The Batman is set for release in 2021, but we got our first glimpse of Robert Pattinson’s Batman with last week’s moody teaser. While we wait for a clearer look at the latest Batsuit, let’s revisit a few of our favourite Batman looks from the past.
The Dark Knight Rises
Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy began way back in 2005, but Christian Bale remains the definitive Batman of this generation. While Bale’s gruff performance played a part in this version’s popularity, he was supported by stellar production design and costuming. The Dark Knight Rises features a moulded, tactical Batsuit that takes inspiration from military gear. It’s slim, stylish and practical, everything you need to take on Gotham’s worst. The defined musculature and thick plate armour are great touches.
Terry McGinnis’ Batsuit in Batman Beyond transforms him from a highschooler into a high tech goth warrior. It’s got snap-out glider wings, an in-built scanner, thrusters for flight and night vision. It’s totally loaded, and importantly, it’s also visually striking. The contrast of red, black and white here makes for an iconic Batsuit, and one that is instantly memorable. While Terry faced a long battle in convincing fans he was worthy of the Bat-mantle, his suit went a long way towards making his case.
Gotham By Gaslight
Gotham by Gaslight is a 1989 comic one-shot written by Brian Augustyn and drawn by Hellboy artist Mike Mignola. It takes Batman into Victorian England to face down Jack the Ripper, and gives him one of his most stylish Batsuits yet. It’s inspired by 19th Century fashion, and features a fetching overcoat, high-waisted pants and an exaggerated waist-belt that really does look quite gentlemanly. This Batman is the fanciest of Batmen, and therefore one of the best.
Batman’s Arkham Knight suit is very similar to the Dark Knight Rises version, and it’s great for the same reasons. It’s practical and heavily armoured, but flexible enough to allow some bloody hard hits. It’s also sleek and shiny, but still emphasises Batman’s horror roots, with tall bat ears and his iconic, gothic cape.
These days, Batman’s 1966 TV show is remembered more for its camp humour than its fashion sense, but Adam West’s iconic Batman costume is still great. Unlike many of the other costumes on this list, it’s more of a spandex number, with a form fit that shows off every wrinkle and fold. While it won’t stop bullets like its armoured counterpart, it does allow for smooth acrobatics and a great deal of neck movement, which would sure come handy in a fight. While today’s Batsuit is tech-heavy, the 60s Batsuit replicated the costume from the comics almost exactly, and it has a naff charm that still makes it great today.
Earth 2: Society
Earth 2: Society was an alternative universe comic set that featured surviving heroes after a cataclysmic event. In this universe, Dick Grayson took up the Batman name and debuted this jazzy number — part-Batsuit, part-Constantine — which emphasised the yellows and purples of Batsuits past. Rather than a traditional cape, this Batsuit featured a trench-coat style wraparound, paired with a metallic armoured bodysuit. It was different, but very stylish. It’s nice to see DC experimenting with its Bat-looks.
Superman tale Red Son features an alternative universe where Superman landed in Russia, and became a champion of communism. In this world, Batman works to overthrow the communist regime with the help of LuthorCorp, but ends up martyring himself in the process. This Batsuit is inspired by Russian military outfits, and even features a fluffy ushanka hat for protection against the cold. With a thick, woollen Batsuit and padded pants, this is one menacing comrade.
Which Batman suit is your favourite? Let us know which ones we’ve missed!