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DC’s Batman and Tom Fagan to reunite on Rutland Sculpture Trail

The Dark Knight to be featured in sculpture honoring annual Halloween parade organizer

Two characters who turned Rutland’s Halloween parade into a comic book phenomenon will be immortalized in marble —Tom Fagan and DC’s Batman!

Fagan, a journalist and book editor, was involved in Rutland’s legendary parade from its start in 1959. He launched a superhero theme the second year, which helped build the parade from a small local attraction into a nationally recognized phenomenon. Fagan’s friends in the comic book industry traveled from around the country to Vermont to attend, bringing rare superhero costumes to the downtown spectacle. 

DC has provided the Rutland Sculpture Trail permission to feature Batman in a tribute to Fagan, who built the small parade into a juggernaut showcased in nearly two dozen comic books featuring Batman and dozens of other superheroes, and enjoyed by thousands in the community.

“We are thrilled that Batman and Tom Fagan will be reunited in Rutland to continue spreading community pride and inspiration,” trail organizers said in a statement.

Organizers announced the larger-than-life sculpture honoring Fagan in the fall of 2020 and have been working with DC to include Batman in the design. 

A rendering of the newest sculpture to be installed in Rutland.

The piece is being designed by Jiannan Wu, an internationally known, award-winning sculptor.  He has completed initial drawings and is working on a model, and the sculpture is set to be unveiled around Halloween 2022. The sculpture will be carved in Danby White marble at the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland next summer. It will be installed at 107 West St., along the parade route in Rutland.

The sculpture will feature a slightly rumpled Fagan dressed as Batman, standing with Batman himself, with a phalanx of other parade characters in the background behind them. 

“We think this sculpture will be one of the most beloved pieces on the sculpture trail,” organizers said. “It highlights one of the region’s much-loved events and two of its most interesting and heroic characters and is linked to some amazing comic book history.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., a lifelong Batman fan who has appeared in multiple Batman movies, lauded the new sculpture.

“The Rutland Sculpture Trail already was a superhero’s dream,” Leahy said. “And from all I know about my good friend, this latest addition is enough to make the Caped Crusader proud, and even a bit humble.”

The Rutland Sculpture Trail was started in 2017 by the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center, Green Mountain Power, MKF Properties, and Vermont Quarries to create art and interest in downtown, generate community pride, and highlight local and regional history.  Eight sculptures have been completed; besides the parade sculpture, five others are in various stages of development for 2021 and 2022. 

Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 on March 30, 1939, and has stood as a symbol of determination, bravery, and justice to generations of fans for over 80 years. He has influenced every area of modern entertainment, appearing in countless DC comic books, Saturday morning cartoons, multiple television series, video games, theme parks and experiences, toys, collectibles, and apparel and lifestyle products, as well as blockbuster animated and live-action films. Batman continues to be one of the most popular superheroes ever created.

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