One of the most important pieces of Batman’s arsenal in his crusade against injustice is his iconic Batsuit. There have been dozens of iterations of the Batsuit, from live-action, comics, video games, and even animation. Throughout Batman’s long existence, he has created and worn suits for all kinds of occasions and encounters. This versatility and functionality is what makes the Batsuit such a force to be reckoned with.
We’ve including suits on this list based on their design and power. Unfortunately, these criteria are why, for example, the Batsuit from Tim Burton’s Batman will not be appearing on this list. Michael Keaton couldn’t even turn his head while he was wearing it – it’s doubtful that Batman could prevent much crime with such restricted mobility. However, our list has suits from many different eras of Batman, so perhaps your favorite made the list! There isn’t a definite order to the list, as any judgement on the matter is subjective, so this is more of a collection of our favorite suits.
Without further ado, here are Batman’s 12 Best Batsuits of All Time!
12. Neal Adams 1970s Batsuit
Praised as one half of the duo that revitalized Batman’s dark roots in the early ’70s, Neal Adams created a Batsuit worthy of the Dark Knight. Drawing Batman after the campy 1960s vibe that had dominated on both television and in the comics, Neal Adams had to adapt the character with a more mature look that wouldn’t turn readers off of the character. This is why he kept some of the obvious pieces of the 1960s Batsuit intact, while making changes that gave the character a darker, more brooding feel.
Adams changed the suit by extending the height of the cowl’s ears and giving the cape a shoulder mounted position. Along with these minor changes, he bulked up Batman, which made him a more intimidating presence. While this suit is still simple, compared to what would follow, Neal Adam’s contributions to the character and his costume influenced every version that followed.
11. Bill Finger’s First Issue Batsuit
Bill Finger, one of the creators of Batman (or “The Bat-Man”), gave him the dark and brooding appearance we know and love. The Bill Finger costume may not be quite as refined as some of the Batsuits that followed, but it’s pretty amazing as a basis for what would come. Many people credit Bob Kane with the creation of this suit, but it was actually Bill Finger, his (initially uncredited) partner, that came up with the classic black, blue, and grey color scheme, paired with the yellow utility-belt.
Unlike other suits, Bill Finger’s Batsuit has longer bat ears on the cowl, along with a unique cape, which has a vertical orientation that made it look much more like actual bat wings. Along with these attributes, Finger’s Batsuit also had notable accessories like the spiked pieces on Batman’s gloves (called “scallops”). Furthermore, Bill Finger gave Batman gloves rather than the armored gauntlets that would later be introduced.
10. Lee Bermejo’s Batman: Noël Batsuit
Fans often reference Lee Bermejo’s unique Batsuit in Batman: Noël when referencing the variations the suit has gone under. The suit is notable for the huge bat-symbol that is connected to the cape and cowl. The suit itself is a bit more armored than other versions and the cowl is also unique. Instead of a more standard mask, this one is contoured to Batman’s face. The cowl was concave on the side of Batman’s head and even had eyebrow markings. Unlike the 1960s Batman, these eyebrows aren’t drawn on, but are wrinkles in the cloth that make Batman look even more intimidating.
Lee Bermejo’s style, when it comes to Batman, is much sharper than other renditions. His edges and points are much more defined, unlike other suits where the cape seems to fade into the night. While the suit looks sharp, it doesn’t look so far-fetched that it becomes distracting. In fact, it has an opposite effect and makes Batman look much more realistic than others.
9. Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns Batsuits
One of the most influential writers or illustrators to work on Batman, Frank Miller helped recreate Batman and his Batsuits in ways that both payed homage to the ones that came before while also giving us something new. This entry is a bit unfair in that we’ll be lumping both the regular suit and mech-suit together, but both really deserve an entry on the list.
The regular Dark Knight Returns suit is a great adaptation of the classic Batsuit. It has a lot of the same colors and functionality, but with an enlarged Bat-symbol on the chest. This Batsuit harkened back to the classic suit and made readers feel the age of this older, grizzled Batman. It gave us a sense of legacy, while also showing us how much Batman has aged visually.
But the mech-suit that Batman constructs in order to take on Superman has gone down in history as one of Batman’s most badass inventions. For a man with so many gadgets and tricks up his sleeve, the Kryptonite-lined, armored suit has got to be one of the best. Despite not having the iconic Bat-symbol, it does have a similar cowl, cape and utility belt.
8. Arkham Origins Batsuit
While there have been several amazing suits that appear in the Arkham series, the Arkham Origins suit just eeks out the others with it’s sleeker, darker look. Though it’s armor-based like the other suits in the Arkham franchise, this first suit had a high-tech look without being too complicated. It gave us a great introduction to this version of Batman, and showed us his skills by highlighting the suit.
This suit is varying shades of black, as opposed to the metallic and grey looks of the other suits. The cowl is reminiscent of the cowl from Batman: Noël in that it has the same indentations on his head that better outline the shape of his head. Coming from a video game, this Batsuit gives us a more realistic sense of the functionality of the suit. For instance, you can see the screws and straps that help hold the suit together, but also the elastic that allows Batman to move freely. This suit bridged the gap from fantasy to reality by helping us understand just how Batman is able to use this suit to his advantage.
7. Batman Incorporated Batsuit
Batman Incorporated brought back the now classic yellow Bat-symbol on Batman’s chest, and in this version it even glowed in the dark. You can see that the suit is held together much more like a collection of pieces rather than one seamless suit, which showcases the practicality of this suit in action. There are visible seams that show where the suit was sewn the suit together.
Scott Clark, like many other comic book artists, also paid homage to Bill Finger’s original suit in the way that he drew the cape, in making it look more like a bat’s wingspan than a flowing cloak. This Batsuit is another successful attempt to blend the old, original suit with new and realistic ideas.
6. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Batsuit
We’ve now seen Ben Affleck’s Batman in action in the various trailers for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Not only is Ben Affleck huge in these movies, but his Batsuit is a worthy adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns Batsuit, which Zack Snyder has said is his main inspiration for this film. Ben Affleck has the same large Bat-symbol on his chest and his mech-suit has the same style.
Unlike other live-action suits, this one is definitely functional, and provides Batman with enough mobility to get the better of his opponents. Also, there are areas in which he has padding, in order to protect himself without having a suit that is fully armored, like the suits seen in Nolan’s Batman films. He also, apparently, has brass knuckles, just like in Batman: Noël. This is shaping up to be the best live-action Batsuit we’ve ever seen.
5. Batman Beyond Batsuit
Introduced in his very own series, Terry McGinnis’ futuristic version of Batman has the most highly advanced Batsuit we’ve ever seen. Designed by the Dark Knight himself, Bruce Wayne added a variety of useful tools and gadgets that allowed Terry to elevate the Batman’s abilities. Later, when Batman Beyond received its own comic run, we saw the same amazing suit in action and used by several other members of the Bat-Family.
The suit, sticking with the tones of its dystopian, futuristic setting, has a black and red color scheme that only makes it more intimidating. This Batsuit has an impressive list of capabilities and accessories, including rocket boots for flight, retractable wings, a plethora of batarangs and magnetic boots. The suit itself also has a sleeker design than most others, looking like one cohesive piece of material that completely covers the body of Batman.
4. Greg Capullo New 52 Batsuit
The New 52 has been met with plenty of apprehension in terms of its redesigns to major characters in the DC universe. However, Greg Capullo’s Batman, seen in such stories as “Court of Owls” or “Death of the Family,” has been a solid reimagining that calls back to Bill Finger’s original designs while also adding a new spin. For instance, Capullo has given Batman the original gloves that Finger had originally put on the Dark Knight in 1939.
However, Capullo added his own flavor to the Batsuit by accentuating the divides in padding, which make this Batsuit look a bit more realistic in its design. Capullo also brought back the shorter ears on the cowl, unlike the large ears in Finger’s original design. Some may have some grievances with the redesigns, but Capullo’s Batman has become a nice meshing of old and new that deserves to be recognized.
3. Bruce Timm & Paul Dini’s Batman: The Animated Series Batsuit
Although it changes slightly between Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, and The New Batman Adventures, the animated Batsuit lives on in many people’s memories as the definitive Batsuit. Being the first version of the Batsuit that many people were introduced to, this suit had all of the classic pieces usually associated with the suits in the comics, while also maintaining a sleeker design for animation. This Batsuit had the classic black, grey, blue, and yellow color scheme seen on dozens of other Batsuits, culling from Bill Finger’s original design.
Noticeably cloth-based, this Batsuit was torn several times during the shows run. However, this Batman was portrayed as being at the top of his game, which allowed him to use his immense strength and fighting skills to avoid most life-threatening injuries. Even his utility-belt is made of cloth, but it’s still fully stocked with the usual Bat-gadgets such as batarangs, smoke pellets, grappling hooks, communicators, and a rebreather.
2. Power Ring Batsuits
Within the Batman comic itself, there are no instances in which he actually has prolonged exposure to Power Rings, but there have been a few times in Elseworld stories where he does in fact possess various rings. Batman has worn a Black Ring, White Ring, Green Ring, and a Yellow Ring on various occasions. While none of these last for very long, each suit changes his existing Batsuit in very unique ways.
In fact, these few times have become so popular that DC has commissioned toys for every variation, despite their rather minor role in the comics. Perhaps the most interesting of the power ring Batsuits is the White Ring suit. In a stark contrast to Batman’s usual color scheme, the white ring changes his entire outfit into white and grey and adds the white ring symbol on his chest.
1. Jim Lee’s Batman: Hush Batsuit
Jim Lee’s version of the Batsuit in the comic Batman: Hush is the one that people often associate with the character. Using the same iconic color scheme as previous versions (minus the yellow Bat-symbol), Jim Lee gives the Batsuit the classic black bat-symbol, yellow utility-belt, and black cowl with a blue hue.
Lee masterfully drew each individual aspect of the suit, making it look sharp and dangerous. His version of the Batsuit made the character look intimidating, but also acrobatic enough to swing through the air with a grappling hook. Without a doubt, this Batsuit is one of the best costumes in all of comics.
Hopefully this list not only shined some light on the most iconic, functional, practical, and badass Batsuits, but also gave you the names of some of these amazing artists. If your favorite Batsuit isn’t on this list, be sure to leave us a comment below and let us know which is your favorite!