During the week, Chris Cowan is a mild-mannered carer. By the weekend, he turns into Edinburgh’s very own Batman.
Chris transforms the Capital into his own version of Gotham City by donning the superhero’s famous black garb and driving his customised Batmobile.
The city’s answer to Bruce Wayne paid £1,000 for the Smart Roadster off eBay. He modified it with wings, a radar, internal and external lights, and a glow light that projects the Batman symbol on the bonnet.
The 50-year-old dad told the Evening News: “I planned to buy a car, airbrush it and just sell it on. But when I saw it I thought ‘that could be the Batmobile’. It took me around six months to do the whole thing, then when I’d finished it I couldn’t sell it. I love it.
“I drive around Edinburgh and it’s always generating interest.
“I just love seeing the faces of the children when they see me and the Batmobile.”
Surprisingly, Chris has admitted to not being a big Batman fan, but said he was relishing being Edinburgh’s favourite superhero.
He said he had been inundated with interest after being spotted around the city, as well as at children’s parties and fundraisers in recent months.
“I’m getting more and more into it,” he said.
“I went to the Comic Con in Edinburgh last year and the looks on people’s faces and I thought ‘this has to be it’. If people who are genuine fans like what I was doing, I knew I could make a success out of it.
“I do love my job. This is certainly more of a hobby to do on weekends. I’ve been inundated with people asking about Batman. I had someone enquiring about my availability for a wedding in Glasgow later this year, which would be great. It’s great doing something that I love, it feels fantastic.”
For children’s parties, Chris will appear as Batman, play games with the children, pose for pictures in and out of the Batmobile, give the children a special homemade gift and take the children out for a five-minute drive in the customised vehicle.
It was while attending a fundraiser for cancer survivor Kira Noble last year when Chris realised just how big an impact he could have on people’s lives as Batman.
“I remember one kid’s face just lit up when he saw me and the Batmobile,” he said. “He sat inside and it was just an ordinary interior at the time. So I decided to add things inside like a radar, computer, flashing lights.
“It is a convertible too, so in the summer the roof can be put down.”
While Chris is wearing the iconic costume of the caped crusader, his seven-year-old son has also joined in the fun, making appearances as Robin and the Joker.
His family has been fully supportive of his new hobby and his son has become accustomed to him working on the Batmobile, saying it’s “just dad doing his stuff”.
Chris said: “My son has joined me on a few gigs as the Joker and as Robin. I’m an artsy guy and I think he’s used to me getting up to different things. But he has enjoyed it and my wife has also been very supportive. I’ve really embraced the role.”