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In Batman Returns, Batman's suit was effectively bullet-proof armor (as in the first movie Batman from 1989). How could the ordinary sewing claw Catwoman stabbed Batman with pierce it? The penetration energy of a bullet is much greater than any human thrust can achieve.

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    Good lord. I'd forgotten how terrible this film was.
    – Valorum
    Aug 27, 2023 at 16:12
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    Bullet proof materials are not necessarily stab, slash or pierce proof. Aug 28, 2023 at 9:02
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    @Valorum I actually liked it though.
    – Clockwork
    Aug 28, 2023 at 13:51
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    Trivia: kevlar, which is known to be effective against bullets, have poor level of protection against stabs, from what little I read.
    – Clockwork
    Aug 28, 2023 at 13:54
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    It was pretty weird, but not as bad as the films that were to follow. Aug 28, 2023 at 20:41

2 Answers 2

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Her claws went between the sheets of armour plating, where his torso plating meets his armoured trousers

Her hand stopped at that point just above the waist where the two main pieces of his armor joined. Without warning, she drove her talons through the fabric into his flesh.

Batman Returns - Official Novelisation

This mirrors the scene in the screenplay.

CATWOMAN: Who are you? Who's the man behind the bat? Maybe he can help me find the woman behind the Cat.
(pressing armor)
That's not him ... Ah, here you are ...

Her talons poise at the edge of Batman's armor, just above the waist. Suddenly Catwoman thrusts. Batman ROARS with pain and fiercely swats Catwoman away -- off the building!

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As has been addressed in other Batman media, and is also accurate to real life, there are soft flexible spots between armour plating. There has to be, otherwise it would be impossible to move. In the scene, Catwoman specifically probes around his side to find a weak spot, which again makes sense because his suit would likely be designed with the armour plating on the front of his chest, and less so on the sides.

Also, as a sidenote, real life body armour is in fact often more vulnerable to stabs and cuts from blades. It's designed to absorb and distribute the kinetic impact of a bullet. Despite that force being much less than a blade thrust, a bullet is also much more blunt than a blade tip, which if sharp enough can penetrate between kevlar fibers.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. This says the same thing as the existing answer, without the evidence. Please don't post duplicate answers.
    – DavidW
    Dec 31, 2023 at 4:04

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