Comic book companies often look at costume design as "the more changes, the better." Batman is a character who had one of the most famous costume changes in comic book history (albeit just by adding a simply yellow oval), but otherwise managed to only go through a handful of looks in the 20th Century. In the 21st Century, though, Batman has gone through as many costumes as he had in the first 50 years of his existence, and more new looks are undoubtedly coming in the future!
One of the first suits we see from Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins is Bruce Wayne’s League of Shadows training garb. While mostly built for ease of movement and warmth, the uniform also includes the armor bracers and triangle blades which are present in most bat suits, which is why we count it as a prototype of sorts. This was a great suit because we got to see that Bruce was obviously taught how to use minimal weapons and tricks, but could if need be.
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.
Batman is an expert in interrogation techniques and his intimidating and frightening appearance alone is often all that is needed in getting information from suspects. Despite having the potential to harm his enemies, Batman's most defining characteristic is his strong commitment to justice and his reluctance to take a life. This unyielding moral rectitude has earned him the respect of several heroes in the DC Universe, most notably that of Superman and Wonder Woman.
Linda Page: A character adapted from the Batman serial (1943), Linda Page was introduced into the comics during the Golden Age as a romantic partner for Bruce Wayne. A former socialite, she dedicated her time as a nurse for the elderly, disproving the stereotype that rich women were spoiled and lazy. She dated Bruce for a few issues, but later fell between the cracks and disappeared.
Batman faces a variety of foes ranging from common criminals to outlandish supervillains. Many of them mirror aspects of the Batman's character and development, often having tragic origin stories that lead them to a life of crime. These foes are commonly referred to as Batman's rogues gallery. Batman's "most implacable foe" is the Joker, a homicidal maniac with a clown-like appearance. The Joker is considered by critics to be his perfect adversary, since he is the antithesis of Batman in personality and appearance; the Joker has a maniacal demeanor with a colorful appearance, while Batman has a serious and resolute demeanor with a dark appearance. As a "personification of the irrational", the Joker represents "everything Batman [opposes]". Other long time recurring foes that are part of Batman's rogues gallery include Catwoman (a cat burglar antiheroine who is an occasional ally and romantic interest), the Penguin, Ra's al Ghul, Two-Face, the Riddler, the Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Bane, Clayface, and Killer Croc among others. Many of Batman's adversaries are often psychiatric patients at Arkham Asylum.
Indomitable Will: He has no known superhuman powers, but he does have an almost superhuman "force of will". Batman's unstoppable determination, sense of discipline and morale, and strength of will make him an extremely formidable opponent. This makes him able to function while tolerating massive amounts of physical pain, and also allows him to resist telepathy or mind control. His willpower is strong enough to operate a Green Lantern Ring when necessary. He is also unshakably devoted to his solemn vow never to kill, in spite of his vicious inner temptation to do so - the latter of which factors is displayed prominently when facing the Joker.
As a member of the Flying Graysons acrobatic family, young Dick Grayson thrilled audiences nightly on the high wire beside his circus aerialist parents. But when gangster "Boss" Zucco sabotaged the high wire because the owner of Haly's Circus refused to offer up protection money, the elder Graysons paid with their lives. Billionaire Bruce Wayne was in the audience that night; however, it was Batman who visited the grieving Dick Grayson, offering the boy a chance at retribution by becoming Robin, the Dark Knight's squire in his personal war on crime.
Sales had lagged enough that Julius Schwartz was brought on board and he brought star artist Carmine Infantino with him. They wanted to emphasize that this was a new era in Batman comics, so they changed the costume by adding a yellow oval behind Batman's bat symbol on his chest. However, that was pretty much it for changes, so it wasn't exactly groundbreaking.
The Earth-Two Batman, a character from a parallel world, partners with and marries the reformed Earth-Two Selina Kyle, as shown in Superman Family #211. They have a daughter named Helena Wayne, who becomes the Huntress. Along with Dick Grayson, the Earth-Two Robin, the Huntress takes the role as Gotham's protector once Bruce Wayne retires to become police commissioner, a position he occupies until he is killed during one final adventure as Batman.
In 1998, the "Batman" titles (and Gotham City itself) were rocked by a giant earthquake in the crossover, "Cataclysm." In the aftermath of the devastation, Batman left Gotham City in his Bruce Wayne identity to lobby the United States government to provide aid to Gotham to help it rebuild. Instead, the government decided to just cut Gotham City off from the rest of the country, period. They gave people a few weeks to get out and then blew up all tunnels and bridges out of Gotham City and left whoever was still in Gotham to fend for themselves.
Peak Human Agility: His agility is greater than that of a Chinese acrobat and superior to an Olympic-gold athlete gymnast. He can flawlessly coordinate his body with perfect balance, flexibility, and dexterity. His main phase of movement is Parkour which he learned in France and uses it to scale the cities rooftops in an acrobatic manner. He is capable of completing a triple somersault, running across thin wire cable which showcased his balance. Bruce regularly practices his agility by practicing gymnastics blindfolded.
In Blackest Night, the villain Black Hand is seen digging up Bruce Wayne's body, stealing his skull, and recruiting it into the Black Lantern Corps. Deadman, whose body has also become a Black Lantern, rushes to aid the new Batman and Robin, along with Red Robin against the Gotham villains who have been reanimated as Black Lanterns, as well as their own family members. The skull was briefly reanimated as a Black Lantern, reconstructing a body in the process by Black Hand's lord, Nekron, to move against the Justice League and the Titans. After the Black Lantern Batman created several black power rings to attach to and kill the majority of the Justice League, the skull was returned to normal after Nekron explained it served its purpose as an emotional tether. Nekron also referred to the skull as "Bruce Wayne", knowing that the body was not authentic.
Batman's body armored costume incorporates the imagery of a bat in order to frighten criminals. The details of the Batman costume change repeatedly through various decades, stories, media and artists' interpretations, but the most distinctive elements remain consistent: a scallop-hem cape; a cowl covering most of the face; a pair of bat-like ears; a stylized bat emblem on the chest; and the ever-present utility belt. Finger and Kane originally conceptualized Batman as having a black cape and cowl and grey suit, but conventions in coloring called for black to be highlighted with blue. Hence, the costume's colors have appeared in the comics as dark blue and grey; as well as black and grey. In the Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns films, Batman has been depicted as completely black with a bat in the middle surrounded by a yellow background. Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy depicted Batman wearing high-tech gear painted completely black with a black bat in the middle. Ben Affleck's Batman in the DC Extended Universe films wears a suit grey in color with a black cowl, cape, and bat symbol.
Finger suggested giving the character a cowl instead of a simple domino mask, a cape instead of wings, and gloves; he also recommended removing the red sections from the original costume. Finger said he devised the name Bruce Wayne for the character's secret identity: "Bruce Wayne's first name came from Robert Bruce, the Scottish patriot. Wayne, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock ... then I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne." He later said his suggestions were influenced by Lee Falk's popular The Phantom, a syndicated newspaper comic-strip character with which Kane was also familiar.
Master Escapologist: He has been described as second only to Mister Miracle as an escape artist. He has been seen escaping from a Posey straitjacket in less than 52 seconds, and remarked afterwars that the time was way too slow for him. He has effortlessly escaped handcuffs casually on multiple occasions within seconds, even going as far as saying "they were a joke". When arrested and locked up in prison, Bruce identified three ways to seamlessly escape his cell with no tools or gadgets at all.
Finding the best Batman costume among the hundreds for sale is not a task to be taken lightly. Between the dozens of costume variations and mind-boggling price ranges the choices can feel overwhelming. Luckily, you’re not alone. According to CNN, Batman and related characters were the in the top five costumes for both kids and adults in 2016 and that trend doesn’t look to be stopping any time soon. In 2014 542 Canadian Caped Crusaders donned the cowl to establish the Guinness world record for most people dressed as Batman at once.
Peak Human Stamina: Bruce's highly trained and developed body generates considerably less fatigue toxins and is much more resistant to fatigue toxins than normal humans, granting him exceptional endurance and lung capacity. His lung capacity is so great that he can hold his breath underwater for over 7 minutes with little strain. In his early days ,he once fought in a gauntlet for 28 hours straight before collapsing from exhaustion. Batman has demonstrated exercising extensively with a rigorous training regime that lasted 1 hour, yet wasn't nearly satisfied. He can exert himself at peak capacity without slowing down for several hours before showing signs of fatigue or began tiring.
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In early 1939, the success of Superman in Action Comics prompted editors at National Comics Publications (the future DC Comics) to request more superheroes for its titles. In response, Bob Kane created "the Bat-Man". Collaborator Bill Finger recalled that "Kane had an idea for a character called 'Batman,' and he'd like me to see the drawings. I went over to Kane's, and he had drawn a character who looked very much like Superman with kind of ... reddish tights, I believe, with boots ... no gloves, no gauntlets ... with a small domino mask, swinging on a rope. He had two stiff wings that were sticking out, looking like bat wings. And under it was a big sign ... BATMAN". The bat-wing-like cape was suggested by Bob Kane, inspired as a child by Leonardo Da Vinci's sketch of an ornithopter flying device.
Batman goes to the Willowwood Home for Children, a place that housed children suffering from mental illnesses. Suddenly, he is captured in a net, and Lincoln March stands over him. Batman deduces that Lincoln March does not exist, he is just a paper man set up by the Court. The man in front of him is the Court's betrayer, and he took the Talons' serum to survive death. March is aware of Batman's dual life and reveals himself to be Thomas Jr., Bruce Wayne's brother. Although Bruce believes he does not have a brother, Thomas says that an accident had caused him to be born early, and Thomas and Martha Wayne had hid him away at Willowwood to heal. When Thomas and Martha died, Willowwood lost its funding and the place began treating its children cruelly. Blaming Bruce for their parents' deaths, Thomas puts on an owl suit of armor and frees Batman so that the brothers can have a final fight.
In 1988's "Batman: A Death in the Family" storyline from Batman #426-429 Jason Todd, the second Robin, is killed by the Joker. Subsequently, Batman takes an even darker, often excessive approach to his crime-fighting. Batman works solo until the decade's close, when Tim Drake becomes the new Robin. In 2005 writers resurrected the Jason Todd character and have pitted him against his former mentor.
Because Bruce Wayne is retired at the beginning of The Dark Knight Returns, we don’t get to see the suit right away. Instead we get to listen to a conversation between Bruce and a soon to be retired Commissioner James Gordon. When Bruce opens his mouth, we hear the gravely baritone voice of an old Robocop, which works perfectly with the character. Once he decides that he has had enough of the crime on the streets and suits up again, we see that just because Bruce got old, doesn’t mean he let himself go.
While looking for information, Bruce used the stapler to act like a gun to scare Gordon and before leaving tells him to look for his sign to know when he’d be around. Although only used in one scene, it took an otherwise forwardly dramatic movie and gave us a slight sense of levity to imagine batman with a stapler. Later on, the look became an evolutionary tale of the suit itself, showcasing elements that would stick around while also showing how much would later be adapted for both form and function.
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.