Comic Book Questions Answered - How Was Batman Able to Build the Batcave in Secrecy?

Comic Book Questions Answered - where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at brianc@cbr.com). Here is a link to an archive of all the past questions that have been answered so far.

Reader Toby A. wrote in to ask:

How was Batman able to build the Batcave in secret? Wouldn't that be a huge excavation project? And if it was already there, wouldn't geographic surveys show a giant cave underneath Wayne Manor? And how would you secretly get in giant computers, a Batmobile, a Batplane, etc?

Well, I can answer most of your question, Toby, but there was an unwritten aspect of your question that I really can't exactly explain at this point in time...

First off - how does no one know that there is a giant cavern underneath Wayne Manor? Well, the first origin of the Batcave came in 1954's Detective Comics #205 by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris, which showed how Batman began to build the Batcave...

But also showed how he went back in time to discover that the cave was there in 1754, being used by a settler who was using the cave to carry out spying missions against local Native American tribes...

At the end of the story, the man's home is burned down, so the entrance to the cave was forgotten.

The whole "Bruce Wayne didn't buy Wayne Manor until he was an adult" part of the story was quickly retconned out, even way back in the old days. Currently, the Waynes have owned the Manor since the 1850s...

That reference mentions the Waynes actually TELLING a bat expert about the cave under their manor, but let's presume that they didn't go around sharing that info with surveyors. So the Waynes kept the Manor in the family since then, so it was not known that there's this giant cave system under the mansion.

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