At the end of “Batman R.I.P.,” there is an iconic line about Batman in the Black Case Book, revealed in a situation where it looks like Batman is out of luck and about to die, “But that’s the thing about Batman. Batman thinks of everything.” That really is the thing about Batman. He really does seem to prepare for any eventuality. That makes sense, of course, since Batman has no super powers, so the only way that Batman can compete with other superheroes and against supervillains is if he prepares for everything. That leads to him becoming an expert in many different things.
Most of these things that Batman is an expert at are normal things that you would expect from most vigilantes. For instance, Batman is an expert in nearly every martial art. That’s only logical, since Batman has to be able to be an excellent fighter if he is going to fight without super powers. However, Batman’s array of super skills gets a lot larger than just fighting skills. Some of the things that Batman is an expert at are surprising (or at least a bit out of the ordinary). Here, we have detailed 15 of Batman’s most surprising expert skills.
- Batman knitting by Karl James Mountford.
15. EXPERT ACROBAT
When you think about Batman and Robin’s moves, you naturally think that Robin is the more acrobatic of the two. This is because Dick Grayson became Batman’s partner after first being part of his family’s circus acrobatics troupe, known as the Flying Graysons. There is even a bit during “A Lonely Place of Dying,” where Tim Drake was able to identify Robin as being Dick Grayson because he saw Robin pull off a move only Dick knew.
However, Batman is also an expert acrobat, as established in Batman #109, when some amateur sleuths believed that a crook had impersonated Batman and challenged him to pull off a move that Batman can do that no other acrobat can! He fails to do so (in reality, it was Batman, but he had to pretend to be the impostor to find the impostor’s accomplices).
14. IMMUNE TO MOST POISONS
As noted, in “Batman R.I.P,” Grant Morrison built an entire story arc around something that Morrison has played around with over the years (including most famously in his JLA run), which is that Batman is practically a Bat-God in the DC Universe. There is little that Batman cannot do and in this story, that includes forcing himself to become immune to most poisons out there.
So when the Black Glove think that Batman has been paralyzed, they are sorely mistaken. They still managed to bury him alive, but this is the Dark Knight, do they really think that a coffin and eight feet of soil is enough to stop Batman? If they thought so, they were sorely mistaken (a recurring them in “Batman R.I.P” that we will return to later).
13. PROFICIENT IN MAGIC
Batman, generally speaking, has a keen scientific mind. He believes in cold, hard facts above all else. That is how he became such a great detective. However, in the world that Batman lives in in the DC Universe, you would be a fool to not allow for the existence of magic. After all, Batman was childhood friends with Zatanna, who he knows does magic (she even magically wiped his mind once, to his great anger).
So when it comes time to save his best friend, Superman, from a magical creature, Batman shows off a high level of proficiency in spell casting to save the Man of Steel. Imagine how different Batman’s life would have been had he embraced magic spells instead of utility belts and batarangs?
12. EXPERT WHITTLER
In Detective Comics #332, the Joker seemed to have Batman and Robin finally trapped. They were in a cell in which Joker had the only key that could open up the prison. What were they to do? Robin was freaking out and he was especially concerned when Batman wouldn’t even talk to him, even as Batman took a wooden stool in the room and began whittling it down.
As it turned out, Batman did not want to talk because he was busy memorizing the exact details of the key that the Joker had shown them moments earlier and then proceeded to whittle the wooden stool down into a perfect wooden copy of the key. How amazing is that? One glimpse of a key and he can whittle an exact duplicate?
11. EXPERT GUN ASSEMBLER
In Batman lore, he famously is against guns. However, that was not always the case. When he started out, Batman packed heat. Even after the editors of the book decided that Batman was no longer going to carry a gun, they didn’t mind it if Batman picked up an errant gun from somebody else. Over the years, though, not only wouldn’t Batman pick up guns from bad guys, but he developed a true hatred for guns.
That, though, doesn’t mean that he isn’t still an expert at them. After all, his villains all use guns, so he needs to know what he’s dealing with. Thus, in Batman #73, he was able to take apart and re-assemble a gun while blindfolded! He even did it in record time!
10. EXPERT HYPNOTIST
Over the years, Batman has been placed into some awful jams. Problems so elaborate that they need a keen mind and a large array of skills to get him out of them. One of these problems arose in Detective Comics #179, when Bruce Wayne was cajoled into becoming Gotham City’s mayor. There was a crook who was sure that Bruce Wayne was also Batman, so he arranged for Wayne to become mayor since he figured that that would slow Batman down, since Wayne couldn’t very well stop crime while at civic functions.
It seems like the crook has Batman right where he wants him, but then Batman pulls off the stunning move of hypnotizing a friend of his into believing that the friend is now Bruce Wayne and then Batman uses his expert makeup skills to disguise the man as Bruce Wayne.
9. EXPERT VENTRILOQUIST
Another scenario where Batman’s strange selection of expertise was put to the test was when a criminal was pretending to be a ghost in Detective Comics #150. Batman figured out the general ruse, but needed a way to get the bad guy to confess. Thus, Batman faked his and Robin’s deaths and then came back as “ghosts” (using the same special techniques that the bad guy was using to fake his own ghosts).
After he confessed to his crimes, Batman and Robin revealed that Batman’s expert ventriloquism skills allowed him to throw his voice all over the room, so that the Batman ghost seemed to be coming from all over the place (as a ghost is wont to do)! It is a shame that we have never seen Batman use his awesome ventriloquism skills for fun, like with a dummy!
8. EXPERT MOTORCYCLE STUNT DRIVER
Of all of the skills on this list, perhaps one of the most normal ones is the fact that Batman is an expert stunt driver of both automobiles and motorcycles. Robin is an expert, as well, at stunt riding a motorcycle. This is normal because Batman obviously rides a Bat-cycle on occasion, and you never know when criminals are going to go places where you would need to be an expert rider in strange situations to be able to catch them.
That said, even though the skills needed to be a stunt rider are quite topical for Batman, it is still really bizarre to see him and Robin riding motorcycles upside down in a rolling circle! This is especially true when the bad guy took away their exits (don’t worry, Batman figured out another way off of the circle).
7. DEFENSE FROM PSYCHOLOGICAL ATTACKS
In “Batman R.I.P,” the evil secret organization known as the Black Glove began to eat away at Batman’s sanity with psychological attacks. What helped is that Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend, Jezebel Jet, was secretly a member of the Black Glove. Of course, by “secretly,” we naturally mean that she thought that her membership was a secret. Batman, of course, realized that she was a villain soon into their relationship.
That, then, allowed him to prepare for their psychological attacks by instituting a protocol that he devised where he would keep his “real” personality locked up and protected while a second personality, the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, would take control. The leader of the Black Glove had placed a trigger in Batman’s mind years earlier that he thought had gone off when Batman became the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, but the real Batman was just inside, waiting until the right moment to return!
6. EXPERT POLO PLAYER
The skills on this list have mostly been instances of skills that Batman needs for crimefighting. However, there are other skills that he has that are more for his secret identity as Bruce Wayne. After all, Bruce Wayne has to have all of the standard “playboy” attributes if he wants people to believe him as Batman’s secret identity. Plus, since anyone could see him would realize that he is in great shape, he needs a reason to be in good shape, so sports became his explanation.
The sport that Bruce Wayne was an expert at was polo. This was established in Detective Comics #234, when Batman and Robin’s memories were wiped and they had to figure out their own secret identities. They realized that Batman was good at polo and saw that Bruce Wayne was listed as one of the top polo players in the country!
5. EXPERT VOICE MIMIC
It is one thing to be able to project your voice in different places, as Batman does as an expert ventriloquist. It is another thing to make it so that your voice is a perfect mimic for another person’s voice and yet Batman, sure enough, is an expert at that, as well. It really plays well into his general skill as a master of disguise. Batman is such a great master of disguise that he even is able to come up with masks that go on over his big point Batman ears!
In any event, in Detective Comics #349, the super-strong Blockbuster was beating Batman to death before the Dark Knight was able to mimic Blockbuster’s brother’s voice and get him to stop. Why he didn’t try that earlier in the beating is anyone’s guess.
4. EXPERT SKIER
Generally speaking, Batman’s go-to modes of transportation are going to be mechanical ones. He has a Batmobile, a Bat-Plane, a Bat-Cycle, a Bat-Copter, Bat-Boats, heck, he even has his own submarine! However, there are times when those types of transportation are just not available. Luckily, Batman is also an expert at pretty much all modes of transportation, even more old school ones.
He is an expert ice skater and he is also an expert skier. In Batman #333 (part of the James Bond-inspired “Lazarus Effect”), Batman was able to avoid bad guys chasing after him with laser blasters by skiing so well that he managed to lose them all (he then hid in the snow until they left). There are few images quite as cool as a guy skiing his way through laser blasts!
3. DOESN’T NEED TO SLEEP FOR DAYS
In World’s Finest Comics #49, the villainous Penguin managed to dose Batman with various bird diseases, all the while taunting Batman about being a coward (by sending Batman white feathers — the feathers were the mode of giving Batman the different bird ailments). While Batman began to come down with the various illnesses, we learned something interesting about him. He has the ability to just work three days in a row without sleep.
Even if Batman has the ability to do that, it doesn’t really sound healthy for him. It seems hard to believe that there was a case important enough (especially back in the Golden Age) that would have required him to do something like that. You don’t have to impress anyone, Batman, we like you just the way that you are!
2. EXPERT IN SLANG
As you would expect, Batman is proficient in many different languages, including ancient Kryptonian, a language not even typically spoken in the Bottled City of Kandor anymore. However, that language was learned as the result of a Kandorian computer program that also taught Jimmy Olsen the language. It is less impressive to say that you know a lost language if Jimmy Olsen also knows the language.
Still, that linguistic knowledge is not just limited to actual language, but also to slang terms, as well! Batman is an expert in the slang terms that are used in the circus, the carnival and even in prisons! His knowledge of carnival slang was able to lead to him deciphering the ill intent of a criminal in Batman #154.
1. EXPERT AT DEALING WITH STRESS
In Final Crisis, Batman was captured by Darkseid’s forces. He was taken in by two of Darkseid’s men with the intent of cloning Batman and then using the clone army to rule over Earth. After all, if Batman by himself can do so many amazing things, imagine an army of Batmen! However, they were unprepared for one thing.
You see, as it turned out, Batman has gone through so much trauma in his life and has so much constant stress, that only someone with practically supernatural coping mechanisms like Batman himself can actually live through the pain in his life. The clones began tearing away at themselves, as the pain of his life experiences were too much. Soon enough, the whole clone army was dead.
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