The thought might never have crossed your mind before, but now that it has, I bet you need to know how much it would cost to become the caped crusader, right? Well, thanks to author, futurist, and technology consultant Thaddeus Howze, we now have an answer. And it's a doozy. But before we reveal the final dollar value, let's break down the maths first.
These calculations assume you want the full Bruce Wayne/Batman experience, and that you've already mastered various martial arts and detective skills - if extra training or fitness work is required you're going to have to tack on the additional costs.
To begin with, there's the Nomex suit, which is resistant to flames, water, and small-arms fire. Add in some carefully placed armour plates that still allow the outfit to stay flexible, a custom-fitted graphite bullet resistant cowl, and a cape made from shape-memory polymer, and you're looking at a total cost of US$1,058,600 just to look the part.
If you want to hold your own in the back alleys of Gotham City, you'll need some gadgets and weaponry too. Howze works out that a grappling hook, a thermal camera, a night-vision monocular, Batarang throwing stars, a few handfuls of grenades, and all of Batman's other bits of gadgetry will set you back more than $400,000. And if you don't want to take public transport or walk to the nearest incident, the three Bat vehicles shown in the Nolan movies will cost you in the region of $79,500,000.
The biggest cost, however, is Wayne Manor and the Batcave concealed in its subterranean vaults. Howze says the cost of building the mansion, kitting out the Batcave with all the modern-day equipment Batman needs, and then installing a supercomputer or two, would run to around $600,000,000 - and that includes costs incurred in bribing site workers to stay quiet about what they've seen. The ever-present butler Alfred, Howze imagines, is on a salary of about $240,000 a year.
And now the moment you've been waiting for: the total cost of being Batman. It works out at US$682,450,750, Howze says, with the building work and Wayne Manor accounting for nearly 90 percent of that. If you're prepared to slum it as far as accommodation goes, you could be a superhero crimefighter for less than $100 million. Get saving.