Crazy Prepared: Batman
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Batman in Comics
- Batman apparently spends most of his time devising contingency plans to use in the event that he has to fight a given individual, to the point that it's widely said that Batman can beat anyone or anything "if he's prepared". For example, he carries a chunk of Kryptonite on his utility belt at all times, "just in case". He also prepares himself to an
almostunhealthy extent, regularly injecting himself with antitoxins in the off chance a poison-wielding villain might attack him, and training most of his day. There are some things you just can't ever see coming, like zombie Abraham Lincoln armed with an assault rifle. Such are his preparation skills that he's earned a place amongst the Trope Pantheons, specifically, in the House of Mentalism.
- Dick Grayson (Nightwing/the first Robin) is also highly prepared. In the first volume of the threepart series Trinity a villain by the name of Swashbuckler steals Nightwing's mask. Which Grayson promptly has destroyed via an explosive charge set for voice activation. The command phrase was only "Autodestruct."
- Batman has attempted to be prepared in case of the inevitable superhero Face-Heel Turn, most notably in two infamous incidents. In the "Tower of Babel" arc of the Justice League comic, it was mainly confined to the League. The second was shortly after Identity Crisis where Batman decided to secretly tab every superhero/metahuman on Earth he could, so he built the Brother Eye program to monitor them. Both blew up in his face horribly (Ra's found and used the files and Brother Eye was hijacked by Max Lord and, later, Alexander Luthor). That being said, while they did indeed blow up in his face, they did so by incapacitating every member of the league, who all needed to be saved by the backup plans to THE BACKUP PLANS! Yes, indeed; Batman is so prepared, he even prepared for his contingency plans to get stolen.
- Tim Drake, Robin III, is similarly prepared. In his own comic, while fighting another vigilante, they fall through the roof into a bowling alley, with Tim landing on an enormous display bowling ball. He stands up, and uses his feet to start rolling it toward his opponent, thinking, "Believe it or not, I actually trained for this. I told Bruce it was stupid at the time. We'll have a good laugh when I get back home."
- Tim defeated Lady Shiva. Lady Shiva who's the best Assassin in the world, and (aside from Bronze Tiger and Richard Dragon) probably the best martial artist in the world. You wanna know how? He had poisoned some complimentary chocolates from the hotel she was staying at, before she wrote the letter challenging him. The poison was a paralytic triggered by an increased heart rate. Like in a fight. Against Robin.
- In one issue of Young Justice, the new team goes on a camping trip to get to know each other better. Around the campfire they start a game of "truth or dare," and Superboy promptly dares Robin to remove his domino mask. He does... revealing another domino mask underneath. He admits that he had put the extra mask on before they left, figuring that this game would come up.
Arrowette: You were toilet trained at six months, weren't you...
- In an issue of The Batman Adventures, a criminal "artist" named Kim escapes from Arkham and begins leaving clues at crime scenes in a manner reminiscent of the Riddler. Riddler is furious that someone is stealing his gimmick and tracks Kim down himself. As they fight, Riddler asks what all the "clues" were supposed to mean. Kim reveals that they were actually references to an art film by a foreign director, and he was merely making an artistic statement. Riddler rants about how that is completely pointless, as nobody will ever understand such a reference, and the point of leaving clues is to give your opponent a fighting chance. Whereupon Batman shows up and reveals that he understood the clues just fine. When asked why he would watch random films and memorize the biographical information of their directors, Batman replied "In case I had to."
- In one issue of JLA, the Martian Manhunter has shapeshifted into a Japanese woman using the name Hino Rei. Batman recognises J'onn instantly, and mentions that "the name is a giveaway". Yes, Batman knows enough about Sailor Moon to spot the name of Sailor Mars. Amusingly, this is because the author got pranked; he asked a friend for a Japanese woman's name that would translate out to 'Poet of Mars', thus establishing Batman's linguistics genius; instead his friend deliberately gave him the secret ID of Sailor Mars, and so the author inadvertently established Batman's otaku cred.
- Batman's crazy preparation is shown to an extreme in the Batman R.I.P. storyline, in which we find that in case of psychological attack, he has created a backup personality known as "The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh". Said personality might actually be crazy, making this a literal example. This is not, however, not the first time he's done something like this. In a Gotham Knights story, Bruce uses a contingency plan that involves hypnotizing himself to essentially strip the Batman part of his identity and leave only the Bruce Wayne part, in case someone found out and he needed to take extra measures to convince them (and others) otherwise.
- In Batman #666, it was shown that in a possible Bad Future, Damian Wayne would become Batman. However, since he knows he's not as skilled as his predecessors, he makes up for it by booby-trapping every major building in Gotham in case he has to fight there.
- Rather infamously in JLA 59 Batman engineered the defeat of Polaris to end with the JLA victorious, Superman's healing accelerated by the hole in the ozone layer and himself standing on a teleportation disk he had hidden in the arctic for just such an occasion. Appropriately he ends the comic with the words "always plan ahead".
- In an issue of Superman/Batman, it is revealed that Batman carries around a lead-lined mirror just in case Superman ever turns evil and Batman can't avoid his heat vision. Because, you know, that situation comes up so often.
- During the Hush arc of Batman, it is revealed that if he is ever knocked unconscious, his helmet will release tear gas on anyone brave enough to reach for his mask, as well as his suit tasering anyone stupid enough to touch him. The taser shows up in The Dark Knight.
- Lampshaded by Jaime Reyes, the Blue Beetle, in one of his teamups with Batman. An enemy has just ambushed them by essentially spawning an arctic blizzard ramped Up to Eleven above them, causing them to get buried in a few meters of snow. After Beetle breaks out and stops the blizzard by scaring off their attacker...
Blue Beetle: Batman! Hold on! I'll find you and get you out! Can you break out the Bat-Snowblower or something?
(Batman digs his way out of the hole caused by the explosion)
Blue Beetle: (in awe) Please don't tell me you actually have a Bat-Snowblower...
Batman: Heating flare capable of melting through ice in a hurry. You'd be surprised what you pack after going up against Mr. Freeze enough times.
- Further demonstrated in an issue of Superman/Batman where the world is under the control of Gorilla Grodd except for Batman. Batman's arm is robotic and Superman is gone in space because the atmosphere has Kryptonite in it. By the end of some long convoluted that proves enough how Crazy-Prepared Batman is, it turns out that it was just a simulation of that potential scenario just in case and Batman reveals to Alfred that he does these all the time.
- There was an Elseworlds comic called JSA: The Liberty Files which had an alternate reality version of Batman, Hour Man, and Mid-Nite on a train in their civilian identities. They were simply eating dinner when they were suddenly attacked by a villain. Batman, as Bruce Wayne, opens his jacket and throws two grenades. One of the heroes remarks, "You brought grenades to dinner?" to which Bruce replied, "I needed them, didn't I?".
- In The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Batman is well prepared for Superman coming to pay him a visit. He has The Atom punch Superman's inner ear to keep him off balance, then has the Flash place small charges all over Supes, after which Green Arrow shoots him with a Kryptonite arrow, all before Batman then hands his ass to him with Green K gloves. And then for the clincher, Superman tells the Bat he only came to talk, to which Batman replies, 'We're done talking. Get out of my cave.'
- In one issue of Gotham Adventures, Harley Quinn writes a trashy romance novel that controls the mind of whoever reads it. Tim and Barbara were controlled while Bruce wasn't. Why? He wore leather gloves while reading it.
- Batman Does Not Like Guns, but he still takes his proteges to the firing range. When asked why, Batman explained that it's useful to know as much about guns as possible even if he doesn't use them.
- In one The Brave and the Bold comic, Batman reveals that he keeps a one-way one-shot handheld teleporter preset to the vicinity of a black hole in his utility belt. Just in case.
- Jean-Paul Valley, during his time as Batman, was certainly this. Emphasis on "Crazy": he rigged the Batmobile to self-destruct and set up lethal dart launchers in the grandfather clock entrance.
- In the New 52, a plot point in Forever Evil is that Batman created contingency plans in case he ever needed take down the Justice League. He and Catwoman end up having to recycle the plans to use them against the Crime Syndicate, the JLA's Mirror Universe counterpart.
- In Batman: Endgame, Bruce finally ends up having to put use his contingency plans when the members of the Justice League are taken over by The Joker.
Batman in Live-Action
- This was done to ridiculous extents in the '60s Adam West Batman, where, instead of being simply prepared, Batman had an inane gadget for every situation. This came to a ridiculous head in Batman: The Movie, where Batman is attacked by a shark while hanging from a helicopter, but thankfully, the helicopter has a canister of shark repellent bat-spray. The shot of the cabin reveals the helicopter also has barracuda, whale and manta ray repellent sprays.
Music Meister: Even without shark repellent/he's tougher than he seems...
- In an episode where Batman and Robin are saved by a seal, using a live fish Batman had in his utility belt. Robin asks "Where did you get a live fish?" Batman says "The true crimefighter always carries everything he needs in his utility belt, Robin."
- Alphabet Soup Bat Container.
- To survive an attack by Mr. Freeze, in one episode he and Robin have on their Bat Thermal Underwear!
- To counter the situation of Bruce Wayne Held Hostage, he carries around dehydrated Batsuit tablets, so that he can turn into Batman given a glass of water.
- When The Joker tried to hypnotize the Dynamic Duo using his hypnosis box, it doesn't work. Robin informs the Joker they had taken their Bat-Anti-Hypnosis Pills from the Bat-Pill Dispenser on their Bat-Utility Belts!
- Parodied in a DC/Wildstorm crossover miniseries. The members of Planetary are fighting various Alternate Universe incarnations of Batman, and at one point the Adam West version uses a can of "BAT-FEMALE-VILLAIN-REPELLENT" on Jakita Wagner.
- This is parodied in an episode of The Simpsons where Krusty is a guest-villain in an old rerun of Batman. Krusty's plan is to spin Batman and Robin on a carousel so rapidly that they will apparently "blush themselves to death". Fortunately, Batman happens to have a can of Carousel Reversal Spray with him.
Krusty: Uh, what don't you have in that belt?!
Batman: Patience! For harlequin hoodlums like yourself!
- In the very first episode where bars of a window high above the ground needed to be welded, Batman told Robin not to drop them due to pedestrian safety. He then uses a bat-hanger to hang those bars.
- He also had all-purpose bat-swatter in case of an insect attack.
- In the 1989 Batman 1989 movie, the Batplane is outfitted with oversized scissor blades to cut the tethers of the poison-filled balloons in The Joker's parade. Okay, but why would you have giant scissors at all if you didn't know you'd one day have to use them at a holiday parade?
- In Batman & Robin, Batman and Robin run into Mr Freeze for the first time and slip on his ice. They then reveal that they had ice skates hidden in their boots despite there being no possible reason for them to ever install/use them before Mr Freeze who they didn't know about before he showed up.
- In The Dark Knight, The Joker was often even better prepared than Batman himself. It helps that he's both a Magnificent Bastard and completely insane.
- It's been confirmed that the long-awaited smackdown at the center of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will involve Batman donning a suit of Powered Armor in order to go toe-to-toe with the Man of Steel.
Batman in Animation
- In Batman: Under the Red Hood Nightwing is yet again Crazy Prepared. Of all the things to carry around in his utility belt, all the cool gadgets, and he just so happens to carry a staple gun with him. Because you never know when you might need to staple something!
- The series finale of The Batman has a rather odd case where this comes in handy. Aliens have stolen the powers of Justice League of America members, and the methods to defeat them are used by the superheroes they were originally planned for.
- Before that, The Batman episode "Seconds" starred someone-totally-not-the-Clock-King-or-Chronos who could rewind time and relive a battle every time he loses, correcting any mistakes — the equivalent of emulator-Save Scumming. This power allowed him to fight Batman to a draw.
- Taken to Crazy Awesome levels while lampshaded in the Batman Beyond episode "Black Out". When the shapeshifter Inque hitches a ride to the Batcave incognito by blending in with the paint, the computers detect the weight imbalance of a lone shapeshifter on a vehicle which has to weigh many tons. She shows herself, so Bruce quickly dons a large hat and sunglasses to hide himself (a Continuity Nod; it was the original Gray Ghost uniform). Inque is eager to find out where she is exactly, so she tries to escape through the access tunnel. The following ensues:
Terry: She's trying to escape! (Bruce pushes a button, steel doors close over the tunnel.)
Bruce: It pays to be prepared.
Inque: Somebody's got a secret. (She tries to pull the door off.)
Terry: She's getting through! (Bruce pushes another button, door becomes electrified.) Man. You really are prepared.
Bruce: (Cue Inque slithering up to the ceiling.) She won't get through that way either, there's a foot of solid steel up there.
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold gives us this conversation:
Jaime: OK OK, here's one. Poison Ivy has used her Mind Control spores on Superman to pit him against Batman. Oh, and Batman has no kryptonite. Who wins?
Paco: Easy: Superman.
Jaime: Wrong, Batman, by using his kryptonite.
Paco: You just said he had no kryptonite.
Jaime: Trick question. Batman always has kryptonite.You can stun Superman. It just takes a lot of electricity.
- This is also a Shout-Out the Hush story arc, when Poison Ivy does just that to Supes in an elaborate plan of Hush's to corner Bruce into trusting him. Batman tricks Superman into punching into the power cables for all of Metropolis. And then snaps him out of mind control by having Catwoman drop Lois Lane out a window, so that his subconscious desire to protect her will break through the effect of the Ivy-spores.
- There's a fantastic example in the first season finale, where it appears that he has planned for the specific situation of "forced to team up with the Joker and use back-up vehicle" by including a Big Red Button in that vehicle that would spray knock-out gas into the passenger seat, knowing that Joker wouldn't be able to resist pushing it.
- Joker himself shows tendencies of this. When Batman put him in handcuffs, he revealed that he was wearing fake, detachable hands (as well as having a number of other objects up his sleeve).
- In one of the later episodes, Batman reveals that he actually has at least one back-up Batcave, which he and the JLI use as a hideout during Darkseid's invasion of Earth.
- In general, the campy, tongue-in-cheek tone of Brave and the Bold allowed them to get away with more preposterous instances of Crazy-Prepared that would seem over-the-top even in the mainstream comics. This includes a can of Amnesia spray, a Batsuit with a built-in life support system and jetpack in case of space emergencies, and a Batmobile that transforms into a Mini-Mecha in case of superhuman smack downs!
- Some episodes of The Super Friends carry the versatility of Batman's utility belt to ridiculous extremes. If every episode is to be believed, his utility belt holds a Bat Glue Ray, a Bat Invisibility Ray, and a Bat-Belt Mouse Compartment.
- The movie Justice League: Doom is all about this. A bunch of villains gets a hold of Batman's secret countermeasures against the Justice League and proceeds to almost kill all of them using them. What does Batman do? Simple; he has countermeasures against his countermeasures so he uses those to save the JLA. The only member he doesn't have a countermeasure for is Cyborg, who isn't a member of the JLA at the moment. He even has a countermeasure against himself if he ever pulled a Face-Heel Turn: the JLA itself.
- Young Justice - Robin is crazy prepared and this is lampshaded by Kid Flash when Robin has his utility belt while wearing civilian garb.
Kid Flash: You have your utility belt?!
Robin: Never leave home without it! First thing Batman taught me.
Kid Flash: Yeah, right after never go to the bathroom without it.
- In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "The Clock King", the eponymous villain has studied Batman's moves just in case he survives the Death Trap. And Fugate manages to fight Batman to a standstill.
Batman in Video Games
- Batman does it again in the game Batman: Arkham Asylum:
- It is revealed early-ish in the game that Batman has secretly built a second Batcave on Arkham Island just in case, after he found an extensive cave as a side effect of saving a convict from committing suicide. This is in canon with the comics. He has several smaller "satellite" Batcaves all throughout Gotham City, including a sub-basement underneath the Wayne Foundation building, an abandoned underground subway station, and the aforementioned.
- Batman decided that just in case he would be hanging people from random points in Arkham, he should bring in a large amount of rope to do so.
- He also has an apparently infinite supply of Batarangs at his disposal as well.
- He does it again just before trekking into Killer Croc's lair. Just before he enters it proper, he takes the time to spray some explosive gel on a seemingly random spot on the sewer floor for no apparent reason. It turns out to be how Batman defeats Killer Croc by blowing up the floor and sending Croc into a deep pit.
- After taking down Bane, Bats and Gordon walk outside and start talking about the events going on at Arkham while Bats fiddles with his arm computer for a moment on something we don't see. In the middle of the conversation, Bane explodes out and grabs Bats and lifts him up to have this exchange:
Bane: I will break you Batman!
Batman: No, Bane. This time, I break you. *the Batmobile drives through and takes Bane with it into the water*
- The Riddler also shows signs of Crazy-Prepared: He spread out not only his own personal trophies around Arkham, but he also spray painted hard to find question marks that can only be seen by Batman's cowl, he set interview tapes around Arkham, and he made riddles for every area in Arkham. He did all that just on the off chance that Batman might have to spend a lot of time at Arkham (though he might have been privy to the Joker's plan, which would indicate extreme resourcefulness on relatively short notice).
- With Batman: Arkham City, Batman (and a few other characters even) gets to continue showing off how prepared he is for any and every situation under the sun. The best part? The game is designed so the player themselves gets to instigate most of the preparations this time around!
- Right off the get go, Bruce Wayne is captured by Arkham City guards and incarcerated, Bruce convinces a guard to attack him and snaps his radio off and quickly steals the SD chip before getting processed into the prison. When he changes to Batman, he slips the SD chip into his Sequencer and taps into the guards radio transmissions, ensuring he'll know about their movements ahead of time well into the rest of the game.
- Batman obviously keeps empty spots on his belt for any gadgets he obtains while in Arkham City. The only gadgets he needs to get dropped in is the Grapnel Boost (which is explained as that gadget is still being tested but of course Batman basically says "this will be the test") and the Line Launcher (which Batman explains as it would make his belt too heavy if he always took it with him). But then again who needs to take every gadget with you when you can just call the Batwing to bring you that particular gadget?
- Batman gets another one in Harley Quinn's Revenge. His Utility Belt is rigged to shock anyone who tries to tamper with it.
- If for whatever unlikely reason Batman should ever get kidnapped, he knows Robin will save him before too long. When Robin saves him in Harley Quinn's Revenge, he only says "what took you so long?".
- Riddler again gets to show he's even more crazy prepared then Batman, by hiding trophies and riddles in places he shouldn't even have access to, or know exist!
- The Riddler also had the foresight to plan ahead for Catwoman teaming up with Bats, strewing trophies and riddles around Arkham City for her as well.
- Mr. Freeze seems to have been taking lessons from Batman. His suit can be programmed to counter any of Batman's successful attacks. He also has a chip that can stop his freeze gun from being used against him, and he has some sort of override in case that falls into the wrong hands.
- DC Universe Online has Kevin Conroy reading through Batman's contingency plans. Some are simple enough - Kryptonite for Superman, paralysis for Flash, and so on - but others are more elaborate, like inducing hydrophobia in Aquaman through an altered fear toxin from Scarecrow. Of course, Batman is prepared for not only the other superheroes, but also himself.
Agamemno Contingency - Codename: Detective. While Batman is a master strategist and combatant... he is only human. The best way to disable his strategic abilities would be to distract him. His parents are an excellent blind spot, as is his endless crusade to protect the innocent. Taking hostages is a good distraction, particularly if they're friends or family. [Angrily] Think carefully before you do this.