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View Full Version : Whence the "Batman...if he's prepared" trope?


Diogenes the Cynic
12-15-2006, 01:43 PM
I'm not much of a comic book geek. In a lot of discussions of Batman you see people joke about Batman "being prepared" for this or that challenge. What is this in reference to? Is it a line from one of the comics? I don't remember it from any of the movies.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-15-2006, 01:44 PM
Oops. The thread title was supposed to say "whence," not "when."

Antinor01
12-15-2006, 01:50 PM
My guess would be its because Batman doesn't have any superpowers and relies on his gizmos and gadgets, which require prepping.

BMalion
12-15-2006, 01:57 PM
Oops. The thread title was supposed to say "whence," not "when."


You should have prepared.

Voyager
12-15-2006, 02:00 PM
My take is that Batman's utility belt would weigh a ton if he actually had all the stuff he uses in it, so he must somehow prepare for a mission. IIRC correctly, in the movie with Adam West, he had a bad shark repellent in his belt, a particularly blatant example of this.

Menocchio
12-15-2006, 02:02 PM
In the late-1990's or so DC relaunched the Justice League title (now simply called JLA). It was kind of a big deal, because for the first time in a good long while it had an all all-star cast: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman.

In an interview, writer Grant Morrison was asked who he thought was the most powerful member. He replied Batman, as he had the brains and resourcefulness to take out all of the other members, if he had time to prepare.

This was demonstrated by Morrison and other writers in several ways:
1. Batman was underestimated and overlooked by bad guys, leading to their downfall.

2. Prometheus, a villain who was an anti-Batman (he witnessed his criminal parents being gunned down by the law) nearly took out the Justice League (including Batman) through meticulous planning.

3. Another writer went a step further and said that not only could Batman take out the others, he already had these contingency plans on file. A villain stole them and used them against the rest of the JLA.

Batman as tactical genius has stuck around in the fan consciousness since those days.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-15-2006, 02:02 PM
I fet the meaning of the phrase being that he must have the proper equpment on his belt, I was just wondering if the specific word "prepared" had an origin someplace.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-15-2006, 02:04 PM
And I see that Menocchio has answered the question. Thank you. That makes sense.

ianzin
12-15-2006, 02:09 PM
Comic fans like to speculate about who would win hypothetical conflicts, such as 'Character X versus Character Y'. Batman doesn't have super-strength or any super-human powers, and so in one sense it could be argued that he could be defeated by any other character with super powers. However, it is part of the Batman 'mythology' that -- as well as having trained himself to be the ultimate human fighting machine -- he is an exceptionally brilliant strategist and thinker, and can often out-smart his opponents. Hence, Batman fans tend to believe that if Batman knew in advance that he was about to meet a particular foe, and even if that foe were super-strong or had other super-human ability, Batman would figure out a smart way to win.

In other words, the 'so long as he's prepared' line is a way of 'levelling the playing field' so to speak, such that Batman .v. Super-Powered Foe is not a foregone conclusion.

CalMeacham
12-15-2006, 02:32 PM
Interesting. I thought it derived from the way Batman was able to take down Superman in Miller's The Dark Knight Returns series, but only because he was prepared (special suit, plugged into the city main, plus Robin with the Batmobile and especially GA with a kryptonite arrow, both waiting in the wings. Never heard it before I read that comic.

smiling bandit
12-15-2006, 05:27 PM
Batman also tends to have an area-effect intelligence drain. For no known reason, many supervillains abruptly become idiots when confronted with Batman. :)

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
12-15-2006, 05:56 PM
Batman also tends to have an area-effect intelligence drain. For no known reason, many supervillains abruptly become idiots when confronted with Batman. :)

It's all the urine running down their pants legs. Distracting, I'm told.

garygnu
12-15-2006, 06:07 PM
...IIRC correctly, in the movie with Adam West, he had a bad shark repellent in his belt, a particularly blatant example of this.
Close. The shark repellent was in a cabinet in the helicopter, next to all sorts of other animal repellents.

brianjedi
12-15-2006, 06:13 PM
My take is that Batman's utility belt would weigh a ton if he actually had all the stuff he uses in it, so he must somehow prepare for a mission. IIRC correctly, in the movie with Adam West, he had a bad shark repellent in his belt, a particularly blatant example of this.

It was things like that which led DC to finally sit down and write the definitive "What's in Batman's utility belt" for comic writers.

Bryan Ekers
12-15-2006, 06:58 PM
It was things like that which led DC to finally sit down and write the definitive "What's in Batman's utility belt" for comic writers.

Maybe they had documents for internal use ruling out the more outlandish plot devices, but Batman's entry in Who's Who in the DC Universe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who's_Who_in_the_DC_Universe) and other published official guides routinely includes a qualifier mentioning how he constantly updates his equipment, forestalling nerdly complaints of how the Bat smoke-bombs were supposed to be third on the left but in issue #523, he clearly reaches to the right.

Green Arrow and Marvel's Hawkeye had similar qualifiers about their quivers.

Peter Morris
12-15-2006, 07:11 PM
Batman also tends to have an area-effect intelligence drain. For no known reason, many supervillains abruptly become idiots when confronted with Batman. :)

Well, criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot.

JThunder
12-16-2006, 12:49 AM
Close. The shark repellent was in a cabinet in the helicopter, next to all sorts of other animal repellents.
Was it also sitting beside the kryptonite handcuffs, the yellow buckshot and the anti-arrow batarangs?

Czarcasm
12-16-2006, 01:56 AM
Oops. The thread title was supposed to say "whence," not "when."
Fixed it.

Horatio Hellpop
12-16-2006, 04:21 AM
I think people started saying that when The Dark Knight Returns first came out, circa 1986, when Batman hooked up his Bat-armor to a power line and duked it out with Superman.

Lochdale
12-16-2006, 11:28 AM
I think people started saying that when The Dark Knight Returns first came out, circa 1986, when Batman hooked up his Bat-armor to a power line and duked it out with Superman.

Well he did a lot more than that but you are right that it probably did happen that way. On one of the bigger comic book rumbles/fight boards he is know as the "Bat-god". That said, most poster put Reed Richards as the ultimate "prep-god" because he is a walking plot device (for example, he has a belt that allows the user to move around a multiples of light speed. Like thousands and thousands of times light speed).

CalMeacham
12-16-2006, 09:35 PM
Dudes, read my post #10

Diogenes the Cynic
12-16-2006, 09:45 PM
Fixed it.
Thanks.