Batman Wiki
Batman Wiki

High-tensile wire is a tool used by the Bat-Family for climbing and swinging from buildings primarily. The traditional method was for Batman to attach a line to one of his Batarangs, which would serve as a Grappling Hook after being thrown. In modern times, a spool of high-tensile wire is more commonly used in Grapple Guns. Batman's cords and wires are sometimes referred to as Bat-Lines or batrope in pop-culture.


The wire is a length of monofilament wire attached to a spool concealed within a compartment on Batman's Utility Belt. It is used primarily for scaling the sides of buildings and ensnaring targets. Many of Batman's allies also use this high quality wire including Batgirl, Nightwing and Robin. Although Batman's lines are famously durable, exotic weaponry can cut through it, including Batarangs.


Although it appeared on the cover of Detective Comics #27, the "Silken Cord" first officially appeared in Detective Comics #28. It was used by the Dark Knight to swing away from a crime scene as the GCPD arrived to arrest him. Later in the story, he tied the rope around Frenchy Blake's leg and threatened to drop him though a window unless he confessed to his role in the jewelry thefts. The Batrope stayed in Batman's utilities, with him often throwing or attaching it to object to climb it.

Beginning in Detective Comics #32, Batman would also attach the silken cord to his batarangs to act as grappling hooks. The Batarangs also increased the range which it could be thrown, with Batman beginning to make use of this to function regularly. Though Batman originally carried the silken cord from his Utility Belt, he eventually modified it to store the rope within the belt itself.

Grappling Hook

On a few occasions, Batman would attach the silken cord to other weapons or gadgets to create climbing ropes, such as the Batpoon in World's Finest Comics #9 and Suction-Cap Climbing Ropes in Batman #183. However, these were often abandoned after several usages, often after proving ineffective. By Batman #414, Batman started using more sophisticated high-tensile wire and replaced the Batarang with a Grappling Hook. This proved more effective in latching onto objects and allowing him to climb them.

Eventually, Batman created a new gadget called the Grapple Gun which, in addition to firing a wired grappling hook, also allowed him to ascend the reel with a mechanized rotor. This eventually replaced the old roped-Batarangs as his primarily method of scaling buildings, thought the rope itself was still used occasionally.

Media Depictions[]

Batman has often made use of his wire and cables in other media, ranging from live-action to cartoons. Its mostly used with the Grapple Gun tool, Batman rarely climbs his cables like a rope in modern times.



The Dozier Bat-Climb cameos made the word Batrope internationally known

  • Both Lewis Wilson and Robert Lowery climb ropes to ascend buildings in the Columbia serials.
  • The Batrope gets its namesake from the 1960s television series. Like the comics, the rope is stored in Batman's utility belt and is often attached to Batarangs to act as grappling hooks. The rope can also be tied to other objects to pull from a distance. Batman once used a grappling hook mortar to fire the rope up a high building to pursue the Penguin's gang. The Batropes are used in the finale of the 20th Century Fox spinoff movie after defeating the United Underworld and restoring the bickering ambassadors at the UNSC building.
  • High-tension wire is used throughout the Michael Keaton Warner Brothers movies. In the opening scene, Batman uses a conventional roped-Batarang to subdue a mugger. From there on out however the Dark Knight is depicted using a "spring-action reel" to launch his grappling hook wires. The multi-purpose gadget has several varying attachments such as a tranquilizer dart launcher and bolas. During the raid on Axis Chemicals, Batman makes use of a "speargun" attachment specifically designed to yank and pull his enemies with a less severe grappling hook. A Grissom mobster is shot through his shoulder and strung up for the police to find, via the detachable speragun wire. In Batman Returns it is revealed that additional spools of wire are stored behind the waistband of the utility belt. During the destruction of the zoo, Batman is showing pulling wire and clamp, readying his Zip-Line Grapple.


  • High-tensile wires feature in The Adventures of Batman and The New Adventures of Batman. Like the comics, they are often used in conjunction with Batarangs, like Silken Cord from the golden age.
  • High-tensile wire constantly appears in the animated shows of the 1990s, starting with Batman: The Animated Series. Due to its implementation of the grapple gun, it often features as a rope-attached Batarang used to subdue enemies. However, several episodes show Batman and Robin using them to swing from areas. In The New Batman Adventures the grappling hook launchers are redesigned to be smaller, lacking box-like shape from the 1992 series. The ropes are never shown attached to Batarangs. In every progressing modern Batman cartoon the ropes are seldom used outside of a grappling hook launching device.

Video Games[]

  • In the arcade tie-in to 1989's Batman, the spring-action reel is identified as the "Batrope." The gadget can be used as both a traversal option and weapon.
  • The high-tensile wire features in Batman: Dark Tomorrow as one of Batman's tools, identified as "BatCable." Unlike most depictions, Batman can only use it to swing between buildings, with ascension only given to a separate item called "BatGrapple" from Roger Stewart's DK guide books.


Live-action adaptations[]


  • This method for scaling buildings has fallen out of fashion in modern Batman media, but still makes appearances. The Spring-Action Reel used by Michael Keaton in the 1989 Batman movie was very popular and its impact on the mainstream comic continuity was immediate. Batman fired a grappling hook pistol for the first time in November of that year, in Batman #441. As time went on, this became far more common than the traditional broped-batarang.