Batman's utility belt

Batman's utility belt is a feature of Batman's costume. Similar belts are used by the various Robins, Batgirl, and other members of the Bat-family.

Utility Belt
Artist Greg Capullo signs a replica Batman utility belt during an appearance at Midtown Comics in Manhattan. Beside him from left to right are fellow Batman creators Scott Snyder, Tom King, and Frank Miller.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceDetective Comics #29 (July 1939)
Created byGardner Fox
In story information
TypeCostume, Equipment
Element of stories featuringBatman


Batman historian Les Daniels credits Gardner Fox, the first writer other than Bill Finger to write the adventures of Batman in Detective Comics, with introducing the utility belt concept in Detective Comics #29 (July 1939).[1] In its first appearance, Batman's utility belt "contain[ed] choking gas capsules."[2] Two issues after the utility belt debuted, Fox also wrote the first appearance of a bat-themed weapon, when the batarang debuted in the story "Batman vs. the Vampire" in Detective Comics #31 (Sep 1939).[3]

Up until 1989, most artists drew the utility belt as a simple yellow belt with a buckle and capsules/cylinders around it. In 1986, Frank Miller drew Batman's utility belt with military-style pouches in the Batman: The Dark Knight Returns limited series. This rendition was used again in Batman: Year One and used by almost every artist in the Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight comics series. In 2000, the pouches became a standard feature in the depiction of the utility belt.

The grapple gun, which fired the Batline/Bat-rope (it had to be thrown manually prior to that), was first introduced in Tim Burton's live-action film, Batman. One feature added to the utility belt in the film and its sequel Batman Returns, was a small motor which would move items from the back of the belt around to the front allowing Batman easier access to his weaponry and tools.[4].The Utility Belt is simply a variation on [Doc Savage]'s own Utility Vest.


Although seemingly unremarkable in appearance, the utility belt is one of Batman's most important tools in fighting crime. Consisting primarily of a strap and buckle, the utility belt houses ten pouches or cylindrical cartridges that are attached to the outside of the belt. The buckle itself typically contains a miniature camera and a tape recorder. A secondary compartment behind the length of the belt houses Batman's supply of batarangs.

Each of the ten pouches or cylinders contains various tools integral to Batman's war on crime, with the cylinders being interchangeable with each other. Through the years, Batman has modified the contents of his belt to accommodate various crime-fighting scenarios.

Most versions of the belt contain security features to prevent anyone other than Batman from opening it. The belt is shown to be able to electrocute any villain who even touches it. It can also release stun gas to prevent tampering. The belt's compartments are locked and only Batman knows how to open them.


Elements[5][6][7][8][9] of the utility belt at times include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Batarangs:[10] These are customizable throwing weapons, similar to shurikens, and are collapsible[11] so that a large number of them can fit inside of Batman's utility belt. There are several special varieties of the batarang, aside from the regular type. Explosive batarangs explode once they hit their target.[12] Electric batarangs deliver powerful electric shocks to whatever they come in contact with. These batarangs can incapacitate enemies or overload electronic devices.[13] Remote-controlled batarangs let Batman fully steer the batarang via a remote control. These are used when a straight line of sight isn't possible. These batarangs have cameras in them so that Batman can see where they are going.[14]
  • Batline/Batrope/Batclaw/Batgrapple:[15][16][17][18][19][20] A handheld grappling hook that shoots out a claw-shaped projectile on a retractable high-tensile cord, which grabs onto a surface. Then, this cord pulls Batman to his target. A later boost upgrade launches him high into the air above the target point if he desires (so Batman can glide from there). The hook can also pull down walls,[21] grab enemies and pull them closer, or pull guns straight out of their hands.[22] The hook is secured to the belt magnetically rather than being contained in the belt. It has been portrayed as a portable grappling hook line to be manually thrown onto a higher surface or vantage point for him to climb it to the targeted area. However, in more recent incarnations, his overall grappling gear is composed of a line-launching, gun-like device that shoots the line to pull Batman towards his targeted area or to pull a target towards Batman. A rifle-like grappling gun first appeared in Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1. However, the now standard hand-held version of Batman's grappling gun first appeared in the 1989 Batman film. It gradually replaced the batarang and a rope in the comics after artist Norm Breyfogle introduced a grapple gun in Batman #458 in January 1991. That tool became the standard in the subsequent animated series, comics, films, and video games such as Batman: Arkham Asylum and in Batman: Arkham City a more advanced version called the Grapnel was introduced which could be used to launch Batman into the air to glide using kinetic energy.
  • Cryptographic sequencer:[23] With this computer-like device, Batman can hack into computer systems, communications frequencies, etc.
  • Bolas:[24] Thrown around the feet of Batman's enemies to tie them with a composite-nylon cord. Often causes an escaping opponent to trip. With the push of a button in Batman's glove it can deliver an electric shock.
  • Tracers:[25] Used to track enemies Batman cannot follow closely. They also function as miniature listening devices to listen in on conversations from afar. Sometimes fired from a modified pistol.
  • Smoke pellets:[26] Large amounts of smoke can be deployed by throwing or breaking open these small hardened-gelatin spheroid capsules. Often used to quickly provide cover for Batman's stealthy exits and entries. The lenses in Batman's cowl can see perfectly through the smoke.[27]
  • Gas pellets:[28] Similar to smoke pellets, gas pellets are used for incapacitating opponents. Lachrymatory, anesthesia, nerve, and regurgitant agents are deployed by breaking open the capsules. A gas filter in the cowl's nose-piece allows Batman to be around the gas unharmed.[29]
  • Line launcher:[30] A device that shoots out a steel line in both directions making a zip line, or a tightrope to walk on. Seen in Batman, Batman Returns, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City and Batman: Arkham Knight.
  • Tranquilliser gun:[31][32] This collapsible gun fires darts that are tipped with fast-acting anaesthesia, paralytic agents, or other chemicals/drugs. In Batman: Year One, this is replaced (or possibly preceded) by a blowpipe kept in one of the boots.
  • Glue globules:[33] Small round globules of concentrated adhesive glue. They are used to encase enemies in a sticky substance. The globules can be thrown or fired with a small gun. Seen in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Batman: Arkham Origins and in the webseries Gotham Girls.[34]
  • Lock pick: This gadget is used to escape handcuffs and access locked rooms. It is rarely kept in the utility belt, more often in one of Batman's gloves.
  • Rebreather:[35] This cylindrical device allows Batman to breathe underwater or in low oxygen environments. It is very small and compact so it fits easily into the utility belt. The standard rebreather gives 2.5 hours of oxygen.[36]
  • Laser:[37][38] A strong miniaturized laser used as a cutting tool.
  • Pellet grenades:[12] These small explosives are often used to knock down walls.
  • Concussion mines:[39] These are powerful timed explosives, used for destroying vehicles or blasting out reinforced concrete walls.
  • Explosive gel:[40] A foamlike substance which can be remotely detonated for an explosion. It is contained in a spray device which also acts as a detonator.
  • Thermite grenades: An incendiary used to burn[41] through obstacles. The fires produced by these grenades are fueled by thermite, and thus are impossible to extinguish and burn at over three times the temperature of molten magma. In Batman: Year One, the thermite charge ignites accidentally and destroys the utility belt.
  • Napalm:[42] This incendiary gel is kept in delicate packets. Once thrown or broken open, the packets release the napalm gel, which sticks to whatever it comes on contact with and instantly ignites. Seen in the film Batman Returns.[7]
  • Taser:[43] Used by Batman to stun his enemies with an electrical shock to temporarily paralyze them.
  • Remote electric charge:[44] This small collapsible gun fires powerful bolts of high current electricity. It is used to incapacitate enemies at long range or overload electronic devices. Seen in the video game Batman: Arkham City and Batman: Arkham Knight.
  • Stun pellets:[45][46] Emit bright light and loud sound to completely blind and deafen enemies. The effect wears off in a few minutes, however. Batman is unaffected by these due to his cowl's lenses and sound dampening systems.[47]
  • EMP gun:[44] Used to disable any electrical equipment.
  • Disruptor:[48] Batman's disruptor can remotely disable firearms and deactivate explosives.
  • Remote claw:[49] Confiscated from Deathstroke, this gadget is used to join two objects and pull them together. It works by firing a projectile out which hooks onto an object. The projectile then launches a rope-attached claw, which attaches to a second object. Once both are connected, they are pulled together. Batman can use this to knock enemies together, slam heavy objects into foes, or string objects up. Seen in the video game Batman: Arkham Origins.
  • Ultrasonic bat beacon:[50] This device emits sonic waves that attract thousands of bats to Batman's location. The bats swarm around him, creating a diversion, as well as sometimes attacking assailants and reinforcing the idea that Batman is a supernatural entity. It is usually kept in the heel of a boot rather than the utility belt. Seen in Batman: Year One and Batman Begins.
  • Sonic devastator: This small device, when activated, releases high energy sonic waves that can shatter glass and completely incapacitate enemies, making them writhe in agony. It has a range of a few hundred feet. Sound dampening systems built into the cowl leave Batman unaffected.[47] Seen in Batman: The Animated Series and Injustice: Gods Among Us.[51] This device is rarely kept in the utility belt. Rather, it is kept in one of the gloves.
  • Freeze grenades:[52] Based on technology created by Mr. Freeze, these grenades encase anything in their blast radius in a block of ice. They are useful for freezing enemies to incapacitate them, as well as freezing water to create ice platforms to walk on. Seen in the video game Batman: Arkham City and Batman: Arkham Knight.
  • Kryptonite:[53] Batman keeps a chunk of kryptonite (in some stories, a ring with a kryptonite gem) in his belt in a lead lined compartment in order to take down any hostile Kryptonians. In the Justice League TV series Batman calls his kryptonite "insurance", but in some continuities Superman himself gives the kryptonite to him, as a sign of trust.


  1. ^ Daniels, Les. Batman: The Complete History. Chronicle Books, 1999. ISBN 0-8118-4232-0, pg. 29
  2. ^ Mike's Amazing World of DC Comics: "The Batman Meets Doctor Death" in Detective Comics #29. Retrieved July 31, 2008.
  3. ^ Mike's Amazing World of DC Comics: "Batman vs. the Vampire" in Detective Comics #31. Retrieved July 31, 2008.
  4. ^ Don Shay (1990), Cinefex: 24, So I put the idea to Tim that we have the belt revolve. He liked that concept and told us to go ahead with it. ... Evans and his crew constructed a revolving utility belt that was chain-driven by a small electric motor in the rear. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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  18. ^ Batman-News. "Line gun". Archived from the original on 2010-10-26. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
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  32. ^ Judgement on Gotham (1991)
  33. ^ Batman-News. "Goo gun". Archived from the original on 2010-10-26. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
  34. ^ "Gotham Girls - Harley Gets Stuck". Retrieved 2013-06-27.
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External links

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The purpose of the museum is to introduce the public to the traditional dress of the Kastoria area, and all the costumes on display come from the city and the surrounding countryside. On the first floor are showcases displaying women's costumes from local villages, such as Nestorio; on the second floor are costumes from the city itself. Specific items include the dzoube, a women's day dress in pale blue; the anderi, a brown-striped women's day dress; formal women's wear of the 18th century in brown; the male anderi without a gilet but with a fez; and a service uniform of silken fabric. Apart from the formal, public attire, there are also men's and women's everyday wear and a variety of accessories, such as stockings, belts, and buckles. There are also children's clothes and fur coats.

Costume Museum of Canada

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Designers typically seek to enhance a character's personality, and to create an evolving plot of colour, changing social status, or period through the visual design of garments and accessories. They may distort or enhance the body—within the boundaries of the director's vision. The designer must ensure that the designs let the actor move as the role requires. The actor must execute the director's blocking of the production without damaging the garments. Garments must be durable and washable, especially for plays with extended runs or films with near-real time pacing (meaning that most costumes will not change between scenes) but whose principal photography phase may stretch across several weeks. The designer must consult not only with the director, but the set and lighting designers to ensure that all elements of the overall production design work together. The designer must possess strong artistic capabilities and a thorough knowledge of pattern development, draping, drafting, textiles and fashion history. The designer must understand historical costuming, and the movement style and poise that period dress may require.

Devonshire Collection of Period Costume

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Domino mask

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Gorilla suit

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Modern dress

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The first performances of Shakespeare in modern dress were produced by Barry Jackson at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in Birmingham, England from 1923. The production of Cymbeline that opened in Birmingham in April of that year "bewildered" critics, leading to what Jackson happily called "a national and worldwide controversy".

Museum of the History of the Greek Costume

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National Museum of Costume (Portugal)

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Spirit gum

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The wardrobe supervisor supervises all dressers working on a production. In consultation with the production manager, stage manager, costume designer, and sometimes the director, the wardrobe supervisor helps to coordinate and assign dressers to specific performers and tasks. They help determine where and how costume changes are made. Generally, the wardrobe supervisor decides whether a point in a production requires a quick change backstage, or if there is time for a normal change in the dressing room. All dressers report directly to the wardrobe supervisor, who acts as primary liaison between dressers, the costumer, and stage management.

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