A red cape, a mask, a fur hat with two feathers and a mace. In Khmelnytskyi, a comic book hero walks the streets. He is a combination of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytskyi and ‘Superman.’ The superhero conducts excursions and shows tourists interesting corners of the city. One of them is a local park with space statues made from scrap metal by sculptor Mykola Mazur.
“They were made when outer space was especially popular and everyone was talking about it. When the MIR space station was being built,” Khmelman said.
For locals, Khmelman has become a favorite. People are eager to take photos with him.
“Khmelnytskyi is very happy to have its own superhero,” said a local woman.
“He has visited several schools. In order to encourage children to study harder. It was a surprise for the students,” said another local woman.
But the man won’t reveal his name.
“Every superhero has a real name. He’s a real person. But as you know, in every comic strip we keep them a secret. We superheroes always try to keep our real name a secret,” Khmelman said.
The local ‘Superman’ was born in this office. At first he was a picture on a brochure about the history of Khmelnytskyi.
“We wanted to create something interesting about the city. By chance we learned from local researcher Serhiy Yesunin that Jack Liebowitz, the founder of DC comics, was born in in the city of Khmelnytskyi, then called Proskuriv,” said Lesia Herasymchuk, the Director of the Khmelnytskyi Development Agency.
Khmelman is an active on social networks. He has hundreds of followers.
“Here’s a little video about the city of Khmelnytskyi. And these are the locations included in the comic book,” Herasymchuk said.
The creators of Khmelman plan to create a family for their superhero. But exactly when this will happen is still a secret.