Warning! This article contains spoilers for Batman: Beyond The White Knight #2
While Batman has no shortage of gadgets at his disposal, using anything from his batarangs to the Batmobile itself, one comic proves that out of all of the utilities Batman has access to, his best gadgets are all low tech, especially during his most recent adventure.
Within the dark future of Batman: Beyond The White Knight, Bruce Wayne found himself in prison after Gotham City essentially fell under martial law due to the exorbitant amount of crime that littered the city. Gotham is now policed by an organization known as the GTO (Gotham Terrorist Oppression Unit) who are funded by Gotham Motors CEO Derek Powers, the man who moved in on Bruce Wayne’s company and seized all of his assets after he was imprisoned. While this series begins with Bruce Wayne in jail, his former protege, Jason Todd, helps him escape, and with none of his former gadgets at his disposal, he has to make due with whatever he can steal from the GTO. As it turns out in this particular scenario, the lower the tech, the better the gadget.
In Batman: Beyond The White Knight #2 by Sean Murphy, Batman finds himself face-to-face with GTO officers immediately following his prison break. After swiftly defeating them with his superior skills despite their advanced technology, Bruce swipes a grappling gun and some wire, and nothing else. The GTO had taser batons, technologically advanced Batsuits, and even entire Batmobiles that he could rummage through, but Batman decided the best thing to grab was a grappling gun, and this ended up being a good decision.
The reason Batman went low-tech after defeating the GTO is because of how interconnected Gotham City had become since his imprisonment, technologically speaking. While the other tools used by the GTO may have been more impactful in a fight, and therefore more useful to Bruce Wayne, he went with a gadget that gave off no heat signature that could be picked up by law enforcement. So as far as the GTO’s surveillance goes, the grappling gun doesn’t exist and, therefore, can’t give Batman away. This is crucial to Batman as a character given his ninja-style crime fighting methods and his skillset. Batman is currently on the run from the law, and while he is an expert at blending into the night, he has to make sure nothing on him can give away his location, and this low-tech gadget is the perfect mix of usefulness and discretion.
While it is obvious why Batman is using a low-tech gadget in this comic book series, the same logic applies to every incarnation of the Caped Crusader. Batman’s high-tech utilities are undoubtedly awesome, like his sonar, vehicles, and investigative tech linked to his main computer, but the gadgets that have been shown to be the most useful on a day-to-day basis are things like batarangs, smoke bombs, and his grappling gun. Batman’s crime fighting style is less reliant on tools and more so on his own expertise in combat and detective work, making it more natural for Batman to lean more into the low-tech gear than relying solely on technology. As highlighted in his latest storyline while ringing true throughout his comic book career, Batman confirms that his best gadgets are all low tech.
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