Holy Sardine! In Detective Comics, Batman ACTUALLY Repels Sharks

WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Detective Comics #997, by Peter J. Tomasi, Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy, Mark Irwin, David Baron and Rob Leigh, on sale now.

Based on the popular 1960s television series starring Adam West and Burt Ward, Batman: The Movie is the source of some of the most comedic moments in the Caped Crusader’s 80-year history. Perhaps the most popular of these moments, second only to the “some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb” gag, is when Batman wards off a hungry shark by using his Shark Repellent Bat Spray.

Sadly, when confronted with a swarm of ravenous oceanic predators in Detective Comics #997, there’s no Shark Repellent to be found. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop the Dark Knight from dispersing of the aquatic predators in a manner truly befitting of the World’s Greatest Detective.

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After being gassed, Batman and Thaddeus Brown, the original Mister Miracle, find themselves restrained in the geriatric hero's living room, which is sealed tight and slowly beginning to fill with water. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the house is also filled with sharks, which begin to zero in on Brown’s open wounds.

Thankfully, just as one of the hungry sharks prepares to make a snack out of the drowning escape artist, Batman fires one of his cowl’s pointy bat ears directly into its eye.

While the would-be killer bleeds out, Batman utilizes his surroundings to his advantage, resulting in one of the sharks getting itself caught up in Brown’s restraints. Then, when another one tries to strike at Batman, he uses the sharp, scalloped protrusions of his right gauntlet to slice the belly of the beast.

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Finally, when a school of hungry piranhas begins to smell the blood in the water, Batman bites a chunk of flesh from one of the sharks and spits the bait down by the straps around his ankles, diverting them in the direction of his restraints. The resulting frenzy causes them to chew threw the straps, allowing Batman and Brown to free themselves and escape unharmed.

Admittedly, this method of repelling sharks is hardly as family friendly as simply reaching for a canister of appropriately labeled Oceanic Repellent Bat Spray. However, it’s hard to argue with the results -- or Batman's superhuman level of preparedness.

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