Batman may not have any metahuman abilities, but we can all agree that he has something even better: an unlimited budget. Leave it to the Dark Knight to figure out a way to get out of just about any situation, either with his brain, or his seemingly endless array of amazing gadgets and tools. From Batarangs and grappling hooks to insanely specific sprays and weapons, it would be hard to find someone with a cooler arsenal of arms.
…Though we're certain this makes him an absolute nightmare to shop for over the holidays. What do you buy the man who has something for literally every possible scenario?
Be that as it may, we decided to take this opportunity to showcase some of Batman's coolest, weirdest and most wonderful toys. So, strap on your utility belts and let's hop to it.
1) Smoke Bombs
They may not have a fancy name or even be that high tech—you can get these anywhere that sells fireworks, after all—but yet again, Batman is here to prove that it's not the gadget itself that matters, it's all in how you use it. Bruce has been throwing smoke bombs and smoke pellets for just about as long as he's been fighting crime, and every time he does, it somehow looks cool. Whether they're to distract thugs or to allow him to make a hasty escape unseen, these little gizmos are probably more useful all-around than even Batarangs. Just don't go trying to pull any of Batman's stunts with them at home. Or if you do, don’t tell anyone you got the idea from us.
Gotham may be full of skyscrapers and grimy streets, but it's also surrounded by plenty of water, which can make things a little tricky for a guy who…well, isn’t Aquaman. All those instances of villains trying to poison the water supply, or use Gotham's rivers and harbor as a secret base, or even take to the sewers for their lairs (we're looking at you, Killer Croc), they make things a little tricky. Thankfully, this is a contingency Batman is prepared for. The rebreather he carries—and has carried for years, across multiple comics and TV shows—is always at the ready to allow him safe and quick access to breathable air, even while underwater. No bulky scuba equipment or tanks required.
3) Cowl Tasers
It's absolutely critical that no one but Bruce be able to remove the cowl. After all, he may be an excellent fighter, but that doesn't mean he can't get himself into some sticky situations every now and then. There have been multiple instances of Batman getting knocked unconscious and his enemies thinking that would be a great opportunity for a grand unmasking. Enter the cowl tasers. Anyone who tries to remove Batman's mask is in for a nasty shock. This one gets bonus points for being both cool and very practical.
4) Kryptonite Ring
Sorry, Clark. Of course, Batman has got to be prepared for just about everything…and that includes Kryptonians. He sometimes carries a ring with Kryptonite around with him, just in case Superman or any other Kryptonian allies wind up going rogue, be it by their power or someone else's.
5) Vampire Fangs
That's right, the Dark Knight carries fake teeth around with him sometimes. After all, criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot, so what better way to keep them absolutely terrified than to make them believe you're a literal monster? You can catch these babies in action in Batman: Year 100.
6) Remote Controlled Batarangs
We all know and love Batarangs, but sometimes just throwing something that comes back to your hand (and is shaped like your logo) just isn't enough. The Arkham game series introduced the idea of remote controlled Batarangs that function sort of like small drones into the mix and we can't help but love them—even if they were sometimes a little tricky to use.
7) Shark Repellant Spray
When we say that Batman is prepared for everything, we really do mean everything. He has a whole collection of sprays to repel anything the world might throw at him, and the most famous among them is certainly his trusty Shark Repellant. First seen in Batman: The Movie, back when things were a whole lot more silly, this weirdly specific gadget has since become something of a meme in the DC Universe and has shown up all over the place since. Keep an eye out—it's a great Easter Egg!
Honorable Mention: The Bat-Credit Card
Okay, look, we know this isn't technically a gadget, but we love it too much to let it slide. In Batman & Robin, Bruce whips out his handy dandy credit card—it's good through "forever" and supplied by "GothCard." Never leave home without one.
We’re celebrating Batman all month long! Be sure to visit our Batman Day hub page for all the latest and greatest featuring the Dark Knight.
Mason Downey writes about comics, movies and superhero history for DC.com. Look for more of his work on GameSpot, IGN and Polygon and follow him on Twitter at @rustypolished.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Mason Downey and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros., nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.