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Thursday, July 06, 2017

The Batcave vs. The Fortress of Solitude: Which is the Better Target for Robbers?

While discussing some of the finer points of this post with my friend Jeff, our dialogue turned, naturally, to Superman's Fortress of Solitude, and whether or not there's anything in it worth stealing. Jeff initially asserted that the giant key and door that guard the Fortress are somewhat unnecessary, arguing that Superman's home doesn't have any loot a sane criminal would bother with. I argued the opposite, and during our conversation another topic sprang to mind: if a criminal had the choice of robbing the Fortress of Solitude or Batman's Batcave, which should he choose?

Making the choice requires a cost-benefit analysis. You have to first decide on the return you're likely to get on a successful robbery versus the likely consequences of success and/or being caught, either before or after the fact.

Target: The Batcave


  • One giant animatronic dinosaur, value undetermined, possibly worth something on the collector's market, but difficult to transport
  • One giant penny, value undetermined, possibly worth something on the collector's market, but difficult to transport
  • One giant playing card (a Joker), value undetermined, possibly worth something on the collector's market, but difficult to transport
  • Bat-computer with all of Batman's files, a priceless resource for criminals and probably worth tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars; also large and difficult to transport, though the data would be easier to move given sufficient hacking skills
  • The latest models of the Batmobile, Batplane, Batboat, Batcycle, Whirly-Bat, Batcopter, plus older models presumably in storage; easy to transport if your criminal gang includes members with the necessary skills to hotwire and drive/fly the vehicles
  • Assorted Batman and Robin costumes with their respective utility belts and weapons
  • Raw materials for Batman's crime lab


  • Conveniently located just a few miles from a major metropolis, accessible by road and underwater channel
  • Lies beneath Wayne Manor, which contains many art treasures, jewels, fine furniture and other more conventional loot than available in the Batcave below


  • Possible presence of one or more of the following: Robin(s), Alfred Pennyworth, Ace the Bat-Hound, Nightwing, Batgirl(s), Batwoman or Batman himself (worst case scenario)
  • Sophisticated security systems


  • Likely extreme, painful, crippling (though not lethal) punishment by Batman, followed by incarceration
  • Nightmares
  • Long-term disability

Target: The Fortress of Solitude


  • One giant animatronic dinosaur, value undetermined, possibly worth something on the collector's market, but difficult to transport
  • One damaged cruise ship, presumably worth millions in salvage, but likely a huge liability if the robbers decided to repair it
  • One space ark capable of ferrying several hundred humans to another star system in the event of the end of the world
  • Several alien animals kept in Superman's zoo, which he uses to save endangered alien species
  • Super-computer with far more computing power than any other on Earth, presumably worth millions
  • Giant statues of Jor-El and Lara holding up the planet Krypton, presumably worth millions as an object d'art
  • The Phantom Zone projector and its associated viewer for monitoring the Zone
  • A collection of Superman's Super-Robots, each with the powers of Superman, though at a lower level
  • The bottle city of Kandor, full of a shrunken Kryptonian city and its millions of Kryptonian survivors, of priceless value as hostages
  • Statues of Superman's friends, potentially valuable as objects d'art
  • A giant girder twisted out of shape by Superman, potentially valuable as an object d'art
  • Very powerful weapons confiscated by Superman from super-villains and aliens, stored in the Fortress' armory
  • Samples of all varieties of Kryptonite, priceless
  • Disintegration pit--impossible to steal, but good for disposing of evidence and bodies of murder victims
  • Superman's super-diary; impractical to steal due to its size and weight
  • Supermobile, presumably worth millions, and very useful for criminal activities
  • Superman's original escape rocket from Krypton, priceless as a historical artifact, could possibly be reverse-engineered


  • Remote location in the high arctic, expensive and dangerous to access
  • Giant door with a key that's so heavy it can only be lifted by Superman, Supergirl, and others with their level of super-strength
  • Possible presence of one or more of the following: Beppo the Super-Monkey, Krypto the Superdog, Supergirl, operational Super-Robot(s), Superman himself
  • Second and third floors accessible only by beings who can fly; no stairs or elevators


  • Stern talking-to from Superman likely to make the perpetrator feel deep shame
  • Incarceration

Should a robber overcome the obstacles involved in getting to and entering the Fortress of Solitude, he or she would end up with a treasure trove of advanced alien technology, weapons, and collectibles, not to mention millions of hostages should they carry off Kandor. And even if caught, they can expect humane treatment--perhaps even complete forgiveness--from Superman and/or his pals. Krypto might be a little rough with them, but he knows not to maim or kill anyone.

The successful Batcave robber can expect to make off with a haul of expensive and powerful Bat-vehicles and fence-able treasures from Wayne Manor. However, if captured, the robbers can expect an extremely painful comeuppance/punishment from Batman, along with prison time.

All things considered, it seems the Fortress is the more desirable target. A successful heist is unlikely, but richly rewarding, and failure comes with relatively minimal consequences. Time to upgrade the security system, Superman!


Jeff Shyluk said...

Earl, I know you're a fan of Fast & Furious and those sort of films. Batman: Gone in 60 Seconds would have thieves stealing somewhere between 298 and 332 Batmobiles, proving Bruce Wayne has kept them all since day one. Now hat would be a super heist.

Check out the ultimate Batmobile resource site, and see what I mean:

Earl J. Woods said...

I'm not sure I'm a "fan" of the FF films...more of a...fascinated victim?

In any event, what a great website. Thanks for the find!