While fans got a chance to see a dynamic new costume on the big screen with the release of batman In 2022, the Dark Knight has had quite a few costume redesigns in the original comic books. This isn’t too surprising, given the fact that Batman has been published consistently since the character first debuted back in 1939’s Detective Comics#27.
Every decade seemed to bring with it a new costume redesign, while various stories over the years also introduced new case-specific costumes that shocked fans before disappearing forever into the back of Batman’s closet. To celebrate the Dark Knight’s ever-changing sense of fashion, here are a few of the best costume redesigns the character has seen in the comics.
10 Batman’s Golden Age Costume Was Redesigned A Few Times Before It Hit
When Batman first appeared, his costume wasn’t quite perfected and went through quite a few small changes in the earliest issues as the character’s design was streamlined. However, it was the final redesign of the Golden Age costume that appeared alongside the debut of Robin in Detective Comics#38 that really finalized the best look for the costume.
The costume’s coloring was lightened to better reflect his transition from a pulp hero to a superhero, while the cape and cowl were both streamlined and modified from earlier designs to be simpler. This batsuit remained his go-to look for him for a couple of decades, though the costume received a few short-lived redesigns over the years.
9 Zero Year Modernized Bruce Wayne’s Debut Costume To Be More Tactical
The New 52 introduced a new, shortened continuity for the DC Universe that also came with new, updated costumes across the entire line of comics. Batman’s New 52 costume was not celebrated as one of his best, though the Zero Year storyline that reimagined his debut as Batman in the new continuity added a fun new take on his original costume.
The new suit was given a modern tactical edge while still homaging the classic design elements like the purple gloves. The suit was given a further edge as the storyline progressed and he was forced to become a guerilla fighter in order to take back Gotham City from The Riddler.
8 Jean-Paul Valley Redesigned The Batsuit To Give It An Edge For The 90s
Following Bruce Wayne’s debilitating injury at the hands of Bane in the knightfall event, Jean-Paul Valley/Azrael was asked to take over as Batman while Wayne attempted to recover. Valley wore Wayne’s usual costume for a bit, though he soon began to modify it to better suit the design styles of his former Azrael armor.
This resulted in a heavily armored costume that also contained advanced weaponry like a bat-shuriken Gatling gun as well as a flamethrower. While the “Azbats” costume has gone down in history as a sometimes poor example of the 90s’ edgier design style, it also serves as one of Batman’s most unforgettable redesigns that’s reappeared a few times over the years.
7 The Batman Inc. Costume Was The First To Ditch The Trunks After Decades
Batman and other characters in the DC universe were known for using trunks on the outside of the costume, a design choice that was partially inspired by classic strongman costumes. However, criticisms of the design choice eventually resulted in the removal of trunks from all costumes in the New 52 reboot, though Batman was ahead of the curve with his batman, inc. costume.
When Bruce Wayne returned from a trip through time after Final Crisis, I have adopted a new take on his classic suit to head a new global organization called Batman, Incorporated. The costume removed the trunks, added defining lining that would be replicated in the New 52, and modernized the iconic yellow oval logo by turning it into a smaller version of the bat signal.
6 Batman’s Dark “Troika” Costume Was Inspired By Tim Burton’s Cinematic Suit
While Dick Grayson had taken over as Batman briefly after Jean-Pual Valley’s era in the knightfall event, Bruce Wayne retrained himself to peak levels and returned to reclaim his mantle. However, he debuted in a new costume that highlighted his darker edge following his battle with Bane.
The costume itself was inspired by the cinematic costume seen in Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns. The suit was now completely black, aside from the yellow oval logo and utility belt. The spikes that had previously lined the gloves were longer and now also appeared on his boots, a small carry-over from Jean-Paul Valley’s redesign of the costume.
5 Dick Grayson’s Batsuit Adapted The Costume To Mesh With His Fighting Style
Batman’s first crimefighting partner was Dick Grayson, who began his career as Robin before he evolved into his modern role as Nightwing. However, after Bruce Wayne’s apparent death in Final Crisis that led to a Battle for the Cowl Among less than worthy successors, Grayson stepped into his mentor’s role to become the new Batman.
He created a new costume to better fit his smaller physique while also complementing his more acrobatic fighting style. The cape was slightly shorter and the gauntlets were also reduced while the lighter blue coloring homaged his time as Nightwing. The biggest change was the addition of a bat insignia on the belt buckle, which further separated Dick’s version of the costume.
4 His Costume From The Dark Knight Returns Was Rugged And Ready For War
Frank Miller explored the dark future of Gotham City in 1986’s The Dark Knight Returnswhich followed a retired Bruce Wayne as he was forced to return to his role as Batman to deal with the rising threat of crime in his city.
He first returned to his classic blue-and gray suit with the yellow oval bat. Though, after it was damaged in battle, he modified his original costume for war. The black and gray suit featured a wide black bat logo across the Dark Knight’s massive chest, and his utility belt was replaced with useful pouches to help him in his war to reclaim and protect his city from him.
3 His Classic Blue And Gray Batsuit With The Yellow Oval Logo Became An Iconic Look
After Batman spent years operating in his Golden Age costume, the suit was given a redesign that retained the blue and gray coloring and simplistic design of the utility belt but featured the dramatic new yellow oval around the bat logo.
This was done for a few reasons that included an easier trademark for the character as well as printing issues that often lost the previous all-black bat logo in the art. However, the yellow oval and curved bat logo quickly became one of the most recognizable pieces of Batman’s costume that stayed with the character for decades in both the comics and adaptations to other mediums.
two Batman’s Post-No Man’s Land/Hush Batsuit Updated His Classic Year One Costume
Following the No Man’s Land event that blended his blue and gray costume with his Year One utility belt and gear, the fan-favorite costume was again updated for the “New Gotham” era. The all-black bat logo returned to match the black and gray coloring along with the pouch-filled utility belt that grounded and nearly perfected the costume.
This version of the costume was later recolored to fit the classic blue and gray color scheme for the hush storyline, leading to some debate over which version of the updated Year One suit fans liked more.
1 His Rebirth Redesign Perfected New 52’s Simplified Look With Colorful Lines
The New 52 redesign simplified Batman’s costume while also making it fit in with the other updated designs from the line-wide reboot, though it doesn’t stand as one of the Dark Knight’s better costumes. The drab coloring and simplified design failed to excite fans, though that all changed when the costume was given a complete overhaul for the reborn was.
The costume remained trunkless but added sharp yellow detailing around the dark utility belt to break up the flow of the costume. The dark bat logo was also edged with yellow to reference the classic yellow oval while adding more color to the costume. The cape was also stretched tightly around the shoulders and lightened with purple inside to add another nod to his classic look.
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