Welcome to C.A.L.V.E.S.

Consultants And Lawyers for the Villainous Evil and Stupid

Your assignment is to discover the real identity of the masked vigilante commonly known as Batman aka The Caped Crusader aka The Dark Knight. The defender of Gotham City, which bears a strong resemblance to New York City.

If history is any guide then I doubt that things will go well for our client once he finds out who Batman is, but that is not our issue.


  1. Batman can't know that anyone knows his identity. The client was very specific on that.
  2. Limit the risk of discovery or physical damage to the firm, and its employees. I know that crazy man in clown makeup has tried the "take hostages and demand Batman reveal his secret identity" thing dozens of times and he always get beaten up. Let's try for something stealthier and safer.


  • Lots of cash, several million dollars
  • A few dozen employees some of them ex military and ex CIA employees, and some of them barely able to use a copy machine, yes I'm talking about you George.
  • No super weapons, no super powers, no super serum, no nanomachines; just what you could buy or build today. Oh and no peanuts; George is allergic.

Best Plans:

  • Satisfy the parameters.
  • Have an estimate of how long it will take to identify Batman.
  • Take the least time to execute.

The employee with the best plan will be sent on a company sponsored trip to Hawaii.

Everyone else will be sent on a trip to a much warmer, more underground, and more seismically active part of Hawaii. Don't look at me; it was in the contract.

  • 23
    $\begingroup$ Can we use peanuts if part of the plan is for Batman to save George? $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2019 at 4:08
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ I'd go for "Sinister" rather than stupid on the S. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Aug 6, 2019 at 7:40
  • 23
    $\begingroup$ I would think Batman (whoever he is) has internet access, and one (anyone, really, there's no way to tell specifically) might say that he's thankful that CALVES posted their new Request for Proposal online. I wonder if Batman has a Tip Line... $\endgroup$
    – BruceWayne
    Aug 6, 2019 at 14:23
  • 24
    $\begingroup$ @BruceWayne you seem to know an awful lot about Batman's thoughts and motives. hmmm.... $\endgroup$
    – dwizum
    Aug 6, 2019 at 14:50
  • 18
    $\begingroup$ This doesn't make sense, everyone knows Batman is Clark Kent. $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2019 at 14:57

18 Answers 18


Street Camera Surveillance (really, it can be that simple)

So you have your CIA techs and the like and assuming they still have access to the government network of video taken from the street cameras set up in Gotham to prevent crime (let's face it; if you're going to put street cameras up in ANY US city, Gotham has to be a good candidate) this might not even cost you very much. If there are no cameras, then spend the money you have putting some up all over Gotham, and then start some rumbles in the seedier areas in full view of the cameras and wait for him to show up.

What you're after as as many shots of his face as you can get from different angles. Plus, you want photos of everyone else in the town you can get. The reason for this is quite simple; partial facial recognition.

Scientists have already shown that they can get a facial recognition hit off only half a face. This is good news, because Batman only covers half his face. That means, you're building a set of facial recognition parameters off the normal cameras around town, against which you can match the half a face you get wherever he shows up. All you need is to match him against a full face, and then matching him against an identity is a lot easier, especially if he turns out to be someone in the press, like perhaps even someone high up in Wayne Enterprises.

You might even have a chance to see if a google images or Facebook image search comes up with a match once you have the full face to work with.

In either case, your hero doesn't know he's being surveilled which means in turn that you can make the match without his knowledge. No magic, dark tech or peanuts used in the effort either.

So, it turns out you can not only save the world with math, but you can pretty much break it too if you want to.

  • 9
    $\begingroup$ Do you actually believe that Batman is going to fall for this simple trick, I tell you two ways why not, 1. he wears a special mask that taunt up his skin such that it changes his features for the lower face, any facial recognition then will have a very low probability of assurance. 2. He always has a specially designed miniature EMP activated in his pocket that distorts any cam image (though minutely) placed nearby, thus removing any possibility of facial recognition. After all, HE IS BATMAN !! $\endgroup$
    – V.Aggarwal
    Aug 6, 2019 at 6:52
  • 24
    $\begingroup$ This was what I was thinking. Instead though it would be Facebook's facial recognition accidentally flags batman in pictures as Bruce Wayne. Would lead to quite the humorous news story at the very least. $\endgroup$
    – Anketam
    Aug 6, 2019 at 15:38
  • 12
    $\begingroup$ Batman's facial features have changed quite a lot over the years. I remember when he bore a striking resemblance to Adam West. $\endgroup$
    – craq
    Aug 6, 2019 at 21:50
  • 16
    $\begingroup$ Even without the face, he drives an incredibly recognisable car. Wait until you have a Batmobile sighting, backtrack through the footage to figure out where the car first appears. Repeat a few times and you should be able to get a rough idea where it's garaged. Then check against land ownership records to figure out who might own that garage. etc. $\endgroup$
    – G_B
    Aug 6, 2019 at 22:30
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ @V.Aggarwal The EMP would work once before our people realized what was happening. I'll see your EMP and raise you old school 35 millimeter SLR zoom lense cameras wielded by our ex CIA spooks who know how to wind the film quietly. $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2019 at 22:58

Let him be exposed to more UV light. Like secretly replacing all Gotham city street light bulbs with ones with higher UV radiation. Then...

Credit to whoever created this meme pic that I found via google search.

  • 23
    $\begingroup$ So this is why Batman only prowls Gotham at night! $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2019 at 23:04
  • 12
    $\begingroup$ It could work in a reality where mirrors weren't invented and Alfred is blind. $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2019 at 6:41
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Bruce Wayne suddenly decides to grow a beard $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Aug 7, 2019 at 12:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @nzaman and a large one at that. We're talking about a Santa-Clausian beard. $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2019 at 13:15
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Batman's solution would be to visit tanning salons on the regular of course. $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2019 at 14:11

Believe it or not, the equipment batman has is fairly expensive and no man would be able to amass such a collection of weapons, gadgets and vehicles without being tied to Wayne Enterprises. The Batmobile, the flying helicopter thing. The gadets? All stolen from Wayne Enterprises.

So we Audit the company. And what do we find. A suspiciously large amount of ceramic pieces purchased by Wayne Enterprises. Unfortunately, a thorough examination show that the ceramics have mysteriously disappeared and have no tied project to it. The lack of an approval process means that someone high up in the company approved these purchases.

We also Audited all the construction companies in Gotham city. Turns out there was extensive work done under the Wayne Manor. Renovating an old cave.

Put two and two together. Boom. Batman is Alfred.


Host a Gala for the Top people in Gotham with the money to pull off Batman. Cause a crime and do a head count to see who is missing. Batman's equipment is very expensive, so no ordinary Joe can get it. If no one is missing then you have an issue, but fortunately, someone is.

  • 36
    $\begingroup$ But how can you be so sure that the Batman is actually an important guy (millionaire, CEO or something), He could be a middle class, Vigilante, who just happen to receive a lot of funds for his routines from say, Wayne Enterprises, Just because he approached Mr. Wayne for help and he agreed to fund him with a simple rule, "NO kILLING". $\endgroup$
    – V.Aggarwal
    Aug 6, 2019 at 6:59
  • 15
    $\begingroup$ Nothing indicates that one of the very rich is actually batman. They may just employ or finance some guy to do it. The gala idea is implausible. Following the trail of money is a much better bet. $\endgroup$
    – Innovine
    Aug 6, 2019 at 7:00
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    $\begingroup$ @V.Aggarwal The bat cave itself has undergone extensive remodeling, none of which could be completed by just 2 people. It would require a full construction company to excavate a cave, ensure the foundations are stable, build in the platforms, provide wireless access to the cave, provide electricity. You could simply track this location. The power company would also notice that the Waynes has a huge electricity bill. Far more than two people could every user. Plus why does a residential address need 3 phase power? $\endgroup$
    – Shadowzee
    Aug 6, 2019 at 7:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Shadowzee But you do not know that a place such as Bat Cave exists, Batman never mentioned it to anyone, No one can even imagine that Batman lives in a "Bat cave" :P, which in itself is a state of the Art. Try to think from the perspective of a guy who knows nothing about the personal life of Batman, other than seeing him woosh through the streets. Also, for the 3 phase power, Its the Wayne mansion, it can have all the power it needs. $\endgroup$
    – V.Aggarwal
    Aug 6, 2019 at 7:23
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ How do we audit without raising suspicion? How do we know that is income and supply source is from a legitimate company, a rival drug kingpin could be funding him for all we know? $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2019 at 17:38
  1. Quietly pass the word to the Henchpeoples' Association to collect blood spatters or cloth or anything BM drops.
  2. Wait till he gets shot or otherwise injured.
  3. Collect DNA sample.
  4. Pass it on to Ancestry.com or similar.
  5. Now you know who he's related to, so who in that tree is still alive and in Gotham?

Use a brainwashed orphan

Surveillance of this individual 'Batman' has indicated that he has a tendency to recruit and use savvy crime-fighting orphans to his cause (see, Robin, Red Robin, Red Hood, Nightwing, Spoiler, Batgirl, Orphan, Oracle, Bluebird) and possibly develops a strong emotional attachment to these wards (see A Death in the Family incident, cross referance with Joker, Red Hood, Lazarus Pits).

It is this analyst's belief that a young child can be kidnapped off the streets and altered through a quick training program (augmentation is recommended) then brainwashed. Once that is done, he can be deployed to a rough part of town to fight crime until he gets the attention of this 'Batman'.

NOTE: Under no circumstance is this orphan to be approached after he is trained, and the training/augmentation must look as organic as possible. Individual Batman has repeatedly shown to posses genius-level intellect and may be the World's Greatest Detective.

The flaw in the plan is the time of execution, though obviously it could be sped up if we use a pretrained initiate from the C.A.L.V.E.S bodyguard program, or call upon the League of Assassins (see Ra'as al Ghul payment plan) though we may have to exchange some of the intern to them for training practice. (They would understand.)

Once the training is done, it should take no more than a month for subject to be recruited, at which case we'll arrange a chemical plant break-in to pickup the agent for debriefing and elimination. This last step is important, because should the orphan ever break the brainwashing, it is highly likely he'll lead Batman to us and / or kill us all.

  • $\begingroup$ You already have Cassandra Cain $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Aug 6, 2019 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but a criminal organization without secret identity knowledge wouldn't know she's been both Batgirl and Orphan. $\endgroup$
    – Halfthawed
    Aug 6, 2019 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ David Cain would know. They recruit him to either turn her or to train up some other child to "Superboy" Batman $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Aug 7, 2019 at 12:34
  • $\begingroup$ David Cain is a servant to Mother, and Mother knows who Batman is, which renders the whole question moot at that point. I mean, I suppose an alternate answer to the question is 'Bribe the League of Assassins', but that doesn't feel satisfying. $\endgroup$
    – Halfthawed
    Aug 7, 2019 at 12:36

Easy peasy.

Batman is a spender. He goes around using his Bat-Credit Card.

Bat-Credit Card scene

I am not kidding. This is canon in the comics (Detective Comics #511, February 1982), and has been shown in the movies as well thanks to Joel Schumacher and George Clooney.

All you need to do is follow the money. This involves nothing as complicated as audits - just follow the mailman with the monthly bills, see where he delivers. The batcave location is secret, so the bills go to the Wayne Manor. There is only one person rich enough to be bankrolling the caped crusader, so either Batman is Bruce Wayne or his secret lover.

Five seconds of comparing chins in photographs will tell you which one is true. That, or Bruce's secret lover is his own twin brother and now you cannot unthink that.

If Gotham City's richest tycoon didn't want to have his secret identity revealed, he should have taken a page from Kal El and wear glasses instead of a mask.

  • $\begingroup$ It's not actually canon in the comics though... $\endgroup$
    – Halfthawed
    Aug 6, 2019 at 14:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Halfthawed Yes it is. Detective Comics #511, February 1982. $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2019 at 14:27
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Looked up the wiki, and it makes no mention of it, and this comic would have come out 15 years before Batman & Robin. That said, I never read the comic, and I've learned to not doubt the ridiculousness that comics can get up to. $\endgroup$
    – Halfthawed
    Aug 6, 2019 at 22:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Renan: Pretty sure that image from Detective Comics #511 shows a card issued to Bruce Wayne, not Batman (it's a bit grainy, and partially obscured, but I'm pretty sure it reads ce Wayne) . It apparently doubles as a means to access a hidden something (entrance?), but that's not related to its spending functionality, and that capture doesn't show Batman using it for purchases. $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2019 at 14:19

Get mugged.

It has been noticed that Batman seems slightly more forgiving of a certain type of criminal, and slightly more attentive when recuing a certain type of citizen. Typically female, 20-40 years old, attractive, and intelligent.

So, we find one of our ex-CIA operatives who matches those requirements, and send her to the seedier end of town during the Batman's normal patrol times, armed with a special can of pepper spray for self defence.

When accosted by criminals, she can defend herself lightly with the spray. When the Batman rescues her, she can 'accidentally' blast him with the other feature of the can - a blend of Pepper Spray and SmartWater - then apologise profusely.

We can then send out crews to film around Gotham using Stereo Cameras on some pretext or other. One lens is equipped with a filter that only allows UV light through, and will detect the SmartWater on the Batman's face in his civilian identity. The other, unfiltered, camera will record his face.

This can then be put through facial recognition software.

(Depending on the... training and enthusiasm... of our initial operative, the film crews may prove unnecessary - outfit her an apartment with cameras, just in case.)

  • $\begingroup$ There ought to be plenty of former (and a few not-so-former) operatives with ample experience in "honeypot" missions. $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2019 at 16:30

I hate to be boring about this but

track the Batmobile.

Get a number of high speed drones (possibly a large number) that can track the Batmobile through the streets. If you can't get ones that fly at Batmobile speeds, have loads of them scattered through town and the surrounding area. Pretty soon you are going to spot the Batmobile going into its secret lair. If you don't then set up another net of drone next time, centred on the direction you last saw it going in. Batman may be able to lead you astray a few times, but not every time.

Once you've found the Batmobile's lair Batman's lair can't be far away. Maybe not true in the general case, but in this case it is.

  • $\begingroup$ I was going to suggest a PI to follow the vehicles, but drones work, too. Anytime they lose the vehicles, you just have the drone/PI start from there. Eventually they'll hit pay dirt. Let the vehicle leave the lair, sneak in, then plant a camera and lean when the vehicle comes back. A few days later, do the same to remove the camera. Watch the recording. I say recording, because a wireless signal can be more easily detected than a recording. $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2019 at 19:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Street cameras will give you a rough idea of the area and a few hidden cameras can show you exactly. Eventually you know it's a cave under Wayne manor and it's not too hard to work the rest out. $\endgroup$
    – Thorne
    Aug 7, 2019 at 0:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ He does seem to leave the Batmobile parked up while he goes to work. I'm sure it'd be possible to attach a GPS tracker or similar to it (or else mark it in such a way that you could track it from your secret lair disguised as an accountants office ;-) $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2019 at 10:11
  • $\begingroup$ If Batman has any smarts, he will use multiple bases, and tacks the drones around the batmobile. $\endgroup$
    – Bald Bear
    Aug 7, 2019 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ I'm pretty sure Batman does not use multiple bases. What this says about his smarts is up to you, but then this is a guy who thinks a long flowing cloak is good fighting attire. $\endgroup$ Sep 9, 2019 at 17:35


only take one "not that good" cop to make a profile for Batman :

  • He doesn't really like crimes. To the point of putting his life on the line for people being robbed or weapon trafficking.

  • He would rather work alone. With his tendency to let Gordon standing in place, and getting his own hand into the matter, he is someone who spent a lot of time alone and don't want anybody to back him up (by interrogating his former opponents, you will learn that he is always bothered by his partners)

  • He has access to expensive tech and R&D, and can get info on the police network. So he is either sponsored heavily (not likely because working alone) or a rich eccentric man, with either high hacking skills or easy access to the police tech.

  • He is obsessed with bats, calling everything his bat-stuff, and probably live in a cave, upside down, with a strong humidity smell that won't go off even after showers. Probably eating only fruits and insects, too.

  • He can fight. So he has 2 arms, 2 legs, and a strong build

  • He only care about Gotham


So you are searching Gotham for strong men that smells like humidity and diarrhea (fruits exclusive diets...), with financial back up and close to police tech.

Just audit the city corporations by using some corrupt city organization linked to it, with an heavy eye one sanitary condition and prototype and tech leaks. You will see that Wayne enterprise is hiding stuff. you make a list of the able bodied men high enough on the chain of command.

Then send some hobos slap the potential suspects in the face when they get out off work. The ones sending your guys flying are potential batmen/batmans. You have their agenda from the audit. create some commotion when they are at a public event. the one staying in the toilet while the batmobile went wild in the city is Batman, Or should really stop watching karate lessons in his cave eating dorritos.


all it took is some corrupt city workers, which are pretty cheap in Gotham. your average corrupt cop knows a lot about batman, and will tell you the full info for a few hundreds. it's public anyway, except the part where he listen to the police coms.

Setting up the corporations for an audit will take the time you need to infiltrate one of the city contracting organization (the one the cops directed you on) which can take a few decently skilled men, and maybe a few months?

The audit company will of course be yours from the start, so you need to set up that too. It will take some money to make it "not that suspicious", depending on how well Gotham corporations try to dodge audits..

The audit will take a month or two to get the basic financial info and sanitary inspection.

slapping hobos are dirt cheap in Gotham.

getting your cop to light the bat signal during a public event won't be hard. or just place a bomb in a bank.

Pouf, you've got your rich schizophrenic martial artist in the spotlight.


CALVES Softworks Inc. now introducing: Batman with Friends!

Nobody knows who Batman is... Could it be one of your friends? In this fun and social mobile game, you can challenge your friends to guess which one of you is most likely Batman! If you couldn't find your Batman, don't worry! Batman with Friends! runs in regular monthly seasons. After every seasons, the best players receive special prizes, and the cycle begins anew! Who will be this month's Batman?

  • Match "alibis" to Batman sightings!
  • Collect other evidence!
  • Compare your theories with your friends' theories.
  • Deduce which one of your friends was the Batman this month!
  • Automatically import your friends from Facebook, Twitter, Contacts, and more!
  • Bat Detective (premium cash shop): Power your search with amazing articles and detective tips from our writers! Beat the news cycle with secret Batman sightings! Report hottest sightings to gain free BatGold!

I reckon development could be done with a few mil. Use the rest for marketing, setting up prizes for top players, and whatever else you need.

In every season, players match Batman sightings to "alibis" - friends they've seen around at the same time as the sighting. Friends who don't actually play the game can still be "matched" - bit of a GDPR nightmare, good thing we're not in Europe. After a month the game resets - a month is nowhere near enough data to conclusive single out any friends so some guessing is required (and we nicely sidestep the disappointing possibility of finding it is impossible for any of your friends to be Batman). But of course, all that data goes to your datacenter, stored forever... To improve the customer experience and make the game more fun.

A basic network analysis would already narrow it down to a small group of people with no friends whatsoever (😢), and Batman. Now you can just go and watch the former group and it shouldn't be hard to figure out most couldn't be Batman (age, gender, physical condition, easily generate an alibi by tailing them during a Batman sighting). Or you could do a slightly more sophisticated analysis, and probably narrow it all down to just Batman.

Not the fastest approach, but on the bright side - when you're done, you'll be generating some nice income for your trouble.


There were three philosophers on a train and they saw a field of black sheep, it was the first time any of them had ever seen a sheep. The first says, from this I deduce that all sheep are black. The second says, no, from this you can say some sheep are black. The third says, no, all you can say is that at least one sheep is black on at least one side.

The Batman

Never have two Batmen been seen in the same place. Nor has a Batman ever been seen in two places at the same time. That doesn't mean there's only one Batman, there is at least one Batman, at least some of the time.

Follow the equipment

There's some fancy stuff being used out there. Someone has to be building and maintaining it. Find out who it is. Audit them.

Follow the money

You should now have information on where the money is coming from, someone is paying the bills, someone is developing the technology. It's tax audit time again. Ideally you're looking for a specific individual who's actually signing off the cheques on all this stuff.

Follow the people

You now have a selection of people who possibly know who the Batman is. At least one of them may actually be a Batman, for now we're still accepting that there may be more than one. Invite them all to a party, charity event, or other worthy occasion. Set tails on any who don't turn up. Commit a noisy crime somewhere in the city and monitor who goes missing. Rinse and repeat. Every time you do this you'll narrow down your list of potential batmen.

The elderly, overweight, short, or disabled can probably be written off quickly as actual batmen, but they may have useful information or be communicating with someone.

Always accept that there could be more than one Batman.


Some administrative, you'll need someone working in the tax office in a senior enough position to call an audit on a major company, organisation, or respectable individual.

Hosting, a social event of the necessary type and scale will be expensive as it's likely to include a lot of the high and mighty of society.


The close of one tax year, one social season, consecutively.

Things to note

Generally, finding out who batman is hasn't proved all that hard. Any worthy villain has managed it if they chose to. But being the villain to Batman is a lot more interesting than being the villain to Bruce Wayne. Hence even the Joker was never overly bothered even though he knew. Batman is the person they wanted to challenge, not some effete billionaire.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It wasn't three philosophers, it was an engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician. $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2019 at 15:28
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ From the 3rd statement, I deduce that the original story only had a single sheep in the field. $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2019 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelRichardson, it could have had one running fast enough that you saw it everywhere you looked. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Aug 7, 2019 at 7:00

Hack him

I know what you're thinking, any old exploit isn't going to do. You're going to need to amass quite the hoard of zero-day attacks.

His gadgets are running a lot of software, and any software developer will be able to tell you that making software takes a long time. Time batman doesn't have. He's going to use publicly available APIs and libraries, or those libraries will use libraries. Software these days is like an onion or ogre with how many libraries are layered on top of one another to make commonly used systems.

You embed some particularly cleverly hidden backdoor deep into very complicated, publicly available library for embedded systems. Those are the kind you're more likely to see hand-hedge gizmos running on.

See, batman won't be too worried about being targeted by these backdoors if they lay dormant for a long time. After all, when they're made now-a-days they tend to get used pretty quickly. Malicious people like such want to get money out of their time and effort now, and not later. You're smarter than that, though. With several dozen embedded systems libraries, heralded by everyone in the world of tiny devices for their usefulness, you flip the switch. You have a botnet in the blink of an eye, and with this botnet you have root access to most of the world's IoT devices. The same type of network that dizzied a significant portion of the internet a few years ago.

Only you don't use that botnet to DDoS. Oh no. you use your root access to look at the contents of files on the devices. Do you really think that batman isn't going to use himself in a variable or two? You may have the stray developer with a sense of humor and a batman.exe, but I bet you'll find a pattern. As batman has cases and cases of batarangs with your library running on them, so too will you find identical copies of the same device, all with a copy of the word "batman" or "bat*" in variable names originating from the same ip by the dozen.

Now the question is, do you think batman keeps his personal life and crime-fighting life separate on his personal computer? Will his browser history constantly clear itself? That would get pretty old after a few years of remembering the same set of passwords for your bank and company websites over and over and over again.

Once he is digitally compromised, you unleash a horde of information-gathering subroutines through the backdoor to uncover any nook or cranny for breadcrumbs to link batman to his true identity.


Just pay off someone from the NSA, I bet they already know.

  • $\begingroup$ Your alternative was my first thought. $\endgroup$
    – WGroleau
    Aug 6, 2019 at 23:44
  • $\begingroup$ Great idea. But you do think batman's software uses variables? I would have thought he uses batiables $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2019 at 21:37

There was a Batman novel I read years ago, the title of which I forget, where a contract killer used the following series of criteria to narrow down the suspect list:

  • Male, white, mid 30s or so (given how long Batman had been active in the novel)
  • Extremely good physical condition
  • Extensive resources, probably due to personal wealth
  • Deep ties to Gotham
  • Contacts with very high end research and development

Using the process of elimination, he narrowed it down to Bruce Wayne and another Gotham billionaire (who would often jokingly refuse to deny he was Batman) and decided to assassinate them both to be sure.

The same process would work for your lawyers. Once they had a list of suspects, Bruce Wayne would likely be on it. Then they could use more analysis:

  • Bruce Wayne becomes a foster parent to an orphaned circus acrobat. Robin shows up not long thereafter.
  • Bruce Wayne has suffered personal loss due to crime, giving him motive.
  • When Batman is out of Gotham and seen in another location, Bruce Wayne is frequently known to be in that same area.
  • In times when Batman is observed, Bruce Wayne can often not be accounted for by anyone outside his inner circle.

...and so on. Really, it wouldn't be hard to identify him, and it would just be using publicly available records and datamining, so no high-tech doodads necessary and no interaction required at all, so no risk.

If you want confirmation, through cutouts hire some goons to, say, rob an event where Bruce Wayne is and have some of your operatives (the really, really good ones) be guests there. Their only job is act completely normal and observe if, at some point, Bruce Wayne vanishes and Batman shows up. They don't go looking for him; if someone loses sight of him, they just note the time and carry on what they were doing. The only technology required is their watches. No trying to film him (no more than any other citizen with a cellphone), don't bother trying to keep eyes on him at all times--making it obvious to someone like Batman he's being observed--because all you want to know is when he's somewhere, not what he's doing. Afterwards you correlate their reports, which should give you a timeline; if no one has seen him over a period of time when Batman has been there, and, even better, if he reappears after Batman has left, well, that's getting pretty close to damning evidence. Again, quiet, minimal risk.

Now, the problem comes in because this only works if you're in a fairly mundane version of the DC Universe. It works in the Nolan Verse, and so far in the DCEU, because generally speaking, you can be fairly confident in your ID. In the DCAU or most of the DC comics, you've got a problem. Take the basic physical description; there are so many magical and alien shapeshifters running around and advanced disguise technologies available, you can't even be sure that "white male, good physical condition, mid-30s" is even the truth; Batman could be a black female in her 60s wearing a highly advanced exoskeleton.

  • $\begingroup$ I love the "when in doubt, kill them both/all" $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2019 at 21:40

Just ask that question on StackExchange with a 200 points bounty. Guaranteed answer within 48 hours.

Other than that - homeless people network.

For most people, they are the invisible part of city - a part they ignore the existence of, hence why they do not keep their guard up around them.

Make the homeless track Batman down.

  1. Tell the homeless to follow the Batmobile - they are not as fast, but equip them with walkie talkies and you can't escape them.
  2. After a couple of days you will have the most likely location where Batmobile gets parked.
  3. Make them watch who goes in and out of the building.
  4. Give a few more days - you have a list of likely Batman candidates
  5. Since there probably won't be many - the one most fitting Batman's build will very likely be him.

All that at the cost of few boxes of cheapest booze and walkie talkies.


[Complete re-write, based on Chronocidal's comment below and own thoughts]

Batman is "World's Greatest Detective". YOu will not beat him using regular detective methods, like facial recognition, DNA samples, tracking gadgets or money. B/c he can anticipate and prevent those methods.

Instead, you have to work on psychology, where he is not nearly as skilled.

  • Profiling (ncalep's answer began on that path, but got sidetracked). We have a male of prime age, with a personal reason to hate criminals and guns. A traumatic event in the past is very likely.

  • Exploit his personal relationships. Plant either a "Robin" like Halfthawed above has suggested, or a "Catwoman" since our hero has a soft spot for athletic females. To accelerate the process, have this planted agent be injured with something that only Batman's advanced technology can heal, or create an urgent need to hide that person.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ While both Gait and Voice Analysis are possible, well trained actors are capable of tricking both to different extents. (It is easier to pretend to not be someone specific than to pretend to be them - Batman could easily pretend to not be Batman by those methods, but he would find it far harder to pretend to be, say, a Billionaire Philanthropist such as Lex Luthor). Hiding from the helicoptors or drones, on the other hand, just requires access to suitable underground tunnels. Multiple egress points around the city can also fool your search net method, if Batman were clever about it. $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2019 at 15:48

You have ex military and ex CIA contacts at your disposal, if Batman is having to respond rapidly to crime occurrences to beat police to the scene he must be taking a fairly direct route. This means he likely is not going out of his way to get to crime scenes avoiding traffic cameras, you can track his location in reverse by gaining access to the recorded footage, I imagine a bribe from the millions of dollars you have as an asset should make this easy enough.

I can't say I'm the most studied on Batman's evasion tech if he can remotely disable cameras by proximity or some such but so long as the entire city's camera network isn't disabled you should be able to glean some information as to his whereabouts (where he responds from, where he returns to after, etc). Furthermore with your ex military contacts you could have a satellite over the city to survey from space in the case the city cameras are vulnerable to Batman's evasion measures.

At this point we should have a list of suspected regions where Batman comes and goes from but haven't we don't know who Batman is, for this we place some undercover CIA contacts in the relative area of Batman's comings and goings. These undercover contacts will discreetly keep note of those in the area and when we discover Batman is active we consult teams around Batman's starting location and end location for any matches.


Many years ago the Gotham City cameras were contracted and sourced to Wayne Enterprises... hundreds of employees have already attempted to identify Batman and track his movements using this method. The the city contract for the cameras happens to be handled by Wayne Enterprises, but all cameras in the city have been infected by tech (provided by Cyborg of course) that loops a few seconds of buffered images when he is in optical range before the images ever enter the data stream.

So a different plan was required.

It is all about the surveillance tech, but it is not about trying to do facial recognition or anything else... instead it is a matter of identifying where the points of origin and identifying common patterns.

Ultimately the solution will be unknowingly be solved by a handful of data scientists pouring over terabytes of data: tracking the migratory patterns of the osprey.

There are several levels of subterfuge being used with multiple programs being setup with simple and altruistic goals.

The equipment is actually a dense mesh network of free WiFi routers. A few extra bits of hardware allow the standard modems to record data from resistance and interference to generate a low dispersal radar system that can be used to track the birds. Of course Batman is aware of this system and has commissioned a digital deflector/reflector system in his suit that virtually eliminate 98.6% of the interference -- to the receivers he is nearly invisible. He cannot actually jam the equipment because every time he flies by a node, the network connection would drop... and we cannot interfere with people and their streaming services. Besides we know that Batman would support a public works project such as free WiFi for all.

It is this micro radar mesh system that the data scientists use as their primary data source for tracking the osprey.

The tools are all there, and all it takes is one brilliant computer scientist who is already doing work on the osprey project that makes a break through in identifying the unnatural static generated by Batman's cloaking suit; tweak the parameters and funnel the results into a secret database.

Suddenly we have a full map of all of his movements over the past year like a jogger's workout map. Before what seemed like random movements starts to show a pattern of over a dozen entry points throughout the city. Additional routers were installed near these points to get higher resolution data. Then robberies were commissioned (fully expecting to fail) to start to anticipate his behavior (only an average of 46.4% accuracy but, wow... the team was excited). There seemed to be a higher percentage of origin near Wayne Manor and Wayne Enterprise subsidiaries and the team started focusing their efforts on those parts of town.

All employees of Wayne Enterprise are tagged and tracked. Individuals are rated and systemically downgraded because of location data not matching the movements of Batman. Of course Batman knows about THIS program too, and is able to generate false positive data, but there is still margins of error while he is covering his tracks.

Eventually the data scientist team fully in the know of tracking Batman are able to identify Bruce Wayne with an 62.7% degree of certainty that he is Batman putting him pretty much at the "top of the class". (It was much easier to identify who it was NOT then who it was).

Results are in, and now it is time for the ops team to take over the operation.

But before they could begin the operation... one extremely lucky bank robber was able to pull trigger the exploding radioactive dye in the pile of cash right in Batman's face. The dye is easily tracked by the WiFi network and before Bruce can leave town he is arrested as an accessory.


I'm thinking, if I get several million, then I'd be able to find a perfectly good tracker. Then I'd stage a mugging event of me or stage a one involving some kids with their helpless parents. Then either shoot a tracker from a hired help like Deadshot or similar good marksman, or If I was the victim, then I'll try to put tracker into Bat by myself. And also to the Bat mobile and/or any other bat-vehicle he/she may using.

Then start tracking while simultaneously keeping track on wealthy people who may have connection to Batman. Targeting wealthy because the tech/gadgets that Bat is using are custom made and/or expensive. And also keep track on people who closely work with Batman like Commissioner Gordan. Then here comes the analysis part. Since I have buttload of money, I can hire even big team of analyzers right?

If my client wants their silence, well, I have support from any villain they got right, so it'll be simple.

Will let you know after I decide weather Clark Kent or James Gordon himself is the Batman.


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