Zach Snyder has unveiled on Twitter a new look for Batman that will be featured in his upcoming DC film, “Justice League.” It’s been nearly 75 years since the iconic crimefighter first appeared in movie theaters, and his Batsuit has gone through a lot of changes since then.
“Batman” (1943): Here’s Lewis Wilson in the Batsuit created for the first Batman serial, which was released by Columbia Pictures four years after Bob Kane unveiled him in Detective Comics #27. Like many serials made during WWII, the story had an anti-Axis bent to it as Batman ventured into Gotham’s Little Tokyo to fight a Japanese crime lord.
“Batman & Robin”: Six years later, Batman returned to the screen in another serial whose super low budget can clearly be seen in Batman’s awful cowl. The wannabe Batmans in “The Dark Knight” had better masks than this. Batman and Robin’s outfits became joke fodder for Rifftrax when they re-released the film in 2014.
“Batman” (1966): For a generation of Batman fans, this is the most iconic Batsuit. It’s the first to incorporate a yellow background in the Bat insignia, and uses a reinforced cowl. Befitting the silliness of the Adam West era, the cowl got eyebrows.
“Batman” (1989): In retrospect, Michael Keaton‘s Batsuit is a blend of Adam West‘s suit and the more armored suits that would come later. The yellow insignia and utility belt remain, while the rest of the suit shifts from heavy fabric to a rubber material with chiseled muscle outlines.
“Batman Returns” (1992): The Keaton sequel gave Batman a similar suit to take on the Penguin, but toned down the muscle outlines to make it more streamlined.
“Batman Forever” also had an alternate silver suit for the Caped Crusader’s final battle against the Riddler. Schumacher might not have pleased Batman fans, but he surely must have pleased studio execs looking at action figure sales numbers.
“Batman and Robin” (1997): The sequel to “Forever” took the Bat-nipples and made them even more defined, including a suit-up scene that featured close-up shots of the chest and the suit’s sculpted rears.
Then, in the film’s finale, Batman, Robin, and Batgirl get silver-blue suits that are the apex of Schumacher ridiculousness. Just look at those silver codpieces!
Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-2012): Christopher Nolan‘s films dialed it back with the Batsuit design. “Batman Begins” used a sleek, rubber suit similar to the one in “Batman Returns,” but without the yellow insignia. The sequels gave Batman a suit with armored plating, befitting the name of The Dark Knight.
“Batman v Superman” (2016): Finally, after over 25 years of hard rubber suits, Zach Snyder’s team gave Ben Affleck a heavy fabric suit inspired by the one featured in Frank Miller‘s classic series “The Dark Knight Returns.”
The heavy fabric of the main suit contrasts greatly with the heavy battle armor Bruce Wayne creates to transform himself into a walking Bat-Tank to fight Superman.
Now Snyder has unveiled what he calls a “Tactical Batsuit” for “Justice League.” The suit seems to be a mix of the “BvS” and “Dark Knight” suits, with a cowl that includes goggles similar to the ones worn by Nite Owl in another Zach Snyder film, “Watchmen.”