Reference this question, and Batman’s Batsuit wiki for context.

In seeking answer to that question, Batman’s wiki notes that Batman has used lead in his costume to foil superpowers, and mentions this in specific reference to Tommy Monaghan (DC’s Hitman):

However, because some superpowered individuals such as metahuman hitman Tommy Monaghan have the power to see through solid objects, Batman also lines the cowl with lead to protect his identity. That property is absent in The New Batman/Superman Adventures crossover "World's Finest", where Superman saw through Batman's cowl with ease.

Does anyone know the source for this wiki entry — details regarding when Batman used lead in his costume as defense against superpowers (as opposed to say, lead shot in his gloves for attack)? Was it an issue of Hitman? Other times?

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    Now I would be interested in a calculation of how heavy Batman's helmet must be, if it contains enough lead to hide his face from x-ray vision.
    – Stef
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 18:20
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    @Stef This balaclava weighs 160 g, which seems to be about half a sq. m of fleece. Lead at 0.25/0.5 mm blocks 90/99% of x-rays. Which a little math suggests a cowl could weigh 1.42 kg to 2.84 kg, plus whatever else puts it in the 2-3 kg (4.4-6.6 lb) range. Some Googling shows modern bike helmets are <.5 kg, but a knight's helmet is about that heavy. Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 18:56

1 Answer 1


Batman's cowl being lined with lead has been mentioned in Post-Crisis issues such as Superman/Batman Annual #1 and Superman/Batman #9. Seemed to be presented as standard gear in those issues, rather than something worn for specific missions.

SUPERMAN: I have super-hearing, you know... I can hear the wheels turning in your brain. Figure it out yet?

BATMAN: I've read the "who's who" of every college from the last twenty years. I'll find that chin one of these days. And you...?

SUPERMAN: Nope. Lead lining in the cowl was a good idea, but honestly, I'm way too busy to figure you out.

Superman/Batman Annual #1 (December, 2006)

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SUPERGIRL: Why do you wear eyeglasses if you can see better than anyone on the planet?

SUPERMAN: When those of use who are... heroes want to have lives without the cape, it's important to keep our identities a secret.

SUPERGIRL: And that's why Batman doesn't take off his lead-lined cowl?

SUPERMAN: You noticed the lead, hmm? I didn't know your x-ray vision had kicked in.

SUPERGIRL: You didn't ask.

Superman/Batman #9 (June, 2004)

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Jean-Paul Valley's Batman mask was also stated to be lead-lined in World's Finest Vol. 3 #9.

SUPERMAN: Sorry. It's been a while, hasn't it? First I was dead, then Bane broke you -- at least, that's what I heard. Nice to see you're back on your feet. I like your new look -- especially the lead-lined mask.

World's Finest Vol. 3 #9 (December, 1999)

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Batman was known to use lead lining in his masks in some Pre-Crisis stories, however in these cases it didn't appear to be standard gear.

For example, in Detective Comics Vol. 1 #327, he used lead lining in his mask to shield his brain from a device a villain had previously used to paralyse him. Evidently, the lead lining wasn't present in the earlier instance, otherwise the device wouldn't have worked on him the first time.

BATMAN: Before you go, Fenton... Robin and I deduced that you planted those marks on our foreheads with a beam of radioactive phosphorus! And we realized afterward that the invisible imprint of that beam on us enabled you to send out and energy signal -- from this box in your pocket -- which affected the motor areas of our brains -- so that anytime you wanted, within a range of about ten feet, you could halt us -- stop us from moving!

FRANK FENTON: Yeah, Batman, but how...?

BATMAN: How did we outwit you? With a lead lining inside my mask that prevented your energy signal from reaching me!

Detective Comics Vol. 1 #327 (May, 1964)

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While under hypnosis from Superman in World's Finest Vol. 1 #155, Batman also modified one of his costumes in various ways -- including lining the mask with lead -- so that he could assume the alter-ego of Nightman. Again, this suggests his masks weren't lined with lead as standard.

ROBIN: But you made us all think you didn't know who Nightman was!

SUPERMAN: But I never said I didn't know... I'd given Batman an hypnotic command to line his mask with lead, so I couldn't truly say that I could see Nightman's face!

World's Finest Vol. 1 #155 (February, 1966)

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  • Interesting. That’s not even anything related to Monaghan. Seems the idea’s more common than I realized. Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 1:57
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    I checked various issues where Batman interacted with Hitman -- Batman Chronicles #4, Hitman #1-3, and JLA/Hitman #1-2 -- and didn't see any mention of Batman's cowl being lead-lined in any of those. In Hitman #1-3, Hitman did use his x-ray vision to determine that Batman had bulletproof armour beneath his bat symbol. He also said Batman was built like a brick wall beneath the suit, and that he could read Batman's mind and tell all of Gotham who was beneath the mask. No explicit confirmation that he could or couldn't see through the mask itself though. Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 7:45
  • Thank you for checking! Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 11:37

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