While Batman is heralded as one of the most realistic superheroes to date, there is one thing that has never quite made complete sense: his utility belt. The concept of it is fine-you have a belt riddled with all kinds of gadgets and toys that would help you be prepared for every kind of situation imaginable. However, the execution can sometimes be a bit ridiculous. It’s odd having the Dark Knight fitting some strangely large objects into the belt then whipping them out at a moment’s notice.
Most of those ridiculous moments can be blamed on comic book logic, and once you get past that, the utility belt can be pretty awesome. After all, it houses his batarangs, tranq darts, explosive gel, etc. If you’ve played any of the Arkham games, you know just how impressive the Bat’s arsenal is. It only adds to him being one of the best superheroes in the DC Universe, and the most feared.
However, there are some gadgets the Caped Crusader carries that make a lot less sense. Those that have seen the ’60s show with Adam West know exactly what I’m talking about. While the movies and comics now portray him as an undeniable force of combat, in the past that wasn’t always the case. This resulted in seeing some of the weirdest gadgets that only made us ask, “Why did he carry that?” So whether it be from the ’60s show or the comics, here are 10 strange gadgets you didn’t know that Batman carried on his utility belt.
10. Shark Repellent
I had to start off the list with this one, because everybody’s probably heard of it. While it was really campy, the ’60s Batman show starring Adam West was popular and successful enough to garner a full-length film in 1966. In that movie, a scene is showcased where Batman is climbing a ladder while battling a (rubber) shark, and in order to get rid of it, he whips out a trusty can of shark repellent spray. Luckily for him, the shark leaves and he climbs up to safety. But someone please explain to me why you would dedicate a good amount of space and weight to a can of shark repellent spray?
Many of these bat gadgets you’re going to see function exactly like a normal gadget with the word “Bat” attached to the front of it. This is the case with the bat-lasso. In a manner he probably stole from Wonder Woman, Batman uses this “high strength” lasso to rope his enemies while they’re trying to get away. Not only does this gadget seem very “un-Batman”, but it’s also highly impractical. Batman has other projectiles he can use to stop his foes, and if not, odds are that he could just run and catch them.
I have to admit, this one made me chuckle a bit when I saw it. The first episode of the ’60s Batman show pitted the Dynamic Duo against the Riddler. In order to catch him, Batman and Robin must climb up the side of a building in comedic fashion. Once they get to the right floor, the window is barred. So Batman cuts the bars off and Robin prepares to throw them down. Then Batman stops him saying, “Pedestrian safety!” He then pulls out a hook labeled “Bat Hook” and sticks it to the wall where they then hang the bars on it like clothes waiting to dry. Need I say more?
7. Glue Grenades
This comes directly from Batman: Arkham Origins, easily the weakest of all the Arkham games. It was difficult for Warner Bros. because they were trying to build upon the mechanics introduced in Arkham City, but had to do it in different ways since Origins was a prequel. So instead of giving Batman the cryo grenades, they replaced it with glue grenades, which makes even less sense. The glue is meant to stop foes, but in order for glue to be able to do something like that, it would have to be incredibly strong, and have a large enough explosion that it could cover said criminals to inhibit their movement.
If you thought shark repellent was a stretch, wait until you hear about this one. Batman really does have a plan for everything, and if Catwoman, Poison Ivy, or Harley Quinn attack, he has proper protection. “Bat-Female-Villain-Repellent” is state of the art, and can solve all of your woman villain needs. How it works is beyond me though, because if any of those villains ever become good again, how would the repellent know that? I guess we’ll just have to give it the benefit of the doubt. My best guess is that it’s filled with misogyny and body odor.
If Batman were an actual cop and didn’t run into problems with the police, this would make a lot of sense. However, he isn’t, so this makes almost no sense. What are the Bat-cuffs you ask? Well, they’re like regular handcuffs, except they’re shaped like a bat. What doesn’t compute with me is why he would need them. I mean, he always knocks the baddies out unconscious and then delivers them to the police. There’s no point in handcuffs at all when you’re Batman. Maybe they’re just for show to prove that he is the World’s Greatest Detective.
At some point, you really have to stop and remind yourselves that somebody came up with this and it’s canon. This (Bat?) broth is pretty much a small container of hot soup that Batman carries on his utility belt. No, it’s not for if he gets hungry, it’s for if he ever gets a bit tired. The intent behind the soup is to give Batman an extra boost so then he can move on to take out the bad guys. Why he wouldn’t just bring some pain killers instead is beyond me, but I’m not a show writer, so I guess I wouldn’t understand…
3. Anti-Penguin Gas Pills
The Batman ’60s show came up with some strange ideas not to be funny, but because they wanted quick solutions to seemingly impossible problems. That’s what led us to the shark repellent and bat hook. Another one of the fruits of their labor are the Anti-Penguin gas pills. From the name, you’d think they would be for the penguin minions. Instead, they’re there to combat the gas that comes from Penguin’s umbrella. How in the world you’d make such a thing, I have no clue. All I know is that it’s ridiculous.
I know Batman doesn’t have many rules when fighting crime, but this is definitely one of his creepier solutions. I understand that surveillance is important, but why must it be so unsettling. The Bat-Eye is literally a flying mechanical eye that follows criminals or searches the area. It gets even creepier when you realize that Batman controls it from a blank white van. That’s right kids, make sure you stay away from Batman when he’s operating the Bat-Eye. And for those that see the Bat-Eye, that stuff is the fuel of nightmares, and they’ll probably go to counseling.
Okay, okay, guys, grow up a bit and stop chuckling. We finally we have another one of those devices that is simply a regular device with “Bat” at the front of it. This time, it is a harpoon gun. He’s used it in a fight against Superman, and even given a batpoon to the young Robin. As ridiculous as the name is, I guess it gets the job done, whatever that job may be. You have to really hand it to the writers though for being able to come up with this 100 percent original gadget for the Bat to have in his arsenal.