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- It's like an Egyptian tomb now. Testament to the greatness it represents. And reminder of the evil he protected us from.
- -- Booster Gold
Discovered and used long before by Wayne's ancestors as a storehouse as well as a means of transporting escaped slaves during the Civil War era, Wayne himself rediscovered them when he fell through a dilapidated well on his estate. Much like Superman's Fortress of Solitude, the Batcave serves as a place of privacy and tranquility where Batman can be himself.
Upon his initial foray into crime-fighting, Wayne used the caves as a sanctum and to store his then-minimal equipment. As time went on, Wayne found the place ideal to create a stronghold for his war against crime, and has incorporated a plethora of equipment as well as expanding the cave for specific uses. Often, Bruce Wayne is depicted as having discovered the cave as a child, falling into it during youthful exploration of the grounds. 
Another secret entrance, covered by a hologram or a camouflaged door, allows access to a service road for the Batmobile. Another alternate entrance is a dry well, highlighted especially during the Knightfall storyline. At one point, Tim Drake and Dick Grayson use the dry well to get into the cave, which they had been locked out of by Jean-Paul Valley during his time as Batman. There is also the hole in the grounds of Wayne Manor that Bruce fell into when he was a child, covered in dirt and sealed with a wooden plank; although Bruce never marked the spot, he never forgot where it was either. Bruce used the hole to get into the Batcave to confront Jean-Paul Valley.
The Batcave serves as Batman's command center, where he monitors all crisis points in Gotham and the world.
The cave's centerpiece is a supercomputer whose specs are on par with any of those used by leading national security agencies; it permits global surveillance and also connects to a massive information network as well as storing vast amounts of information, both on Batman's foes and his allies. A series of satellite link-ups allows easy access to Batman's information network anywhere in the globe. The systems are protected against unauthorized access, and any attempt to breach this security immediately sends an alert to Batman or Oracle. Despite the power of Batman's computers, the JLA Watchtower is known to have more powerful computers (composed of Kryptonian, Thanagarian and Martian technology), and Batman does occasionally use them if he feels his computers are not up to the task; on occasion he also consults Oracle for assistance.
Additionally, the cave contains state of the art facilities such as: crime lab, various specialized laboratories, mechanized workshops, personal gymnasium, a vast library, parking, docking and hangar space (as appropriate) for his various vehicles as well as separate exits for the various types, trophies of past cases, a large bat colony, and a Justice League teleporter. It also has medical facilities as well as various areas used in training exercises for Batman and his allies.
The cave houses Batman's vast array of specialized vehicles, foremost being the famous Batmobile in all its incarnations (mostly for nostalgia as well as for contingencies, as all are serviceable and in excellent working condition). Batman keeps a fleet of regular cars of various models and utility vehicles such as an ambulance as well when the Batmobile would be too conspicuous for a mission. Other vehicles within the complex include various motorcycles, and various air and watercraft such as the Batplane, a single-occupant supersonic jet. Another vehicle found in the Batcave is the subway rocket, first used during the time when Jean Paul Valley was substituting for Bruce Wayne after Bane had broken his back. It let Batman get into Gotham City very fast, and could electronically clear a path via the Gotham Rail system. 
The cave is sometimes powered by a nuclear reactor, but most often by a hydro-electric generator made possible by an underground river.
Batman later incorporated safeguards against earthquakes and even a potential nuclear catastrophe, outfitting the cave as a virtual bomb shelter or an enhanced panic room. 
Rumor has it, that the world's last Lazarus Pit was constructed inside the Batcave, although the validity of this claim is suspect.
When Robin left for college, Bruce Wayne decided he no longer wished to remain at Wayne Manor – deciding that the house was now too big for just him and Alfred. He closed Wayne Manor, relocated to a penthouse suite at the Wayne Foundation Building and had the original Batcave sealed up. Beneath the Wayne Foundation Building was another, albeit smaller, cave which came to be known as Batcave II. This surrogate Batcave was connected to the original cave via an old abandoned subway tunnel that had been partially constructed during the 1930s, but was never completed and never connected to the main subway line. The secret entrance for the Batmobile to this cave was via a hidden tunnel in an empty warehouse owned by Wayne, located in a nearby cul-de-sac called Finger Alley. Wayne had all of his equipment, as well as his mementos, transported from the original cave to the second cave. When Wayne decided to return to Wayne Manor, he sealed off the second cave and returned his equipment and mementos to the original.
Following his return at the end of KnightsEnd and the subsequent events of Zero Hour, Bruce passed on the mantle of the Bat to Dick Grayson, now Nightwing. During that time, Bruce set up various emergency Batcaves across Gotham that only he knows about. This was due to the fact that Bane was able to find and get the drop on Bruce when he was at his weakest.
One known Batcave, Batcave North, is located underneath Arkham Asylum – its existence unknown to both staff and inmates – and was used during the No Man's Land incident. It remains unknown as to whether it is still there following that iteration's destruction.
Memorabilia: Three memorabilia items often seen in the cave are a defunct full-size mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex, an equally large U.S. penny and a Joker playing card. The T. rex comes from an adventure on "Dinosaur Island";  the penny was originally a trophy from Batman's encounter with a penny-obsessed villain named The Penny Plunderer  Other "keepsakes" in the cave include Two-Face's original coin, Deathstroke's sword , the shroud of the Mad Monk, and over-sized bowling ten-pins.
There is also a glass case display of Jason Todd's Robin costume as a memorial to him, with the epitaph "A Good Soldier". Barbara Gordon's Batgirl suit was also kept on display until she recovered from her paralysis, and returned to action. Following the death of Damian Wayne, his Robin costume was kept on display, like the others. However, Damian's display case was smashed by Batgirl, during a heated argument over Batman's handling of his grief.
- The Batcave was first envisioned and designed by writer Bill Finger. Prior to its first appearance, the Batmobile, Batplane etc. were stored in non-descript places. One example is shown in Batman versus the Vampire: Part One (Detective Comics Vol 1 31, September 1939), which describes Batman's new Batgyro as being kept in "a secret hangar known only to himself".
- In Earth-51 continuity, the Batcave was known as the "Bat-Bunker". It was here that a dimension-hopping Jason Todd first assumed the guise of Red Robin. 
- Alfred Pennyworth feeds the bats. They prefer free-range corn-fed chicken goujons, gently fried in extra virgin olive oil. With chives, sir.
- There have been many critiques over the display cases in the comics; fans saying that Stephanie Brown's Robin costume should also be displayed beside Jason Todd's and Barbara Gordon's costumes to commemorate her death during War Games. It was later retconned that Batman never put a memorial up because he had doubts about whether Stephanie was truly dead.
Links and References
- Batcave at Wikipedia.org
- Movie Poop Shoot Article on Batman, including a Batcave section
- So When Did That Happen? from The BATMAN Magazine On The Web
- Batman Timeline from Bravepages.Com
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Batcave. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. The text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|