Over the years, Batman‘s utility belt has become one of the most famous objects in comic history. It serves as a symbol for Batman’s keen intellect; he has a plan for just about everything. This is why the utility belt is stuffed with everything from batarangs and grappling hooks to bombs and lasers.
Most of the time, these objects make sense (albeit within the crazy world of Batman). However, some of Batman’s utility belt item choices are mysteries so big it would drive the Riddler crazy. Batman is carrying around things that might kill him at a moment’s notice, and other things that would completely revolutionize the world of science (or they would if Batman wasn’t using the technology to help him beat up mentally ill people every night).
Realistically, if Batman’s belt was always full of these insane items, Bruce Wayne would have died long ago. But in the topsy-turvy world of his enemies, Batman’s weirdest utility belt accessories always ended up saving the day.
What are these strange items, you ask? Fortunately, you don’t have to hack the Batcave like Oracle to find out… just keep scrolling to check out our handy guide to the 15 Weirdest Things in Batman’s Utility Belt!
15. Bat shark repellent
The gold standard of weird bat gadgets will always be the bat shark repellent. While it has appeared in actual Batman comics, this weird utility belt addition was made famous (or perhaps infamous) in the 1966 Batman movie starring Adam West. In the movie, Robin is piloting the Batcopter above the ocean while Batman dangles on a ladder. When a shark tries to take a bite out of the Caped Crusader, Batman uses the repellent to drive it away.
This brings up so many questions. In a utility belt of limited pouches, why does Batman carry something so insanely specific? And assuming this is his own invention, how did he test it? It’s certainly a weird mental image to imagine Batman testing countless sprays on countless sharks until he got it just right. Finally, how often does Batman have to fight off sharks, anyway?
14. Bat-female-villain repellent
Because of the infamy regarding the bat shark repellent, it was inevitable that Batman writers would eventually make fun of how silly that repellent was. In this case, the idea they ran with was to take the original silly idea and make it even more over the top. Batman’s not driving away sharks anymore— he’s driving away women!
This comes from a fairly weird crossover story between Batman and Planetary. The story was just a loose excuse to unleash a bevy of Batmen from different worlds. When one of them is attacked by a villainess named Jakita, he sprays her with “bat-female-villain repellent.”
In some ways, this is the most insane gadget on this list. What is in the spray that would drive off women and not men? And how does the spray only drive off villainous women? Throw in the fact that Batman’s rogue’s gallery is overwhelmingly male and the idea he is constantly carrying this spray around makes even less sense.
13. Laughing gas (and sad pills)
When it comes to making enemies uncontrollably laugh, you’re much more likely to think of Joker than Batman. However, an old Batman comic featured our Dark Knight using special laughing gas from his belt to distract some villainous giants. This occurred after Batman and Robin time traveled to the past, of course.
These giants were being pests to some local villagers, but one dose of Batman’s laughing gas helped distract them while Batman worked on a plan. If that isn’t weird enough, an old Batman TV episode showed that Batman also carries special “sad pills” to counteract the effects of laughing gas. That’s right: only Batman gets away with carrying a bunch of uppers and downers and calling it “being prepared.”
12. Make-up kit
Batman fans take it as a matter of fact that he is a master of disguise. This is despite the fact that he spends most of his time in an instantly-recognizable Bat suit. However, one of the oldest issues of Batman showed his disguise skills by revealing that he carries around a make-up kit in his belt! This is the perfect gadget for when you have to convince people that Bruce Wayne isn’t actually Batman.
The plot was pretty odd, involving Batman using make-up to make himself look exactly like a local football player. That this plan works is a testament to Batman’s make-up kit, as he makes the face of Bruce Wayne (one of the most famous faces in the world) look completely different, while someone else is mistaken for the real Bruce Wayne.
11. Kryptonite Ring
Even best friends have to fight from time to time. That’s certainly the thinking behind the numerous comics, cartoons, and movies featuring Batman clashing with Superman. Because of this, Batman is often portrayed as carrying a Kryptonite ring in his utility belt. While it sounds practical, this is actually a really bizarre choice.
First of all, Kryptonite is radioactive. While it doesn’t hurt humans as quickly as it hurts Superman, it can give people cancer… and yet Batman keeps a hunk of radioactive rock close to his junk at all times. It’s also a very small, non-projectile bit of Kryptonite: if Superman is sufficiently pissed off, he could just melt it with his laser vision from a hundred yards away. Finally, Kryptonite is fatal to Superman: it says a lot about Batman and his friendship with Superman that he’s willing to kill his buddy at the drop of a bat hat.
The weirdest Batman stories make our hero seem like MacGyver in a cape. Given enough time and whatever bizarre crap he pulls out of his belt, Batman can make almost anything. This was especially noticeable when he once saved the day by using a crayons that, as he points out, he “always” carries.
Yeah, you read that right. In an old comic, Batman and Robin are chasing down some modern thieves who are pretending to be from the past. They end up trapping our heroes on top of a train car that is barreling towards a busy intersection. Batman quickly produces crayons and creates a makeshift stop sign that he throws down to stop traffic and clear a path. The whole adventure is super strange, right down to the color of the crayon…given what we know about the Dark Knight, it’s pretty wild that he is carrying around a red crayon instead of something blue or black.
9. Collapsible sword
Despite having more than a few fantasy elements in it, Batman’s comics are primarily grounded in the modern world. Things like grappling hooks and thermite, for instance, make the idea of Batman seem a bit more plausible. However, Batman’s utility belt didn’t get the memo. That’s why Batman sometimes carries around a freaking sword inside his belt!
In the Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated show, we see that Batman carries a special collapsible sword inside his belt. If that’s not wild enough, the sword looks very much like a lightsaber from Star Wars… which is fitting, since Batman used it to slice through a small army of droids.
While it certainly looks cool, it’s bizarre to see that Batman carries a sword that can cut through anything on his person at all times. It seems like he’s just one bad landing away from being half the Bat he used to be!
8. A rather large saw
Sometimes, what makes an item in Batman’s belt so weird is how crazy it is, such as his knockoff lightsaber and his shark repellent. Other times, though, it’s the mundane nature of the item that makes it really stand out. For instance, Batman once busted out a large saw to help himself and Robin out of a jam!
In a vintage Batman comic, he and Robin try to impersonate some thieves to catch them in the act. When the plan goes sideways, they end up stuck in a van that’s sinking into the ocean. To escape, Batman produces… a saw. That’s it.
It’s funny enough to see him produce the saw from your dad’s garage from his tiny utility belt pouch. However, the scene is extra funny for modern Batman fans who are used to Batman throwing lasers and explosives at all of his problems rather than an old-fashioned saw.
A large part of Batman’s job involves breaking and entering various places, so it doesn’t seem that weird that he often has a variety of small explosives on his person. On at least one occasion, though, Batman took it a bit too far: he was packing napalm inside his utility belt!
We’d pretty much need our own Bat computer to fully wrap our minds around this. First of all, Batman doesn’t kill. This is one of his core character traits. Napalm is very lethal, and it would be very difficult to use it in a controlled way that doesn’t kill his enemy or himself. Additionally, napalm is highly volatile: a single lucky punch from a henchman or a speedy maneuver in the Batmobile could cause our hero to entirely explode. Considering how much napalm Batman seems to be packing, the explosion is likely to kill other people, too. Hardly a good look for a non-lethal hero!
6. African Death Bee Antidote Pill
You can always count on the Adam West Batman to bring an epic level of craziness to his adventures. In one particularly wacky episode, Batman and Robin encounter a fake finishing school whose secret purpose is to train criminals. Things get really serious when Robin is stung by African death bees.
Sounds pretty serious, right? These bees have “death” right there in their name. Fortunately for Robin, he and Batman both regularly carry an antidote to this very particular breed of bee. It’s the kind of thing that starts to make you wonder: is he carrying around a wide variety of different antidotes to bees from all over the world? Or did he just luck out by having the one antidote Robin needed at that exact moment in time? Whether it’s insane preparation or just good luck, we can all agree it’s a pretty weird thing for him to be carrying around in the first place.
5. Small Echoing Seal Pulsator
While casual fans may think Mr. Freeze wasn’t goofy until the Batman and Robin movie, hardcore fans know that he was being weird decades before that. We can see that most clearly in the old Batman TV show episode in which Mr. Freeze has a trained seal helping him in his plan to freeze the world. To save the day, Batman needs to follow the seal back to Freeze – and that’s when things get weird.
This would be a perfect time for a tracking device, right? You’d expect the utility belt to be full of those. Instead, Batman busts out a “small echoing seal pulsator” so they can track the animal. The mind boggles at how specific this is: why do you need a special pulsator just for seals? Does Batman have special pulsators for all other mammals, just in case? Finally, does the “small” refer to the device itself, or is the device only calibrated for small seals? There are mysteries within mysteries when it comes to this strange addition to the utility belt.
4. Bat fly swatter
Batman’s craziest inventions are typically a result of a hero with too much money and too much time on his hands. That’s how you end up with bizarrely specific inventions, including antidotes for the African death bee (you know, just in case). Every now and then, though, Batman phones it in and “reinvents” an existing thing so he can act like it’s new.
In a strange episode of the old Batman TV show, Robin’s life is in danger when Penguin unleashes lethal fruit flies. Instead of resorting to something really high-tech, Batman produces a rather plan fly swatter from his utility belt to kill these lethal pests. This doesn’t keep him from calling it the “bat-swatter,” though, and acting like he had invented something revolutionary.
3. Backup costume
By having a secret identity, Batman is always in danger of having his secret revealed to the world. This is what makes it so important to have backup costumes you can change into if your cover is about to be blown. However, Batman chose the weirdest possible way to carry around a costume.
In an old episode of the Batman television show, Bruce Wayne is kidnapped by a supervillain obsessed with soap (and no, it wasn’t Tyler Durden). Our hero has to figure out how to change into his costume so the world doesn’t see billionaire Bruce Wayne doing Batman’s bad kung-fu moves.
The crazy solution? Bruce Wayne produces a special pill from the tiny utility belt inside his ascot, and when he adds water, it becomes a full-size suit (complete with another utility belt). As it turns out, Batman perfected miniaturization technology offscreen. Must have been a slow week for crime!
2. Heel & Toe Rocket Controls
It’s pretty easy to tell Batman and Superman apart. One has a mask, the other doesn’t; one only wears dark clothing, the other dresses like a flag. And, of course, one cannot fly and the other one can. However, when he opens the special compartment on his utility belt, you will believe a Batman can fly!
In an old Batman TV episode, Batman and Robin are sinking into a quicksand trap left by the Riddler. It looks like our heroes might die when Batman suggests a simple plan: why not use their rocket boots? It turns out that our heroes have had rocket boots this whole time, and all it takes is grabbing the controls from their utility belts to help them fly to safety.
1. The Bat Shield
Sometimes, the weird stuff in Batman’s utility belt seems odd because it’s hard to think of why he would anticipate needing these things. Other times, he has something that is really practical, right up until you wonder where the hell it came from. The best example of this is the Bat shield from the Adam West Batman show.
On paper, a shield is a pretty practical accessory for Batman. After all, he spends his nights surrounded by villains trying to hurt him with fists and blunt instruments, so a shield seems pretty smart. It turns out he’s carrying one around in his utility belt at all times, but the dimensions boggle the brain. Every piece of this four-piece bat shield are too big to fit inside Batman’s utility belt, but this doesn’t stop him from assembling a shield big enough to protect his own body. Perhaps Batman’s utility belt is secretly a TARDIS— it’s a lot bigger on the inside!
Got a crazy Batman gadget we overlooked? Be sure to sound off in the comments, old chum!
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