Old 07-22-2008, 06:20 PM Offline   #1 (permalink)

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Default Alt Text: Back to the Batcave: Grading More of Batman's Gear

Part of the enduring appeal of Batman is that he accessorizes. He was toyetic before toyetic was even a word. A horrible, horrible word.
In that sense, he's much like those who fanatically follow his adventures: He avoids the sun, dresses in a, shall we say, idiosyncratic manner, collects neat stuff and spends a lot of time on a computer looking for excuses to get into fights. We'll just gloss over the fact that he's in tip-top physical shape and probably doesn't have the complete Buffy series on a hard drive somewhere.
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This, then, is Part 2 of our look at Batman's stuff. We look at the Dark Knight's various possessions, and subject them to the harsh, cold light of judgment. Because when you don't spend every night wiping crime from the streets like a vengeful Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, you have plenty of time to write stuff like this.

The Batcave has aged well. Underground bunkers never go out of style! If anything, in this age of constant surveillance your secret base would have to be underground to avoid space lasers and Google Maps. I am, however, disappointed whenever the Batcave is depicted without a life-size dinosaur statue. I don't care how gritty and morally ambiguous your story is, there's always room for an anatomically inaccurate T. rex. On the other hand, Wikipedia informs me that the Batcave originally just held a desk and filing cabinets. Bat-cubicle!
Grade: A

This is usually depicted as a small device that Batman can hold in his mouth like a Binky. A Bat-Binky. However, rather than providing Batman with comfort while teething or tripping on ecstasy, the rebreather turns Batman's superheroic exhalations back into life-giving oxygen, allowing him to survive unpleasant gases or even breathe underwater. Carbon dioxide into oxygen? Batman could solve global warming on his own, but he won't. Global warming didn't kill his parents.
Grade: C+

I'm not even going to consider how Batman deals with air-traffic control. I assume he just tells them he's the god-damned Batman and they'd better get all the other planes out of the sky because some villain is launching a series of awkwardly themed crimes and needs to be flied at. I like to think that Batman also has another Batplane, a simple woodworking tool he uses for home improvement. One shaped like a bat.
Grade: B

Batman has explosives? Many sources agree. It seems to me that if you have explosives you don't need much else. Really, Explosives Man is probably going to frighten more cowardly, superstitious criminals than a bat theme. Criminals have one main superstition: "If someone explodes you, you die." Yeah, I know Batman doesn't kill, but if he plays his cards right, nobody ever has to find that out. Just convince them you're completely crazy. In that outfit, that's not tough to do.
Grade: C-

In some incarnations, Batman has night-vision lenses, but I like it when he just has a plain old regular flashlight. Why? Because I carry a flashlight. That means I am, in some small way, like Batman, if Batman had a key chain. Which I guess he doesn't? At any rate, I'm hoping in the future Batman will carry around a Leatherman, a BatPod MP3 player and a miniature bottle of Tabasco. Then the parallels will be uncanny.
Grade: B-
Shark-Repellent Bat Spray

Whenever I talk about Batman's utility belt -- and I do that far too often -- someone always mentions the Shark-Repellent Bat Spray from the Adam West Batman movie. Yeah, that was pretty awesome.
Grade: A
- - -
Born helpless, nude and unable to provide for himself, Lore Sjöberg eventually overcame these handicaps to become a dark knight, a white knight and Michael Knight.


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