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PART ONE OF THREE
The BATMAN'S UTILITY BELT!

Batman's world-famous Utility Belt made its debut the same moment Batman did -- on the cover of Detective Comics #27, May 1938 (shown right). Although the bright .yellow belt has been with the Caped Crusader since day one, it was not originally called a "Utility Belt," nor was it made clear that the belt was holding Batman's arsenal of Bat-weaponry.

Two issues after his debut, in Detective #29, Bruce Wayne was shown holding the yellow belt and loading it with capsules. From there, the belt evolved as Batman himself did, at first containing simple gas bombs and a rope, and eventually holding a Batarang, laser torch, camera, recording device, and all sorts of other cool, hi-tech, computerized weaponry. Panels below show the evolution of what has to be the most famous BELT in the entire history of the human race -- Batman's Utility Belt!

First use of the Bat-Rope, in Detective Comics #28 (June 1938)...
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Loading the belt with "glass pellets of choking gas," in Detective #29 (June 1939)...
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First use of the Baterang, in Detective Comics #32 (June 1939)...
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The Belt was not often shown "in use" on Bat-covers! Here are three rare examples...
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DETECTIVE #185 DETECTIVE #190 DETECTIVE #243
As times changed, so did the contents of The Belt! (From Detective Comics #468, March 1977)...
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PAGE ABOVE - STORY: BOB ROZAKIS • ART: MARSHALL ROGERS and TERRY AUSTIN

From the DC Who's Who, a schematic diagram of Batman's Utility Belt!

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Life size, semi-functional replica of Batman's Utility Belt!
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Pity the poor BATMAN of the 1949 movie serial -- his "Utility Belt" had no compartments!

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ABC's BATMAN television show takes over the comics!
.The Batman TV show premiered on ABC Wednesday, January 12, 1966, starring Adam West and Burt Ward. The show was a huge hit, and as Batmania swept through American pop culture like a tidal wave, it influenced other TV shows, movies, fashions, and, of course, comic books.

On the cover of JLA #53 (May 1967) seen right, a large Batman figure totally overshadows the other super-powered, yet far less popular heroes. This is probably the most prominent appearance of Batman's Utility Belt on any comic cover other than his own titles, or at least any cover other than his own titles that is known to me, Robby Reed, the creator of this blog and author of this article.

FUN FACT: This JLA cover also shows Wonder Woman's magic lasso roping her in. Wonder Woman's creator, William Moulton Marston, is also the inventor of the lie detector! No wonder WW's lasso has the power to force those whom it encircles to tell the truth!

But getting back to The Belt -- pictured below is the most widely-seen version of the Utility Belt, the one worn by Adam West in Batman!
Utility Belt, complete with Batarang, from ABC's 1966 BATMAN series!

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BELOW: 1966-style Utility Belt packaged with updated Batman logos and modern graphics!
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From the 1989 Batman movie, The Belt (with Joker and Batman) as drawn by Jerry Ordway!

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The very latest in Utility Belts, 2005 model, as seen in "BATMAN BEGINS"!

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There are as many different movie-Batman Utility Belts are there are Batman movies! The toy version of the most recent belt (below) is a frighteningly accurate representation of the Dark Knight Detective's belt in the film. It's correct in almost every detail: belt color, buckle design, compartment size and placement, and it even comes with ninja-style mini throwing bats! Just dip them in poison -- oops, I mean knockout drops -- and you're good to go. Please note, however, that because the Bat- Palm Pilot attached to the belt is actually hollow, the wearer of the belt assumes complete responsibility for their own scheduling.
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— END PART ONE —
Now you know all about Batman's famous Utility Belt, and how it evolved from a simple belt into a storehouse of hi-tech crimefighting weaponry -- but how and why did the Joker get his OWN utility belt? Find out in the second installment of our three-part SECRET ORIGINS OF THE JOKER'S UTILITY BELT series here on DIAL B for BLOG! Be here tomorrow, reader -- or the Joker will never forgive you!

CLICK HERE FOR

SECRET ORIGINS OF THE JOKER'S UTILITY BELT -- PART TWO!
THE JOKER GETS BELTED!


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