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HARLEM, Manhattan — “Batman” may be the official guardian of Gotham City, but in the real Big Apple, caped crusaders come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

A festival that features black comic book characters created by artists and writers of color gets underway Friday in Harlem. The goal of the annual Black Comic Book Festival is to smash stereotypes and let people know about an independent network of creators.

There will be panel discussions, film screenings and even a cosplay show. It takes place Friday and Saturday at the Schomburg Center on Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem.