Part-time swashbuckler and professional writer, Agent Bobby lives in Southern California and goes by the names "B.C. Johnson," "Banjo Bob," and "The Amazing Spider-Man." His "Deadgirl" book series (think Buffy meets Stephen King) is available for Kindle, Nook, and even old dusty paperback and can be found at When he's not writing or playing video games, he can be found writing about playing video games and occasionally sleeping.

How Do I Batman: A Practical Guide


So you want to become Batman. Of course you do. Batman is a hero, first and foremost, and he makes a difference. He doesn’t fill out spreadsheets, he doesn’t take crap from his boss, and he certainly doesn’t need to wonder if he’s doing something important with his life – Batman has saved more lives than the Polio vaccine. Batman also looks great, is in perfect shape, and has no problem getting the ladies. He wears cool clothes, he has the car, the boat, the plane, and dare I say the Battitude (sorry) that many of us often lack.

Easily the best part of Batman, however, is that he doesn’t have powers. He’s never faster than a bullet, he’s not more powerful than a locomotive, and he can only clear tall buildings with a single, you know, jet. Batman is, us, isn’t he? To quote Neal Stephenson from the novel Snow Crash:

“Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.”

So then, man (or woman, or neutral-gendered alien from that Star Trek: TNG episode that Riker makes out with), what would it take to turn you into the Batman? How much money and time does it take? I’ve broken every item down by “Cost” and “TTB,” or “Time ‘Til Batman,” which represents how much time it would take to be ready for your first outing, starting from now.

The Bat-Training

Batman DOES have nipples.

Strip away the gadgets, the suit, and the bat-shaped knives, and what do you have? Still the baddest melon-farmer on the planet. It’s easy to get swept up in all the Bat Shark Repellent, but Batman really doesn’t need it. The core of becoming the Batman is abs. Hard-packed, Ryan Reynolds abs that look like they were carved out of fleshy marble by a sex-chainsaw with a blade of unbreakable sexanium.

Cardio – Cost (Free) TTB (4 months): Spending an entire night leaping across rooftops, battling ninjas, and not getting eaten by Killer Croc is exhausting work. To keep up the stamina that criminals fear and Catwoman admires (mrowl), you’re going to have to possess the cardiovascular health of a soccer-playing Olympic swimmer. How? Through High-Intensity Interval Training, or (appropriately) HITT. It’s almost entirely various forms of running, which is why I will never be Batman.

The Muscles – Cost ($120 in gym fees) TTB (6 months): No one throws down with Bane without a little muscle in their bustle – plus if you look at any Batman comic ever, the dude is ripped. Crazy ripped. His pecs make me sad about life. I’m doubling the time required for each of these programs, simply because being Batman is slightly harder than normal. So get your body-building on so you can look like a Jim Lee drawing already.

The Kicking – Cost($66,000) TTB (8 years): Alright, let’s get past the boring shit like “exercise” and “healthy living,” when do I get to elbow-crush some crime-throats? Well, going fist-to-fist with Ra’s Al Ghul shirtless in the middle of some godforsaken desert is going to require a tad bit more knowledge than a YMCA Singles Karate Kourse can provide. I’m going to say (and you’re going to agree) that becoming at least Year One Batman Capable requires black-belt mastery of at least three different legitimately useful martial arts. We’ll start with a Muay Thai course, which is the martial art all those UFC dudes use to snap each others legs like dry spaghetti noodles all the time. It focuses on striking and clinching, which means “punch-kicking” for damage and “combat snuggling” in order to eliminate the advantages of an opponent who has a weapon. Fairly useful.

Next, we’ll switch to MCMAP, which is what the US Marine force teaches. It’s focused on extreme practicality and versatility, creating a “sampler plate” of techniques from other martial arts, including kung fu, boxing, judo, and eskrima. MCMAP is designed to be used with weapons and without them, and focuses on the kind of non-lethal pacification techniques that Batman is famous for. The third martial art is the one widely considered to be the most dangerous and effective martial art in the world – Krav Maga. It’s what the Israeli Army uses, and those guys have been in non-stop combat since before the birth of Christ. Its primary focus is teaching an operator how to take down an enemy as quick and dirty as possible. Actual Krav Maga tests involve sending students into darkened rooms filled with smoke, lit by strobe lights, and blasting loud noises while multiple assailants attack you. If there’s a better tailor-made training for Batmen, I’ve never heard of it.

The Climbing – Cost ($9,000) TTB (3 years): Batman gets around like Jenny McCarthy at a vaccine-burning convention, which isn’t a thing. What I mean is, he’s always climbing and jumping and boosting and grinding his way across an urban landscape, and there’s no better way to do that then by learning parkour. Parkour (or freerunning, though there is a slight distinction) was invented by French youths in the 1980’s as a form of extreme sport. Leave it to the French to perfect running. NAILED IT. Anyway, if you want to climb around Gotham (or your local urban hell-hole) and not break your damn bat-neck, you better learn parkour.

The Bat-Gear

Alright, now you’ve spent roughly $75,000 dollars and about 8 years of your life (assuming you can do some of the above in parallel), and you can beat sixteen shades of ass, do it all day long without getting tired, and then you have the skills to escape the crime scene. Congratulations, you’ve become a violent criminal weirdo. And what’s the difference between Batman and a psychotic dick? The suit. And the toys. And the gear to make sure that when someone finally does shoot a gun at you, you won’t be immediately killed to death.

The Armor – Cost ($850) TTB (1 week): So you don’t want to be shot until all of your blood comes out? This is a good start to being Batman. Having blood, on the inside. Now, there’s some ninja training you should probably have that will help you stay away from guys with guns in the first place, but we’ll get into that in the second part of this article. For now, a little armor goes a long way. Now, contrary to popular belief, Batman is not head-to-toe bulletproof. He wears some kevlar weave that helps, but for the most part Batman keep his chest armored, paints a big yellow bat on it, and hopes everyone will shoot that super-obvious target. From pricing around here, you can get some stab, slash, and bullet-resistant chest armor and a trauma plate for a relatively low price. Add beneath it (and on your other valuable limbs) some motocrycle armor for general blunt attacks and falling, add a big yellow bullseye, presto. Slightly smaller chance of horrible death. From a clown.

The Utility Belt – Cost($6100) TTB (1 week): Now, some belts hold up pants. Other belts hold up JUSTICE. If you’re going to be Batman, let’s get you some of the staples you’ll definitely need on your quest for vengeance. Grab a 6-pack of smoke bombs here, but remember to buy in bulk to avoid suspicion. 60 is probably a good start. Next, a grappling gun so you can grapple things and not fall off a building – here’s one that’s a bit bulkier than Batman’s, but it’ll still get you up a building. Well, if you can climb a rope. Which, after all that training above, you better be able to scale a damn rope. A gas mask will keep you from dying with a smile, and some night vision goggles will make sure you’re always the only predator in the dark. Also fun for making everything look like a Paris Hilton sex tape. A pair of black handcuffs will keep the Scarecrow down, and make everything look like a Paris Hilton sex tape. A can of Spare Air will help you breathe if the Riddler sinks your batboat in a giant game of Battleship, or if Mr. Freeze shoots you into space (for a little bit). Some batarangs for somehow not killing people, and though Batman doesn’t explicitly have a pair, wouldn’t it be a good idea to pick up some brass knuckles with stun guns built into them? You know, for funsies?

Obviously, Batman has A LOT more gear and training than this, but remember, this is Batman Begins. This is Batman Year One. This is you starting out on your journey to being the most melancholy hero around.

Cost So Far: $81,950

Time ‘Til Batman So Far: 8-10 years (depending on how willing/capable you are of learn multiple martial arts and parkour at the same time.)

Stay tuned for the second half of this article, when we cover how you pick up Batman’s detective training, his ninja training, and ALL OF HIS FREAKIN’ DOPE-ASS RIDES. Including jets and heli-bikes and all that crazy crap. I may also add “black spray paint” to the bill, because that is going to stack up fast.

Some bat shark repellant might not actually go amiss.



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