What's What in Batman's Batcave?

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Cronin, Brian. "What's What in Batman's Batcave?" ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2016, thoughtco.com/whats-what-in-batmans-batcave-327106. Cronin, Brian. (2016, August 25). What's What in Batman's Batcave? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/whats-what-in-batmans-batcave-327106 Cronin, Brian. "What's What in Batman's Batcave?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/whats-what-in-batmans-batcave-327106 (accessed September 26, 2017).

 Perhaps a bit surprisingly, Batman is a bit nostalgic when it comes to his career as a crimefighter and the end result is that he keeps a number of trophies commemorating the ups and downs of his time as Batman. Here, we will detail the most famous pieces of memorabilia. 

What's What in Batman's Batcave?

DC Comics

The Batcave itself took a few years to materialize, and was actually based on the limitations of the budget for the Batman film serial (it was a lot cheaper to use a cave for a set than a mansion). It didn't appear in the comic books until Detective Comics #83, over fifty issues after Batman himself debuted! But soon it would be filled with trophies and the like. Here are the most famous ones...

The Giant Penny

DC Comics

Perhaps the most famous trophy in the Batcave, the giant penny first showed up in World's Finest Comics #30 (by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Ray Burnley), as Batman and Robin face off against the Penny Plunderer (in the end, the Penny Plunderer is done in when he needs to make a pay phone call but only has five pennies instead of the nickel he needs to make the call). Interestingly enough, the penny was just at a museum exhibit, so it is a bit of a mystery how Batman actually got a hold of it. 

Giant Robot Dinosaur

DC Comics

 The giant robot dinosaur in the Batcave is courtesy of Batman and Robin's adventure on Dinosaur Island in Batman #35 (by the same creative team as the giant penny story, Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Ray Burnley). Batman and Robin agree to participate in a publicity event for a new dinosaur theme park, but a mob boss takes control of the island and has the dinosaurs try to kill Batman and Robin, as he figures with Batman and Robin out of the way, he can take over the Gotham mob. Well, naturally enough, Batman and Robin survive the trap and take the bad guy out. And they got a souvenir dinosaur for their troubles!

Giant Joker Playing Card

DC Comics

 The giant Joker playing card that is often seen in the Batcave made its debut in a very strange place, in an imaginary story in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #89, where Batman and Lois marry! Unlike the other famous props, there is no clear origin of where Batman got this card, although in World's Finest Comics #61, Batman does stop the Joker from stealing some giant playing cards, so maybe that's where it originated? 

Jason Todd Display Case

DC Comics

 Amazingly enough, the display case with Jason Todd's Robin uniform in it that Batman kept in the Batcave in tribute of his fallen partner actually debuted BEFORE Jason Todd actually died! It appeared in Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns. A few years later, when Jason actually died in the comics, it made its regular DC continuity debut in Batman #441. It is famously broken often during fights in the Batcave. Controversially, when Batman's fourth Robin, Stephanie Brown, died, Batman did not create a display case for her (even with Jason Todd coming back from the dead, Batman kept the display case). 

Giant Dice and Giant Chess Pieces

DC Comics

 The majority of the trophy pieces in the Batcave debuted in the lead story of Detective Comics #158, "The Thousand and One Trophies of Batman!" (by Edmond Hamilton, Bob Kane and Charles Paris), where Batman and Robin celebrate adding their one thousandth trophy to their collection, but a villain sneaks into the Batcave and tries to use their own trophies against them. He ends up killing himself by mistake. Some of the trophies that we see for the first time in this story that have become regular trophies in the Batcave in the years since include some giant chess pieces and some giant dice.