You could say that Batman's secret power is intelligence, determination or the magical end-all trump card that is "prep time," but let's face it: his real power is money. How the hell else could he afford to putter around in his huge lab, in a massive Batcave, under a giant mansion, in between working volunteer graveyard shifts? While Bruce Wayne's incessant tinkering has resulted in some iconic pop-technology like the Batmobile and the grappling hook gun, not every gizmo he slapped together between pages was a winner. We've compiled a list of the worst clunkers in Batman's storied arsenal below.
If you know your Adam West 60s Batman, you've probably already got one ridiculous gadget in mind. We're way ahead of you.
Bat-Shark-Repellent spray is sooo 1966. Bat-Female-Villain-Repellent is the new hotness, so hip and fresh that it should probably not be described by using "hip," "fresh" or "the new hotness." Borne from a crossover with Planetary that spanned several dimensions and several Batmans, it's tough to say just what's in a Female Repellent, but it probably includes catcalls and the piss-poor state of salary equality between men and women in this country. But hey, if there are aerosol compounds designed specifically to ward off sharks, evil women and lower-level Pokemon, there could be a whole world of sprays out there. Papercut-Between-Your-Fingers-Repellant? Dried-Ketchup-On-The-Ketchup-Bottle-Cap-Repellent? Bat-Shark-Repellent-Reference-Repellent?
7. Batman's Life-Saving Robot (later killed by Batman)
Most of Batman's gadgets seem to be designed to better fling him towards danger rather than preventing harm harm. Even something like a fireproof cape merely acknowledges that Batman is planning for the inevitable day when he puts himself in a position to be engulfed in flames without warning. So really, it was pretty thoughtful of a space alien to give Batman a robot guardian to get him out of the avoidable but entirely intentional peril he leaps into on a nightly basis. It works well at first, but the robot soon becomes a burden when he starts saving Batman at the most inopportune times and letting criminals get away unpunched. You know what they say: When a dog goes rabid and mildly impedes your crimefighting, there's only one course of action -- convince it to commit suicide.
After making it look like the robot accidentally killed Batman, the guardian short-circuited its grief modules and died on the spot. There's no two ways about it -- by making the guardian think it failed at its only job in the worst possible way, Batman straight-up murdered a robot built only for love. You can say "robots don't count," but Robin says it has a brain, which indicates at least some kind of primitive intelligence. Batman claims that he thought that the robot would Poochie-out and go back to his home planet (and probably die along the way) after failing his mission, but that doesn't explain why he didn't just reprogram him to work with the fire department or something. At the end of the issue, Batman pledges to place the inert robot corpse on display in his Batcave. It'll look nice next to the glass cases holding the costumes of the other sidekicks that died on his watch.
6. Spring-Loaded Bat-Ears
We've covered this before, but this was too good to ignore, and also it pads out the list pretty nice, don't you think?
Anyway, Batman's ears have varied wildly over the years, some as tall as Marge Simpson's hair and some as small as Mike Wazowski's nubbins in Monsters Inc. Some have speculated that this particular gadget would be impossible in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, not because it's unfilmable by anyone other than Joel Schumacher, but rather because Ben Affleck's Batman has decidedly diminutive ears. But remember, Bat-fleck is supposed to be an older, seasoned crimefighter -- maybe his ears are short because he already shot them out of his skull and they're still out there somewhere, stuck in some goon's forehead. All we're saying is, stay til after the credits if you want to see where Ryan Reynolds has been since Green Lantern ended.