The Gadgetry of Batman

‘Where does he get those wonderful toys?’

This was a very good question indeed. It was asked by The Joker (aka Jack Nicholson) in the 1989 ‘Batman’ movie directed by the masterful Tim Burton.

Throughout the (almost) seventy years of Batman we have been enthralled, stupefied and sometimes amused by his seemingly endless array of personalized gadgetry, vehicles and weapons. There have been the more popular of his possessions such as ‘The Batmobile’ (which can change into ‘The Batbike’), ‘The Batarang’ (a crescent-shaped throwing weapon), ‘The Batcopter’ and the legendary ‘Batsignal’. Even his headquarters, ‘The Batcave’, is full of computers, forensic equipment and a huge criminal database. This is all fully accessible from his latest ‘Batmobile’.

No other super-hero has had such an impressive selection of cool devices as Batman. Yes, we all know about Spiderman and his ‘spidey-sense’, Captain America with his patriotic shield and Wonder-Woman’s golden lasso that forces you to speak the truth but the bottom line is – none of these characters or their gizmos are a patch on Batman. Over the decades we have caught sight of some of ‘The Dark Knight’s less frequently used appliances. There have been such things as – ‘The Batrope’, ‘The Bathook’, ‘The Batphone’, ‘The Batzooka’, ‘The Batclaw’, ‘The Batmissile’, ‘The Batgeiger’, ‘Bat-antidote Powder’ and even…’Bat-thermal Underwear’.

Don’t forget the handy ‘Utility Batbelt’ that Batman wears. This contains all manner of useful devices for when he is out crime-fighting such as; ‘Batgas Pellets’, a portable ‘Batsignal’, a ‘Batknife’ and a ‘Batcommunicator’. That is without mentioning his grapnels, jump-lines, forensic tools, high voltage electric shock weapon, stun grenades and smoke/flash capsules!

I think that it would probably be safe to assume that Batman is into his gadgets in a big way. But going back to that original question posed by The Joker; ‘where does Batman get his toys from?’ Is his butler a secret weapons expert who sits, constructing these gadgets in the evening after he has finished washing the dishes or darning pairs of ‘Bat-socks’? Does Batman employ some crazy scientist to come up with all of these weird and wonderful inventions? Actually, the answer is quite simple and straightforward…

Bruce Wayne (the alter-ego of Batman) inherited an enormous amount of money. He is a multi-millionaire. When Bruce Wayne set up ‘Waynecorp’, which later when on to become ‘Wayne Enterprises’, the invention of a huge arsenal of weaponry, a vast garage of heavily armored vehicles and a gigantic collection of accessories and gadgets was a relatively small matter. With plenty of spare time and millions of dollars to invest in what he felt was necessary for performing his duty as Batman, Wayne soon had a large and impressive collection of anything that any self-respecting enemy of crime could desire.

It is important to remember, however, that although Bruce Wayne has injected unspeakable amounts of his money into his secret sub-life, he has always been known as being an incredibly charitable man with his fortune as well. Although, after thinking about this, it is inevitable that the socially conscious personality of Batman is bound to manifest itself in an equally positive way through the character of Bruce Wayne.

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