[Update: Check out the official costume to see how our guesses fared.]
It’s the dawn of a brand new age for DC Comics fans: Man of Steel has given audiences a modern take on Superman, and Batman is next up for some reinvention. With Batman vs. Superman, director Zack Snyder will attempt to do what no longer seems possible: bring something new to a live-action Batman.
Despite Christopher Nolan’s incarnation still being fresh in everyone’s mind, Snyder’s apparently found a way to do it, with comic book guru Kevin Smith more than elated with the new Batman costume. We think we know what’s in store for fans, but let’s take a look at a few Batsuits that the filmmakers may be turning to for inspiration.
Here are 5 Batsuits We Might See in Batman vs. Superman.
The Dark Knight Returns
Designed By: Frank Miller
The first Batsuit that has to be addressed is the one concocted by Frank Miller for his landmark “The Dark Knight Returns.” Since Snyder chose to unveil that Batman and Superman would come to blows in the Man of Steel sequel – via a famous monologue pulled from Miller’s story - many assumed that the film, like the comic book arc, would feature an aging and weary Batman.
Those assumptions were confirmed when Ben Affleck, 41, landed the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. So will the costume be taking a similar inspiration? The blockier Bat-logo seen in the BvS image revealed at Comic-Con seems to suggest it…
Although Affleck is certainly not as old or worse-for-wear as Miller’s Dark Knight, he does possess the size and stature required to do the bulkier look justice – provided he adds some more bulk of his own, of course. Kevin Smith’s claim that the costume would be unlike any seen before in live-action makes this one possible, since it adheres to the fabric-only aesthetic of the comic books.
This basic style has since been iterated upon by artist Jim Lee, but the main differences between the two are more than skin-deep; will Affleck’s Batman be an older, rougher, utilitarian crimefighter? Or will he embody the sleek, mysterious grace Lee is known for? We’ll have more on that later.
Designed By: Andy Kubert
The Geoff Johns-scribed comic event dubbed “Flashpoint” may have focused on Flash’s reality-altering superspeed, but the alternate-reality version of Batman threatened to steal the show from beginning to end.
In the story, the man dubbed ‘Batman’ by authorities was not Bruce Wayne fighting to avenge the deaths of his mother and father, but Thomas Wayne, driven by the loss of his young son. Understandably, Thomas’ antihero was an embodiment of violence and anger that Bruce never approached.
Using glowing red eyes and horned shoulders to become even more terrifying than normal, there’s certainly a few cues for the Dark Knight to take for his next big screen appearance. The red eyes and firearms likely wouldn’t play with most audiences, but the more utilitarian gear and intimidating style would be a welcome change.
We’ve made our case for the serious need to make Batman scary again, and now that DC fans have had the chance to see the Flashpoint suit on the page and in motion, we think they’d agree that burning eyes and sharpened shoulders would do the trick.
Designed By: Lee Bermejo
Written and illustrated by Lee Bermejo, the comic book Batman: Noel casts Batman into a strange re-imagining of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” and into a new leather suit. The reinforced leather outfit is not only a step closer to the fabric suits of the comic books, but genuinely distinct from anything Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy ever attempted.
Reports have already hinted that the new Batman cowl being crafted for Batman vs. Superman bore a strong resemblance to that of “Noel,” so why would they stop there? Especially if bright yellow accents are deemed ‘impractical.’
Sure, one might argue that leather isn’t as effective at stopping bullets as full body armor; but we’d remind casual fans that Batman hasn’t survived this long thanks to the clothing he chose.
Besides the fact that the suit looks fantastic, it attempts to cast off the need for a bulky armor (that means the result will bear almost no resemblance to the Batman of the comic books or animated movies). But if Snyder wants to pursue a faithful suit, we say: go even farther.
Image Credit: ArmachamCorp on DeviantArt.
Designed By: David Finch
Live-action Batman movies have always featured costumes that reflected the cutting-edge of body armor (or at least a fictionalized version of it) – but in today’s world, mobility is just as important as toughness, and fabrics are far more advanced than ever before. If Snyder’s team wants to emulate the cloth feel of the comic book while still giving an impression of cutting-edge technology, the “Batman Incorporated” suit is a well-balanced design.
In many ways, this take on the suit is one of the most faithful updates on Batman’s look in recent years. With a suit – a grey suit – constructed from material not too dissimilar from Man of Steel’s Kryptonian counterpart, and the return of the yellow utility belt and chest badge, it straddles the line between classic and modern like few others, while maintaining consistantcy with the Man of Steel universe.
However, it must be said that the suit owes much of its core design to a preceding look – a look we think fans are most likely to see in live-action…
Designed By: Jim Lee
Dozens of artists have made their mark on Batman over the years, but ask a serious fan, and they’ll tell you that when Jim Lee touches pencil to paper on a Batman project, the results will usually be staggering. The mixture of raw power, intimidation and a ‘less-is-more’ mentality makes Lee’s design stand above just about every other.
It’s this design that we’re convinced would elicit the reaction from Smith the director claimed (spontaneously bear-hugging Zack Snyder), since no previous film has stuck to a simple grey suit and slapped it on a musclebound man (or a large actor aided by a silicon muscle suit).
Enormous cape, form-fitting cowl, blunt horns, possibly even artificially-brightened eyes and the freedom to execute martial arts and gymnastics that Bruce Wayne should have mastered? This would bring something genuinely new to a live-action Dark Knight while staying truer than ever to the comic books.
Image Credit: Kotobukiya ARTFX Statue
We’re merely making educated guesses, but if Snyder has chosen to mimic Jim Lee’s design for his new Batman, fans will have the chance to see something they have never before been shown: the Batman from comics and animation adapted completely into the real world.
What are your favorite variants on the standard armor? Are they ones you know you’re not likely to see anytime soon? What do you think of our top pick?
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Batman vs. Superman will hit theaters on July 17, 2015.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.