Batman’s arsenal is so large that when the Batmobile is stopped by villains, crime still doesn’t get the upper hand on the hero or his sidekick.
Batman’s gadgets and vehicles – like the Batmobile – are just as iconic as the DC hero. However, at times when his usual tools aren’t working, he has a back-up plan. Detective Comics #236 shows what happens when Batman’s villains are prepared for his usual arsenal.
The Dark Knight has a lengthy comic history full of different vehicles and tools. It has become a long-running joke that Batman has the most diverse arsenal of Bat-items. From shark repellant to Bat-Sonar lenses, this vigilante has everything a hero could need. While Batman often gets new tools, older comics also show tools and vehicles he used to use, which have long since disappeared.
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In Detective Comics #236 by Jack Miller, Joe Certa, Sheldon Moldoff, Pat Gordon, and Ruben Moreira, Batman is forced to employ his back-up plan. “The New Model Batman” includes Wallace Waley, a criminal scientist, who returns to Gotham after being released from prison. He has some new wares he is ready to provide to Gotham’s criminals: anti-Batman tools. He’s got an anti-rope, anti-Batmobile, and even an anti-Bat-signal. When these get put into use, Batman and Robin dig deeper into their arsenal and pull out some new items. The Dark Knight and Boy Wonder pull out the Bat-Track, a new Bat-Signal, jumping springs, and the Bat-Flash Ring.
While it makes sense for Batman to have numerous vehicles – considering the variety of Batmobiles and Batcycles he has had – it is surprising to see the Bat-Signal changed as much as it was in this issue. A mirror was put up that reflected the original Bat-Signal, but when the caped crusader changed it, it was no longer a visible signal. The new Bat-Signal was a loudspeaker announcement that emitted the phrase “Calling Batman!” repeatedly. The Batmobile was taken down by oil slicks, so Batman switched to the Bat-Track, which is a tank. This was impervious to the anti-Batmobile tools since it had tracks instead of tires. Typically, Batman and Robin would use ropes to swing into action, but when bad guys could cut the ropes with anti-rope tools the duo switched to another tool. They attached jumping springs to their shoes, allowing them to jump down where they needed to be and gave them more bounce in their attacks. The Bat-Flash Ring serves as a kind of flashlight and allowed Batman to take down Wallace Waley.
Numerous times, Batman has had his tools stunted by his villains, but rarely to this degree. It makes sense that even without a lot of the tools he’s used to using, Batman can still beat bad guys. However, it would initially seem like he would have to be more cunning and that he would rely on his strategic thinking and fighting abilities. Instead, the Dark Knight just pulls out even more toys that villains aren’t prepared to face. It’s very unusual to see him in a tank and rather silly seeing the jumping springs, but overall this is an old-time Batman kind of fix. Despite never having faced the anti-Bat tools before, he was still prepared for them. For this kind of plan to work, all of Batman’s tools would need to be sabotaged and planned for – though it seems doubtful that he would reveal all the cards he has up his sleeve. He has more gadgets and vehicles than any villain can plan for. The Batmobile is an amazing vehicle and it can stopped in rather comical ways, while Batman can’t be stopped so easily.
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