SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco on Friday morphed into a Gotham City wonderland, where caped crusaders fought mischievous villains aboard cable cars and on sidewalks, for a little boy who celebrated his win against cancer by becoming "Bat Kid" for a day.
Five-year-old Miles Scott was cheered on by thousands of fans as he whizzed around the city with his crime-solving partner Batman - rescuing a damsel in distress from a train track, arresting comic book foe the Riddler at a bank and chasing the Penguin through a ballpark - in a Make a Wish Foundation project.
Even President Barack Obama got in on the caped crusade, releasing a short video on the website Vine to say "Way to go Miles, way to save Gotham."
The nonprofit Make a Wish foundation worked with the city of San Francisco to stage the event for Miles, who has battled leukemia since he was a year old. His cancer went into remission in June.
"This is closure for us," his father, Nick Scott, told supporters. He added that it has "been a long three years" for the boy and his family.
After his day of heroism, Miles was greeted by a cheering crowd of people outside City Hall, where he received a key to the city from Mayor Ed Lee. The boy is from the small California town of Tulelake, which is on the border with Oregon.
"Bat Kid, you won our hearts with your courage and your story," Lee told a bashful Miles, who remained quiet, but smiled and wore a mask and cape during the ceremony. "The streets are much safer because of you."
The San Francisco Chronicle put out a special "Gotham City Chronicle" edition with a front page article about Miles' exploits written by Clark Kent, the alter ego of Superman.
"The whole city has focused on making this wish happen," said Make a Wish spokeswoman Jen Wilson. "It has taken all of us by surprise."
The production, which involved recreating comic book action scenes in some of the city's busiest places, including Union Square and the AT&T Ballpark, used dozens of performers, production staff and hundreds of props.