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’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’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.

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.