Are 'Leaked CIA Documents' Really Viral Marketing for 'The Dark Knight Rises'?

One wouldn't think viral marketing could get a whole lot better than the "Why so serious?" campaign that shot buzz for "The Dark Knight" to a fever pitch.

One can't say whether this latest game will be more effective, but it already earns points for its subtle style.

What you see below is a "leaked" CIA bulletin provided exclusively to blog Underwire by sources unidentified. The man you see pictured? That's one Dr. Leonid Pavel, or more specifically identified by astute Wired readers by a recently used alias: actor Alon Abotabul, most recently cast to play a previously unnamed scientist in "The Dark Knight Rises."

Underwire author Scott Thill claims the document points the way toward a "cultural event" but doesn't indicate just what.

"Which event? We dare not say: We’re a superstitious, cowardly lot, and, in any case, we wouldn’t want to spoil the fun," Thill wrote.

Curious choice of verbiage: variations of that phrase have appeared often in Batman's DC Comics appearances.

"Criminals are a terror. Hearts of the night. I must disguise my terror. Criminals are cowardly. A superstitious terrible omen. A cowardly lot. My disguise must strike terror. I must be black. Terrible. Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot. I must be a creature. I must be a creature of the night. Mommy's dead. Daddy's dead. Brucie's dead. I shall become a bat."

That's from 1989's "Arkham Asylum: A Serious House On Serious Earth."

"I made a promise on the grave of my parents that I would rid this city of the evil that took their lives. By day, I am Bruce Wayne, billionaire philanthropist. At night, criminals, a cowardly and superstitious lot, call me... Batman."

"Criminals, by nature, are a cowardly and superstitious lot. To instill fear into their hearts, I became a bat. A monster in the night. And in doing so, have I become the very thing that all monsters become - alone?" Those last two italicized quotes are both from the 2002-2003 story arc "Hush."

So that's two points.

The memo mentions that the CIA spooks are seeking a Russian offical with expertise in nuclear reactor design and fuel-cycle technology, along with including transcribed conversations between two parties about securing Dr. Pavel's services.

It's all very vague at this point, but the references make it fairly obvious. Congratulations to Wired for getting in on this ground floor.