Is it possible to be Batman? OK, better question, who could afford the technology to be Batman? Could we even make much of what we see being used by Batman in the Dark Knight movies?
Certainly some of the technology exists, but putting it together in a way that can be used the way the Batman does is another matter. Using today's technologies and cutting edge designs, the cost of being Batman is estimated at $US682,450,750. This takes into account his suit, vehicles, training, equipment, mansion and manservant. And if you're willing to do without the Batcave-Mansion combination, you can do it on a shoe-string of $US83 million. Let's break this down:
- Made from cutting-edge Nomex materials, it's insulating padding, fire-resistant and bullet-proof against small arms. Wouldn't want to get hit with any 7.62 NATO rounds, though.
- Covered in armoured plates and ribs for articulation and ease of movement, make the suit capable of being reasonably capable of a high degree of mobility. He would have to spend quite a bit of time training with it to learn where the blind spots were, where mobility issues might affect his fighting style and knowing how to best keep the enemy where he has maximum fighting capacity.
- The suit also armours the most vulnerable spots shoulders, knees, elbows, shins, and forearms. The chest also has a heavy plate in the center of mass zone people are taught to aim at.
- The cape is made of a memory cloth polymer capable of being used as a makeshift paraglider or parachute. And for you physics buffs who played Arkham Asylum, no, we can't make a cape you can use to fly yet. You can crash real well, though.
- A suit of armour including a custom fitted graphite bullet resistant cowl could run you about: $US1,058,600. Believe it or not most of the cost of that suit is the hardened, padded, custom fitted cowl.
- Unlike the Iron Man armour, you need padding to protect you from the transfer of kinetic energy from the outside of your suit to the tender meaty center within. How the Iron Man armour keeps Tony Stark from becoming pulpy, chunky monkey inside a can is still beyond the ken of mortal science.
- The Tumbler was developed for Wayne Enterprises Applied Sciences Division as a military bridging vehicle. Covered in weapons and capable of stealth mode operations, each unit cost a cool $US18,000,000.
- The Batpod, a motorcycle-like vehicle which acts as an escape vehicle from a burning Tumbler has 20" wheels, and is capable of making a 90 degree turn almost instantly by rotating its wheels on any axis. (Don't ask me how, I'm still mentally working it out.) Steered by shoulder movements allowing for hands-free driving, it's cheap at $US1,500,000.
- The coolest of the Batman's vehicles shows up in the Dark Knight Rises, and is called The Bat. A hovering, harrier-like vehicle capable of VTOL, fast flight and acceleration, and as nimble as a helicopter in tight quarters. There is nothing like it in real life but an estimated cost was $US60,000,000.
"The Most Wonderful Toys"
- There are so many gadgets, I am going to let the graphic speak for itself. Suffice it to say a night on the Bat-town means he leaves home with $US400,000 worth of untraceable Bat-paraphernalia.
Stately Wayne Manor
- This is where the biggest cost of being Batman is incurred. Rebuilding the mansion, its grounds, increasing security, hollowing out and reinforcing the Batcave, installing the supercomputer(s), rebuilding his private forensic labs, gun ranges, Bat supply kits, medical facilities, the turnabout, extra cars, the silencing of the workers (hopefully with cash incentives, not the other kind) comes in at a cool $US600,000,000. Sorry, still blinking at that number. That does not include the stately Wayne manservant's fees as both butler and major domo for the estate, another $US240,000 annually.
The Batcave as it appears in Arkham Origins.
- And if we assume he paid for training and the equivalent of a Doctorate in something or another, plus an engineering degree or two, throwing in military pilot training, to fly the Bat and anything else with wings, firearms training and military knowledge to be able to use all of his ordinance, we are looking at $US1,750,000 dollars worth of education.
Still Waiting for Batman
While we wait for a billionaire bold enough to take up the mantle of the Bat, giving up their life of comfort, private jets, perfectly regulated environments, Kobe beef steaks, luxurious penthouses, supermodels, and unlimited video game time, we have young industrial engineers working on their own prototype batsuits. Observe:
615 Billionaires in the U.S. and still no Batman. Sad times ahead.
About the author: Thaddeus Howze, Comic Historian