The wave of Justice League marketing fans have waited for is on its way, and the first poster of Ben Affleck's Batman has got some asking - what's up with his new Batsuit? The posters released for Aquaman, Batman, and The Flash all convey a brighter, more optimistic film and adventure, but in the case of Batman that "brighter" message seems to have been carried over to the Bat symbol emblazoned on his chest. Bright is one thing, but this new Bat symbol looks like polished aluminum.
Immediately, there will be those critical of the DCEU and director Zack Snyder who claim that so mindless and blunt an application of a "brighter" aesthetic was to be expected. Fortunately, those who prefer their Dark Knight to be dressed in a suit of grey and black can rest easy: Batman's symbol will almost certainly not be reflecting the light better suited to his fellow heroes.
The poster mentioned above was released alongside a new Batman Justice League teaser showing his long awaited perch atop a Gotham City gargoyle, as well as a Batmobile battle with a Parademon. The teaser is predictably dark, but the poster shows Ben Affleck in his Batman costume in full detail, showing a suit that is... well, not all that different from Batman V Superman. Which, in this industry, is actually a bit of a novel idea.
The key difference, impossible to miss, is the bright, reflective Bat symbol taking the opposite approach from BvS's black variant. That lightening is clearly intentional, but it's merely a stylistic choice for the posters themselves (rest easy, those immediately reminded of George Clooney's grey-and-white Batman & Robin costume). Both Aquaman's belt buckle and The Flash's chest insignia are similarly brightened, giving each hero's logo a bit more definition among the larger League.
In the films themselves - as judged by the footage and other Justice League official artwork - the Bat symbol, the Aquaman belt buckle, and the Flash insignia fit their suits' color schemes and finishes perfectly. In both Aquaman's teaser and The Flash's teaser, the insignia themselves are made to blend in, rather than stand out. An effective approach in creating costumes with purpose or history... but less effective in a movie poster.
As far as changes to the Batsuit beyond that logo, the tweaks are minimal. Small pads of implied armor have been added to the shoulders, biceps, knees, and of course, the stenciled six pack. As an added bonus, the straps holding Batman's forearm guards on the exterior of his arms have been treated with a grey instead of black, making them stand out a bit more (giving Batman's suit a bit more of a pieced together aesthetic, matching the inventions needed to combat these new enemies).
He'll still be getting a wardrobe upgrade thanks to his much-discussed Tactical Batsuit, a more heavily armored and goggled version of his standard suit - visible being worn in the same teaser as he defends himself from a Parademon using his deadlier-than-ever Batmobile. But it appears that in his everyday work, the only thing he's added is a bit of padding. Since he's coming off of a fight with Doomsday, that says a lot about Bruce Wayne's renewed confidence.
What fans can now debate is whether those improvements to his suit are made in light of the Parademon and Apokoliptian threats, or the challenges involved in recruiting heroes who should be friendly. Zack Snyder has also teased what looked to be a scene in which Batman battles training drones or possibly Parademon soldiers, so the need for some extra safety could be based in uniting and training his League, or the new battlefield he finds himself upon. Either way, George Clooney can retain the trademark on a drastically two-toned Batsuit for the time being.
So, with that potential controversy nipped in the bud, what do you make of the other costumes? Would you have preferred more adjustments or updates to Affleck's suit, or do you subscribe to the idea that if it ain't broke, there's no fix needed?
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017