Despite the fact that he communicates shoulder to shoulder with godlike superhumans, the 100 percent mortal Batman is somehow able to stand up for himself when it comes to saving the world. This is partly due to the unprecedented refinement of Bruce Wayne’s body and mind, but his famous gadgets and vehicles also play a huge role. In fact, one forgotten gadget actually explains Batman’s seemingly unmatched ability to strike at his opponents, even when they put him at a disadvantage.
Batman’s armor and gadgets balance on a fine line between the type of futuristic technology that a billionaire vigilante will need to keep up with literal demigods, and the mystique of remaining relatively human while doing the impossible. Sometimes—especially when Superman needs a beating—Batman temporarily dons enhanced armor, but overall DC has decided to separate Bruce Wayne from Tony Stark’s Iron Man and his reliance on cutting-edge technology. Despite this, one of the most iconic eras of the Justice League provided the Caped Crusader with a simple gadget that gave him an incredibly effective advantage.
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Throughout JLA vol. 1—a series in which luminaries such as Grant Morrison, Joe Kelly, Mark Wade, Brian Hitch and Doug Mahnke portray D.C.’s greatest heroes—Batman is depicted using an approach alert to inform him when someone is approaching close enough to attack. Similar to Spider-Man’s spider-sense, this gives Batman an advantage over looming threats, often with the advantage that they believe they remain unnoticed. Although it’s not on the same level as the rest of the League, it’s the perfect gadget for Batman, who excels at being one step ahead of his opponents and likes to turn the tables against opponents who think they’ve caught him. unprepared. This is noticeable in JLA #56 (authored by Wade and Mike S. Miller) when Batman’s approach alarm device allows him to jump on a group of super-strong, ultra-fast, intangible White Martians who pass through the wall behind him, releasing a wall of flame against them.
Although this gadget later lost notoriety, Bruce cannot forget a tool that can help in his mission, and its constant use will help explain why the Dark Knight is usually so immune to covert attacks by both his villains and allies. It is known that Batman is impossible to sneak up on, even for his own expertly trained proteges, and although Bruce’s skills are undoubtedly largely related to this, the proximity alarm attached to his belt takes this ability to a new level.
Bruce Wayne has put a lot of effort into being considered supernaturally capable — to the point where many consider Batman a literal demon — and gadgets like his proximity sensor are a huge part of that process. In his war on crime, Batman will take (or invent) any possible advantage, especially when he can arm his enemies’ moves against them.