BATMAN’s suit : A Comic Book History

BATMAN’s suit : A Comic Book History

Clothes makes the man… -Mark Twain. Let us now take a look at the suits of one of the greatest if not the greatest superhero of all time. Article request by @Jolt17

The Batsuit
The costume of the fictional character Batman. The look of this suit varies depending the style of the artist currently drawing the character but there are the staplse of the costume are a scalloped cape, a bat-like cowl, a pair of gloves, boots, and a utility belt over a tight-fitting body suit with the image of a bat emblazoned on the chest.

The purpose of the suit is to conceal BATMAN's identity, and to frighten off evil doers. Most versions of the Batsuit incorporate some form of body armor and a utility belt containing a variety of crimefighting equipment.

Bruce Wayne came up with the batsuit after an encounter with a bat which terrified him. Even after his parents death Bruce was still distraught on their murder, decided to use what scared him to instill fear to the criminal institution that he believes was the reason of his parents demise.

Basic Suit
Similar to many superheroes the basic foundation of the Batsuit is a tight-fitting bodysuit. the early desings has a ballistic vest sewn into the costume. Later version of the bodysuit is not constructed from simple fabric, but from fictional advanced materials that give it resistance to tearing. In addition, the suit also contains various defense and protection mechanisms layered into the suit's fabric. The basic version of the Batsuit is insulated against electricity and is mildly fire resistant. Batman utilizes many different body armor designs, some of which are constructed into his Batsuits, and others which are separate. In its most basic version, the suit is bulletproof around the upper torso and back. Other versions are entirely bullet proof to small arms fire, and have advanced flexible armor plating.


As different artists have taken over the responsibility of drawing the character, the details of the suit have changed considerably. The original incarnation of the cape was a wing-like structure inspired by drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Like many in comics this eventually evolved into a more cape-like design of varying length. Some artists includes protrusions on the shoulders to mimic the "thumb" part of a bat's wing. The cape is occasionally depicted as bulletproof, fire retardant. The cape also serves as a gliding apparatus.


A unique feature of batman gloves are the three (3) fins protruding at the side of it. Batman has used these defensively and offensively.
On early depictions BATMAN either used an ordi


In addition to concealing his features and contributing to his imposing appearance, Batman's cowl has sometimes served other purposes. Occasionally, the cowl is depicted as having defense mechanisms such as electric shock or stun gas. The cowl is also equipped with shifting specialized lenses for an array of purposes, one of it is a digital camera useful in obtaining evidences.
The cowl's ears also carries a high-gain antenna for an internal comm-link on the sides of the cowl, allowing Batman to stay in contact with his allies. The comm-link can also scan police radios and other communication frequencies.

Utility Belt

Batman's utility belt is his costumes most famous or notorious equipment. The exact contents of this belt are not known because Batman usually changes it to suit his needs. His uncanny ability to carry unusually appropriate tools is legendary. Batman's belt has defensive properties against theft, and the compartments are locked and only Batman knows how to open them.

His suit is in constant state of being updated, as the world changes the Batman adapts with these changes, and this reflects on the suit he is wearing.


Lewis Wilson

Batman first appeared in live media in a 15-chapter serial released in 1943 by Columbia Pictures. The serial starred Lewis Wilson as Batman. The batsuit here is pretty simple, reflecting the times that they were made.

Robert Lowery

Another 15-chapter serial was released in 1949 by Columbia Pictures it was entitled Batman and Robin. This time Batman is played by Robert Lowery. There is not much development on the batsuit from the previous serial,

Adam West

The next outing of the caped crusader is in 1966 with Adam West now as Batman. The Batman here is mostly remembered for his campiness. The suit did not veer much from the "cloth" feel of its predecessors. The suit also is the first in live media to wear the yellow oval batlogo.

Michael Keaton

The next Batman was Michael Keaton in the 1989 Batman movie and the 1992 Batman Returns movie. His suit here is more armored looking. One noticeable feature here is that 1989 batlogo is different from the 1992 logo.

Costume designer Bob Ringwood worked on this Batman costume. Ringwood found it difficult designing the Batsuit because "the image of Batman in the comics is this huge, big six-foot-four hunk with a dimpled chin. Michael Keaton is a guy with average build," He stated. "The problem was to make somebody who was average-sized and ordinary looking into this bigger-than-life creature". Burton's idea was to use an all-black suit, and was met with positive feedback by Bob Kane. Ringwood studied over 200 comic book issues for inspiration. 28 sculpted latex designs were created; 25 different cape looks and 6 different heads were made, accumulating a total cost of $250,000. Burton opted not to use tights, spandex or underpants as seen in the comic book, feeling it was not intimidating.

On Batman Returns the Batsuit was updated, which was made out of a thinner, slightly more flexible foam rubber material than the suit from Batman (1989).

Val Kilmer

Val Kilmer then inherited the role from Keaton in Batman Forever.
For the costume design, producer Peter MacGregor-Scott claimed that 146 workers were at one point working together. Batman's costume was redesigned along the lines of a more "MTV organic, and edgier feel" to the suit.

The costume on the left is nicknamed the Panther suit. This is similar with the Keaton batman suit in 1989 movie with the addition of the bat "nipples".

George Clooney

George Clooney then went on to star for Batman and Robin with the returning director of Batman Forever, Joel Schumacher.
The costume for this movie came under heavy attack due again to the bat "nipples" and the enlarged codpieces to Batman and Robin suits. Schumacher stated, "I had no idea that putting nipples on the Batsuit and Robin suit were going to spark international headlines. The bodies of the suits come from ancient Greek statues, which display perfect bodies. They are anatomically erotic. Batgirl was given a similarly designed suit.
This movie also have a specialized batsuit to fight off Mr. Freeze.

Bruce Thomas

A brief cameo of Batman was seen on the TV show Birds of Prey. He was played by actor Bruce Thomas.
The costume for this Batman is derived heavily from the Keaton Suit.

Christian Bale

Eight years passed before a new Batman movie was seen in the theaters. This time around the movie was a reimagination of the origin of the Batman mythos directed by visionary director Christopher Nolan and starred Christian Bale as Batman.
Batman Begins(2005) is followed by two sequels The Dark Knight(2008) and the Dark Knight returns which would be out in 2012.

Batsuit (Batman Begins)

The filmmakers intended to create a very mobile Batsuit that would allow the wearer to move easily to fight and crouch. Previous film incarnations of the Batsuit had been stiff and especially restricted full head movement. The Batsuit's basic design was a neoprene undersuit, which was shaped by attaching molded cream latex sections. To avoid imperfections picked up by sculpting with clay, plastiline was used to smooth the surface. In addition, the team brewed different mixtures of foam to find the mixture that would be the most flexible, light, durable, and black.

For the cape, the director wanted it to have a "flowing cloak property that blows and flows". The team created the cape out of their own version of parachute nylon that had electrostatic flocking. The process was used by the London police force to minimize night vision detection. The cape was topped by a cowl. The cowl was created to be thin enough to allow motion but thick enough to avoid wrinkling when the actor turned his head in the Batsuit. The cowl had been designed to show "a man who has angst", so his character would be revealed through the mask.

(Dark Knight)

Designers improved on the design of the Batsuit from Batman Begins, adding wide elastic banding to help bind the costume to Bale, and suggest more sophisticated technology. It was constructed from 200 individual pieces of rubber, fiberglass, metallic mesh, and nylon. The new cowl was modeled after a motorcycle helmet and separated from the neck piece, allowing Bale to turn his head left and right and nod up and down.

The cowl is equipped to show white lenses over the eyes when the character turns on his sonar detection. The gauntlets have retractable razors which can be fired.

If the suit makes a man, the Batsuit definitely makes the Batman!

This is the 2nd article on my Comic Book Movie History segment. If you have any questions and request feel free to write it down on the comment section below.
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