As more and more information pours in about various iterations of the Batman scheduled to be in theatres next year, different fan hangs have locked horns over the different designs of Batsuits.
One thing that the FanDome event made clear is that 2021 will be DC’s Year of Batman. The planned Caped Crusader exhibit will feature Ben Affleck in the Justice League version of the Batsuit next fall followed by Robert Pattinson debuting the newly designed Batsuit for Matt Reeves’ The Batman 2021 in October. With trailers out for both projects, the hype around the look of the iconic DC character in different versions has intensified. Geeks and experts are digging into the nitty-gritty of the costumes to understand the Dark Knight better.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League will see Ben Affleck in the same Batsuit as no new footage has been shot for the cut. On the other hand, Robert Pattinson’s Batsuit looks rough around the edges taking its influence from ‘The Batman: Year Two’ comics.
A Short History of the Batsuit
The Batman comics have seen various iterations on the Batsuit which also provide movie makers with their inspirations for the live-action versions. The cowl, cape, and boots all come together to reflect the stage of life in which the Batman story exists. The best display of Batsuits till date has been in the Batman Beyond animated series where Terry McGinnis not only has a cutting edge suit but Bruce Wayne’s bat cave has an array of them displayed along with Robin’s suit.
Watch: Top 10 Batsuits Of All Time
Over the years the bat symbol, structure and length of the ears on the cowl have helped fans differentiate Batman from another. Michael Keaton’s suit with the yellow and black logo and pointy ears stayed the benchmark for upcoming iterations.
However, like any other costume, the Batsuit is not at all easy to wear. It has been a long-standing joke within the universe that Batman cannot move his neck given the stiffness of the cowl. And let’s not even discuss George Clooney’s Batsuit with nipples!
But all of that changed when Christopher Nolan took over the reins of Batman’s world re-modelling the suit for Christian Bale. Nolan along with Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming crafted a functional Batsuit. Christian Bale’s suit was more militarized, structured and flexible, letting Bale’s iteration be more agile on screen.
Ben Affleck’s Batsuit
After Christian Bale, actor Ben Affleck donned the cape and looked equally powerful. Affleck’s Batman is a man hardened by the years as so is his suit. It certainly gives a ‘billionaire investment’ vibe decked with gadgets and developments over time. However, Snyder and Affleck’s choice of Batsuit was a step back from the functional design and closer to the comic book. Their inspiration comes from the classic grey-black suit from The Dark Knight Rises comic book. As a refresher, Affleck had a couple of suits but the main one remained fairly consistent throughout his DCEU run.
Watch: Creating Batsuit ‘Batman Vs Superman’
It was a basic suit with a large grey-black bat symbol, short ears completed with a cape. The cowl, however, had less movement restricting Affleck’s neck. The issue was later rectified in Batman Vs Superman suit where the cowl was designed digitally. Though the suit was true to Batman comic interpretations, it failed to impress functionally. The visceral old-style Batsuit for Affleck was designed by Iron Studios’ Jose Fernandez who also recently designed SpaceX suits for NASA astronauts. Aesthetically, the suit looked as natural as it can while definitely exuding power.
Robert Pattinson’s Year Two Suit
The new Batman trailer, coupled with Pattinson’s Batsuit look test, shows us that Matt Reeves is taking a more real-world approach. Since the movie draws its inspiration from Batman Year Two comic, the Batsuit is still rough around the edge. A good look at Pattinson shows long pointy ears, cowl looks moveable with an interesting Bat symbol. Some fans theorize that the logo on Pattinson’s chest is made out of the gun that killed Bruce’s parents. The suit has a more armored look compared to Affleck’s, further closer to the structured and functional looks of Bale’s Batsuit. However, this can still be a prototype of the suit given it is a three movie story arc.
Watch: The Batman (2021) Official First Look
Each Batsuit fits its current universe beautifully. Nonetheless, the answer to whose Batsuit is better — Ben Affleck or Robert Pattinson — is still a long call. Let’s not forget we still need to see how Pattinson fits the suit and also the upgrades The Flash movie will add to Affleck’s. And let us also not forget Michael Keaton will have a more futuristic Batman Beyond suit and that will no doubt be way sassier!