Heavy is the head that wears the cowl, especially when virtually every outraged fan with an Internet connection is trying to scalp it off you with a homemade batarang, pack it in ice, and mail it back to a flattered, if somewhat appalled, Josh Brolin. And so last night Ben Affleck made Jimmy Fallon’s show the first stop on his Everything’s Gonna Be Fine, You Guys — Remember How They Burned Down Michael Keaton’s House And Then Felt Terrible About It Later? Tour, kicking off a charm offensive that will probably end on a Comic-Con stage with our newly anointed Batperson holding aloft the severed head of Justin Bieber and basking in the cheers of 10,000 converted worshipers. And charming Affleck was, detailing the studio’s warnings to maybe stay offline for a while until the heat died down, unplugging his cable modem and heaving it out the window only after the first reaction he read looked a little bit like the closed captioning on The Scream:
It remains to be seen if this first, and very well-executed, attempt at quelling the blood lust of still-aggrieved Batfans will prove effective, or if Affleck will soon need to take another step to build goodwill in the community, such as a YouTube PSA starring himself, Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder, and Frank Miller promising that at no point in Batman vs. Superman will Bruce Wayne pause to drizzle soap over the Bat-torso so everyone can see how hard he’s worked out for his looming confrontation with the Man of Steel. But this was a good start, and Affleck is obviously committed to doing the necessary outreach to mitigate the backlash before the arsonists start their gasoline shopping. In any event, Bieber should probably add a couple of large bodies to his security detail lest his pretty head be joyously beach balled around Hall H next summer before the assembled masses line up for Affleck’s group hug.