Would Batman be able to survive in Pakistan?

Published: May 13, 2014
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Batman’s mask will never produce the same terror amongst criminals and terrorists in Pakistan, as it does in Gotham City. Many would think of him as a joke, someone whom they can play with and bully around. ILLUSTRATION: JAMAL KHURSHID

Batman is a muscular and charismatic character, created by DC Comics, who has a large fan base and millions of followers. His mysterious moves and unique costumes have become a symbol of power. His persona demands reverence. In other words, he is probably one of the best action heroes ever created.

Now imagine, what would happen if our government decides to hire Batman for his ‘services’?

The increasing crime rates in Pakistan warrant a superhero, no doubt about that. However, would Batman be able to use his extraordinary powers to stop con artists and terrorists from creating more mayhem?

Do you think Batman would be happy in Pakistan? Do you think he would stop working in the United States?

The following reasons would probably throw light on why Batman would never be able to live in Pakistan, let alone fight crime effectively.

Issues with his Batmobile

If Batman was deployed on Kati Pahari in Karachi to stop the blood-curdling criminals, for instance, the worst problem for him would be the roads leading to the crime scene. Since Kati Pahari is a mountainous area, Batman won’t be able to drive his smooth, highly maintained black Batmobile anywhere near there.

He would be forced to reach the place by foot, without most of his equipment (considering he is leaving the Batmobile behind and that has his gadgets).

Here’s to hoping that he doesn’t get shot on the way up.

Trouble with his wardrobe

Pakistan is very warm country, especially when compared to the United States. Batman may have to stop wearing his skin-tight, leather pants and might have to switch to shalwar kameez or something more comfortable. Wearing black clothes, in this weather, all the time, will leave the hero drowning in his own sweat and in constant need of a change of clothes.

How will he fight crime if most Batman’s time will be utilised dealing with his wardrobe malfuncti0n?

Difficulty with his mask

Batman’s mask will never produce the same terror amongst criminals and terrorists in Pakistan, as it does in Gotham City. Many would think of him as a joke; someone they can bully and play around with.

For Pakistan, Batman will have to sacrifice his mask and switch to wearing a black turban, accompanied with a niqaab to hide his identity. Now that would definitely be scary.

Pakistan’s sense of humour

The detrimental socio-political scenario here has given us, Pakistanis, a somewhat questionable sense of humour. Disturbing incidents, that would normally make a person cringe in discomfort, are not taken as seriously as they should be because people are so used to them happening.

Therefore, a superhero in a bat costume will stand little chance against the witty Pakistani audience. Not only would he be not taken seriously, he will be made fun off with witty puns and a cunning sense of humour.

The Faisalabadis will have a field day on his expense.

To appear more serious, Batman will have to carry a pistol and a knife, visible to everyone, to show he means business.

The Bat signal

Karachi does not have too many skyscrapers, unlike Gotham. The only ones we do have are the likes of Bank Al Habib’s head office and the Ocean Mall. I don’t see how either of those buildings would serve the purpose of accommodating the Bat signal machine; the owners of these buildings would probably charge a phenomenal sum of money. But it wouldn’t just end there. Since the city is so big, we would need the Bat signal on almost every building within a 10 kilometre radius of the other. But then again, we don’t have that many skyscrapers. Do you see the conundrum?

In order to solve this, I thought about how he could overcome this little problem. And so, all I could come up with was Google maps. Batman would have to make use of Google maps to keep a check on the activities of Karachi – that is, of course, if he finds a good internet connection that doesn’t follow the government’s internet censorship policies; you never know, their next target may be Google maps.

Mobile phone theft

Mobile phone thefts happen almost every day, multiple times a day. If Batman focuses his energy on the multiple amount of petty street crimes that take place he will never be able to concentrate on any of the bigger issues!

Also, these thefts usually take place in different areas, far away from each other. It would take Batman ages to reach the crime scene. Also, if you remember: he can’t drive his ultra fast car everywhere in Karachi, so that’s another issue.

Hence, if someone is mugged in Liaquatabad and the next victim is in Korangi, it would be impossible for Batman to reach both locations in time and if the muggers found out about this weakness, it wouldn’t take them very long to activate that sense of humour and start messing with  our superhero’s head.

Fuel problems

I am sure Batman’s huge Batmobile consumes a lot of fuel. Batman won’t be able to afford fuel at such high prices in Pakistan. So, he would need to switch his car to CNG.

Now the problem is, almost every other day, there is a CNG strike. If Batman has to go on an emergency mission during a CNG strike, he would have to find some other mode of travel; I would have suggested the auto rickshaw but even that runs on gas.

Perhaps a donkey cart will be a more suitable option for Batman in Pakistan, and possibly the fastest.

Health issues

Due to pollution and our spicy food, Batman will no longer be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle and hence, won’t be as strong as he needs to be. Indigestion may take over his life and we can’t have a superhero yell out during a fight,

“TWO MINUTES! I need to go to the bathroom first!”

Just like Raymond Davis became addicted to naswar, I fear Batman might start taking a liking to gutka.

He could pretend he started this to just ‘blend in’ with the crowd but eventually he will get mouth cancer and die.

Therefore, Batman coming to Pakistan would be a very bad idea. Not only will he not be able to help Pakistan with its crime and security issues, he will also lose his health, be ridiculed for his costume and mask and die in the process. DC Comic’s and Gotham’s finest should not go through such a mistreatment.

Arsal Ahmed Shaikh

Arsal Ahmed Shaikh

A writer, blogger, stand-up comedian, and a student in the final year of Bachelors of Commerce.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • raheel marshall

    Bank Al Habib does not own a sky scrapper, It is Habib Bank Plaza.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Well, at least Jamal’s illustration was good. But photoshopping his Pakistani Batman with random internet images doesn’t look so good. In fact, it looks pretty bad.Recommend

  • Hassan

    If you remember ” The dark knight rises” , The batmobile flew, when the batman was cornered by police in a street. So, I am sure Batman will have no difficulty in navigating Kati Phari roads !Recommend

  • Ali Dude

    infact hi caR WILL be snatched in when he will go to lyariRecommend

  • Gotham’s Reckoning

    ONLY BANE CAN SORT PAKISTAN OUT.Recommend

  • Abdullah Zafar

    Hahaa nice one.Recommend

  • Jack

    I’m not sure if Batman would be able to survive in Pakistan or not, but I kinda wish this had been written by someone with more background on Batman.

    Humorous article though :)Recommend

  • BruceWayne2014

    This article is absurd, and does not take into account any of the true elements of Batman. Christopher Nolan’s version of Batman uses militarized equipment, not leather pants and a smooth looking batmobile. His Batmobile is more like a tank, designed for all-terrain action. He also has a plane that can maneuver between buildings, and mountains. As a billionaire, he also has access to the best in electronics and communication, so I’m sure he wouldn’t have an issue tapping into every cell phone in the nation and using that as his bat signal to find people in distress. I wouldn’t worry about fuel, as Wayne has access to all types of solar powered gadgets.

    People making fun of his mask? He is a highly-trained martial arts expert… and as soon as one of these thugs gets his skull shattered by the dark knight, I’m sure word would get around real quick that the costume isn’t as silly as it looks.Batman is an expert in interrogation techniques and would often use law enforcement methods, as well as torture. Several of his methods include hanging a person over the edge of a building by the leg or chaining a person upside down and beat them. He usually just uses his frightening appearance to get answers.

    Batman has the ability to function while tolerating massive amounts of physical pain, withstand telepathy and mind control. He is a master of disguise, and is also skilled in spying, thus allowing him to hide in unexpected places. His ninjutsu training has made him a master at stealth where he can appear and disappear in rather impossible situations. He is efficient with observation skills, logical reasoning, and forensic investigation. He is also efficient in escapology, thus allowing him to break free of nearly inescapable deathtraps with very little to no harm.

    Lastly, Batman operates at night… so the sun and heat would not be that much of an issue.Recommend

  • AhmedKhan666

    The writing is as labored as the Photoshop used is atrocious. Reading this is like going through a very dull scrapbook of the same clipping with retarded alterations (with even more retarded captions), greatly diminishing the value of the original picture, over and over until you die of the cancer that you contracted from this horrible post.Recommend

  • abubakar

    I think it would be a disgrace to batman and he will immediately buy a million dollar house in defence area of lahore and karachi and in fact he will hire 200 policemen to guard him and will have million dollars worth of cars for his own protocol. Recommend

  • Batman

    Dear hilarioose Author! I am not for hire.I serve Gotham City, Voluntarily.
    BATMANRecommend

  • zeeshu af

    waow! you warned him seriously.. he will consider it.. :p
    but illustrations were not upto the mark.Recommend

  • Absar

    Batman has got his Batplane the autopilot function of which was fixed too, so he doesn’t need a Batmobile in Karachi or Pakistan. As for the need of other new Bat-gadgets to make them fit for the use in Pakistan, can we say we have Lucius Fox in the form of Agha Waqar?Recommend

  • catwoman

    its Habib Bank plaza not Al Habib ki building!Recommend

  • Maryiam

    Batman will rock anywhere, batmobile is capable of flying in case u didnt know, also his multi billion dollar enterprise wouldnt be bothered about 100 ruppee or so per litre of petrol, it will still be cheaper than it is here in australia and america! Your article is a joke.

    The only thing that might set back batman in Pakistan would be the lack of a sincere Commissioner!Recommend

  • UMER IJAZ

    The sky scrapper belongs to Habib Bank and not the Bank Al Habib. Otherwise, It is a good piece of comic work.Recommend

  • Anonymouse

    Is this the best you can come up with? If you are a stand up comedian, you better sit down.Recommend

  • Fahad Hafeez

    hahahahahahh :D , made me laugh at the office desk :DRecommend

  • Osman

    batmobile is now a tumbler which can surely move in kati pahari and bat pod is sick so -2 points for youRecommend

  • Anonymouse

    Actually the batwing does the flying, get your facts straight lady.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Nice attempt………if Batman AND Robin landed up in KP….they in their thights would be a hit…….while Sindh would need a Cat Woman to fix things.Recommend

  • MHZ

    Well, this one line made me laugh more than the article..
    hahahaRecommend

  • Parvez

    Pakistan has no skyscrapers…….if I ‘m not wrong a building qualifies as a skyscraper if its more that 70 stories tall.Recommend

  • wajid

    I think Batman would be great hero for karachi

    “Because he’s the hero Karachi deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we’ll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.”Recommend

  • Sarwat Khan

    This article is an utter disgrace to Batman. Of all the flaws that others have rightly pointed out, you have missed out the fact that Bruce Wayne is a billionaire, and if you convert his wealth from dollars to pak rupees, it becomes hell lot of money so he doesn’t have to worry about CNG, load shedding and other stuff.

    Probably you are not a Batman fan or haven’t watched movies/read comics enough, your knowledge about Batman is pathetic! You need to be well versed about something to write satire about it.Recommend

  • Shenaniganman

    Here’s another article. Would Arsal Ahmed Shaikh be Able to Survive as a Comedian in Pakistan?

    It’s a much shorter article.Recommend

  • Col. Nicholson

    Bruce Wayne dropped out of Princeton University, smuggled himself to the far reaches of the world, travelling and working with criminals to gain insight into their thinking and methods and learn their weaknesses.

    He was captured eventually, and spent the better part of his late-20s languishing in a Bhutanese prison before being released and trained as a NINJA by Ra’s Al-Ghul. AFTER that he returned to Gotham, took back control of his multi-billion dollar company and used its resources along with his training to become BATMAN.

    Although he has a strong sense of justice, it is the trauma of witnessing his parents’ murder first-hand as a little boy that drives him to be Batman night after night. So I highly doubt things like loadshedding, spicy food or ridicule over his ‘silly’ costume would deter him from his cause even in Pakistan.

    P.S I know the article is meant to be humorous and the characters are fictitious, nevertheless I have great respect for the source material hence the detailed rant. No offense meant.Recommend

  • Asfand

    Buhahahahahahaha ROFL. Truly sit down man-sit down. HAHAHAHAHAHA xDRecommend

  • Waqas Rabbani

    The person who wrote this article.. obviously has no clue about batman whatsoever…. not one single justification makes sense ! …Recommend