E. Paul Zehr


On his book Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero

Cover Interview of May 27, 2009

A close-up

Chapter 13 is entitled “Injury and Recovery: How Much Banging until the Batback Goes Bonk?”  When thinking of Batman, people tend to often think of his gear and technology, often overlooking that Batman’s fragile human body is inside all that gear and tech.  A body is getting bashed around inside the Batsuit.  So, while Batman may not have a lot of cuts, he will have loads of bruises, crush injuries, and concussions.  There would be the cumulative effect of injuries and the stresses and strains of pushing his body so much and being pummeled so often.  It is realistic to imagine that a person could sustain some of the beatings he takes and survives.  However, to be repeatedly subjected to such beatings, and survive, and still beat all attackers is not realistic.  Neither is the lack of concussions.  Batman would have a concussion from almost every encounter he is shown in.  This includes falling off buildings or slamming into walls (or cars, or… whatever).

Related to this idea of the body inside the suit is the need for Batman to deliberately try to get his body ready for fighting.  When Batman hits the goons of Gotham, the forces involved hit him right back!  In chapter 11, “Hardening the Batbody: Can sticks and stones break his bones?” readers would find out about how important special techniques of body conditioning would be to Batman.  He needs to train the bones of his arms and hands to be able to withstand these forces.  This requires hitting hard objects.  The bones of his legs are pounded into the ground on a daily basis so they are well conditioned.  However, since Batman doesn’t run around on his hands, his arms need special training.  This is a common principle of many martial arts traditions and Batman would need to use it.