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Comic Book Legends Revealed: Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent?

Welcome to a special edition of our series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Today, we discover whether Batman actually carried shark repellent or not.

Click here for an archive of the previous legends.

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: Batman never actually carried shark reppellent in his utility belt.

STATUS: False

Batman very famously (or perhaps infamously) used shark repellent in the 1966 Batman film…

However, in the scene in question, Batman got said shark repellent (deemed “Bat Shark Repellent,” for good measure – one of four different Oceanic Repellent Bat Sprays. Can you name the other three?) from the Bat-Copter.

So therefore, when people do lists detailing items in Batman’s utility belt, there is typically outcry from other folks that shark repellent does not belong on such a list, as Batman did not actually carry shark repellent on his person. In fact, here is one such comment in an article on Cracked about Batman’s utility belt:

Uh, did you even do any research? Batman clearly did not carry his bat-shark repellent in his utility belt. Robin had to pass it down from the batcopter. This article is sloppy and I’m afraid I have to doubt the validity of any of the points contained here.

How pleasant. Now, amusingly enough, it appears as though said commenter did not do enough research, as Batman does, indeed, carry shark repellent on him, as seen in this 1958 issue of Batman #117, when he and Robin end up on alien planet…

So there ya go!

This is one of the many things you’d learn in my brand new book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? (the answer, of course, is so he can repel sharks…and other dangerous sea creatures)…

The book contains a series of lists about comic books. Some examples include the three topics depicted on the cover (which was drawn by Kevin Hopgood, the guy who designed War Machine’s armor)…

Seven Bands That Got Their Names from Comic Books
Six Fellow Superheroes That Wolverine Has Stabbed at One Point or Another
Ten Crazy Items Found in Batman’s Utility Belt

Essentially, it is all the sort of stuff you expect from this here blog, only in book form! Roughly 75% of it is brand-new material!

In addition, there are twenty-two guest lists by a whole bunch of great comic creators. Some examples include the three creators mentioned on the cover….

Mark Millar’s “Five ‘WTF?’ Moments in Comic Book History?”
Dave Gibbons’ “Six Great Silver Age Covers”
Geoff Johns’ “Nine Iconic Green Lantern Covers”

The other creators who contributed lists are (in alphabetical order): Jason Aaron, Scott Allie, Paige Braddock, Peter David, J.M. DeMatteis, Mike Deodato, Jay Faerber, Kieron Gillen, Gabriel Hardman, Frazer Irving, Jeff Lemire, Greg Pak, Jimmy Palmiotti, John Rozum, Marc Sumerak, Eric Trautmann, Fred Van Lente, Mark Waid, Zeb Wells and Skottie Young.

The book is due out on May 29th.

You can tell your comic book retailer to order a copy using the Diamond Code: MAR121341

Or you can pre-order a copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Powell’s Books and many more fine online bookstores!

If you buy it from Amazon, I get a cut, but really, buy it from wherever you’d like! A sale is a sale!

55 Comments

How cool! Congrats to you, Brian!

wil definitely be picking the book up, brian; looking forward to the read!

Tom Fitzpatrick

March 6, 2012 at 5:26 am

I recently saw that Batman movie a couple months ago.
Couldn’t believe just how campy that movie was.

With all respect to Adam West, I’m very glad for Michael Keaton and Christian Bale’s versions of Batman. ;-)

Christopher Stansfield

March 6, 2012 at 6:26 am

Yes, but where is the best place to get rid of a bomb?

Go get em, Brian.

Aaron Bourque

March 6, 2012 at 7:04 am

Funnily, in the movie, Batman is shown to have barracuda repellant, whale repellant, and manta-ray repellant, in addition to the shark repellant. Now, aren’t there villains in the DCU with those names?

congrats on another book will have to check it out and batmans utility belt must really be roomy to include shark repelent

Congrats on the book! I’ll use it as an excuse to blow even more cash on Amazon.

Christopher, some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb.

Huh. I was just wondering the other day when the next Cronin book would be out. Looks like I got an answer.

Congrats on the new book, Brian!

Rollo Tomassi

March 6, 2012 at 7:43 am

Ironically, everybody else has “Top Five WTF Mark Millar Moments is Comic History”.

Say, maybe this is why Rob Liefeld’s characters have so many pouches on their costumes…

Ain’t the Wolverine one a little bit obvious? Considering “Enemy of the State,” you know.

Mark Millar’s “Five ‘WTF?’ Moments in Comic Book History:

1. How could Stan and Jack not have Sue and her FF teammates do a foursome?! The fact one of them is her little brother makes it sweeter!

2. With all the craziness of the Silver Age, not once did Superman spend a day to f*** all women (and men, and dogs, whatever he likes) on Earth!!1!

3. What Bruce Wayne is really doing with all those orphan kids in the darkness of his Batcave?

4. Unknown fact: Wolverine abused his healing factor to die 638 times by overdosing from every known drug on Earth (and something he brought with him once from a fight with Skrulls in space). Let’s not even get to STDs.

5. Spider-Man loves his Aunt May more than any other woman. Really, REALLY loves her. That’s why he let one girl killed and sold his marriage with another to not-Satan.

6. How the f*** didn’t I write that Powers’ monkey sex issue??!?!

Congrats on the book! But if the Bat Mouse Compartment is not on the list of Ten Crazy Items Found in Batman’s Utility Belt, I’m going to be grumpy!

Lol @ Tomer Soiker.
You forgot “An amnesiac(or perhaps mind controlled by Red Skull) Steve Rogers traveled thru time and nailed his own mother…to become his own father!!!”
“Professor X and Magneto have an illicit ménage with his student Jean Grey!”
“Spider-Man goes on a Punisher style killing spree! Ending with a murder suicide in JJonah’s office!”

Rollo, I’m sure Millar started compiling a Top 5000 list ever since he was 9. Brian only gave him room for five.

(Just realized I’ve published the sixth item too…)

You forgot the rest of the stories:

Cap: …and then they all went and f***ed Red Skull to death.

Prof. X and Magneto: …they were the receivers to Jean’s psyonic dildo.

Spidey: …before committing suicide, he molested JJJ’s blown skull, crying and humming the ’60s Spider-Man cartoon theme all along.

randypan the goatboy

March 6, 2012 at 10:30 am

in the catergory of bat shark repellant…that was clearly the earth 2 batman. since crisis on infinite earths happened in 1985 the earth 2 batman has ceased to exist ergo and vis a vi BATMAN DOES NOT CARRY BAT SHARK REPELLENT

pretty sure Wolverine has stabbed everyone in the Grey/Summers family.

randypan the goatboy

March 6, 2012 at 10:31 am

i hated to have to do that to all the comic book “experts” that write comic books…but sometimes you just have to swing yer balls at someone…lol

Fantastic Brian, I loved your last book. This time, I’ll be sure to use Amazon, I’m all for you making a little extra cash on this. I enjoy the blog for free everyday. Thanks!!

That book looks awesome.

I’m surprised that everyone here is forgetting the arguably most memorable use of shark repellent by Batman: in that episode of the TV show featuring the “surf-off” with the Joker (when Bats dons those boss yellow baggies). When a shark shows up, Batman clearly pulls out a can of shark repellent from his utility belt (you can find a clip of it on YouTube).
Anyway, congratulations on the book, Brian!

I thought everything Mark Millar wrote was a WTF moment.
That is pretty much my reaction on the few things of his I’ve had the misfortune of reading.

The “buy it from Amazon” link is broken.

[…] was reminded of this scene by Brian Cronin’s special Comic Book Legends Revealed post. Share this:TwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

The Comic Book Nerd in me want’s to know who the third character with an anti-gravity ray was in those panels?

Part of me think I would really enjoy reading that “science-fiction” era of Batman, are they in collected trades??

The Crazed Spruce

March 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Y’know, I’ve bought every DC Universe animated movie on Amazon when they came out, and lately I’ve been ordering a trade paperback along with it, to push the order past the #30 “free shipping” threshold. But the next movie I order, I’m getting this book instead. Loved your first one, and can’t wait to read this one too.

Tomer – everything about that post of yours was genius. Every little detail. Thank you.

Sean: I always aim to please (not as much as Mark Millar, though). You’re welcome.

“Some examples include the three topics depicted on the cover”.

What are the other 2 stories on the cover?

Faust: Brian just listed them in bold after that sentence.

Seven Bands That Got Their Names from Comic Books
Six Fellow Superheroes That Wolverine Has Stabbed at One Point or Another

They’re the other two Brian listed:

Seven Bands That Got Their Names from Comic Books [the members of the band Devo are behind Wonder Woman]
Six Fellow Superheroes That Wolverine Has Stabbed at One Point or Another

@Tomer – Thanks. I thought that might have been the case – what with the Wolverine mention. But it was the Wonder Woman(?) like pic that had me confused. But the guys with hats look familiar (pet shop boys, men at work?.. I don’t know…haha) – so that is the band mention I guess.

If you want to be spoiled, here’s the story from a previous CBLR installment:
http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2010/08/19/comic-book-legends-revealed-274/

In addition, there are twenty-two guest lists by a whole bunch of great comic creators. Some examples include the three creators mentioned on the cover….

Mark Millar’s “Five ‘WTF?’ Moments in Comic Book History?”
Dave Gibbons’ “Six Great Silver Age Covers”
Geoff Johns’ “Nine Iconic Green Lantern Covers”

The other creators who contributed lists are (in alphabetical order): Jason Aaron, Scott Allie, Paige Braddock, Peter David, J.M. DeMatteis, Mike Deodato, Jay Faerber, Kieron Gillen, Gabriel Hardman, Frazer Irving, Jeff Lemire, Greg Pak, Jimmy Palmiotti, John Rozum, Marc Sumerak, Eric Trautmann, Fred Van Lente, Mark Waid, Zeb Wells and Skottie Young.

Is that all? :)

Make sure your book makes it out as a e-book and that they get it on OverDrive. I’ll buy it (like I did Was Superman A Spy?) for the library where I work at as a downloadable.

Jax-

The only book collections of these type of stories I know of are;

Batman: The Black Casebook

Batman Annuals Vol 1 and 2

Loved your first book, can’t wait to get this one.

In fact, Batman used shark repellent just last year, albeit not in DCU continuity. In a team-up with Aquaman that I wrote for The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #10, he fired a torpedo full of it from the Bat-Sub. Ok, the shark repellent wasn’t in his utility belt, but he did say that he never goes to sea without it.

Looking forward to reading the new book.

“5. Spider-Man loves his Aunt May more than any other woman. Really, REALLY loves her. That’s why he let one girl killed and sold his marriage with another to not-Satan.”

That’s so close to how bad the book got, that’s it’s not funny. Obviously that Peter Parker only cared about was his own self and his Aunt May. It’s a new low in selfishness. All that Unmasking non-sense was the worst stuff I’d ever seen in a comic. Not that an unmasking story could be great. They obviously put little thought into it and didn’t care. I read the Amazing546 that happens right after it and thought ‘this is also awful’. It was so bizarre because fans were told they had these big stories coming for them and it’s right back to where it was except for three things

1)Peter’s single (forever probably)
2) Unlike previous years in Spider-man comics, nothing will ever happen again.
3)Peter Parker is selfish and the worst person ever because he has no responsibility.

I suppose the fourth should be

4)This isn’t the Peter Parker from the 90s, 80s, 70s, and 60s. He’s someone else.

That would help. I think it ruined Civil War, too. Because they went back on this (of one) of it’s biggest promises. Anyone remember that great story about when Peter’s friends found out he was really Spider-man?
No? Me neither.

@jax and kdu: There are also a few of these type stories in the “Batman in the 1950’s” collection, as well as probably some in the “40s” and “60s” collections. Plus maybe something in the Greatest Batman Stories of all time volumes.

But yeah, they definitely should collect more of that stuff.

Anonymous: Interestingly, in Marvel Knights Spider-Man Mark Millar had Peter go to a high-school reunion party, where the place was attacked by the new Venom, some dumb kid of mobster (the symbiote sensed Peter, right?) While Venom killed a bunch of his former fellow students, Peter had to fight in a tuxedo and before dying, Peter’s old “friends” could at least be comfort with knowledge of that dorky Parker’s big secret. There you go.

Ah, Millar hate. Even more fun than Bendis hate.

What’s with all the incest-hate directed at Millar? I recall there was a certain amount of bumpsy-daisy in the Authority, but it wasn’t too ridiculous given the extreme nature of the rest of the series, so what did I miss?

http://www.batman-online.com/forum/index.php?topic=1701.0

Somebody should add this reference to the above article, which carefully traces influences on the 1966 film from the print source.

http://scarletstreet.yuku.com/search/topic/topic/7026

As the poster Count Karnstein pointed out, those comic books, aside from a child sidekick in pixie shoes, green underwear, golden cape, and shaved legs:

http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/search/topic/topic/14587
“had giant pennies and stuffed dinosaurs, was wearing caveman, zebra, and rainbow costumes, teamed up with Bat-Mite, split in two, melded with Superman, fought a living #2 pencil, drowned in giant gravy boats and menaced by giant sized water pistols, tennis rackets, and all sorts of insane absurdities long before the Batman movie or tv show were released….Dozier was bringing the characters to the screen in the manner in which they had been portrayed in the comics. Was there ever a silly, absurd, ridiculous Green Hornet comic book? If so, it’s escaped my attention for the better part of 40 years. Did we ever see a Caveman Green Hornet or a Green Hornet in a rainbox/zebra/dayglo red suit? Did we ever see Green Hornet being drowned in a giant gravy boat or being chased by aliens and dinosaurs? Was there ever an Ace the Green Hornet Dog? How about a Hornet-Mite?
No? I didn’t think so. There’s your answer. It’s literally that simple. Dozier was taking characters and putting them on the screen. Green Hornet was always played straight and serious in the comics/strips/radio, so he was done that way for tv. Batman was as absurd, silly, goofy, and ridiculous as anything else that has ever appeared in comics, and so that’s how he appeared on-screen”.

More chain yanking than anything…but….

If the myth is “Batman never actually carried shark reppellent in his utility belt.”, and we’re talking comics and not surf episodes or cartoons….is there anything in those panels that show he got the shark repellent from his utility belt? Brought it with him, stored it in his boot, cape, other places…it’s never completely clear where he pulls it from, or where he was carrying it.

Christopher Stansfield

March 14, 2012 at 11:25 am

Silly question, but do aerosol sprays actually work underwater? I know in the movie the shark was airborne, but I find it fascinating that Batman would carry a repellant specifically designed to ward off non-submerged sharks.

It’s hard to see what’s in his hand in the comic strip…it comes out almost more as an ink/dye (which I believe has actually been experiment with). But your point is spot on…in the tv show how many times did he expect to have to repel a shark OUT of water?

I mean, on that show, once was enough…but amusing point nonetheless.

More from Count Karnstein:

http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/search/topic/topic/14587

This is why Batman ’66 was the pinnacle of superhero movies. It didn’t worry about audiences being jaded.

It didn’t say “Oh god, one more long white beard and we’ve hit the Arbitrary Audience Limit and it’ll tank!”.

It didn’t say “Oh, we need ‘realistic’ (if you’re a BMX biker) costumes because people will break into peals of malicious, derogatory laughter if we put them in spandex!”

It didn’t say “Oh good gosh, we need to tone down those bright colors!”

It didn’t say “Oh, that’s just not a believable origin/power/story. We need to alter it so that jaded adults will ‘buy’ it.”

It didn’t say “Nope, no blond villains because the villain will overshadow the good guys, since blonds are always heroes!”

No. None of that stupid nonsense. It said “Let’s take Batman out of the comics and put him on the screen.”

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