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We've been blessed to live in a time where Batman is in demand, and Hollywood can't and won't stop churning out different projects featuring the DC character. The latest of these, The Batman, recently showed off the Batsuit of the hero, which has become a big part of the public's judge of the interpretation. With the news still relatively fresh, now is a time as good as any to reflect on the Batman suits of the past.
For this list, we're going less on functionality, and more on the overall cool factor. In this ranking from least cool to coolest, I'll break down the pros and cons of each Batman suit, and justify why each suit is at the ranking it is on the list. Yes, Robert Pattinson's suit from The Batman will be featured in here, so set all pre-existing feelings about these performances based on the actors and movies, because it's all about Batman suits now, baby.
There's no denying Adam West himself was a cool dude, and a big part of why Batman caught on with mainstream audiences. Even so, his Batman movie and series was known for its campiness, and campy characters aren't often associated with what is traditionally considered cool. I'd also like to point out that West's Batman didn't even have armor on his suit, just spandex. No doubt it offered great mobility for the caped crusader, but any other Batman would've died quickly with this Batman suit on, and that is certainly not cool.
Batman And Robin (1997) Suit 1
This is one of two Batman suits that appear in Batman and Robin, and by far one of the most infamous of the bunch. This suit worn by George Clooney is synonymous for having a chest piece that accentuates Batman's nipples, and an absolutely chiseled set of abs that make the Dark Knight look kind of vain. Batman is definitely in great shape, but making sure enemies see the multi-pack on the suit just feels like an unnecessary flex. Why not instead have no muscles on the suit, and then blow villains' minds when cracking them with a hard right?
Batman Forever (1995) Suit 1
While George Clooney gets a lot of flack for donning a Batman suit with nipples, director Joel Schumaker really started this with Val Kilmer in Batman Forever. His is maybe a bit more forgivable given that there's a heavy resemblance to Michael Keaton's Batman in this costume design, but again it's just unnecessary to put so much work on defining the muscles on the suit itself. There can't be any villain in Gotham who sees that and is like "oh wow he's really jacked." I also think the cowl could've been modified just a bit to accentuate Kilmer's jawline, which would really show what a top-notch Bat-chin that was.
While I criticized Adam West's Batman suit for being high mobility, I have to call out Michael Keaton's Batman that looked to be wearing a suit that offered zero to no mobility. The actor looks uncomfortable in every scene, and while many would argue this suit ultimately is the gold standard for Batman suits, I'll argue this suit improved drastically in the sequel. I'm also not a huge fan of the logo, and its extra prong at the bottom.
Justice League (2018) Suit 2
In truth, the tactical Batman suit worn by Ben Affleck in Justice League is only slightly different from his regular fit, save one feature I personally find very annoying. Batman is wearing some goggles that look like Oakley's someone would wear on "boat day" and they really don't seem to have any reason to be there beyond eye protection. While I commend this suit for being one of the few to acknowledge the importance of that, I just can't get behind the execution.
Batman And Robin (1997) Suit 2
The second suit George Clooney wears in Batman and Robin is a notable upgrade from the first, mainly because it lacks Bat nipples. Any cool points gained for that and the color change on the costume is somewhat negated, thanks to that sizable codpiece Batman decided to throw on as well. Was he worried about catching a low blow from Mr. Freeze, or just wanted something to add a little flash to the suit? In either case, I have to keep this one much lower than I would've had it been excluded, regardless of how cool the color switch looks.
The Batman (2021)
Full disclosure, the released footage didn't include a full body shot of Robert Pattinson's Batsuit for The Batman, so he can only climb so high on this list. With that said, I'm comfortable enough with what I've seen so far. I'm a big fan of the logo and all the speculation that comes with it, even if I'm not quite sure it is made of gun metal or whatever folks are saying. I also like how the cowl looks homemade, as I've always taken slight issue with just how professional Batman's suits look. This cowl has a bit of flaw to it, and I really dig it.
Batman Begins (2005)
Christopher Nolan's bat trilogy was big on grounding the story of Batman, which he did to tremendous effect. He still managed to capture the more fantastic parts of the character, and created a respectable and impressive looking Batman suit for Christian Bale in Batman Begins. As good as it looked, there's a distinct lack of color in the suit save the utility belt, which lessens the overall cool factor. It makes sense because flashy colors aren't really great for stealth purposes, but c'mon, there could've at least been different shades of black.
Batman V. Superman (2016) Suit 1
Ben Affleck's Batman suit in Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice suffers from the same issues as Christian Bale's in Batman Begins, but there's one key difference. Affleck gets additional style points for being the first Batman modeled after The Dark Knight Returns variant of the character from DC Comics, and pulls it off wonderfully. I like that the suit is a little less plastic-y as well, and also doesn't have the overtly fake muscles molded into the outfit. It gives the whole thing some added authenticity, even if those muscles are still present when Affleck isn't wearing the suit.
Batman Forever (1995) Suit 2
Also known as the "Sonar Suit" Val Kilmer's second Batman suit in this movie is a sizable step up from his first costume. Bruce wears this to thwart The Riddler and Two Face, and inadvertently gives us one of the first instances of Batman's glowing eyes on camera. It's not quite the same as seeing Batman's eyes glow white like they do in other forms of media, but it's a great touch. I also appreciate the use of the bat grapple on this suit, that would almost certainly rip his arm off if he used it while attempting to support another person's full body weight. No one ever said safety looked cool.
Batman V Superman (2016) Suit 2
Speaking of glowing white eyes, I have to give props to the Superman-buster Batman suit donned by Ben Affleck in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Not just because of the glowing eyes, but because Zack Snyder gave us yet another radically different Batman look yet again in the same movie. Sure, it didn't do a ton to prevent Bruce from getting the business from Superman, but without it he would've never finally gotten that shot to get the upper hand on the Man of Steel.
Batman Returns (1992)
To me, few Batman suits are as cool as Michael Keaton's in Batman Returns. It's the go-to look for classic Batman, and few logos are as iconic as that bright yellow and black logo. It's the perfect pop to a black as night costume that would truly strike fear into any villain that happened to peep it out right before catching a hook to the face from the Caped Crusader. It's not the absolute best Batman suit in my opinion, though I would be fine if anyone else said that it was.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Christopher Nolan didn't add any color to Batman's suit in The Dark Knight, but did find a way to give a dramatic upgrade to the suit while still maintaining the all-black look for stealth. The cowl was given a more flattering shape, the suit was given added texture and lines to prevent looking so bland, and the chest, abs, and bulge piece muscles weren't overdone. It's a masterpiece (so much so that it was used again for The Dark Knight Rises), and a look that ultimately defined the best Batman I've seen on the big screen.
Do you agree with these rankings? If not, the comments are the place to be for anything to say about these rankings or the various batsuits shown on film throughout the years. CinemaBlend is the place to be for all the latest news happening in the world of television and movies.