BY JASON DAVIS
The coolest thing about superheroes apart from their powers of course is without a doubt their costumes. Many of us have spent endless hours sketching the costumes, the chest emblems, the gadgets and the capes of our beloved heroes.
Today we will take a look at the various incarnations the Bat-Suit has taken over the years from the tv show’s campy threads, to Shumacher’s infamous Bat nipples, we’ve got it covered.
Batman and Batman & Robin Serials (1943 and 1949)
Batman made his live action debut in 1943 with the serial “Batman”. Not surprisingly the costume made for the serial was quaint at best. Given the era in which it was made and the budget available, Batman’s costume is comprised of basic cloth sewn together but it did make the best attempt to make an impression. The Bat symbol is prominent, splayed across the chest, the cowl has large menacing horns and the utility belt is represented just as in the comics. For a kid, to see a living Batman on the big screen must have been amazing back in 1943.
Batman TV Show (1966 – 1968)
The sixties ushered in the high campiness of the television Batman series.
For the first time Batman’s suit was visible to all in full color. Sadly the tv show did little to bring the costume to life. Drawing on the grey and blue/purple color combination found in the comics, the painted on eyebrows, small ears and Adam West’s unflattering physique failed to portray Batman as menacing or capable of protecting anyone, let alone himself. The cover photograph on Life magazine kind of sums it up.
Fast forward to almost 40 years later and we finally have what many still feel is the most badass Bat-Suit yet in Tim Burton’s 1989 classic Batman.Designed by Bob Ringwood and loosely based on the comic’s Neal Adams version of the Bat-suit, Burton’s film opted for an all black Batman - save for the bight yellow utility belt and oval on which the Bat symbol sits. The utility belt is slimmer, more form fitting, but still serves a purpose in terms of gadgetry. The suit not only disguises our hero, and creates something that can truly scare the villains of Gotham, but also serves to protect him. In the film the body armor protects Batman from gun shots, punches, kicks and falls, especially in the chest and arm region.
Batman Returns (1992)
For Batman Returns, just as the set design for Gotham changed to represent a more streamlined, modern hyper reality, so did Batman’s suit. The natural looking abs found on the original suit are replaced with a more uniformed ‘six pack’ and the iconic Bat symbol, still in the yellow oval, is simplified into a cleaner, less ornamental mark. The rest of the suit remains for the most part the same with some minor variations in gadgets such as the cape turning into a mechanical glider.