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Utility Belt

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Although seemingly unremarkable in appearance, the utility belt remains as one of Batman's most important tools in fighting crime.
Quote1 I have everything for an emergency in my utility belt... except money to pay for our food and drink! Quote2
--Batmansrc

History

Although seemingly unremarkable in appearance, the utility belt remains as one of Batman's most important tools in fighting crime.

At first, the belt wouldn't serve other purpose than holding Batman's trousers. However, Batman started using the belt to place his Batrope[1] and soon he adapted it to hold glass pellets of choking gas, becoming the first two gadgets in the utility belt.[2]

The Utility Belt was made of strong top grade leather and tough sewn pockets reinforced with steel lining, making it bulletproof.[3] In order to stay in contact with Robin, Batman upgraded the belt and incorporated a radio, which was placed on the belt buckle of both Batman and Robin's belts.[4] Batman also started carrying some vials on the belt with chemicals inside. Some of them contained a variety of gases, acids and some of them were used as explosives when mixed.[5] Shortly after this, Batman included a special compartment to hold his newest gadget: the bat-tracers, which were released by pressing a microscopic switch on the belt.[6] It is later revealed that the belt has a water-proof compartment where he keeps some matches.[7] Bruce included small chemical vials and small tools inside the belt metal compartments.[8]

Some time later, a group of criminals got hold of the Utility Belt and with help from an expert, they built utility belts modified to improve their crimes. They were almost successful, but eventually they were stopped by Batman and Robin.[3] When Batman lost the belt for a second time, he started looking for it across the city. The belt was found by a young boy and was later passed to several different people including a homeless man, a pawn shop owner and a leather collector. When the belt was snatched away by some thugs, Batman tricked the criminals and lured them into a trap. Not long after this, Batman recovered his belt and created a second belt, in case this situation happened again.[9]

Variations

The first variation of the Utility Belt was created after Batman confronted a criminal known as the Human Magnet, who was able to control electromagnetic fields. With this power, the criminal was able to stop Batman from approaching, using the metallic parts of the belt. Batman then designed a different Utility Belt made of plastic fibre and wood.[10]

Modern versions of the belt are composed of a leather strap and a solid steel buckle, the utility belt houses ten cylinder cartridges, which vertically clip onto the outside of the belt. The buckle itself contains a miniature camera and two-way radio. A secondary compartment behind the length of the belt houses Batman's supply of collapsible batarangs.

During Jean-Paul Valley's time as Batman, he designed a more uniform version of the utility belt, which didn't function as a belt, but was incorporated in his body suit. This new version had objects concealed within hidden pockets and the most prominent function that Valley included was the ability of the belt to electrify the suit in order to protect the wearer against external attacks.[11]

When Gotham was declared No Man's Land, Batman adopted a bulkier and more practical version of his utility belt: a workman's tool-belt. This enabled him to carry additional weapons and supplies necessary to operate and survive in earthquake-ruined Gotham City.[12]

Contents and Upgrades

After their first encounter with Mister Freeze, Batman installed a heating unit in the utility belt, which could be activated by a switch. The thermal unit prevented Batman from freezing to death when he was attacked by Freeze's Freeze's Ice Gun.[13] Batman also included a carbon dioxide eject system that could be released by pressing a hidden button. The gas was so strongly compressed inside the belt, that it could remove heavy objects when Batman was trapped underneath them.[14]

Batman included a surgical and first aid kit on his utility belt in case he needed to perform surgery or has been seriously wounded. The kit contained a scalpel, alcohol, forceps, scissors and gauze's.[15]

A new feature present on the last models of the belt was a communicator button installed in both Batman and Robin's belt. It was primarily used as a way to summon Robin to Batman's location.[16]

One of the utility belt's last developments was the remote control for the Batmobile and the Bat-Copter that allowed Batman to summon the vehicle to his current position.[17][18]

During a fight, Jason Todd, as the new Red Hood, managed to cut the utility belt from Batman.[19] After this, Batman reinforced the belt in order to prevent Jason from cutting it again.[20]

Contents:

  • Infrared flashlight
  • Smoke capsules
  • Fingerprint analysis kit
  • Forensic analysis kit
  • First aid kit
  • Lockpicking tools
  • Kryptonite Ring
  • Tear gas pellets
  • Micro-processor power source
  • Micro-recorder (updated regularly)
  • Batline spool + grappling gun
  • Batarangs
  • Miniature Laser torch
  • Bat-shaped handcuffs
  • Various incendiary capsules (including plastique and thermite)
  • Rebreather and gas mask
  • Tracker
  • Cryo capsule
  • Sedatives
  • Toxin illusion of death
  • Mini explosives
  • Light Grenades
  • Anti fire foam
  • Grenades iron filings
  • Silver nitrate
  • Ultrasonic transmitter (to attract bats)
  • Small Mobile Device (Connected to the Batcomputer)[21]
  • Taser gun[22]
  • Basic solution to Neutralize Acids [23]

Other Versions

DC Animated Universe

  • This version of the utility belt was designed as a thin but firm strip with several hidden pockets and buttons, used by Batman to carry evidence or gadgets. Besides the most common gadgets, he also carried caltrops, forceps, plastic bags, infrared goggles, gas mask and a pocket camera. The belt was also used as a remote command for the batboat. The security system of this version of the belt included a paint sprayer that was activated when someone tried to open it by force.


Atom Ryan Choi 0027
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Trivia

  • The original version of Batman started out wearing a standard leather belt with a round buckle; the primary function of which, amounted to little more than to secure the bat-trousers. In his second appearance, Batman exchanged the round belt buckle for a square one.
  • Presumably the utility belt also contains a compartment for Batman's wallet and the keys to the Batmobile, but this is not regularly addressed within storylines.
  • Batman is constantly updating and improving the contents of the utility belt, so the list of contents (see Contents above) is more than likely incomplete.
  • There were some versions of the belt which could create sounds in order to distract and/or get their attention.[24]


See Also


Links and References

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