“It took far longer than expected, but today we are thrilled to bring Batman back to Rutland,” organizers of the Rutland Sculpture Trail said as they unveiled a marble sculpture inspired by Batman and Rutland Halloween Parade leader Tom Fagan on Oct. 25
The project, first announced in October 2020, was repeatedly delayed due to the pandemic, bad weather, travel issues, and other complications. Six months after the initial announcement of a sculpture featuring Fagan, organizers of the Rutland Sculpture Trail and DC Comics announced Fagan would be paired with the ultimate Superhero, DC’s Batman. The piece is the 11th sculpture added to the trail in Downtown Rutland.
The massive sculpture is based on a panel from DC Comics “Batman No. 237” a 1971 comic book. Standing 10 feet tall and weighing 12 tons, the sculpture features a rumpled Fagan, dressed as Batman, shaking hands with the DC Superhero.
“From the beginning, we wanted to include Batman in the sculpture, and we were thrilled when Sen. Patrick Leahy helped us connect with folks at DC, who graciously granted permission,” organizers said. Leahy is a lifelong Batman fan, and has appeared in several Batman movies.
The sculpture was carved at the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland by Italian sculptor Alessandro Lombardo, in Danby White marble donated by Vermont Quarries. It is based on a design from award-winning Chinese artist Jiannan Wu.
Fagan’s connections with comic book artists helped make the parade famous across the country, with a deep connection to Batman. Comic book creators attended the parade and huge parties that followed in the early ’70s, and incorporated Fagan and the City of Rutland into story lines in more than two dozen comic books.
The sculpture of Fagan and the DC Super Hero stands on West Street, between Merchants Row and Cottage Street.
“It is a powerful, fun piece of art with deep connections to the parade’s history, and Batman’s role in it,” organizers said.
Batman first appeared in Detective Comics No. 27 on March 30, 1939, and has stood as a symbol of determination, courage, 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 DC Super Heroes ever created.
“I can’t think of a greater superhero to join me in Rutland,” Captain Credit Union said at the unveiling. “It’s an honor to help unveil this sculpture, and we’re ecstatic over how it came out.”
PEGTV, which has a decades-long relationship with the parade, filmed the unveiling and will air it repeatedly. “We’ve been part of the parade for a long time, and it feels like the sculpture brings the parade’s history full circle,” said Tom Leypoldt, PEGTV’s executive director. “It’s an amazing story, one the sculpture will keep alive for generations to come.”
The Rutland Sculpture Trail was started in 2017 by the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center to create art and interest downtown, generate community pride, and highlight local and regional history. The Batman sculpture joins 11 pieces already carved and installed in downtown Rutland, with several others in various stages of planning and development.
DC Comics Batman, the 11th sculpture along Rutland’s Sculpture Trail was unveiled in Downtown Rutland on Saturday, Oct. 28.