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I understand that Batman doesn't kill, but when he goes with Justice League, he could make some kind of armor to fight against the strongest enemies. He has the money and the engineers plus access to alien tech.

Why doesn't he make an armored suit to fight against his enemies?

Is it "badass" to fight enemies who have photon cannons with just kevlar... or just stupid?

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I agree that it doesn't quite add up--this sort of foolishness is one reason why I've always doubted that Batman is one of the two smartest people on the planet (including being smarter than Tony Stark). But this probably isn't a good type of question for this site since it is likely to lead to debate. (I didn't downvote, but this is probably why some people did.) –  Rex Kerr May 18 '12 at 18:38
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Who's the other smartest person on the planet? –  CamelBlues May 18 '12 at 18:40
    
also if you see the first trailer of dc online universe he its wearing a kind of armor, in the second trailer its like megaman-ironman-batman been –  osdamv May 18 '12 at 18:41
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yeah but... The new satellite is an orbiting Watchtower working together with The Hall, a building located in Washington D.C. paid for by Batman...en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_League_Satellite –  osdamv May 18 '12 at 19:04
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Brains ain't everything. You also need style and the "cool" factor, which Tony Stark has and Bruce Wayne doesn't. Style more than makes up for the 1 or 2 points of IQ difference. –  BBlake May 18 '12 at 20:05

10 Answers 10

up vote 52 down vote accepted

Batman does wear armor. His costume over the continuities has always been some variation of Kevlar, Nomex or other bullet-proof, fireproof, frost resistant, cloth or light plate armor worn under his costume or woven into the costume itself.

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He has pointed out that the bat symbol on his chest is to make his chest an easier and more inviting target to shooters than his head and is the most heavily armored part of his body. In addition, some continuities included his cape as part of his armor, allowing him to extend a bulletproof and usually fire-resistant bit of protection to others.

The question should be why doesn’t Batman wear powered armor?

The answer is considering the power and strength levels of the members of the Justice League including, Superman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Martian Manhunter, Captain Atom to name just a few of the heavy hitters, there would be no point for him to wear a suit of armor that would make his strength a pale shadow of these mighty giants. His contribution to the Justice League is of a different caliber.

A Bat-Knight in shining armor

In light of the company he keeps in the Justice League, people have wondered why he does not wear a suit of more advanced powered armor to allow him to have an easier time in combat fighting his enemies, giving him superhuman strength and resistance to injury and extending his ability to carry more diverse weapons and tools?

Batman has been seen in a variety of iterations where he has worn a battle armor. Frank Miller, whose most famous armor-wearing Batman in Dark Knight, showed a Batman who was much older, whose physical capabilities had fallen and he was preparing himself to fight against the world’s mightiest hero. He knew he had no chance, but he needed to distract Superman long enough for him to use his matchless intellect to win the day.

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Azrael was another iteration of Batman who used a suit of powered armor as part of a reign of terror on the underworld. While the suit was highly effective, Azrael did not understand the minds of the people he was fighting and ultimately failed in his tenure as Batman.

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The most famous armor wearing Batman is the future Batman, Terry McGinnis, genetic son of and trained by the aged Bruce Wayne. The battle armor Batman created was initially to continue his crime-fighting career as he aged but eventually even with the suit, his heart was unable to keep up with his combat-laden future. The enemies were more powerful, more numerous and he was simply unable to keep up the pace. Terry on a quest for vengeance, comes to the attention of Bruce Wayne and with the support of Wayne, Terry took on the role of Batman. Without the physical training that Wayne had, Terry is dependent on the suit and the voice of Bruce whispering in his ear remotely.

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Modern Batman doesn’t wear powered armor because he doesn’t need to. His primary contribution to the Justice League and to crimefighting itself has less to do with his weapons, tools or the addition of a suit of battle-armor and more to do with his peerless intellect, amazing powers of deduction, natural intuition and honed sense of the psychology of the criminal mind.

His matchless intellect is his superpower. His incredible drive, intensity and dedication are his calling cards. Anything else is just a tool for him.

Batman’s brilliance created protocols to destroy or immobilize every member of the Justice League and found those protocols to be deadly effective when they were stolen and used to great effectiveness by his opposite number, Prometheus. If this is what he does to his friends, what do you suppose he plans for his enemies?

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It is his mind that allows him to be at the right place at the right time when a crazed, but highly intelligent Riddler or Joker plot some scheme their demented psyches demand they torment Batman with.

It is his mind that allows him to combat the ageless enemies, The Sensei, Ra’s Al Ghul or Vandal Savage who with their extended lifespans have amassed incredible skills and abilities that have almost no equal on Earth.

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It is his genius, that gives him the ability to not only hold his own amongst the pantheon of godlike beings of the Justice League, but to direct those beings in ways of using their powers they themselves have never considered.

What Batman brings to crime fighting is his HUMANITY. His frailty, his understanding and memory of the human condition. The sense of being in the presence of giants and wanting to remind those giants that HE not THEY are the future of humanity.

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Maybe the comics are different, but in Batman Beyond, the batsuit doesn't seem all that powerful in combat. They describe it as increasing one's strength by 10x, I think, but in the hands of McGinness he seems to struggle even against non-superpowered humans when he should be able to easily knock most opponents out in a single punch based on the way the batsuit is described. However, when the suit is infected by an AI virus, and walks around on its own without a wearer it suddenly becomes much more powerful. –  Lèse majesté Aug 28 '13 at 16:59
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Imagine you are a human being who has not been trained to fight. You have been in a scrap or two and have been bloodied enough to have little fear of conflict. Now, you find yourself in a suit which amplifies your strength by a factor of ten. You now have the power, if you are careless, to kill a man with a punch. What do you do? If you are a relatively moral person, you hold back, you restrain yourself, you do your best to be careful. An AI, not being human or moral has no such constraints and pulls out all the stops... –  Thaddeus Aug 28 '13 at 17:03
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Excellent, excellent answer! The only thing I'd add is that Batman's combat style isn't really suited to power armor. He's a ninja, for lack of better classification. He sneaks, dodges, leaps, and disappears. Those things aren't as easy to do in power armor. Batman wearing power armor as his primary costume would be like Tony Stark becoming a ninja... he could do it, but that's not where his skill-set is. –  Matt Feb 25 at 19:13

Batman is a normal human who can't carry a metric ton heavy armor. He doesn't have portable fusion reactor to power portable rocket boosters (if he has one) to move such heavy armor.

If you exclude strength, Batman's usual armor is far more advanced than Ironman's armor. With it, he can jump off an aeroplane safely.. And yes, without any power needs. It's flexibility allows him to fight enemies with advanced martial art moves. Of course, his usual armor can't stand in front of Thor's hammer, but it'd be his flexible armor which would allow him to escape the hit by special moves.

Batman's speciality is not engaging enemies in battle field. He is a genius and great spy. Think, how he would be able to spy silently with Ironman's armor.

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Not a bad answer, though of course Tony Stark is also a normal human who can't carry a metric ton of heavy armor so I don't see why that's relevant. –  Mark Beadles May 18 '12 at 19:22
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the answer also fits with Batman Beyond suit, in my opinion it's better than ironman armor –  osdamv May 18 '12 at 19:28
    
@Mark It's relevant for next sentence. –  Sachin Shekhar May 18 '12 at 19:29
    
Flexibility and agility do not equal advanced technology. By that reasoning a motorcycle is more advanced than an Abrams Tank. –  Monty129 Aug 29 '13 at 12:06
    
@Monty Read the full answer... there are many variables. –  Sachin Shekhar Aug 29 '13 at 17:35

From time to time Batman has used a fully-armored exoskeleton, but he doesn't always do so. One notable example is in the Dark Knight Returns:

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To add to your answer there is also Azrael from Knightfalls en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azrael_%28comics%29 and also the suit from Batman Beyond en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman_Beyond –  Kevin Howell May 18 '12 at 19:25
    
How is it an answer? Its like you are saying the question is meaningless on occasions.. –  Sachin Shekhar May 18 '12 at 19:40
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@Sachin Shekhar The question simply asks why doesn't he make armor to fight super powered people. Mark Beadles answers that he has made armor to fight super powered people. He definitely hasn't said that the question is meaningless. –  Kevin Howell May 18 '12 at 20:01
    
@Kevin Why doesn't he make armor? ~> No, he has made armor. Is this really an answer? –  Sachin Shekhar May 18 '12 at 20:12
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@Sachin Shekhar Yes it is an answer. Giving an answer that shows the questioner didn't research enough before asking or maybe hasn't worded their question correctly ( as I believe osdamv has done the latter) is still a valid answer and could help to explain why there are so many downvotes on this question. –  Kevin Howell May 18 '12 at 20:24

When it gets down to it really it's about motivation and method. Ironman must wear his armor to live it's a part of him and he uses it to fight ... well actually I'm not sure what he fights normally. I know there are other guys in armor and other superpowered people but I don't think he fights actual crime with it. He doesn't fight to keep your average person safe he fights to keep the world and America safe. His method is protective and weaponized. His motivation is personal.

Batman on the other hand is always motivated to end crime especially in Gotham. He needs to get into it and feel that he is actually fighting it physically. His method is stealth, fear and detective work (brilliance) His motivation is to make sure a no one has to lose someone they love due to crime.

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Haven't you read "when he goes with Justice League" in the question? They even go out of planet... The base isn't limited to Gotham. –  Sachin Shekhar May 18 '12 at 20:24
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@Sachin Shekar Yes I have and it doesn't matter as my answer states why each character chooses his path to being a hero. Batman wouldn't forsake his method just because he is fighting super powered individuals. He uses his brains and does deploy weapons and armor as needed and only as needed. For the most part he doesn't wear a powered up suit because it would change the reasons he has for fighting crime in any form. Stark however cannot ever take off his armor so it has become his identity. –  Kevin Howell May 18 '12 at 20:33
    
I agree with what you said about Batman, but from where have you got that Stark cannot take off his armor? –  Sachin Shekhar May 18 '12 at 20:51
    
@SachinShekhar Stark couldn't remove his chest plate in the original comics. Since then, the medical condition that necessitated that has been cured, so he no longer needs it. In the movies, he needs to have his chest Arc Reactor in him or his health deteriorates quickly, which would lead to death. –  Keen May 19 '12 at 1:12

It comes down to their influences and heroes.

Tony Stark's hero was King Arthur, so he built himself a suit of Armour: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomquest

Batman's hero was Zorro, so he created a costume based around that style of swashbuckler: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mark_of_Zorro_%281940_film%29#Batman_connection

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Batman has a specific method of handling things, and it is unlikely that he will choose to abandon them. The only instances in which I could find he used power armor is against Superman in The Dark Knight Returns, against Inque, when he had to rescue an immobilized Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond, and in the Kingdom Come and Batman versus Predator comics. He trained in martial arts, stealth, and detective work for a reason; to use it.

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A few answers have hinted at this, but I can't believe no one else has made a bigger point of it:

He's a ninja.

Batman's various suits do provide a certain amount of bullet-proof, fire-proof protection, but his main trick isn't about taking a lot of hits, it's about not getting hit.

Tony Stark is, basically, an intellectual. I'm sure he played croquet or something in boarding school, but basically he's entirely non-physical. He has (at least at the beginning) no training, no combat experience. He's not even in very good shape. Thus, he built a suit that was all about shielding him from damage, not about agility or even really strength. (How many punches has Iron Man thrown in the entire MCU?) His suit gives him strength enough that a punch can do some serious damage, but the Iron Man suit is primarily a weapons platform and a protective shield, not something that augments his physical combat skills.

Bruce Wayne, on the other hand, is ALL ABOUT physicality. He's been trained by some of the greatest assassins and fighters in history, and while his suit does convey a number of advantages, he would still be incredibly potent without it. His skills are his own, not conveyed by his tools, unlike Tony Stark who is utterly useless in a fight without his armor.

Therefore, Bruce Wayne's "armor" is more about aiding his stealth, conveying a few extra benefits (like brass knuckles and fire protection), and otherwise just getting out of his way. He needs to be agile, able to jump and leap and swing and spin. The skin-tight costumes make sense of him, because they function like the form-fitting uniforms of gymnasts or pole-vaulters. A suit of armor, even powered armor, is usually very clumsy and brutish when it comes to fine motion control, not to mention noisy and heavy enough to break most gargoyles. Can you imagine Iron Man trying to Bat-claw his way up into the rafters without being seen? It would be laughable.

Unless he's got a specific reason (like fighting Superman), Batman not only has no need for power armor, he doesn't want it. It would significantly reduce his effectiveness, while conveying benefits that he has no use for. He'd probably prefer to simply fight in street clothes and a hockey mask, which at least wouldn't slow him down.

Batman is a ninja, his primary tools are stealth and agility. Tony Stark's armor wobbles when he walks, makes noises whenever he moves, and glows in the dark. Batman wouldn't even want it if it was offered to him.

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+1. Batman is subtle and sneaky. Iron Man doesn't sneak up on anybody. If Batman needs to get somewhere fast, he has the Batmobile, Batwing, Batcopter, etc. No rocket boots needed. –  Ben Miller Oct 24 at 5:43

There's also an episode of Batman Beyond where the aged Bruce Wayne needs to come to Terry's (new Batman mentioned above) rescue when he's immobilized by Inque... there are only three Inque episodes and I believe this is the middle one.

He's wearing a big trenchcoat and when Inque attacks him, he activates what is essentially Iron-Batman armor. Whereas Terry's is an advanced cloth weave including powered servos to enhance his strength and other tech, old Bruce's suit here was fully metal, and he uses it to distract Inque long enough for Terry to escape. Its a cool suit, cool episode.

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Batman first appeared in Detective Comics (DC) in 1939, Batman is supose to be the ultimate detective, stelth is key in gathering clues and it is hard to sneak around in an armor suit. Also his suit is somewhat armor in post 80s comics his suit is made out of kevilar a bulit proof cloth.

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The question is farcical. Batman does not wear power armor because he does not need it. Most of the answers on this page, and a few directly pointed answers, assume that Batman could only contribute if he can "hit hard" or "move fast" like generic hero x y or z.

Some cases in point.

Batman has created a suit of power armor utilizing an absorptive energy system that does not just mimic but actually USES a selection of powers from other super beings. Superman's strength, the speed of flash, green lanterns power ring, selected energy blasts, etc. In it, he easily defeated anyone he faced, unless he was ALLOWING someone to "defeat" him to reveal to them via technique who he was, and then he easily walked away from them like he was strolling through a park.

Batman uses technology as a limited tool. He has gadgets aplenty. His greatest strength lies in his powers of observation coupled with a beyond genius intellect and his use of deductive reasoning. He beats his opponent with his mind before he ever moves a finger.

And let's cover some points here I think a few of you have slighted Batman on. He is not a couple of IQ points beyond Tony Stark. He is realms of experience and capability beyond Stark. Stark took technology created by his father and adapted it, albeit in tough circumstances. He then expanded on it, but he was coming from a base of KNOWN science.

Batman does not just do that. He takes technology and science not just more advanced by a few levels, but centuries, even millenia of development beyond his own era and not just figures them out, but deduces in SECONDS their function, and can guestimate with a more than reasonable accuracy how they do what they do.

This is not a few IQ points difference. To Tony Stark Thor's hammer is a gods tool based on divine might. To Thor, it is a tool of his will actualized through science so advanced it appears as magic to those around him. His words mind you.

To Batman, Thor's hammer is a puzzle he solves as a mystery within seconds while fighting the thing wielding it, AND WINNING, and knows how it works and how to defeat it, with a better then 80% accuracy.

Batman has no super powers. He has meta abilities. He is never going to be the strongest, fastest, most durable of the heroes. He is the one being every single other sapient being in the DC universe fears. He is feared because he can beat them without powers. Even Darkseid fears, though he would never admit it we have still seen it. He has beaten heroes, villians, demons, and gods. And there is always the same pattern. He out thinks them, then he out fights them by already having planned everything they could do and his counters, then he sends them to their punishment.

He does not build a "true" suit of power armor because he doesn't need it. Tony Stark does. End of story.

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You should probably cite your references, especially for the first paragraph about the suit he made to mimic the JLA's abilities. Also You're confusing Marvel Cinematic Universe Tony with Marvel Comic (616) Tony Stark. In the comics Tony did not base his Iron Man armor on work his father started, his father in the comics built conventional weapons for the US during WWII –  Monty129 Aug 28 '13 at 16:12
    
Batman's power suit, the insider suit used upon his return to the present from his trip through time where he was the "ultimate time bomb." Ultimate Iron man, starting in issue # 1, hence COMIC BOOK CONTINUUM, he is wearing a suit developed by? His father. So no, I am not confusing anything. –  Jon Aug 28 '13 at 17:04
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You're still confusing continuities. The Ultimate Iron Man you're describing (the one writen by Orson Scott Card) is not the same as the mainstream (616) continuity Tony Stark. Also the power armor he wears is designed solely by Tony himself even in that continuity (and even that was retconned as beign a fictional origin story in universe). –  Monty129 Aug 28 '13 at 18:40
    
Also the Insider was only used in the mini-series Bruce Wayne: The Road Home (that's what I meant by citing your references) –  Monty129 Aug 28 '13 at 18:52
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" Most of the answers on this page, and a few directly pointed answers, assume that Batman could only contribute if he can 'hit hard' or 'move fast' like generic hero x y or z." Which answers are you referring to? Most of the answers here, including the accepted one, state quite the opposite. Perhaps if you devoted more of your answer to addressing the question, rather than criticising the questions, answers, and comments posted by other users, your answer would be of better quality. Regarding your second and last sentences: simply false. He has worn powered armor when it was necessary. –  Beofett Aug 28 '13 at 18:55

protected by Kevin Aug 28 '13 at 17:42

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