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Batman's budget: Being a caped crusader isn't cheap

Some economics students from Lehigh University crunched real-world numbers to calculate Bruce Wayne's fictional crime-fighting tab.

It ain't cheap to fight crime in style.
Warner Bros. Studios

Back in college I might spend all day and night debating deep questions like: "Hey bro, how much do you think Bruce Wayne spends on all that Batman bling?"

Sadly, I no longer have the time for such deliberations, but fortunately there are still people in college right now who do.

Centives, which is made up of a team of economics students at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn., dug into the digits of what it actually costs to be Batman and came up with a real-world tally for all that fictional crime-fighting schwag -- $2.8 million. However, more than two-thirds of that bill comes from over-zealous orders of 10,000 graphite helmets (with the parts sent to different locations and aliases to avoid being discovered), which means that simply finding a trusted supplier for that iconic cowl could save nearly $2 million.

Some of the other costs Centives calculated include $74,880 for a year of martial arts training; $20,150 for a private plane to sneak back to Gotham City undetected; a $300,000 Nomex survival suit; a $140,000 Batmobile (using the cost of a Humvee as a substitute); and of course, $262,800 for a witty genius butler to be on call 24 hours a day.

Those are the big expenses. Some of the other legendary tools of the trade like the utility harness and the grappling gun have become relatively inexpensive in recent years. You can grab one of each and spend little more than $2,000 on the package.

There was no accounting for the cost of the Bat signal to summon the caped crusader, but it seems that taxpayers should end up footing the bill for that one, or even more likely -- anyone in distress these days could simply send a tweet to @TheRealBatman (Is Jim Bokhan a real-life Bruce Wayne?).