Batman always seems to have everything he needs in his trusty utility belt, but he just revealed the one item that didn’t actually make the cut.
Warning! Spoilers for Batman/Superman #18!
In DC Comics, Batman is known to be the king of gadgets with nearly every item he’ll ever need residing in his always-trusty utility belt, but the one thing he doesn’t keep tucked away in case of emergencies comes as a bit of a surprise. Good thing Superman was around to help alleviate Batman’s slight oversight in not including a tool that seems like a no-brainer to have in his particular line of work.
Revealed in the Infinite Frontier related issue of Batman/Superman #18 by Gene Luen Yang and Ivan Reis & Jose Luis, Batman and Superman have entered altered realities where things aren’t what they seem. Living in a world where there is no Batman due to the survival of his mother, Martha Wayne, and residing in a reality where Superman never made it out of his Kryptonian space pod alive, Superman and Batman are trapped in differing places tainted by the evil of their newest villain, Auteur.io
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Criss-crossing across both dimensions, Batman and Superman encounter a shady version of Martha Wayne and a cowardly version of Bruce Wayne, a pair that is a far cry from what Batman is used to on his world. Entering Wayne Manor to get to the bottom of their current situation, Batman is shot pointblank in the shoulder by his mother, leading both him and Robin to leap out of a nearby window to escape. Rescued by Superman, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen in the nick of time, Batman and his group settle down for a moment to catch their breath, and it’s here where the reveal of what Batman doesn’t have in his utility belt is brought to fans’ attention.
Using his laser vision to cauterize Batman’s heavily wounded shoulder, Batman proceeds to pull out what is more or less an entire first aid kit from his utility belt to finish up dressing his wounds, prompting Lois to ask the question all readers constantly wonder about The Dark Knight: what doesn’t he have in that nifty belt of his? Responding with the obvious answer after Superman’s help, Batman simply answers by saying, “A cauterizing iron,” as he quickly brushes over the fact that if Supes wasn’t around to staunch the bleeding with his heat vision, Batman might not have made it out of their situation alive.
Known to have everything from a grappling hook, to a batarang, to smoke pellets and more tucked away neatly in his belt, Batman is normally prepared for every situation possible. But as seen here – and though this is an alternate reality separate from the “real” world – Batman just doesn’t have enough space to keep an item on hand that seems to be something that he would use more often than not, especially considering he gets shot at on a nightly basis.
So although Batman has clearly made a mistake not finding the room in his belt to house a cauterizing iron, Superman’s heat vision works in a pinch – if he can get to Bats in time to use it, that is. And while Batman’s utility belt may have nearly everything a superhero could want or need in the field, there are just some items that don’t make the cut no matter how obvious it is to have them close by.
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