8 Mar 2017

gridlore: One of the "Madagascar" penguins with a checklist: [x] cute [x] cuddly [x] psychotic (Penguin - Checklist)
Who built the Batcave?

I love superheroes, and used to have a standing order at my local comics place that would choke a horse. I understand that comics require some suspension of disbelief, but these are questions that I've wondered about for some time.

Take Batman's iconic headquarters. The location came at zero cost, as Wayne Manor has traditionaly been show as being perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. Isolated, and which a ready made huge cave underneath. Batman has a great place to hide from the world and build all his wondrous toys. But there are so many questions!

At it's most basic, the cave has had several elements. Parking and repair for several vehicles (Bat-themed cars, motorcycles, boats, and aircraft), an arsenal, extensive computer banks, and storage for costumes and trophies from notable encounters.

Now I used to work in the construction industry. Just that basic build is months of work for several dozen specialists in iron working, electricians, plumbers, and the IT specialists there to make sure that the Bat-computer works correctly. That's at a minimum. Dozens of trucks, workers, materials deliveries, taco trucks, etc., all coming to build a huge complex under Wayne Manor.

Even with non-disclosure agreements, people will talk, and most contractors are going to ask to see the permits for the work before starting a job for liability reasons. But let's assume that Wayne Industries has the resources needed, and Bruce Wayne pays all the bills. You are still going to have a huge security risk here. All it takes is one mouth delivery driver (me) commenting over dinner at Chili's that he has to drive in to a bloody cave filled with bats every damn day, and the word is on the streets.

Then there's the Batmobile. Almost from his first appearance, Batman has been driving increasingly complex, nigh-invulnerable cars around Gotham. The latest versions are loaded with military-grade sensors, weapon systems, and armored hard enough to stop Superman from punching his way in (at least for a minute.) And everyone has been obviously bat-themed. So, Assuming Bruce Wayne did learn to be a master mechanic and body fabricator when he was off learning to be a ninja, who builds these cars?

I can easily see a couple of shops getting the orders off the books, and paid for in cash, but again, you have people outside the immediate circle around Batman who are in on it. Just one guy owing money to the wrong dudes, and the Penguin knows where Bats buys his wheels.

The Christopher Nolan helmed "Batman Begins" had probably the best explanation for this; in that series 90% of Batman's gear was borrowed from Wayne Enterprises' convenient pile of discarded military prototypes. They even had someone able to put two and two together and guess who Batman was! There's a reason those three films are my favorites. Right after the Lego Batman Movie.

So Batman's secret lair and stash of goodies are hardly secrets. The only logical answer I can come up with is that his suppliers and builders know exactly who Batman is, and keep quiet out of either pride that they are helping the Dark Knight keep Gotham safe, or out of fear that one slip while lead to a dark figure swooping out of the night sky to extract vengeance. Or a combination of both. Hell, all of Gotham has probably figured it out by now, but don't want to spoil the one thing that makes Gotham safe.

I must admit that my all time favorite piece of Batman-related paraphernalia came from the 1960s camp TV show. That Batmobile had an "emergency bat-turn lever" to popped two drag chutes (both with the Bat logo) and put the Batmobile into a 180-degree spin. After Batman raced off back the way he came, a panel van labeled "Batmobile Parachute Pickup Service" would roll out from behind some bushes. I just loved the idea that Bruce Wayne was paying for a fleet of vans to sit around waiting for that lever to get pulled.

The sad thing is that if the Batcave was a real place, it would no longer have bats in it. Bats are incredibly sensitive to heat. A small group of spelunkers in a cave used by bats can raise the temperature enough to disturb the colony. Now imagine the heat put off by the server farm, all the lights, engines, people . . . no more bats in that cave! Which means at least that Alfred doesn't have to clean guano off everything all the time.

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gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
gridlore

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