SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Batman #43, by Tom King, Mikel Janin, Hugo Petrus, June Chung and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
If you ever wondered how Gotham City’s Dark Knight changes his clothes in the Batmobile, Batman #43 has the answers for you.
In the conclusion of “Everyone Loves Ivy,” Tom King and Mikel Janin reveal that the hero has a built-in device that allows him to change his clothes while he’s driving. We actually see it in action; upon freeing Harley Quinn from Poison Ivy’s control, the two escape the hospital Bruce Wayne was being held in. When they enter the Batmobile, Bruce is only wearing hospital pants, but by the time we see them again, Batman already has his suit on, with some robotic arms performing the last second adjustments to the cowl.
Later, Harley offers her firsthand account of her experience inside the Batmobile to Catwoman and Ivy. According to her, “Batman changed in the car. Batman has a machine that puts his pants on. In the car.” You might be thinking this, but she’s the one who says it out loud: “Batman’s crazy.”
This news leaves us with a lot of questions that need answering. The existence of this system means that Batsuits are pre-loaded into the Batmobile before he goes out on patrol. How many different pairs of Batpants are stored in there? After Alfred washes and steam presses the Batsuit, how does he load it into the car? Does this make the car Batman’s primary dressing machine, or is this simply for emergencies only?
How exactly do the mechanics of this machine work? Does it move the seat around on hydraulics like it did when James Gordon drove the Batmobile in Batman Begins? Will we ever get a followup story on this extremely important addition to the canon, or are we destined to forever wonder how exactly this whole thing works?
It makes sense that Batman would add this modification to his primary mode of transportation. In the past, Bruce has changed in the back seat of his town car while Alfred drives, and Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason introduced an augmentation suit built right into the Batmobile during their run on Batman and Robin. There, Batman could slip into a compartment underneath the car, where a suit of armor would be attached to him. However, the car wasn’t in motion, and it wasn’t a regular Batsuit.
Given Batman’s need to suit up on the go, this new feature seems to put him on par with something Tony Stark would use to get himself into his Iron Man Armor. Which makes sense, considering they’re both billionaire playboys with a tendency to fight crime.
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