The Batrope (or Bat-line) is a length of monofilament wire attached to a spool, and concealed within a special compartment on Batman's utility belt. It is used primarily for scaling buildings and ensnaring targets. Although not the most glamorous item in Batman's crime-fighting arsenal, it is doubtless one of his more useful tools, and comes in handy when rooftop patrolling is more expeditious than conveyance via Batmobile.
The first version of the Batrope was a simple silken cord concealed in Batman's utility belt and it was often used to swing between buildings. At first the rope was kept in the rim of the utility belt and it was drawn out of the belt lining.
The first upgrade made to the batrope, was the attachment of a Batarang to one of its ends, which allowed Batman to throw the rope further away and also allowed it to grapple around certain objects and tie itself.
The second upgrade made to the Batrope was the incorporation of a penetrating grapnel on one of the ends of the rope. This grapnel allowed the rope to attach to solid objects, which gave Batman more freedom while swinging around buildings or getting out of dangerous situations. This version of the Batrope was briefly called, the "Batpoon". The Batpoon was later upgraded to include a couple of spiked metal balls on one end, allowing the rope to grapple around poles and trees. However, it was Batwoman's design of a rope with two weights on each end that was later used as the "batbolo" or bolas".
The rope was eventually upgraded to be tossed away by a spring-loaded delivery system which resembled a gun. During its experimental stages, the rope had a suction-cap on the end, which would allow the rope to stick to any surface. However, this proved to be ineffective and Batman replaced the suction cap with a single hook attachment. The hook was later upgraded to a proper grappling hook with four attachments.
Many of Batman's allies also use versions of the Batrope including Batgirl, Nightwing and Robin. Although the Batrope is highly durable, certain items have been capable of slicing through it, including Batarangs.
When Azrael took over the role of Batman, he included the Batrope within his gauntlets. The rope was deployed thanks to a firing mechanism which allowed the rope to reach and grapple great distances. This mechanism was also activated by voice commands.
In this universe, Batman used both the basic batrope and a highly functional grapple gun. While the Batrope consisted of a rope attached to a Batarang, the grapple gun was a line cable firing device, which Batman used mostly for transportation purposes. The grapple gun was Batman's gadget of choice over the regular batopre, due to its diverse functions and capabilities; although the batrope was mostly used in close combat. The grapple gave Batman significant reach allowing a otherwise non-flying hero to get around Gotham quickly.
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