The Batcave serves as Batman's command center, where he monitors all crisis points in Gotham City and the world.
During Bruce Wayne's first activities as Batman, there was no secret underground base of operations underneath Wayne Manor. The Batsuit was often placed inside a wooden chest in Bruce's bedroom. Sometime after this, he adapted a crime laboratory, concealed behind a wall inside Wayne Manor.
Batman then acquired the Batmobile and subsequently the Batplane. With no place to hide his vehicles, Batman placed them inside a seemingly abandoned barn near Wayne Manor. In order to reach the barn undetected, Bruce built an underground tunnel that connected the barn and Wayne Manor.As time passed, Batman upgraded the underground tunnel and placed a secret elevator which connected the secret laboratory to the underground tunnel. He designed the place as an underground hangar to hide all his vehicles and also included a place to repair and do mechanical work. The old disguised barn was left empty and only used to conceal the bat-vehicles that emerged from the undergound. The ground between Wayne Manor and the barn was filled with reinforced concrete to secure the main structure.
Creating the Batcave
Not long after this, the underground hangar was modified and turned into a cave, aptly called the Batcave. The cave was connected by a secret stairway to the entrance which was concealed in Wayne Manor. The Batcave was still an underground shelter where the Bat-vehicles were kept, but Bruce also moved his secret laboratory and the gym from Wayne Manor to the Batcave. Finally, a security alarm was placed in the cave in case any unwanted person would infiltrate the hidden base of operations.
Batman had an extensive database of criminal profiles and records storaged in the Batcave that he kept in microfilm, so it didn't take up too much space. Shortly after this, Batman included a special room with a cage in which he and Robin would practice their escaping skills.The cave was also connected to the cellar of an abandoned shack on the outskirts of Gotham. The laboratory was located in main area of the cave, which was also the parking place of the Batmobile. The cave was supported by a metallic structure and it provided a large space for training.
An early feature of the Batcave was the "truth chamber". This room was used for interrogation of criminals and consisted of mirrors instead of walls, a multi-colored light bulb, a microphone that amplifies Batman's voice, a one-side mirror for Batman to check upon the crooks and in the middle of the room, a single chair where Batman tied the criminals. All this with the purpose of creating a mental breakdown on the criminals that caused them to confess their crimes.
Shortly afterwards, Bruce incorporated a new area to the cave which he called the Trophy Room. Prior to this upgrade, the trophy room was located somewhere in Wayne Manor, but as Batman's collection of crime trophies increased, the room wasn't large enough to keep them all and he moved it to the Batcave.
The cave was then connected to Wayne Manor through a large staircase that led to a secret entrance in the house, concealed behind a grandfather clock. Soon, a criminal who escaped from prison broke into Wayne Manor and found the secret entrance, leading to the Batcave. The ensuing confrontation between Batman, Robin and the criminal, called Wolf Brando, was shortl-lived as Brando was attacked by the Bats that lived in the cave and he fell to an underwater stream that dragged his body to a river shore, far away. Brando was dead, but during the fight some of the trophies of the cave were damaged including one of Penguin's Umbrellas, the mechanical dinosaur and the Giant Penny. However, both trophies were soon repaired and back on their places in a short time. After years of crime fighting, Batman collected over a thousand trophies in the cave, some of which were still working devices. In order to keep record of any unwanted intrusion inside the Batcave, Batman installed an automatic camera on the entrance as a constant surveillance system.
Not long after this, Batman created a "costume room", in which he would store all his Batsuits, removing them from Wayne Manor. Batman also installed a sliding-wall to prevent any intruders from entering the Batcave by mistake or on purpose. The next security upgrade included a series of laser beams on every entrance of the cave that once activated, would trigger an alarm in case any object touched the lasers. Batman also installed emergency walls made of steel to contain sudden flows of water into the cave, as it was always in constant risk of flooding. In order to know whenever the Bat-Signal was activated while Batman and Robin were in the cave, Batman installed and electric transmitter that was activated when the Batsignal was turned on and as a result, a red bulb would flash in the transmitter's panel on the cave, informing Batman that he's being summoned at the GCPD.
The Batcave was first found by Jeremy Coe in the 17th Century. Coe was a spy who worked for the town of Gotham and tried to push away a tribe of Native Americans. In order to stay close to the tribe, Coe used the cave as his base of operations and he named it the "Batcave" for the various bat collonies that lived in the place. After Coe's vctory over the indians, he left the cave and it was forgotten for 300 years.
Eventually, Bruce Wayne found the cave shortly after he bought the Wayne Residence. He was inspecting a nearby barn when he accidentally fell down through the floor and landed on a massive cave. Bruce explored the cave and found different entrances to the place, one of which was directly connected to Wayne Manor. Bruce decided to create a secret entrance behind the granfather's clock and soon he transformed the cave into his secret base of operations.
One time, a criminal tried to buy Wayne Manor in order to reach the cave underneath the place, not knowing that it was the Batcave. After learning of this threat, Batman and Robin removed all the elements from the cave and placed them on a temporary location that worked as a Batman museum. Meanwhile, the criminal started digging to get to the cave, which he wanted to use as hideout. Robin and Alfred created a dam that blocked the underwater stream from leaving the cave and when the criminal located the place, it was filled with water, which deterred him from using the place. Shortly after, Batman captured the criminals and he was able to move back all the objects to the Batcave, without raising any suspicion.
Batman and Robin had to solve a case entirely on the Batcave as the time lock that controlled the main door was overloaded, blocking the entrance. After they found the criminal's identity, Batman had to force the door open using some of the many trophies in the cave and a great electric shock.
Discovered and used long before by Bruce Wayne's ancestors as a storehouse as well as a means of transporting escaped slaves during the Civil War era, Bruce 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.
When Bane confronted Batman at the Batcave, he used everything available in the place as a weapon. Bane smashed Batman against the secret clock entrance, against the Batcomputer and also the Batmobile. Bane also pushed Batman against the Giant Penny, causing it to fall on top of Batman, breaking several bones. Bane used one of the stalagmites of the cave to further punish Batman and lastly, Bane threw Batman against Jason Todd's Robin costume display, breaking the glass case and leaving no fight left in Batman. Ironically, Batman's sanctuary became the scenario of his downfall.
One alternate entrance is a dry well, used by Tim Drake and Dick Grayson to get into the cave, as all other entrances had been blocked 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 and force him to relinquish the identity of Batman.
The Batcave was breached once by Hush, but once inside he had to fight Batman, Alfred, Nightwing and Robin. Furthermore, he depleted his guns when stopping the robotic T-Rex that was activated to stop him. Hush then tried to leave the place using the Whirly-Bat, but ultimately failed and crashed against the cave's ceiling, leaving no trace behind.
When the Black Glove infilrated the Batcave, they incapacitated Batman, beat and captured Alfred. Shortly after, they gathered the Club of Villains and decided to use the place as their base of operations. However, they left the place in order to witness Batman's downfall in Arkham Asylum, which ultimately became their own downfall.
A few days later, Nightwing decided to rebuild the partially destroyed cave, but he was suddenly attacked by the League of Assassins. Nightwing used every weapon and vehicle available in the cave to his advantage and defeated the assassins. A few days later, Nightwing, Alfred and Robin finished the reconstruction of the cave by locating the missing Giant Penny and placing it back on its rightful place and once again the Batcave was completely active and functioning. It was later discovered by Alfred that Bruce had left a giant machine hidden in the cave. The computer inside contained a "last will" message to all the members of the Batman Family.
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 Batcave also contains a large number of glass cases that serve as display for the many Batsuits and other uniforms of past and present members of the Bat Family.
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 as well — such as an ambulance, for example — 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 and the Whirly-Bat. 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 Wayne's 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.
When Dick Grayson left for college, Bruce Wayne decided he no longer wished to remain at Wayne Manor — feeling 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. This Batcave had very much the same facilities as the original, and also contained an exact replica of the study in Wayne Manor where Bruce first got the inspiration to become the Caped Crusader. 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. When Wayne decided to return to Wayne Manor, he sealed off the second cave and returned his equipment and mementos to the original.
The first concept of a backup Batcave was introduced after Batman was forced to stay out of Gotham grounds for an entire week. In order to keep fighting crime, Batman created a flying machine, large enough to fit some of the most important equipment from the Batcave. The "Flying Batcave" was used to stop crimes from the air without having to set foot on the city.
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.
Before there was a Batcave, Batman would keep some memorabilia of solved cases in a special hidden room inside Wayne Manor. This room was called the Hall of Trophies and it was only accessible through a six-inch-thick steel door with a combination lock. Some of these items included a decoy duck used by Joker to escape prison, a penguin statue and one of Penguin's Umbrellas from his first crime, Bruce Wayne's portrait from the case of the prophetic pictures, Joker's mask from his secret hideout and a candy-spiked trap designed by Joker. Some time later, Batman added the diary of Dana Drye, a one dollar bill from a nonexistent crime and the mysterious murder box from Diamond King.As Batman's collection of crime trophies increased, the Hall of Trophies wasn't large enough to keep them all and he moved it to the Batcave, changing its name to Trophy Room. Once in the cave, the room was large enough to keep larger objects like the three most iconic pieces in the Batcave. These are a full-size mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex, an equally large U.S. penny and a giant 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 and the giant Joker playing card was taken from one of Joker's hideouts, when Batman was kept prisoner in that place. 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.
The first Bat-Costume that Batman placed on the Trophy Room was his father's Bat Costume. Thomas Wayne used the costume for a masquerade party and later to confront the criminal Lew Moxon. Bruce used this costume years later to confront Moxon and learned that he orchestrated his father's murder. Afterwards, Bruce kept the Bat-Costume on a glass case along with all the other trophies.
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.
- Bulletproof Vest
- Futuristic Airship
- Giant Dice
- Miniature Mansion
- Poisonous Mushroom
- Imitation Brain
- Batwoman Portrait
- Dinosaur Egg
In Other Media
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. 
- Before the Batcave was envisioned, the Batmobile, Batplane etc. were stored in non-descript places. One example is shown in Batman versus the Vampire: Part One (Detective Comics #31), which describes Batman's new Batgyro as being kept in "a secret hangar known only to himself", to quote the narrative panel.
- The modern concept of the Batcave first appeared in the Batman serial on the episode The Electrical Brain and was called the "Bat's Cave". It was later adapted into the comics.
- The mechanical dinosaur in the Batcave comes from Batman #35; despite the fact that a similar robot appeared for the first time in Batman #10.
- 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.
- The cave is said to have seven different entrance tunnels connecting the cave to the surface.
- 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
- ↑ Detective Comics #29
- ↑ Detective Comics #33
- ↑ Batman #3
- ↑ Batman #12
- ↑ Detective Comics #83
- ↑ Batman #31
- ↑ Batman #34
- ↑ Batman #40
- ↑ Detective Comics #134
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Detective Comics #137
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Batman #48
- ↑ World's Finest #39
- ↑ Detective Comics #158
- ↑ Detective Comics #165
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Batman #64
- ↑ Detective Comics #177
- ↑ Batman #74
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Detective Comics #205
- ↑ Detective Comics #223
- ↑ Batman #108
- ↑ Batman #497
- ↑ Detective Comics #850
- ↑ Batman #677
- ↑ Batman #678
- ↑ Batman #681
- ↑ Batman and the Outsiders Vol 2 11
- ↑ Nightwing (Volume 2) #152
- ↑ Nightwing (Volume 2) #153
- ↑ Robin (Volume 4) #183
- ↑ Detective Comics #667
- ↑ Batman #681
- ↑ Detective Comics #186
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 Batman #12
- ↑ Batman #9
- ↑ Detective Comics #58
- ↑ Detective Comics #42
- ↑ Batman #4
- ↑ Detective Comics #62
- ↑ Batman #14
- ↑ Detective Comics #112
- ↑ Detective Comics #130
- ↑ Batman #35 see notes
- ↑ World's Finest #30
- ↑ Detective Comics #114
- ↑ Batman #32
- ↑ Detective Comics #80
- ↑ Nightwing (Volume 2) #18
- ↑ Detective Comics #235
- ↑ Batman #9
- ↑ Batman #44
- ↑ Batman #41
- ↑ Batman #59
- ↑ Detective Comics #210
- ↑ Detective Comics #233
- ↑ Batman #104
- ↑ Batman Forever and Batman Begins
- ↑ Countdown to Final Crisis #14
- ↑ Batman #655