Movie fans and online commenters had a field day when director Zack Snyder revealed the very first look at Ben Affleck's Batman costume, officially kicking off the marketing of Batman vs. Superman like only a new superhero suit can. And fans (and critics) wasted no time in making their opinions known. However, a select few took the opportunity to show their devotion in a more... creative way.
Just as they did with the announcement of Ben Affleck's casting, and more recently with the official cast announcement of Star Wars: Episode VII, fans took to the Internet to prove that genre film enthusiasts are more committed than most (or maybe, just maybe, have some free time on their hands for their favorite character).
In this case, while opinion on how perfect or groundbreaking the Frank Miller/Jim Lee styled costume may be varied, most seem to agree that the suit is worth closer inspection. Especially since the first photo (like the teaser image of the Batmobile before it) is delivered without color. So: first things first.
Let's Add Some Color
It took little time for fans to start taking artistic liberties, and showing what possible color schemes Snyder might be after, drawing on a number of different comic book and TV variations. We've picked out a few of the best (or most memorable) for fans to inspect:
The above image didn't take long to begin circulating on reddit, applying a subtle color, in keeping with Zack Snyder's muted style seen in Man of Steel. We would wager that this is likely the closest fans will get to the finished suit until it's officially revealed in color, but it certainly isn't the only version fans have crafted in the time since the image appeared online.
Staying true to the comic book roots of Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" is Twitter user JJ Stubbs, sticking to the simple grey and black color scheme that, all things considered, is probably the safest bet of what to expect in the finished film. The 'less is more' style is as comic book-ish as colorized versions get, but others chose to go even farther outside the box.
No comic book artist has shown a better ability to capture the iconic look and feel of Batman better than Jim Lee - which led writer/director Kevin Smith to embrace Zack Snyder when he saw this first image of Affleck in a suit that was "very Jim Lee influenced." With that in mind, i09 user 'Mandara' concocted the above image, adopting the grey and blue color scheme that has become Lee's trademark. Needless to say, the finished result would do just fine onscreen.
Those who believe that a Batsuit isn't a Batsuit without a yellow utility belt will be pleased with the above design, modeled by i09 user 'Name Classified' after DC's 'New 52' color scheme. If the suit revealed by Snyder is the official finished design, then the yellow belt seems to be a thing of the past. But hopefully this selection shows that even a shift in color palette can deliver a wide range of Batmen, so there's always hope for the future.
And just in case these were a little too... tame for a new age of Batman, the next image should prove that black and grey may not be the worst options:
Or the following image, which came about as a result of comic writer Gail Simone noting just how much the bulky new Batsuit resembled DC Comics villain-turned-hero and Batman rival Catman:
Once fans got over the shock of seeing a Batman costume shaped by cloth, not plate armor or rubber, viewers noticed something else about the image: Ben Affleck is one downcast Dark Knight. Obviously, the hero has a reason to be sad - beyond the death of his parents in front of his eyes - as Zack Snyder has promised an older, more seasoned and world-weary Batman in the upcoming sequel.
But regardless of the reasons, online Photoshoppers wasted no time in turning Affleck into one truly heartbreaking meme.