The “Caped Crusader”, the “Dark Knight”, the “Bat-Freak”, “Batsy”… whatever name you know him by, the Batman is easily DC comics’ most prolific of heroes. Since his debut in 1939’s Detective Comics, he has racked up quite a history and considerable popularity and memetic status for his nature as a normal guy whose superpowers are best defined as “being prepared” and “having a big bank account”, rubbing shoulders with gods like Superman. In honor of his achievements, we present 23 Batman facts that every Dark Knight nerd should know…
1. Kevin Conroy is the Longest-Running Batman
Several actors have played the role, but Kevin Conroy has been Batman for a whooping 25 years. Starting with the legendary 1992 TV series, the voice actor is as iconic as the voice of the Batman as Mark Hamill is as the voice of the Joker – 10 video games, 13 animated movies and 8 TV series. That’s quite a resume, Kevin!
2. Batmanology Is a Thing
Curious about how Batman can manage what he does? Want to learn all trivia about the Dark Knight? The University of Victoria in Canada offers a curriculum on whether it is possible for the human body to achieve and tolerate what Batman manages to do. If you know the caped crusader though, that’s a tall order.
3. Bruce’s Net Worth is Over $9 Billion
Here’s some juicy information about Batman! In 2015, Forbes set out to answer the question of who fiction’s richest are. At a net worth of $9.2 billion, Bruce Wayne comes a not too shabby 6th place, being wealthier than Richie Rich (7th) but not as rich as Charles Foster Kane (5th). Although this puts him on the low end of the world’s richest, we don’t see Batman complaining anytime soon.
4. Wayne Enterprises has a very Wealthy Portfolio
Why is Batman so rich, anyway? Bruce wouldn’t be half the bat without the assets provided by Wayne Enterprises, a company that’s been in his family for generations. This trillion dollar conglomerate has branches in steel, food, aerospace, biotechnology, chemicals, electronics, entertainment, shipping, medicine, and even private security just to name a few. The company reportedly rakes in $31.3 billion in annual revenue. Not too bad, ey? Small wonder then that WayneCorp claims to have built Gotham.
5. There’s a City Called “Batman”
In 2008, Hüseyin Kalkan, the mayor of Batman (a city in southern Turkey) attempted to sue Warner Bros. and Christopher Nolan for using the city’s name without permission. Although claiming there was only one Batman in the world, there was no real news after about it. Batman first appeared as a comicbook character in 1939. The question is, what came first? The chicken or the egg?
6. Sound Editing Enhanced Bale’s Bat-Voice
One of the most iconic things about Christian Bale’s run as Batman was his deep, throat tearingly, gritty voice that strains the vocal cords of fans and parodists to this day. But interestingly enough, in The Dark Knight, the infamous growl was added by Christopher Nolan in post-production and the actor himself used a more reasonable growl during filming.
7. Bruce’s Lamborghini has a Special Meaning
When he’s not hitting the streets in his tank in The Dark Knight trilogy, Bruce drives a cool grey Lamborghini. Specifically, a 2006-model Murciélago, which translates to “bat” in Spanish. The Batmobile driven in the 2004 cartoon, The Batman features the car as a Lamborghini-esque sports coupe.
8. You Can Be Batman with $300 Million
In his publication “Batman Unauthorized”, author and assistant professor Darren Hudson Hick estimated that it would cost someone about $300 million to equip themselves in a way to become Batman. Most of that goes towards buying a 3.500sqft supercomputer, a bomb shelter conversion and a tricked-out 1000bhp concept car. The list does miss out a custom boat, plane, helicopter and space station, however.
9. The Batsuit was Originally Red
The Batsuit hasn’t always been dark or stealthy. Before his infamous black and grey suit, many would remember Batman prowling the streets in a cape of ocean blue. Throughout the years the tights have varied between ash grey and near-black while the bat-symbol has spent time over a yellow circle on his chest. You’d be interested to know, however, that Bob Kane’s original design saw Batman wearing a red leotard and blonde hair!
10. ‘Batman & Robin’ is the Worst Batman Movie
If you disregard the animation movie Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, live-action film, Batman & Robin is officially considered the worst and least successful Batman movie of all time. Failing the most at the box office and receiving an embarrassingly low IMDb rating of just 3.7, George Clooney’s Batman is one that is not favorably remembered.
11. Batman was almost a Yellow Lantern
Did you know that the the villainous group, Sinestro Corps attempted to recruit Batman? Like all rings of power, the Yellow rings choose their owner, the strongest provider of the emotion they are linked to. Batman is such a terror to the underworld of Gotham that he was picked by a ring as the one most capable of instilling fear. He refused however, as Bat’s desire to impart justice is stronger than his desire to instill fear.
12. There’s a Batman-Wolverine Hybrid
What do you get when you combine the backstories, personalities and talents of Batman and Wolverine? Logan Wayne AKA The Dark Claw! Indeed, there’s a Marvel and DC crossover character! Created by both universes in a joint comic-book, the regenerative powers, heightened senses and indestructible bones of Wolverine were combined with the immense intelligence, peak physical perfection and passion for justice of Batman. Gotham city criminals? Run.
13. Waynes Through the Ages
The legacy of the Wayne Family can be seen throughout Gotham, the most famous signs of their legacy being the Solomon Wayne courthouse and the memorial down Crime Alley where Bruce’s parents were murdered.
14. Robin was Killed by Popular Vote
The death of Jason Todd via crowbar in 1988 was one of the great shockers of comic history. But did you know that it was decided by the fans? DC comics decided the outcome by running a call-in poll to see if bat-fans wanted Jason to live or die: 5,271 calls voted for him to live, 5,343 voted for him to die. Poor Robin.
15. The Primary Women in Bruce’s Life
While there have been other flings, Batman has had three main women in his life – Selina Kyle, Talia al Ghul and Wonder Woman. Although Batman has been known to connect with Diana in the Justice League shows, he has been most reciprocal towards Selina as Talia’s “Join me and we can rule together” desires tend to put him off anything long-term. Wonder Woman and Batman shippers? They did indeed share a kiss in the Trinity series and in JLA 90, Diana admitted to loving Bruce.
16. Batman’s Key Skills
Batman wouldn’t be Batman without the vast array of skills, techniques and talents in his arsenal. He is a master of over 127 forms of martial art, well-versed in at least seven languages (including Japanese, German and Russian) with degrees in multiple scientific and engineering fields. He is also the master of the power nap; just one hour of sleep is as effective for him as eight hours are for us.
17. His Utility Belt is Prepared for Any Mission
As one of the biggest adherents to the idea you can solve anything with preparation, the Bat-Utility Belt has held all kinds of tools (most infamously a shark repellent). Whatever the mission, the Caped Crusader always carries a set of batarangs, smoke bombs, a rebreather, a first aid kit and remote trackers. Handy.
18. The Death of Thomas and Martha Wayne
What Bat-Fan doesn’t know the night that started it all? After a night at the Monarch Theatre, the Wayne family take a detour down Crime Alley where they are mugged by either Jack Napier or Joe Chill (depends on the timeline). The mugger shoots the Waynes, steals their money and jewelry and leaves young Bruce alone in the cold.
19. Not All Crimes Made Equal
Despite his obsession with justice, Batman largely targets the more overt forms of crime, likely because that’s what killed his parents. White-collar crime is often more low-key so it’s only when their activities involve violence or harassment that the Crusader pursues the likes of the Penguin.
20. There are Three Bat-Eras
Batman’s publication run can be divided into three distinct personality eras: In the Golden Age where he was dark and serious, the Silver Age characterized by Adam West like hilarity, and the Bronze Age brought to us by Tim Burton and Alan Moore of the crusader who might be as unstable as his enemies.
21. Batman Has a Double
One of Batman’s more interesting and personal enemies is Hush. He makes this list because of the time he tried to become Bruce Wayne in the arc “Heart of Hush”. In terms of history, Hush (One Dr. Thomas Elliot) held an immense envy for the child Bruce, and using his skills at plastic surgery, he attempted to copy Bruce in every way in order to steal the Wayne fortune. Sounds like an awesome movie plot. Nolan, we’re looking right at you.
22. There are Multiple Characters of Robin
Did you think there was just one Robin? You thought wrong. In fact, there have been 5 Robins so far. They include Dick Grayson who grew up to become Nightwing, Jason Todd who was killed by the Joker, Tim Drake who was a balance between Grayson’s good manners and Todd’s impudence, Stephanie Brown (yes a girl) who was tortured to (near) death by Black Mask and Damian Wayne, son of Bruce and Talia al Ghul and raised in the League of Assassins until Batman adopted him.
23. His Justice League Role
Batman might not be the strongest, fastest or have indestructible skin, but since the Justice League began, he’s been a pivotal part. Beyond providing emotional grounding for the more heroic personalities, his detective skills make him a master strategist for the team and pretty much every tech asset they use (including the Watchtower) is made possible by WayneCorp.
These are the best facts about Batman we’ve successfully dug up on him but to rival the detective skills of the man himself is no easy accomplishment. Are there any facts our detective senses might have missed? Let us know in the comments.
Until next time!
Did you spot all the hidden DC references and secret shout-outs throughout the Dark Knight’s movies? Check out our list of the best Batman Easter Eggs.