“Gotham” star David Mazouz made a special appearance on Sunday at local Forest Hills comic book shop Royal Collectibles as part of a Batman Day celebration.
The breakout star of the hit Fox drama plays a young, pre-Batman Bruce Wayne struggling to solve the mystery of his parents’ murder.
When asked what it was like to assume the mantle of the Dark Knight, Mazouz explained that he approached the part with a mix of both excitement and trepidation.
“When I first stepped into the role, it was a little nerve-wracking because it is such an iconic character,” he said. “When you have a show that is a comic-based TV show, you’re stepping into an already existing universe, as opposed to creating one like most shows do. There’s already a built-in fan base, a built-in following and expectations. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. I was nervous, but the pressure ended up being good because it motivated me to want to do my very best.”
Judging by the hundreds of enthusiastic fans who lined up to meet him, it would be safe to say that Mazouz’s turn as Bruce Wayne has been very well received. Loyal “Gotham” viewers and fans of the Dark Knight lined up around the corner for their chance to grab an autograph and a selfie with Mazouz.
Sunday’s event was held in honor of Batman Day, an annual occurrence celebrating the first appearance of Bob Kane’s legendary character in “Detective Comics” No. 27 back in 1939. The staff at Royal parlayed the celebration into Batman Weekend and offered fans free comic books along with a host of Batman merchandise. Even Mazous, a true fan of the genre, left with an impressive haul of newly purchased comics and trade paperbacks.
“So far, I think my favorite is Hush,” he explained, referring to the 2002 Batman storyline by Jeph Loeb.
Fans of all ages dressed in Batman-themed T-shirts and caps, while some chose to arrive to the shop in costume. One fan was dressed as the Joker’s paramour Harley Quinn, complete with a spot-on impression of the lovelorn DC villainess.
Royal Collectibles own Bob Lazauskas even got into the act, morphing into the comic book version of the stoic Commissioner James Gordon, complete with glasses, a fake GCPD badge and a pipe.
Although complimentary glossy photos of Mazouz on the “Gotham” set were given out to fans, many chose to bring items and comics from home for the star to sign. Lindenwood resident Kenny Behler, a young artist and fan of the show, presented Mazouz with an original portrait he drew of his character with Batman drawn in haunting silhouette in the background.
“It’s incredible,” Mazouz said of the outpouring of fans. “That’s why we make the show, so people could watch it and enjoy it. And so, when they do, that’s just so good.”