Top 10 Batman Suits and Armours: pt 1

So it’s time for a good old fashioned, fun look at some of the best Batman outfits throughout this character’s history.  I took a look at a lot of different suits and armours and have arrived at ten that are pretty much my favourite.  I pretty much considered everything Batman has appeared in from comics to movies, so it was a pretty wide net, overall but I did try and having outfits that were too similar to each other.  So, without further ado, let’s get to it!


Ol’ Purple Gloves


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Yep, we’re starting the list with the first ever Batman costume, with a black cape and, somewhat amusingly, purple gloves.

I like this outfit.  Apologetic fans might look at this as goofy, but it’s a classic Batman costume that goes straight to the character’s origins way back in the early days of superhero comics themselves.  There was a time where even DC wanted to pretend this costume never happened, going so far as to edit them blue in certain reprints.  That all has changed in recent years, as DC has embraced this origins, with newer reprints preserving the original look, and even making this costume kind of part of continuity thanks to Scott Snyder and Greg Cappullo’s work during Batman: Zero Year.

I think both the original outfit and the modern Zero Year retake both work for me and both pretty much take this spot together.  Comics shouldn’t be ashamed of their own history, and it’s a funny little detail that I’m glad they’ve kind of managed to preserve in modern continuity.

The gloves are a small detail, I’d agree, yet I’d like to point out this kind of makes them the most detective-like out of all the Batman suits on this list and in general.  They remind me a bit of forensic gloves, but even if they aren’t, well, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of colour, and of course, it’s a healthy reminder of what Batman is and where his story comes from.

There’s no value in dismissing this just because it is old, and to me, the design that started this all does deserve some recognition.  Leaving this out would have been a disservice to the character, so I think it’s important to recognize this costume.   Plus, it might be just me, but even the old outfit still looks pretty cool.  I can still see the spirit of Batman shining through this outfit and in those early issues.  Everything cool about the character is there, to a degree, and you can see how he got popular.

Sure, as we are about to see, the design was polished and improved over time.  But we should never forget where Batman came from, or the fact that he can just rock those purple gloves like nobody’s business.



The Nolan Batsuit (The Dark Knight)

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Next up is a cool one, and one that shouldn’t go unmentioned.  The Nolan trilogy of Batman films are generally well regarded for a reason, and matching their awesome reputation is a pretty cool and at the time groundbreaking set of Batsuits.  Officially, if this sort of thing matters to you, I’m giving this to the Batsuit introduced in the Dark Knight.  It’s a little less awkward and more free moving than the Batman Begins version, and was just a little bit more interesting in its design.  I really like the idea of a suit composed of multiple pieces, and it lead to a cool plot point within the movie where it made Batman more mobile but less protected than his older suit.

Make no mistake, though – both of these Batsuits are really cool.  They are unmistakably Batman yet look pretty realistic and functional.  And they really play up Batman’s style – the way he is able to sweep down or look intimidating or just generally do interesting things, these are cool Batsuits that were, to me, the first real live action Batsuit that totally nailed the design and idea behind the comics.

I really like this suits and they look great.  Granted, at certain angles and in the wrong scene the costume can look a little awkward and bulky, but nine times out of ten it works and it works well.  Without a doubt one of the best Batsuits, which is fitting for some of the best Batman films out there.



Arkham Batsuit (Origins)

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So here we have another really cool entry.  This one, like the last on my list, sort of applies to all of the Batsuits throughout the Arkham series of video games, but if I had to choose one, it would easily be the suit from Arkham Origins.  Out of all the versions it is the most streamlined and in line with what I think of when I think of Batman.

That is amusing, since most would probably agree Arkham Origins is the most disappointing entry in the series of the four main Arkham games, but, to be fair, they’re all really cool costumes.  Not only do they happen to feature in a game that I feel really hammered home the feeling of being Batman – but these costumes look and move in an amazing way.

The ability of the game to have these suits fluidly work with the mechanics is really worth commending.  It’s one thing to have a costume that looks cool, but the Arkham games make it all feel like it has been carefully designed with purpose.  The cape looks great but it also flows and they make the gliding feel realistic, while it feels and looks heavy enough it can plausibly be used to block certain attacks or stun opponents.  The use of detective mode works well with the whole white eyes visual motif of Batman.  And the costumes are just so cool in their design!  The Arkham Batsuits are great, each and every one of them, and though, yeah, my preference goes to Origins, they all really deserve at least some recognition.

Arkham Asylum had a cool mix of armour and was the first one out of the gate.  City nicely made it a little more in line with the comics while still looking cool and distinct.  And Knight brought back the more armoured look but bulked things up even more, reflecting the fact that you’re pretty much engaging in a one-man war with an entire army in that game.  And like I said, Origins just really nailed their design with a mix of the Arkham City look but with a healthy dose of tech and just a distinct, streamlined design of their own.  It’s simple and in my opinion, that’s what makes it most effective.  Regardless, they are all great, and it’s just nice to have a solid set of Batsuits that live up to a solid series of video games.



Hellbat Armour

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Alright, now we’re cooking.  Forged in the sun by Superman, augmented with the help of Green Lantern, tested by the Flash to be able to withstand the effects of the Speed Force, upgraded with advanced technology courtesy of Cyborg, tempered in the ocean depths by Aquaman, and mystically enhanced by Wonder Woman, this was a suit built in cooperation with the Justice League in the hope of providing Batman with the means and protection to deal with large scale threats to the planet.

It makes sense – in a team filled with super powered monstrosities, Batman does feel a little out of step with everyone else, at times, so this suit is supposed to help even the playing field a little bit.  I love the design and it has a ton of cool abilities built into it.  The cape changes shapes and can form wings and even disperse into a swarm of artificial bats, while the armour itself grants all sorts of powers including built in cloaking technology and enough durability that Batman could take a hit from the likes of Superman or Darkseid.

It’s cool, one of the most powerful Batsuits ever depicted in any media, and sadly, a little underused.  We haven’t really seen much of this thing since it’s blockbuster debut during the whole Damian Wayne is dead debacle, but it had one hell of a cool reappearance recently so it still very much is a part of Rebirth, and, without a doubt, is one of my all time favourite Batsuits.



The Justice Buster
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So we just had a suit meant to help Batman fight at the side of the Justice League.  How about a suit designed to go toe-to-toe against them?

That would be the Justice Buster, also known as Fenrir.  The latter name refers to a Norse wolf of mythology, who grew out of control, bitting off the right hand of Tyr, god of law and heroic glory, and destined to one day kill Odin during Ragnarok.   That fits with the visual design of this Batsuit, to a degree, but also with the idea of the Batsuit.  This is pretty much a walking, talking tank designed to take down the Justice League members quickly and efficiently, and, perhaps most impressively, to do it all without having to kill them.

The suit has an magical artifact to keep Wonder Woman out of commission, a unique foam that sucks the moisture out of Aquaman, an electromagnetic nerve tree to take down Cyborg, and a special gem to neutralize Green Lantern’s powers.  It is capable of taking a punch from Superman and has a gauntlet equipped with microscopic red suns, collected with the help from Ray Palmer, the Atom, so that Batman can engage in direct combat with big blue himself.  There’s probably a bunch of other features and last-minute countermeasures we haven’t seen out of this thing, but without a doubt, the most interesting part of this suit actually has to be the countermeasure against the Flash.

There’s a special program in the Fenrir that automatically activates when Barry Allen approaches the mech.  It uses a special, friction-less coating to react to the Flash, so long as he isn’t running at full speed, and counter him.  This protocol is so fast Batman doesn’t even have time to activate it or control it – this all happens when the suit detects the Flash is nearby and the program is executed before Bruce can even think about it or react.  It’s a very cool idea, furthered by the knowledge that this protocol is actually what took the most work and money to create out of the entire suit.

It’s a really cool idea and the mech itself looks awesome.  It’s so bulky and powerful looking and is actually pretty unique in the world of Batsuits.  Sure, Batman’s had a lot of armours and even a few mech suits over the years, but this is really one of the best.  Not only does it look so cool, but it gets right into Batman’s habit of always planning for worst case scenarios and designing all sorts of crazy ways to fight his own team members if the need ever arises.

And before anyone picks on Batman for this, I’d like to point out that this need arises, like, all the time.  I know the Justice League sometimes looks down on Batman for being this way, but I actually think it’s good planning considering the sheer number of times superheros are turned evil or under the effects of some kind of mind control.  It’s the natural conclusion to the rather famous Justice League: Tower of Babel story.  This is who Batman is.  He plans, he is smart, and occasionally, he can build one hell of a cool mech.

The other cool thing I like about it is that it isn’t overpowered either.  Batman just barely manages to take down the Justice League with this thing during Batman: End Game, and even then, both Superman and the Flash are quite capable of overpowering this thing if they ever really wanted to.  If either of them are coming at Batman with full force in this thing, he’s still basically screwed.  It’s a cool, well balanced Batman suit that I really like.  Definitely one of my all time favourites.


Top 10 Batman Suits and Armours: part 2

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