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Off My Mind: Should Superheroes Keep Trophy Rooms?

It's cool to keep villains' memorabilia but how safe is it?

As comic book readers, most of us have a tendency to want to collect things. Whether it's a true trophy or just a memento to remind us of something cool that happened, it's human nature to keep certain things around. Superheroes are no different. There are several heroes and teams that have dedicated rooms to commemorate their successful victories when battling the supervillains.

The supervillains almost make it easy. If they don't have actual superpowers, they most likely have some crazy or high tech weapons and gadgets. Upon their defeat (or even escape), items are discarded or appropriated. Villains can't be allowed to keep possession of dangerous items regardless if it is actually their private property. It seems committing a super-villainous act takes away some of their legal rights.

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These items are much too dangerous to sit in the police department evidence room and some most likely can't be easily destroyed, so it falls to the trustworthy heroes to take possession of them. The common place for these items is a room dedicated to storing and displaying the prizes from a battle.

Is this really a good idea? How safe is it for these items to sit out on display and how safely locked up are they really?

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You would think that a superhero team's headquarters is the safest place to keep trophies from villains. Sometimes their bases are even kept in hidden locations. They're rarely opened to the public so there shouldn't be a problem, right? Wrong.

We've often seen even secret headquarters infiltrated by crafty villains. Batman keeps several trophies in the Batcave and the Justice League has a trophy room as well. Because Batman is the World's Greatest Detective, that implies he's a pretty smart dude. He would make sure only the best security system is being used. Any base that he is involved in should be impenetrable to outsiders.

Yet, how many times have people casually wandered into the Batcave? This is Batman's ultimate private space. Villains have strolled in and could have access to any of his toys or trophies. The Hall Of Justice even has public tours. Sure, tourists aren't given full access but would it really be that difficult for a cunning villain to enter a restricted area?

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The current X-Force team decided to have a secret base since the other X-Men don't know of their existence. Cavern-X is their place to gather as well as keep any spoils they feel looks really cool on display. Things got bad the last time the X-Men discovered there was a secret X-team of killers so you would think Wolverine, Angel, Psylocke and the others would go to great lengths to keep their activities and base of operations a secret. Yet, Magneto easily uncovered their secret, strolled in and made himself at home. Well, he is Magneto so that says something, right? Magneto is the same person that has been defeated by superpowered teenagers time and time again. There are other smarter villains out there that could easily discover the location of the X-Cave.

Going back to public headquarters like the Justice League or Teen Titans use, who maintains the facilities? I have never seen any member sweeping up the floors or dusting the trophy cases. They must have some sort of janitorial team. How heavily are they screened before getting hired? Even if they have the highest clearance and are scrutinized by Batman, they could easily be influenced or used by villains. What happens when a villain kidnaps their loved ones and forces them to get them access?

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The heroes usually win their battles at the end of the day but happens if the team doesn't survive? What if they get transported to another world like in Secret Wars or Heroes Reborn. The heroes base would be left unattended and eventually someone would be able to crack their security system.

The trophy rooms we've seen do have some pretty cool stuff. If anyone has a secure place, it might be Superman with his Fortress of Solitude. But even that place isn't completely secure. If the heroes are looking to keep dangerous items away from villains, it makes sense for them to take possession. If they're just taking them to display in a boasting manner, their motives should be reassessed. Keeping so many dangerous items in one place is asking for trouble and eventually, it's going to result in the loss of innocent lives.

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Avatar image for johnslamby
Posted By Johnslamby

I remember in a batman episode he used his trophy rooms items to try and defeat an enemy

Avatar image for mesosteros
Posted By mesosteros

You seem to have forgotten that Batman has Alfred as the cleaner... (Seriously how does he put up with Bruce's crap?) 

Second, there is a very specific reason they make superheroes have trophie rooms: to make us hungry nerds have a similar mentality, to buy every collectible as possible. Subliminal messaging at its finest. (or that's the excuse I make ;D )
Avatar image for fenixrevolution
Posted By fenixREVOLUTION

I think trophy rooms are fine, as long as the hero can keep them guarded. You rarely see them get broken into.

Avatar image for nefarious
Posted By Nefarious

Batman is known for that.

Avatar image for emperor_gonzo_noir
Posted By Emperor Gonzo Noir

I love trophy rooms. They're one of my favorite things about superhero comics.

Avatar image for goldenkey
Posted By goldenkey

Promethius took his helmet back from the JLA but it backfired.  Batman rigged it so he can change the programming when he wanted to and he did.  He gave Prometheus (I can't spell it) the motor skills of Prof. Hawking.  I actually thought it was kind of a brilliant move on Batmans part, and Batman being Batman, a somewhat of a smart guy, I would guess all the equipment is rigged in some sort of way like that.
Avatar image for warlord
Posted By Warlord

trophy rooms are a bad idea.



1.  the new movie THOR Odin keeps the power sources of all the conquered planets in Asgard and the yodenheim power source was almost succesfully taken by the frost giants.  plus Loki just waltzed in and took it later on in the movie.


2. did anyone watch that "Batman the Brave and the Bold" episode where professor Zee walks right into the JSA HQ and frees Degaton even though Batman was right there with the entire JSA and Zee just walked into the room with enough artifacts to take over the world with.


Point proved.

Avatar image for sa5m
Posted By sa5m

Some of these trophies sound the dangerous

Avatar image for newport1991
Posted By Newport1991

Serious trophy envy didnt win a trophy when i was little gonna make me trophy or maybe they are like i won its mine now

Avatar image for dewboy01
Posted By dewboy01
somewhere inside superheroe's home base, lies trophies from their adventures
Avatar image for eyz
Posted By Eyz

Athletes keep trophies, movies start do as well, I don't see why Superheroes shouldn't! XD

Avatar image for nerx
Posted By Nerx

Why is it that these trophy rooms are never booby trapped?

Avatar image for arrowfan237
Posted By arrowfan237

I am sure that Batman has some huge robot or security device that comes into play when people break in. Other heroes probably have that too.
Avatar image for dking_cicada
Posted By DKing_CiCADA

I would have trophies if I was a hero, even if it was as small as Ben Tennyson's shoe box. Superman has robots to guard his place, and in an episode of batman brave and the bold bat used the weapons like penguins umbrella, and joker's playing car.

Avatar image for paracelsus
Posted By Paracelsus

My view is that artifacts taken from villains in previous battles are arguably too DANGEROUS to be kept in conventional places so the heroes may as well keep them in secured locations!

Avatar image for mrmisanthrope
Posted By mrmisanthrope

Rule of cool most definitely applies.
They also serve both as great background, and plot devices. The heroes can use the villains weapons against them at a later date. Or maybe some teenage hoodlum finds their way in and sneaks off with something powerful.
It's only really risky if they haven't checked to make sure the item doesn't contain a bomb, tracking device, or hidden camera.

Avatar image for dominic_del_toro
Posted By Dominic_Del_Toro

Its dumb I wouldnt do it.

Avatar image for djotaku
Posted By djotaku

Nice deconstruction.  I'm curious if it's ever caused trouble within any of the comics.

Avatar image for jrbirkhead
Posted By JRBirkhead

Really shocked no one mentioned the collector from the New Avengers that Bendis wrote in his early run. I thought it was interesting that a wealthy civilian wanted supervillain memorabilia and displayed it like trophies.

Avatar image for sigersonltd
Posted By SigersonLTD

Not sure how I missed this the first time, however, I don't get here that much ;)

I think it's the heroes' responsibility to take into his possession any gadget that a supervillain employs, and in the case of Batman, he's smart enough to disable them.

Thought I had more about this, but I guess not.... ;)

Avatar image for thebatfoe

@GraveSp: True, BATMAN all ways plans ahead. He'd have some sorta' oh 5,000 back up plans. ;)

Avatar image for jorgevy
Edited By Jorgevy

Kid Flash: SOUVENIR!!!!!

funny because his souvenirs saved the team's butt twice

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