Notable appearances: Comics, Batman (1989), Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Returns, Batman Begins
There are no gimmicks here; the standard Batarang is easily the most important piece of Batman’s arsenal. These specialized throwing stars are nothing more than sculpted metal in the shape of a bat. Simple, right? You tell that to the thugs that the Dark Knight punctures with these bad boys every night.
These weapons are specially crafted by Batman himself to be both aerodynamic and dangerous, and throughout the years, the character has altered the original design to fit whatever situation he finds himself in. These variations include a thick boomerang-like model that can knock out an enemy, razor-sharp versions that can slice through objects, and quick release mini-Batarangs that can easily fold on a hinge and be placed in his belt.
The main draw of these Batarangs is the ease in which Batman can travel with them. Being that they are so small, and that they are able to be reused, the Batarang is easily the most reliable item in his arsenal. This is one of the only gadgets in Batman’s history to be adapted across nearly every medium with minimal changes. And the reason is simple; the design is so perfect that no alterations need to be made. It’s a testament to Bruce Wayne’s genius that he can take the simple design of a boomerang and adapt them to fit his nocturnal mystique.