A Batarang is a roughly bat-shaped throwing weapon used by the DC Comics superhero Batman. The name is a portmanteau of bat and boomerang, and was originally spelled baterang. Although they are named after boomerangs, batarangs have become more like shuriken in recent interpretations. Batman has unerring accuracy with a batarang -- he never misses. They have since become a staple of Batman's arsenal, appearing in every major Batman television and movie adaptation to date. Recent interpretations of the Dark Knight finds additional motivation to use the batarang as a ranged attack alternative to firearms, which he rejects outright due to the circumstances of his parents' murder.
Batgirl also uses batarangs. Nightwing, a former Robin, is known to use his own modified batarangs1
called Wing-Dings, which are styled after a bird. Tim Drake, the third Robin, also possesses his own 'R'-shaped shuriken. In an issue of Teen Titans (Vol. 3), Drake claims that he hid the costs for shipping a Batmobile from Gotham City to San Francisco in "the batarang budget", which he tells the others is "bigger than you might think". The current version of Batwoman, who was introduced in the 52 continuity, uses a miniature batarang. Catman also uses weapons inspired by Batman's and calls them "catarangs". Like Robin, Anarky, an occasional antagonist of Batman, also makes use of shuriken formed after his own gimmick, the "circle-a".
A Throwing Bird2
is a roughly bird-shaped throwing weapon used by the DC Comics superhero Robin as a non-lethal ranged attack alternative to firearms. They are similar to batarangs3
. They first gained prominence in the 1997 live-action film Batman & Robin. The Throwing Birds in that particular film have silver edges with a red design. As with Batman, Robin can launch his weapon with a launcher located on his lower arm.
Batarangs first appeared in Detective Comics #31 (Sept. 1939). The earliest depictions were of scalloped, metal boomerangs which were used to attack opponents before quickly flying back to the thrower. However, variations of batarangs include those which are able to be folded to fit into Batman's utility belt, those which can be explosively charged and those which are electrified. A grappling hook made out of a batarang and a rope was common until Batman used a grapple gun in the 1989 Batman film; that tool became the standard in the subsequent animated series and comics.