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I do not think that this is a spoiler at all, so here it goes: In the most recent of the Dark Knight series of movies, Batman wears a suit that looks very strong. Lucius Fox is even quoted as saying "... are you going to be encountering much gunfire in those caves" in the first movie, implying that it will stop a bullet. In this latest movie, Batman is shot at by a police officer whilst chasing down Bane, and it does not seem to faze him. However, in several fight scenes with Bane, he is punched and goes down pretty quickly. What is the durability of Batman's armor? My question could also be modified to: whether Bane has some kind of extreme strength or not. Does the gas he inhales have anything to do with this? He did have training in the League of Shadows...

  • FWIW, the armor that quote's referring to is the first movie's armor. He got new armor in The Dark Knight, which seems to be the same as in The Dark Knight Rises. – user1027 Jul 25 '12 at 17:47
  • Okay I forgot about that! Thanks. – Denim Vallorosi Jul 25 '12 at 17:51
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    Batman is not shot at by a police officer, at least he didn't get hit, only his 'special' gun was hit. – Sentry Mar 1 '13 at 12:53
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    Seven. It is seven tough. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Jun 20 '16 at 17:18
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Batman's body armor is designed to prevent penetration by bullets. As such it is strong, plated and resistant to normal small arms fire. It is reinforced at the chest, shoulders, hips, knees and elbows, to protect these vulnerable areas. It has an under armor padding at the places where no plates exist. This armor is less bullet-proof but offers some protection from hand to hand damage.

However, in a fight with a trained and skilled opponent such as Bane:

  • He is not attacking those highly reinforced areas.

  • He is seeking weaknesses because flexibility means some level of vulnerability

  • Is like any other martial artist, he attacks the vulnerable areas first with his strongest attacks, kicks, throws and double-fisted blows. Armor protects less well against throws. Kicks still send considerable force through the weak points of the armor.

  • In addition, uses a strong technique like Krav Maga or Karate which uses powerful attacks that even when blocked, damage still gets through

  • Yes, he was facing the Batman, but a Batman with 8 years of downtime and had not been active in some time.

  • Bane on the other hand, had come straight from a war-zone and was highly trained, highly motivated and very capable.

  • Though Bane in the comics was a user of Venom, the movie version did not seem to gain any superhuman ability from the gas he was breathing.

Batman Armor and its theoretical costs

Image is part of a complete infographic regarding the total hardware cost of being Batman.

  • Data Source: Research carried out by MoneySupermarket.com
  • Image Source: DC Comics and Warner Brothers
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    I'm fairly certain that Bane's mask prevented him from feeling pain. This enabled him to take a lot of abuse without feeling the effects while battling Batman. – Jack B Nimble Jul 25 '12 at 18:26
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    Being Batman...priceless. – DJClayworth Jul 25 '12 at 20:20
  • @JackBNimble, I heard differently, it's supposed to make it so that it's just under his threshold for being able to function normally. Though I can see how it might just make him not feel pain if it's able to adjust itself. – ardent Jul 25 '12 at 21:55
  • Wearing armor designed to stop a high powered bullet means you still feel it when you get hit. Now taking someone wearing the armor and smash them in the chest with a sledge hammer (Bane punching or kicking) and it is going to hurt like hell. – Wayne In Yak Mar 1 '13 at 22:24
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Based on Lucius Fox's "ceramic plates" and "Kevlar bi-weave" explanation of the Batsuit armor, it's safe to say that the Batsuit is identical to the materials used for making the IBA (interceptor Body Armor) and the IOTV (Improved Outer Tactical Vest) that the US Army currently uses. I am a Sergeant in the US Army Infantry and a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan and I will stand by this armor system as I have seen their use in the real world, with real people and real bullets. I believe I can lend a hand with the "Bane's punches do damage but bullets don't" (paraphrased) question.

-The ceramic carbonate plates used in the armor that we use is designed to withstand 3 rounds from and AK47 (a high velocity 7.62mm round) I have personally seen this armor withstand 5-7 rounds from these high velocity rounds and not puncture through. Harvey dent in the Dark Knight was seen using a pistol, a revolver that I will assume is a .38 Special. (simply on the build of the gun and how common the circulation of firearms of this caliber.) a .38 has nowhere near the penetrating power or kinetic energy of a 7.62mm. Thus the .38 Special will do little more than crack/dent the ceramic plates of the Batsuit

  • There are gaps in between the front/back plates and the side plates of the military's armor that are easily exploited with the hands. Soldiers, however are trained to face front towards your enemy so if they shoot you your plate is facing your enemy and the round is absorbed. We frequently play a game where soldiers punch each other in the ballistic frontplates to see how far they can push the other soldier. (Yes, this is what we do with your tax dollars!) The impact is not felt, put the force if the strike causes movement. However if you hit a soldier between the armored plates, where there is only the Kevlar, you can cause a lot of damage- even just with your fist. Ribs, soft tissue, and some vital organs can be damaged by utilizing precision strikes with your hands to the Kevlar gaps between the plates. This will cause FAR more damage than a bullet to the ceramic plating portion of the armor.

So in conclusion, Batman's superior training would allow him to keep his ceramic armor between Dent's bullet and his body, but Bane would have the martial arts expertise and raw power to cause damage to the "soft" Kevlar portion of Batman's armor.

  • Does it enable you to free-fall from several stories and land on your back unphased? Because that's what happened in the 2nd movie when he saves Rachel. – coburne May 30 '14 at 20:20
  • @coburne He also used his cape to break some of the fall, albeit very clumsily due to holding Rachel – chewie Sep 22 '16 at 12:00
  • Armor is not meant to protect the wearer from getting hurt, it's meant to protect the wearer from getting dead. – T.J.L. Nov 8 at 13:46
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Several modern impact resistant materials, mainly some experimental polymers based on no newtonian fluids, reacts dynamically to an impact.

Those type of materials become stronger on a direct proportion to the strength of the impact.

This means that when you shoot directly to the polymer it gains enough superficial tension to absorb the impact and totally ignore the bullet, but when you punch through it, your attack doesn't wields enough strength to activate it's resistance properties.

These materials are quite flexible and are probably the future of the bulletproof suits, but won't be very effective against hand to hand combat.

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