Who needs superpowers when you have an endless supply of randomly awesome gadgets at your disposal? No matter what the situation — falling from tall heights, swimming underwater, getting turned into a baby, fighting the Hulk, having his leg gnawed on by a shark in midair — Batman seems to always have the right tool for the job. Guess that’s what a boat load of money and the power of prep time will do for you.
With over 70 years of crimefighting under his utility belt, Batman’s crazy technical prowess has left us with a lengthy list of cool gadgets. Admirably, most have been tailor made to merely subdue his enemies. But every once in a while, even Batman kills, and he has no shortage of lethal devices to choose from to get the job done. And although the Dark Knight normally opts to fight his impressive rogues gallery with less fatal outcomes, he certainly has the means to permanently turn out their lights.
Here are Batman’s 15 Deadliest Gadgets And Weapons.
15. Spring Loaded Bat-Ears
Batman is so much more than just some guy in a bat costume. He’s also a guy that can kill you with his ears. Like the time in Batman and Robin #22 when the villainous White Knight goes on a killing spree and Batman is left with no other choice but to take him down by firing the spring loaded pointed tips out of his cowl and into the White Knight’s head.
Batman’s ears have taken on a number of shapes and sizes over the years. But they’ve never been shown to be anything other than an homage to his winged friends’ listening devices. Now we know, however, that there’s far more to them than meets the eye. While the Dark Knight’s pointed projectiles didn’t actually kill his foe in the instance above, they probably should have, and rest assured, if Batman gave you a frontal lobotomy with his ears, the last thing you’d likely ever hear is POOM!
14. Batsuit Taser
If watching the The Dark Knight taught us anything, it’s that you should never try and take off Batman’s mask. On that occasion, one of Joker’s goons got an unexpected shock that left him cringing. However under the right circumstances — say, that goon was standing in water and had a pacemaker — a lot worse than just a little static electricity could happen.
This particular feature originated in Batman #609 during the “Hush” story arc, when a Gotham thug got roasted after trying to take a peek beneath the cowl. But the Batsuit Taser isn’t only limited to his mask and when Batman is unconscious. This oft overlooked security system can be controlled via the fingertips in his gloves, sending a powerful electric charge throughout his costume that blasts anyone he touches, leaving Bats safely insulated inside all the while. While this gadget isn’t going to kill anyone most of the time, any criminals running around with bum tickers should probably steer clear.
If you don’t believe Batman is prepared for every situation at all times, then you’ve probably never seen his Bat-Skates. Long before he even knew Mr. Freeze existed, he’d at some point had a pair of retractable ice skates installed in his costume on the off chance he might one day find himself in a life or death hockey match. Sure, they are one of the worst things to come out of Batman & Robin — and that’s saying a lot — but having razor sharp blades in your boots can definitely lead to some dicey situations.
Momentarily ignoring the ridiculousness of seeing the Dynamic Duo click their heels together to reveal they’ve been hiding makeshift ice skates in their boots (somehow?), let’s think about this rationally. While not all Batman’s deadliest gadgets are made with killing in mind, rest assured that if the Dark Knight wanted to, he could just as easily use his Bat-Skates to slice someone in half as slap sticks with Robin.
Some girls you send flowers, others you throw a vile of explosive napalm at. But when you’re Batman, that’s just how you roll. Only ever used once in the Bat-gadget fest known as Batman Returns, this particularly nasty little device came out during the first tussle between Catwoman and the Dark Knight. After having been pushed off a building, Batman feels his only option is to toss an incendiary gel capsule at his feline foe, exploding all over her arm. This allows him enough time to recover and — after she stabs in the stomach — backhand her off the building in his place.
One of the hallmarks of Tim Burton’s 1992 movie is that the Caped Crusader does a lot of things that seem out-of-character. (Like killing a man by shoving a bomb down his pants.) Likewise, his use of Bat-Napalm is an odd choice. While never explicitly referred to as napalm, it’s hard to take this blue sticky substance that bursts into flames upon contact as anything other than Batman’s own vicious version of the wartime weapon. Catwoman should be thankful she escaped with only a burnt shoulder. One can only imagine what would have happened if the capsule struck her face or landed in her mouth — or if Batman shoved it down her pants.
11. Kryptonite Ring
You never know when you’re going to have to punch Superman in the face, a fact that Batman is well aware of. Because like any good superhero, the Caped Crusader spends his time figuring out the best ways to take down his friends. Which is why, on the off-chance he needs to go toe-to-toe with the most powerful of them all, the Caped Crusader always carries around a ring made out of Kryptonite in his utility belt.
In Batman #612, the Dark Knight’s preparedness paid off after Poison Ivy mind controls Superman into trying to kill Batman, leaving him little choice but to pummel the Man of Steel’s face in. Rest assured, if the fight didn’t get broken up prematurely by Catwoman throwing Lois Lane off a skyscraper, there’s a very good chance Batman could have snuffed Supes out permanently, though he’d likely have broken every bone in his hand in the process. If that’s not painful enough, it can’t be all that healthy for Bats to keep a radioactive space rock near his pelvis at all times. Guess this is one gadget that has the potential to kill two birds with one stone.
What could make a bomb deadlier? Adding the word “bat” to it of course. These golf-ball sized pronged globes of mayhem are portable, powerful and, in the right scenarios, lethal — as bombs usually are.
Bats knows better than anyone the difficulties of carrying around a bomb. Which is probably why he has so few in his utility belt, despite making a career out of explosive entrances. When he does use a Bat-Bomb, it’s usually to blow a lock on a door or take down a wall, like during Batman Begins. But that doesn’t mean these pocket-sized grenades couldn’t blow Gotham’s worst to smithereens, or take a limb or two off a bad guy. We should all just be grateful he doesn’t like big explosions more, because absolutely no good could come from Bruce Wayne getting his hands on some Bat-Nukes.
9. The Batpod
Most of the time, Batman adheres to a strict no gun rule, famously asserted when he growled, “no guns, no killing” at Selina Kyle during The Dark Knight Rises. Which makes it odd as to why he would decide to keep two massive master blasters on the front of his makeshift Batcycle in Christopher Nolan’s films. Of course, the bike probably came fully equipped, along with its complementary machine guns, but that still doesn’t explain why he didn’t remove the lethal weapons, given his scorn of all things firepower.
Sure, the heavy artillery attached to the Batpod are almost exclusively used to clear cars and obstructions out of the way. But its dual mounted canons do have the distinction of being one of Batman’s few gadgets to have actually killed, thanks to Catwoman and her slightly less severe commitment to solving problems humanely. Though at the end of the day, given his penchant for the dramatic, probably the best reason for why Batman turned his crotch rocket into a killing machine is because guns on bikes just look cool.
8. Kryptonite Grenade Launcher
When does a grenade launcher stop being a gun and start being a gadget? When you paint it all black and load it with Kryptonite, of course. The modified FN MK13 grenade launcher that Batman uses in Batman v Superman to nearly kill the Man of Steel and take on Doomsday is about as murderous as Bruce Wayne gets.
Capable of firing regular 40 mm grenades and smoke bombs, the Bat-Launcher kicks things up a notch with its specially designed rounds that disperse Kryptonite gas. It’s rare for the Dark Knight to wield such a blatant killing device. Usually, if he develops a deadly gadget, Batman hides it beneath campiness and bat-centric theming. And rarely can it be found in the real world. But for all those hoping to kill your local Kryptonian, fortunately for the rest of us, are out of luck. The MK13 can’t be bought online. Looks like you’ll just have to settle for Daryl’s crossbow.
7. Power Armor
What do you get when you combine Batman with Iron Man? One heck of a suit of armor (and about a gazillion trillion dollars). Over the years, Bats has relied on several variations of mechanized armor to take down friends and foes alike. The two most famous are the one from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and the film version it inspired in Batman v Superman.
In both instances, they were used to beat the living crap out of Big Blue. Essentially, the armor is a reinforced Batsuit with the benefit of not only being able to withstand massively powerful attacks, but move nimbly and enhance the Caped Crusader’s strength through an integrated hydraulic exoframe. While the suit alone probably isn’t enough to kill the Man of Steel, the upgraded Kryptonite gauntlets he pulls out in Frank Miller’s follow-up The Dark Knight Strikes Again could do the trick. But all blockbuster battles aside, just imagine how lethal a power armor like this would make Batman when unleashed on non-Kryptonians. Tony Stark would be wise to get to work on a Batbuster armor.
The go-to-gadget in Batman’s arsenal, the Batarang is his most iconic tool — not to mention one very versatile deadly weapon. First appearing way back in 1939’s Detective Comics #31, this stylized throwing-star can be considered the Dark Knight’s first gadget. Nothing more than sculpted metal in the shape of a bat, it’s also probably the only one of the Caped Crusader’s weapons you could easily make at home. No gimmicks, no tricks, just a sharply pronged object that Batman (or any wannabes out there) could easily take an eye out with.
Despite being Batman’s simplest gadget, the Batarang is his most effective. Ignoring all the bells and whistles of later models, it’s primary purpose is to knock out or disarm villains. But it’s not a stretch to think that something that has no problem sticking to a wall could just as easily find a home in someone’s skull. Really, the fact Batman has yet to kill in all his years of tossing around Batarangs is a true testament to his awesome ninja skills.
5. The Batmobile
Probably Batman’s greatest killing machine in terms of the sheer number of lethal weapons it comes loaded with, the Batmobile is a nice way for the Caped Crusader to skirt his morals through second-hand killing. As the most recent iteration from Batman v. Superman proves, this iconic ride has no problem straight up blowing away bad guys.
As impressive as that latest model’s hood-mounted canons are, we’d be hard pressed to find a more deadly version than the one from Tim Burton’s first film. Packed with dual M1919 Browning machine guns, droppable bombs, side-mounted disc launchers and chassis-mounted shinbreakers, there are no shortage of ways that the 1989 Batmobile could wreak havoc. While none of those weapons are explicitly used to kill in the movie, they cause enough collateral damage that it’s impossible to see the Batmobile as anything other than a one-car massacring machine.
4. Bat-Sword aka Batman’s Lightsaber
Batman has had some crazy gadgets over the years. Bat-Female-Villain-Repellent, Bat-Rollerblades, a Bat-Credit Card, and the unfortunately named Batpoon all come to mind. In an episode from the Batman: The Brave and the Bold cartoon series, we got perhaps the craziest of all when the Caped Crusader whipped out his Bat-Sword.
It’s unusual for Batman to blatantly carry around such a lethal weapon, especially so close to his groin. Luckily, Bats has proven himself a skilled swordsman over the years and knows exactly how to use a blade. Which makes it unsurprising that when faced with an army of killer clock robots, Batman confidently unclips his pants and unsheathes a massive blue electric sword from his utility belt. This being the opening scene in the premiere episode of the series, The Brave and the Bold’s producers wanted to show exactly who audiences were dealing with — a dude that will straight up kill you with a sword made out of lasers.
3. The Knightfall Gauntlets
Now this one kind of depends on your definition of Batman. But if you consider Jean-Paul Valley’s stint as Robo-Bat following Bruce Wayne’s back-breaking by Bane, then we would be remiss not to mention his suped up gauntlets. These gloves are most recognizable on account of their claws, which could easily slit the throat of anyone Jean-Paul desired. And holy rusted metal, did he desire.
As quickly became evident through the events of Knightfall, Bruce Wayne’s stand-in had a vastly different view of crime fighting than his predecessor. Which is why he upgraded the Batsuit with an armament of brutal weaponry better fitted to killing than subduing. Take for instance the tube his gloves were connected to that let him rapid fire Bat-shurikens from his wrists, or the matching pair of arm rockets that rose from inside the gauntlets. In fact, few of Batman’s gadgets have ever been created with such murderous intent as these lethal metallic mitts, one aspect of which deserves an entry all its own…
Because Batman having a ninja star-launcher on his arms wasn’t crazy enough, Jean-Paul Valley went ahead and built a flamethrower into the suit as well. The result was a costume that looked like it was designed using the logic of a 10-year-old boy. Somehow (and inexplicably) feeding off the same tube that dispensed shurikens, the Bat-Flamethrower was Valley’s ultimate tool in cleansing the streets of Gotham, leaving a pile of charred bodies in his wake.
And what did Bruce Wayne have to say about all this? Namely, that Batman simply does not shoot fire from his hands. Spring-loaded Bat-Ears out of his head? Sure. But flamethrowers is where he draws the line. Valley’s blatant disregard for this maxim is what ultimately led Wayne to confront his successor and take him down, barbaric weaponry and all. Once again, it was proved that no matter how many weapons you have at your disposal, the most lethal of all will always be Batman’s fists.
1. His Fists
Of all the gadgets keeping Gotham in check, none are more fearsome, or lethal, than Batman’s fists. Even without those projectile-firing gloves from The Dark Knight, these clenched instruments of fury are enough to take the most hardened of adversaries down for the count. In his very first comic appearance, Bats punched a guy into a vat of acid. Ten issues later in Dective Comics #37, he one upped himself by punching a guy into a sword. (Though to be fair, the guy was wearing a monocle, so he pretty much had it coming.) Point is, if you have a death wish, look no further than Batman’s fists.
Ever since those humble punching beginnings, the Caped Crusader has relied on his own two hands more than any other instrument to deliver justice. In bouts with Bane, Deathstroke, Ra’s al Ghul, KGBeast, Superman, Predator and even a bald eagle, the Dark Knight has proven that the tools he was born with are his deadliest weapons. No amount of gizmos, doohickies, Kryptonite-laced doodads, or ice skates will ever come close to the devastating power of Batman’s fists.
Are there any other deadly gadgets out there we missed? Hit us with them in the comments.