As Batman, Bruce Wayne has accomplished many incredible feats. Beat up Superman. Check (check, check, and check some more). Time, space, and interdimensional travel? Sure, sounds like a lazy Tuesday afternoon for old Brucey. But one of Bruce’s greatest feats is also one of his most frequently overlooked. His Batsuit.
That thing is truly something to behold. It’s not like you can just pop into Wayne Tech and just order up a batsuit. That would be ridiculous. Bruce spent time tinkering and developing the batsuit over years and years (with many variations) in order to, ahem, suit his needs. So let’s take some time to marvel at what a grown man can fit, and build, into a large bat costume.
Of Batman’s many iconic features, his cape is, perhaps, his most iconic. In many of Batman’s greatest runs, the cape seems to become a character in and of itself, almost alive even. But beyond storytelling purposes, Batman’s cape is actually quite useful for a whole multitude of reasons.
The least of which would be its defensive capabilities. From stopping bullets to being completely fireproof, it seems like there’s not much of anything that can manage to find its way through the cape that has routinely stricken fear in the criminals of Gotham for years. Defense is only about a third of the purpose the cape serves, however. We haven’t even talked about how Bats uses it to fly.
It’s logical to assume that a material capable of deflecting bullets at close range as well as being fire resistant would be a fairly thick material. In any place but Gotham, that assumption would probably be right. However, as any criminal unlucky enough to run into the Bat will tell you, that same bullet-deflecting, fireproof cape is also capable of carrying old Bruce from one rooftop to the next exactly as creepily as you’d imagine.
It probably wouldn’t have been as easy to convince the criminals of Gotham that he was some sort of justice-hungry demon if he was just walking around the streets of Gotham like a kid on Halloween though, so maybe we can cut him some slack. He did lose his parents after all.
With the rest of his ostentatious suit being so...well, loud. Not many people to take the time to consider how the Bat protects his little piggies. He’s still got all ten, as far as anyone knows, so he must be doing something right. Well, like the rest of the batsuit (besides the belt, custom Gucci), Batman’s boots are a Wayne-tech original.
The boots are crafted using the same bullet-deflecting, shock-absorbing material the rest of the suit is designed with. They also have steel toes for stomping those extra pesky baddies. Not to mention the secret hidden in the heel of his left boot. But we’ll get to that later.
Ah, the utility belt. One of the batsuit’s crowning achievements. There’s just so much jam-packed into those little pouches that even Batman’s most brilliant friends and foes have no idea what he may pull out of them. Held within Batman’s mythical belt Bruce carries everything from a kryptonite ring (for whenever Superman or any other Kryptonian starts getting too saucy) to a fingerprint dusting kit.
The sheer volume of the bat-items would be enough to weigh any man down, not to mention how he even managed to get so much into those tiny little pouches. Batman’s affinity for naming things after bats shines no brighter than in the naming of some of these useful items with utterly ridiculous names hidden in this belt. Batpoon (It’s a harpoon...but, like, Batman uses it.), Bruce? Really? Come on. You’re better than that.
While any fan who has played any of the recent Batman Arkham games is aware of Batman’s electrified gauntlets, used to fell some of the peskier henchmen, the full suit of Batman’s actually has an electric shock system.
Batman isn’t knocked out cold very often, but for those few times when Bruce runs into something he doesn’t expect or can’t handle, it’s nice to have a backup plan to keep that identity a secret from anyone who doesn’t already know it. But honestly, how many people living in Gotham could possibly afford all stuff Batman cruises around in and completely demolishes annually? Start using that noodle, Gotham.
As one might imagine, the Batman Beyond batsuit is by far the most advanced suit we see old Brucey wear. In order to compensate for his aging and deteriorating body, Bruce builds a suit essentially do everything. Seriously, this thing is like the utility belt of batsuits.
It can do everything from camouflage itself to hide Terry whenever he’s in a sticky situation to wirelessly, instantaneously, and seamlessly stream everything Terry sees and hears back to Bruce at the Batcave. This suit isn’t just armor and cloth stitched together, it’s an all-purpose exoskeleton complete with everything a growing Bat needs.
For someone like Batman, who spends most of his nights putting fists in faces, visibility is essential. That’s where the Bat-goggles (they’re just goggles…but, like, in Batman’s cowl) come in handy. These lenses can help Batman by giving him sonar, thermal vision, night vision, anything visual spectrum a graveyard shift crime fighter may need to stay a few steps ahead of the baddies of Gotham City.
Much like we see in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, these lenses can be upgraded and added to whenever Batman has another incredibly invasive and morally questionable idea. But as Lucious Fox teaches Bruce, with great power comes great responsibility. Wait. Hold on a second…
The actual armor of the batsuit seems to be almost magical. There's not much that the batsuit can't handle at one point or another. Everything from bullets and knives to some of the more specialized risks like extra armor in the back, just in case Bane gets any ideas about rebreaking the bat.
Batman obviously has about as many suit variations as someone like Iron Man, but we do know that certain sacrifices must be made in order to create a suit for whatever Batman may need at the moment. Bruce may have enough money to buy it all, but he still has to sacrifice protection for mobility and vice versa. That’s just how it works.
It’s astounding how many functions Bruce seems to pack every single item of his costume with, even something like a pair of gauntlets serve both offensive and defensive purposes. We already mentioned that Bruce has fitted each gauntlet with a nonlethal taser to pack an extra wallop in his punches when he needs it, but beyond that, they serve as armor protecting his hands from sharp objects.
The fins going up the sides of his arms also serve multiple purposes. They are not only capable of stopping a katana, but chopping it to bits, and can potentially be fired as projectiles from Batman’s arms. While they can chop a katana to pieces they are, apparently, nonlethal when fired at humans.
Many people may hear the bat signal and immediately think of the spotlight on the roof of the GCPD building, which is a shame because there is definitely a much more impressive bat signal. Hidden in the heel of Batman’s left boot is the device that elevates Batman to mythical levels in Gotham. Sure, dressing up like a bat and beating up criminals in the middle of the night is scary behavior.
Yeah, disappearing groups of henchmen before anyone is the wiser is very cool and creepy. But it’s a small ultrasonic device, that seemingly summons all of the bats, that brings the Bat into legendary territory here. What is this frequency? Where do all of these bats come from? There’s just so many questions.