of his San Francisco fans.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read
Gotham City Chronicle front page
The San Francisco Chronicle in disguise. San Francisco Chronicle

Let me introduce you to the kid behind the mask. He's 5 years old. He shows extreme bravery in the face of leukemia. His parents know him as mild-mannered, sweet Miles, but on Friday he became Batkid, his superhero alter ego.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Greater Bay Area and thousands of volunteers have transformed San Francisco into Gotham City for a day. Batkid has already trained with his mentor Batman, saved a damsel in distress chained to a big green detonation device covered in the Riddler's signature question marks, and helped to apprehend The Riddler. He is well on his way to receiving a key to the city from the mayor. This may be the fastest origin story in superhero history.

Dressed in a custom pint-size Batsuit, his identity hidden, Batkid isn't just conquering evil, he's also trending on Twitter. He has his own Facebook fan page, live blogs are dedicated to him and his adventures, and CNET's intrepid photographer James Martin, joining many other members of the media, got some great photos as he followed Batkid's quest. He's so popular, not one person has given a second thought about Ben Affleck.

Batkid stops crime, steals hearts in SF (pictures)

See all photos

When Make-A-Wish put out a call for volunteers to come out to cheer Batkid on and record his exploits, the citizens of Gotham rose up to support him. More than 10,000 people RSVPed for the day's events. The crowds lining the sunny streets at Batkid's scheduled stops have been enormous. Onlookers are carrying pro-Batkid signs that say "Miles, You're my hero!" and "We love Batkid." Some even cheered the little hero on as he made his way to the restroom.

Perhaps best of all, Batkid, despite his real-life battle with cancer, is managing these feats with 99 percent less angst than Christian Bale. Onward, Batkid, the citizens of Gotham need you!

The interest in Batkid's exploits has caused the Make-A-Wish site to collapse under the strain, but the foundation encourages people to donate or volunteer to help other children like Batkid. Be sure to check back once the site is up and running to find Make-A-Wish volunteer opportunities in your area. It takes a whole lot of good-hearted regular people to make a superhero happen.

Batkid saves a damsel
Batkid came to the rescue of a grateful damsel in distress. James Martin/CNET
Run, Batkid, run! Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Greater Bay Area