In 1989, Warner Bros. released the live-action feature film Batman; directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton as the title character. The film was a huge success; not only was it the top-grossing film of the year, but at the time was the fifth highest-grossing film in history. The film also won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction. The film's success spawned three sequels: Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997); the latter two of which were directed by Joel Schumacher instead of Burton, and replaced Keaton as Batman with Val Kilmer and George Clooney, respectively. The second Schumacher film failed to outgross any of its predecessors and was critically panned; causing Warner Bros. to cancel the planned fourth sequel, Batman Unchained, and end the initial film series.
While very similar to the original version shown in Batman, the Batman Returns bat suit shows us an updated version which shows obvious armor on the chest and full torso area. This suit was used against characters like Danny DeVito’s Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman during a storyline where Penguin was running to become the mayor of Gotham City and Selena Kyle was a lowly secretary who was just trying to do right by her boss… up until he murders her and she gets cat powers.
With the amount of costumes he has now worn, we are primed for a ranking of Batman's comic book costumes. As a note on structure, we're only talking costumes he's worn in the "main" continuity, so no alternate reality costumes or possible future costumes. Also, no temporary one-off costumes, but we will count costumes worn by other people who have filled in for Bruce Wayne as Batman.
^ "Batman Artist Rogers is Dead". SciFi Wire. March 28, 2007. Archived from the original on February 1, 2009: "Even though their Batman run was only six issues, the three laid the foundation for later Batman comics. Their stories include the classic 'Laughing Fish' (in which the Joker's face appeared on fish); they were adapted for Batman: The Animated Series in the 1990s. Earlier drafts of the 1989 Batman movie with Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight were based heavily on their work."
In his series, Batman was made to be much more of a detective than the bruiser he could and would later be portrayed as. We’re not saying that this version couldn’t get into a fist fight -- he often would, with sound effects to match -- we’re saying he didn’t always have to throw down, let alone look like he always had to. And that is just fine by us. After all, the late Adam West became a cultural icon in this suit for very good reason.
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At the remains of the fallen Watchtower, Batman informs Superman and Wonder Woman that a new superhuman has entered Kahndaq. Assembling the Justice League with the help of Zatanna, Batman goes to Kahndaq and finds Superman fighting the new metahuman, Shazam. The Justice League of America also arrives at Kahndaq, causing animosity between the two groups. Doctor Light tries to stop the hostilities, but ends up absorbing Superman's solar energy and unintentionally attacks Wonder Woman. Overcome with rage, Superman vaporizes Doctor Light's head with his heat vision. This leads to the two Justice Leagues to begin fighting.
The character became popular soon after his introduction in 1939 and gained his own comic book title, Batman, the following year. As the decades went on, different interpretations of the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series used a camp aesthetic, which continued to be associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in 1986 with The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. The success of Warner Bros. Pictures' live-action Batman feature films have helped maintain the character's prominence in mainstream culture.
In the late 1950s, Batman stories gradually became more science fiction-oriented, an attempt at mimicking the success of other DC characters that had dabbled in the genre. New characters such as Batwoman, Ace the Bat-Hound, and Bat-Mite were introduced. Batman's adventures often involved odd transformations or bizarre space aliens. In 1960, Batman debuted as a member of the Justice League of America in The Brave and the Bold #28 (Feb. 1960), and went on to appear in several Justice League comic series starting later that same year.
Peak Human Senses: Through meditation Batman's five senses are pushed at the highest limits of human perfection; meaning that his sense of sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste are very keen. At one time he was able to hear a sniper load his weapon from across the street a block over and allegedly has the sight of an eagle, allowing him to see even the slightest shifts in the air. His awareness, instincts, and senses combined make him extremely alert to danger, bordering a sixth sense. Even Commisisoner Gordon has commented saying "it's almost like he has a sixth sense".
In the Modern Age of Comics until the present date, Batman has had numerous romantic relationships, in every different media, some of which have lasted long enough to set a "record" and others which were merely used for the sake of a story. Most of his relationships are with ladies from his own Rogues Gallery, and in recent years, his relationship with Catwoman has been given special attention; but the constant in every scenario is Batman's unwillingness or inability to maintain a relationship longer than the Batmobile's paint job.
Peak Human Metabolism: Batman's natural healing, metabolism, immune system, are at the highest limits of human potential, which means he can heal much faster than normal humans, he is able to heal broken bones, fractures, torn muscles, gunshot, knife, puncture wounds and other major injuries all within a few weeks and minor injuries like cuts, scrapes and burns within a few hours to days. His immune system fights off microbes, infections, disorders, illnesses, sicknesses far better than normal (but is not immune). His healing time is very short, as he recovered from a broken back within an unknown amount of weeks.
Though not much had changed in regard to terms of costume between films, the difference of the slightly more sleek symbol and the armor makes us think that Batman has decided that he needs to up his game, both in terms of fashion and fighting, and keep up with the kind of criminals that Gotham seems to be producing at an increasingly alarming rate.
The Burton suit was almost completely black. This made a lot more sense for a character that's using darkness to his advantage. The Bat logo encircled in yellow hearkened back to classic costumes of the past. This suit also set a trend in films by making costumes out of more armor-like materials rather than spandex. Let's be real; spandex looks a little silly on screen.
After the apparent death of Superman, Batman saw an individual dressed like the Flash appear before him in the Batcave. Insisting that he knew him, the individual urged Batman meet with Barry Allen before disappearing. Urged by his suspicions, Batman uncovered a button in one of the walls and met with Allen. Deciding to investigate this together, they began to suspect that ramifications to the timeline might have not been caused by Barry, but another influence. At some point, he discovered the Joker was still alive and captured the Clown Prince of Crime, holding him in the Batcave to help investigate the truth of Nth.
After revealing this knowledge to the original Dynamic Duo, Tim argued the need for a Robin to give the Dark Knight hope, especially when faced with a seemingly hopeless and unyielding war on crime. Though reluctant at first, Batman gave Tim the opportunity to prove that he was as good as his word. After months of grueling training, Tim Drake became the third Robin.
Master Detective: He is considered as the "World's Greatest Detective", almost without peer. Bruce is capable of observation, forensic investigation, and inductive and deductive reasoning of the highest caliber. Human intuition is an unlearnable trait and one of Batman's most effective tools. Given any mystery, he can arrive at any conclusions with a fraction of the data. He has aided GCPD in solving hundreds of inconclusive crime.
Batman met juvenile delinquent and presumed orphan, Jason Todd, when the boy literally tried to steal the tires right off the Batmobile. With original partner Dick Grayson having given up the role of Robin, Batman decided to take Jason in and offer him both a home and a purpose. Jason began the same training regimen Grayson once undertook to become the Dark Knight's partner. However, Jason was a troubled soul who lacked maturity and was quick to anger.
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Zatanna Zatara: The first occasion in which Zatanna was portrayed as a strong romantic interest of Bruce Wayne was in Batman: The Animated Series, where the two of them met in their youth and were interested in each other, but Bruce gave priority to the pursue of his training to become Batman. As adults they met again and realized they cared for each other, but nothing came out of it. This history was later introduced to the comics. Batman and Zatanna had a major falling out after Bruce found out Zatanna had mindwiped him after he walked in on her mindwiping Doctor Light at the Justice League's instruction. Batman made it clear that after these incidents, he no longer trusted Zatanna. However, the two eventually resolved their issues and became close friends once again.
In June 2016, the DC Rebirth event relaunched DC Comics' entire line of comic book titles. Batman was rebooted as starting with a one-shot issue entitled Batman: Rebirth #1 (Aug. 2016). The series then began shipping twice-monthly as a third volume, starting with Batman vol. 3, #1 (Aug. 2016). The third volume of Batman was written by Tom King, and artwork was provided by David Finch and Mikel Janín. The Batman series introduced two vigilantes, Gotham and Gotham Girl. Detective Comics resumed its original numbering system starting with June 2016's #934, and the New 52 series was labeled as volume 2 with issues numbering from #1-52. Similarly with the Batman title, the New 52 issues were labeled as volume 2 and encompassed issues #1-52. Writer James Tynion IV and artists Eddy Barrows and Alvaro Martinez worked on Detective Comics #934, and the series initially featured a team consisting of Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, and Clayface, led by Batman and Batwoman.
The end result was a character who looked like he would fit right along famous pulp heroes like the Shadow, with a distinct-looking cowl and a cape that still managed to maintain some of its wing-like approach. This was the type of character that you would take one glance at and think, "Yeah, this dude wouldn't mind snapping a neck or two to get the job done." That fit the early style of Batman stories perfectly.
Batman meets and regularly works with other heroes during the silver age, most notably Superman, whom he began regularly working alongside in a series of team-ups in World's Finest Comics, starting in 1954 and continuing through the series' cancellation in 1986. Batman and Superman are usually depicted as close friends. As a founding member of the Justice League of America, Batman appears in its first story, in 1960's Brave and the Bold #28. In the 1970s and 1980s, Brave and the Bold became a Batman title, in which Batman teams up with a different DC Universe superhero each month.
Batman is often treated as a vigilante by other characters in his stories. Frank Miller views the character as "a dionysian figure, a force for anarchy that imposes an individual order". Dressed as a bat, Batman deliberately cultivates a frightening persona in order to aid him in crime-fighting, a fear that originates from the criminals' own guilty conscience. Miller is often credited with reintroducing anti-heroic traits into Batman's characterization, such as his brooding personality, willingness to use violence and torture, and increasingly alienated behavior. Batman, shortly a year after his debut and the introduction of Robin, was changed in 1940 after DC editor Whitney Ellsworth felt the character would be tainted by his lethal methods and DC established their own ethical code, subsequently he was retconned as having a stringent moral code. Miller's Batman was closer to the original pre-Robin version, who was willing to kill criminals if necessary.