Yesterday Zack Snyder unveiled the new Batsuit for ‘Batman Vs Superman’ to the world, that will be worm by Ben Affleck in the new movie, and i think its safe to say that it has been met with a real mix of feelings and emotions. But is this the first unveiling of a Batsuit that has this kind of mixed reaction or have they all been the same? And on that note which is the best Batsuit to make an appearance in any Batman movie or live action series? Well that’s what im here to try to establish, so let’s go through all the batsuits to date.
Lee Wilson wore the first ever Batsuit in a Live action capacity in 1943- in a series of 15short movies named ‘Movie serials Batman.’ As you can see from the above image there isnt really much to say about the suit except that its definitely a product of its time and the severely limited budgets that were available for television shows in this period. However on a positive note the colour scheme is close to the comic books from the time, even if it looks like it was made by a small child.
This is the Batsuit that many people were introduced to the character through, as at the time not many people were all that familiar with the character as the massive pop culture icon/image he has become today. This is one of the suits that has truly stood the test of time, as despite it being a loose lycra fit that at times looks shoddy and a little too large it has become a real iconic look for the Batman due to the grey base with the blue gloves, pants and cape that are the honest origins of the comic book character. Add to this a cowl that is hard and looks like it could protect the caped crusaders head and the trademark yellow utility belt and you can quickly see why this is a popular look for the Batman.
No new batsuits were seen on Tv or film for around 20years after the Adam West suit, which may have helped its iconic status, however the next time we were treated to a batsuit it was a whole new approach. This isn’t a real surprise given that legendary director Tim Burton was in charge of the Batman in 1989 when he made a huge appearance (largest grossing film of the year) on the silver screen. This was to be a darker take on Batman that had been tried so far, and the suit reflects that giving us the true archetype of all batsuits that have followed, as the main emphasis of this suit is on protection for our hero. The suit is clearly made of a hard body armour style material designed to protect the Dark Knight, and takes on an almost fully Black approach to help keep him hidden in the shadows. The only splashes of colour are the golden belt and the yellow bat symbol. My only real grip with this suit is the huge ears that sit atop of the cowl, know I know that’s a minor gripe but otherwise i do really like this suit even down to the sculpted abdominal muscles giving the suit a real muscle bound scary look. Tim Burton truly did the world proud with this suit.
After two Tim Burton movies the franchise was set to continue but with a new director and production team, and unfortunately that meant a new Batman too. Stepping into the shoes of Tim Burton was Joel Schumacher (who has now become a real bat fans villain) who decided that the batsuit also need a redesign given the direction of the upcoming movies. Well the beloved dark suit became slightly less black and a somewhat shiny shade of grey- which to be honest isn’t all to bad as it retains the majority of the look from the previous two films. However the batsuit was also given nipples, which surely serve no purpose but bewilderment and a hugely over proportioned cod piece for Val Kilmer to tout around while fighting villains, both of which make the suit look more comical than scary. However on the plus point the utility belt was made black/grey to be incorporated into the suit giving it a real nice hidden look.
Here’s what i consider the death of the batsuit! This is the reason that we saw no more Batman movies for a long while and no-one was convinced we could ever get another one again. Not only was the movie horrifically camp, badly written, poorly acted and very badly shot but it gave us three of the worst batsuits that have ever been seen. There are sections of the Batsuit that have been highlighted in silver- for some unknown reason. Add to that the highlighted crotch area, the weird silver thin ears and the still present bat nipples and this just gets everything wrong- there really are no real redeeming features for this suit (or the other two)
This suit was great for so many reasons- mainly it harkened back to the batsuit of Tim Burton but gave us the built in and newly designed Bat symbol on the chest. This suit looked like it means business and would strike fear into the citizens of Gotham who decide to break the law, and giving the tone the Chris Nolan gave to the movie it truly does fit. Ass to that the darkened gold utility belt and this sits at the top of the list of batsuits for me. I know the cowl is somewhat bulky and looks like it would hinder head movement, but for the first real outing of the Dark Knight in his town this looks like it would not only offer him protection from thugs but also allow him to kick butt and strike fear- while still hiding unseen in the shadows. This is easily the ultimate bat suit for me, and is so close to some of the best bat suits from the comic books (Jim Lees’) that i cant help but feel nostalgic seeing it. The suit was tailored slightly over the course of the next two films, but it was only lightened, or made less bulky (cowl included) but retained the basic design and the kick ass look. Just check out the images below if you don’t believe me. The basic armour look remains along with the abdomen definition and the protection around the waist and chest. And that amazing bat symbol just gets a little more prominent- brilliance in design for sure
This is the suit that has caused the stir recently buzzing around all social media- this blog included. But despite the negative feedback that ive seen and heard im a real fan, and heres why. The suit retains for me what is the best look, a solid single colour including the bat symbol that looks bulky and protective like the Dark Knight would need given his rogue gallery. The built in definition appears limited to the abdomen only, and theres no weird emphasis on other muscles groups as seen in some suits or any weird definition around the bicep and tricep. It really lets the size and the bulk of Batman and the suit strike you and looks like it houses a man of power rather than trying to make you think about his power. The cowl looks reminiscent of the classic ‘Dark Knight Returns’ storyline from Frank Millar, and given that were supposed to be getting a aged Batman in the movie this makes total sense, and from an aesthetic front it really does justice to the suit in this series. THe little ears make great sense, as why would you want massive ears blocking your movement through tunnels and grates not to mention affecting your balance. Even the attachment spot for the cape looks good, with it being very close to Chris Nolans design and fixed under the chin and around the shoulders to help aid gliding around. This suit looks to me just like it should, it doesn’t do anything drastic to change what has been proven as a great design but makes subtle changes that pay homage to the stories that created the legend of the Dark Knight- and how can this be a bad thing?
Let me know what you think of the batsuits through time, and which is your favourite if you disagree.
And as a bonus hers a fan film from 2003- that featured yet another Batsuit, and yes this is still better than the Batman and Robin one.