Throughout the years we have had the pleasure of seeing a variety of portrayals of the popular DC hero, Batman. Batman has been in several films that always caught my attention for their story, action, cast, and Batsuits. Since the release date for Batman vs Superman is near, I thought I'd give my views on the apparel of Gotham's Dark Knight. Note that these are only the Batsuits from the live action portrayals of Batman, not the animated series. Let's have a look......
Lewis Wilson in The Batman (1943)
This first ever live action take on The Caped Crusader was very well done for its time. We can see that the suit heavily resembles the comic book version of the superhero. The length of the boots is good, they're just a few inches below the knee like in the comics. The cape is too short, though, and would be better if it was longer and could reach the heels of his feet. The mask would be effective in disguising him if it covered more of his face, specifically his cheeks.
What I really like is the Batman symbol; it is very well designed and I love how it is meant to perfectly resemble an actual bat. It would look more interesting if it took up more of the torso area, but nevertheless it's a great start to the era of Batman in film. Lewis Wilson was a tall and burly man that accurately represented the physique of The Dark Knight we all know and love today, and he was sure rocking the suit and shiny belt.
Robert Lowery in Batman and Robin (1949)
The second portrayal of Batman was very similar to the first, but this time it was a new, less built actor and the belt wasn't as large. Almost everything seemed the same, including the logo (this time it was larger), boot size, cape size, etc. However, I absolutely hate how the ears look. Instead of going straight upward, they are heading in an upward diagonal direction. Still, this is an exceptional display that quite obviously inspired the suit we will see next.
Adam West in Batman: The TV Series (1966-68)
For me personally, this is my least favorite of the Batsuits. Though it is similar to the ones before it, I'm not too fond of the tiny logo, but it does look excellent in terms of the bat design and yellow background. The boots are rather short but still acceptable for me. The mask is a bit childish, whilst the eyebrows and nose lines are unnecessary in my opinion and the ears are too short. I do keep in mind though that it was a portrayal of The Caped Crusader for a children's TV show which I must admit was very fun to watch. Adam West wasn't exactly a big guy like those before him, but I do praise his portrayal as both Bruce Wayne and Batman, who was suave and displayed class and bravery in every episode- However, the suit just didn't cut it for me. The positives outweigh the negatives, therefore I still think this is an exceptional outfit for the time it was made.
Val Kilmer in Batman Forever (1995)
Director Joel Schumacher made two Batfilms in the '90s, and Batman Forever was by far the better of the two. Val Kilmer was certainly a great choice for the titular role and did a phenomenal job. He displayed elegance and calmness as Bruce Wayne while being menacing, imposing, and absolutely scary to any enemy he encounters. What I really love about this Batsuit is that it looks indestructible. It is one of two suits, but this is the one predominantly used in the film. The toned muscle outlines show just how strong Batman really is, and Val Kilmer looks massive wearing it! The neck of the mask has a cool "v shape" which adds a nice flare to the vivid flashiness of the suit. This is definitely one of my favorite Batsuits. Very well made and executed.
George Clooney in Batman & Robin (1997)
Batman And Robin also had two Batsuits, but the main one (on the left) in my opinion is the better looking one. It resembles the "Kilmer Suit" almost identically, though this one has nipples that are more obvious to the eye and the abs are shaped differently. I personally have no problem with the nipples, unlike many other people. The bat symbol would look better if it had a yellow background like the past ones, and the bat symbol itself doesn't really catch my eye because of that. Other than that, it is yet another great reincarnation of the suit that again made Batman look like the iconic character he is today.
Christian Bale in Batman Begins (2005)
This is the first of two Batsuits used during the Nolan Batman trilogy. Both are intriguing to look at and gave us a completely new look to what was done before. The pecs are massive, the large Bat symbol is right in the middle, and Christian Bale himself was in great shape during the role. The only complaint I have is the neck. It really had no design and looked all cheap and rubbery, not to mention it didn't allow Bale to move his neck at all. Yet it is still one of the best suits to date, but Nolan vastly improved it for the sequel.
The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
A significant improvement in design was added for this version of the Bale suit. It had a more futuristic and militant look to it. I also love the way the neck looks! It's not large and bulky like the Batman Begins version, and adds perfect mobility.
The design of the cowl around the head is very interesting too; the indented sides are a great look and shows that the costume artists really put time into making the entire suit as detailed as it could be from top to bottom. The belt is a nice, genuine, bronze color instead of yellow or black like past reincarnations, while also having perfectly sized ears. The abs are shaped in a way that makes the suit look as if it armor (which really, it is).
This suit was designed for the Nolan films that were meant to be realistic, and this is a pretty good idea of what Batman would actually look like in our world today. A few things I don't like though, are that the Bat logo is very small and hard to see unless theres a close up of Batman. In his second and third film, Christian Bale was a bit smaller in frame and less imposing in comparison to how he looked in 2005. He lost some weight instead of bulking.
Both Bale suits are stunning and amazing to look upon. They were a different take on the character and managed to pull it off with style and originality.
Ben Affleck in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016)
This suit has only been seen in a few trailers and promo pics, but it is a new take on the apparel of the famous Gothamite. It looks completely different from its predecessor and Ben Affleck looks buff and certainly has the physique that is closest to the comics. He is significantly stronger-looking than Christian Bale's Batman. It's as if the comic book Batman came to life and now we will get to see him in theaters the way he was always meant to look.
It's admirable that Ben worked out and trained intensely for the role, and it looks like it payed off. The fabric-made suit is skin tight and shows off his muscular Bat-Bod that makes him look unstoppable. I really like the grey color the artists decided to use. It very much resembles the comics, which is exactly what it's supposed to do. The Bat symbol takes up his entire chest and is right where it should be. My only problem is that the ears are way too small, but the rest of the suit looks phenomenal! This is surely the Batman that is willing to stand up to anyone and everyone and always put up a good fight. He looks fearless, edgy, incredibly strong, and thats the way Batman should be!
The Mech Suit in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
This powered armor suit looks so good! Obviously, it will be worn by Batman at one point when he battles Superman, as we can all tell from the trailers and the fact that it is meant to resemble the suit from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.
It looks 100% indestructible and represents an invincible Batman who could take on anybody and never lose. The blue eyes are a very fascinating touch and every single detail on the suit shows the true quality and hard work ethic the design team displayed with this marvelous armored Batsuit. I can't wait to see Batman in action while wearing it; it is sure to be a masterpiece. I, along with other Batman fans, have high hopes and we're sure we won't be disappointed!
....Drum roll please!
My All Time Favorite.... Michael Keaton's Batsuit seen in Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992).
Batman 1989 was the 4th Batman movie after many years and was a completely new take on The Caped Crusader in every way. From the tone of the film, the imagery, the behavior and tactics of the character, to the Batsuit itself. It was no longer a grey and blue suit with not much design, but a completely revamped and astonishing version of the suit that is my favorite to this day. I absolutely love everything about this suit! It was the first version of the suit to introduce the lining of the abs, and this suit did a fine job of doing so!
The cowl has a slick design around the neck and collar bone area. Although it didn't allow Michael Keaton to move his neck, it did cause him to make cool, robotic movements when turning around to look at enemies or check his surroundings. The Bat logo is right in the middle of his chest with the iconic symbol and oval-shaped, yellow background that perfectly mixes with the rest of the black suit. I like how the belt is also yellow and stands out unlike the Kilmer and Clooney suits.
The ears are longer than usual and stand out perfectly. The cape looks amazing! It was always awesome looking at Batman flying because the cape actually made him look like a giant bat. That along with the darkness of the suit itself and dim lighting made a startling and surprising effect that inflicted the element of surprise on audiences when they witnessed Batman in action. The cape also covers almost his entire body when his arms are at his sides, which adds a thrilling and mysterious look to the character.
This is a dark, vivid, and frighteningly gorgeous version of the Batsuit that I absolutely adore. Michael Keaton in my opinion was the best Batman so far. His fight scenes were intense, and he rarely got hit but when he did, he would knock his enemies out with one punch. His posture and walking style was classy and elegant while being intimidating at the same time. He was a more calm and reserved Batman, but he sure knew what he was doing. I also prefer his voice more than the other portrayals of the DC superhero. Ben Affleck has high standard to meet, and I'm sure he will do a tremendous job!