First and foremost, Batman is a detective. Though he is often perceived as a crime-fighting demigod, he is merely a mortal man with access to the world’s best technology. As The World’s Greatest Detective, he has solved a great many crimes and defeated a gallery of foes. Because he’s an emotionally-driven man who respects the past, Batman maintains a Hall of Trophies that pays tribute to his successes, his failures and everything in between.
The Batcave, where shards of his shattered spirit still remain, is equal parts man-cave and mausoleum. Housing the costumes of fallen heroes and dead enemies, along with the calling cards of notorious villains and even a mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Batcave is like a gallery of Gotham’s grizzled history. Though iterations of the Hall of Trophies vary greatly, a few unforgettable objects are consistent across Batman’s storied career.
Here are 15 Legendary Trophies Batman Keeps in the Batcave:
15. Lex Luthor’s Kryptonite Ring
Though Batman and Superman are allies and designated leaders of the Justice League, Batman keeps a Kryptonite ring as an insurance policy against the Man of Steel. The jewelry was shaped by Lex Luthor, of course, who was inspired by Metallo’s Kryptonite heart and decided to forge a smaller version for himself. Luthor wore the ring at all times to keep Superman at bay, but its radioactivity ultimately gave him cancer and forced him to amputate his right hand.
While Batman may trust Kal-El the individual, the Kryptonite ring serves as his nuclear option should Superman become possessed by an outside agent (like when he was brainwashed by Darkseid). It’s a good thing Batman keeps the ring on hand, however, because he has been forced to wield it on more than one occasion. While Batman keeps the ring (or in some iterations, a sliver of Kryptonite) in the Batcave, he has also been known to carry it in his utility belt.
14. A Letter From Thomas Wayne
The reverberations of Thomas Wayne’s murder echo throughout nearly every Batman timeline. Bruce Wayne mourns the loss of his parents in an almost ritualistic manner, as if he hopes his suffering might keep their memory alive. In Flashpoint, reality is reversed in a world where Bruce Wayne dies at the hand of Joe Chill, rather than his parents. This alternate universe has a graying Thomas Wayne become Gotham’s Batman, more murderous and jaded than ever. Wayne Casino essentially bankrolls this secondary Batman’s approach to vigilante justice.
Though the Flashpoint story completely upends the myth of Batman, order is ultimately restored. Knowing he must sacrifice himself, Thomas Wayne accepts his fate and drafts a letter to Bruce. While facing his dwindling future with grace, Thomas compels The Flash to deliver this letter to Bruce back in the original universe. Barry Allen accomplishes Thomas Wayne’s final wishes, and to this day, the letter remains fixed in the Batcave.
13. The Original Mr. Freeze Gun
By keeping several of Mr. Freeze’s weapons in the cave, Batman achieves two important goals. First, he improves upon his enemy weapon arsenal, a cache which he has been forced to access on multiple occasions. Secondly, he holds these icy talismans as a reminder to never, ever fight Mr. Freeze in a live-action form again (Batman & Robin, we’re looking at you). He may be a tragic villain, but unfortunately, Mr. Freeze spearheaded an even more tragically bad movie.
We’ve seen a handful of Victor Fries’ ice-guns in the Batman Beyond cave, where a much older Bruce Wayne stores them as souvenirs of his glory days gone by. In the Terry McGinnis update of the The Dark Knight, Batman actually uses one of Mr. Freeze’s guns to pulverize the villain, Inque. Though that particular weapon didn’t survive their heated encounter, the new Batman is later shown to have several freeze-guns stored in the cave.
12. The Hood of the Vampire Monk
In addition to being one of the best beloved superheroes, Batman is also recognized for having fought some of the most compelling villains. Throughout the Caped Crusader’s long history, the vampiric Mad Monk remains one of Batman’s most vicious enemies. Debuting in the 1939 Detective Comics issue #39, the blood-sucking Monk used hypnosis as his weapon of choice and became the ultimate Gothic nightmare with his ability to become a werewolf.
Batman’s battles against the evil priest turn into a global adventure, culminating in his visit to Transylvania. There, the Monk hides in his castle like Dracula in Bram Stoker’s classic novel, waiting for Batman to arrive. Though his girlfriend also finds herself in the mix, Batman locates the Monk sleeping in his coffin and riddles him with silver-bullets. Though a somewhat anticlimactic end to Batman’s first multi-comic adventure, the shroud of the Vampire Monk remains enshrined in a glass case in the depths of the Batcave.
11. Jason Todd’s Costume
After the loss of his parents, the death of Jason Todd cut the deepest scar in Bruce Wayne’s psyche. Thanks to a telephone survey, there wasn’t much Batman could do to stop the inevitable. Indeed, DC Comics actually allowed fans to determine the fate of Jason Todd via a phone-based poll. The final numbers tallied 5343 in favor of letting him die at the hands of the Joker, narrowly edging out the 5271 hoping to see Jason Todd survive. In true gladiatorial spirit, the writers at DC Comics gave the thumbs-down to the second Robin and allowed the Clown Prince of Crime to beat him half to death with a crowbar before finishing him off with a ticking time bomb.
Batman will never forgive himself for being unable to protect his sidekick. To constantly remind himself of his misjudgment and eternal responsibility in Gotham, Batman keeps Jason Todd’s costume hung prominently in the Batcave.
10. Vintage Batmobiles
The many incarnations of the Batmobile remain the most boldly featured items in the Batcave. Despite the many costumes, tokens and mementos that Batman has displayed, the car collection is his true pièce de résistance. While he usually rumbles through the streets of Gotham City with the latest version of his signature vehicle, the Dark Knight keeps older iterations of the Batmobile around for back-up (and simply because he can). The next time you see a version of the cave, look carefully and you might even see vestiges of Adam West’s vintage 1960s Batmobile. Unfortunately, emergency Shark-Repellent bat-spray may not be included.
While technically housed outside the Hall of Trophies, the hydraulic platform on which the Batmobiles are stored acts as a showroom unto itself. The world’s greatest bachelors tend to spoil themselves with one (or seven) cars too many, and Batman’s rotating turntable is the ultimate in vehicular grandeur.
9. Mad Hatter’s Top Hat
Drawing once more on literary icons, DC Comics employed a self-styled Mad Hatter to take down the Dark Knight. Based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, this Gotham-terrorizing hooligan began as the asocial Jervis Tetch, a gifted neuroscientist under the employ of Wayne Enterprises. Mr. Tetch was fetching for a secretary appropriately named Alice, upon whom he tested his mind-control techniques to drive her away from her boyfriend and into his loving arms. Fashioning himself as the Mad Hatter, he falls down the rabbit hole in his pursuit of Alice until the Dark Knight is forced to step in.
It doesn’t take long for Batman to beat back the Hatter’s lackeys, all of whom become characters out of Carroll’s famous novel. Batman banishes the Hatter to Arkham Asylum, and though he eventually breaks out of the prison, Batman humbles him yet again. This time, he adds Tetch’s top hat to the Batcave trophy room, replete with its signature 10/6 card.
8. Deathstroke’s Sword
“You’re good, Batman. But you’re just an ordinary man. I’ve been enhanced. I’m stronger. Faster. And far more vicious. You’ve trained yourself to fight. I’ve trained myself to kill.” Straight from the assassin himself, this outlook summarizes the key differences between the Caped Crusader and Deathstroke the Terminator. As the most lethal killer in DC Comics history, Deathstroke has brought the pain to Batman on more than one occasion (and truth be told, he has beaten him without much effort). The byproduct of the army’s supersoldier testing, Deathstroke is physically and mentally stronger than any of his opponents.
Though he is not to be trifled with, Deathstroke once yielded to Batman during one of their showdowns. As a token of his victory, Batman proudly kept Deathstroke’s katana in the safety of his Batcave. Though the assassin has found his way into the Dark Knight’s lair before, you can bet Batman won’t surrender the blade anytime soon.
7. Thomas Wayne’s Batsuit
Though the Flashpoint crossover fully developed a world with Thomas Wayne as Batman, the origins of Thomas’ costume began much earlier. When he and his wife, Martha, wore clever outfits to a themed costume-party, Thomas dressed as a bat complete with wings and a makeshift mask. Young Bruce was pretty taken by the look of it, leading his father to tell him he’d save it for “when [he grows] up!”
While a fairly heavy-handed foreshadowing, it is undoubtedly one of the earliest images in the Batman mythology. Some stories even suggest Thomas Wayne stopped a few criminals while wearing the costume. However heroic Thomas Wayne may have been, this early incarnation of the Bat-suit would inspire Bruce as an adult and become a key feature in his Batcave. As with the costume of Jason Todd, Thomas Wayne’s crime-fighting attire is enclosed in a glass case in the front of the Batcave trophy room.
6. The Joker’s Card
The Joker is Batman’s archenemy, so it’s only fitting that an over-sized card of the Clown Prince of Crime would dominate the Dark Knight’s subterranean refuge. As a warning of the Joker’s perpetual threat to Gotham, this playing card keeps Batman on his toes. While more modern versions of the Batcave show the Joker’s card hanging with the stalactites, this portrait of Batman’s greatest foe actually started as a far creepier papier-mâché mask. Batman may like to hold onto his worst memories, but an almost life-like reconstruction of the Joker is a bridge too far.
Despite his rich history of antagonism, there is no known story behind the genesis of the Joker card. It simply appeared in a Batcave panel and has become a mainstay of its gloomy aesthetic ever since. How fitting for the clown with an already dubious origin story and who simply “wants to watch the world burn.”
5. The Penguin’s Umbrellas
Gotham gets more rainfall than Seattle, so from a practical standpoint, the Penguin’s umbrellas might come in handy. As the story goes, Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot’s father died of pneumonia after getting stuck in a rainstorm. Ever after, the Penguin’s mother insisted he never be seen without a protective umbrella.
Though Batman has been shown to keep a full arsenal of the waddling villain’s toys, he’s definitely not interested in them for their waterproofing. Instead, these are collector’s items that signify Batman’s repeated defeat of the insufferable Penguin. Over the years, the villain has employed a variety of prankster parasols, including bullet-firing and rocket-launching umbrellas, as well as one that produces spinning blades to function as a helicopter. In The Golden Age Batman, the Batcave is home to one of the Penguin’s famed gas attack umbrellas. That’s right, DC Comics villains are so evil they use brollies to conduct chemical warfare.
4. Red Hood’s Costume
The original Red Hood’s costume hangs in the Batcave next to its crimson helmet. Though a subtle relic of Batman’s greatest enemy, the Red Hood serves as a reminder that the Joker’s menace can take make forms.
Indeed, the Red Hood identity has been used by more than one person, not least of which was Jason Todd. After Talia Al Ghul helps bring him back to life in the Lazarus Pit, Todd exacts revenge-via-crowbar on the Joker and then sets out to transform Gotham. As the newly minted second Red Hood, he subverts several leading gangs to take down the hegemonic leader, Black Mask. When Batman learns of the return of Jason Todd, however, he allows the Robin costume to remain in the Batcave, telling Alfred that “it doesn’t change anything at all.” This is further evidence that the Caped Crusader has a really difficult time letting bygones be bygones.
3. Harvey Dent’s Coin
Harvey Dent’s silver dollar was the coin of destiny. He used it to make his own luck and beat fate with a simple coin flip. While the silver dollar previously belonged to the crime-boss, Vince Maroni, Dent found it left behind in a crime scene where Maroni had killed one of his leading rivals, Bookie Benson. Though Dent hoped the coin would help incriminate the crime-boss, Maroni ultimately disfigured Harvey’s visage with acid and initiated the arrival of Two-Face.
Like an unholy talisman, Two-Face then bound himself to the truth of his coin: heads would give him license to reckless behavior, while tails would spur him to behave justly. Though he began to spiral out of control, Batman helped Two-Face rectify his situation. Knowing the danger of the coin and the ethos it inspired, Two-Face entrusted it to Batman who has since stored it in the safety of the Batcave Trophy Room.
2. The Giant Penny
Not all of Batman’s villains are worth revisiting. Some of them, like those in the story of the Penny Plunderers, were so mediocre that they practically begged for a retcon to right the ship (as happened a few decades later). To be fair, Joe Coyne, leader of the Penny Plunderers, was the catalyst for giving Batman one of his most prized trophies: the gigantic Abraham Lincoln coin. This penny has since become so integral to the story that it can be seen in both comics and animated depictions of the Batcave.
In the comic version, the aptly-named Joe Coyne is a petty criminal bent on stealing pennies. When he sets out to plunder a Gotham coin exhibition, Batman comes to the rescue and thwarts his efforts. To commemorate the occasion, Batman brought the supersized currency back to the Hall of Trophies. In the retconned version, Two-Face tries to use the mega coin to smash Batman to pieces, but his grand plans are foiled.
1. A Mechanical Dinosaur
Before Michael Crichton popularized the idea of Jurassic Park, Batman and Robin went to an amusement park filled with animatronic dinosaurs. In Batman #35, the dynamic duo are challenged to survive on Dinosaur Island for a day and a half without their state-of-the-art technology. Should they be victorious, the owners of the island pledge to donate a generous sum of money to charity.
Though they are allegedly controlled from a safe distance, all manner of prehistoric creatures and robotic cavemen then proceed to attack Batman and Robin in menacing ways. While the crime fighters adequately defend themselves, a vile man named Stephen Chase subverts the controls and sends the dinosaurs to kill Batman and Robin. After the insurrection is quelled, however, Batman collects his belongings and with a little help from Alfred, brings the T-Rex back to the Batcave.
What other trophies lurk in the Batcave? Tell us in the comments below!