Batsuit

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Batman Clothing

Batman's current costume, as shown in the Hush story arc. Art by Jim Lee.
Batman's current costume, as shown in the Hush story arc. Art by Jim Lee.

The Batsuit (also Bat-Suit) is the costume of the DC Comics superhero, Batman. Though the suit has been drawn many different ways by different artists, and the stories themselves have described Batman as modifying the details of his costume from time to time, it is most often depicted as consisting of a scalloped cape, a bat-like cowl, a pair of gloves, boots, a yellow utility belt, and dark briefs over a tight-fitting unitard|body suit with the image of a bat emblazoned on the chest.

Batman wears this costume both to conceal his identity, and to frighten criminals. Most versions of the Batsuit incorporate some form of body armor, and often night-vision, gas filters, and other aids to combat effectiveness or protection. All versions of the outfit incorporate a utility belt containing a variety of crimefighting equipment.

Contents

Origin and development

Origin

While brooding in his study over how to be a more effective crime fighter, Bruce Wayne saw a bat come through his window (in the earliest Detective Comics portrayal simply flying in an open window, in Post-Crisis continuity such as Batman: Year One, dramatically crashing through the glass) and perch on the bust of his father. Realizing that "criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot," Bruce adopts the persona of a bat in order to conceal his identity and strike fear into his adversaries. Subsequent origin tales have had Bruce terrified by bats as a child, and observing a bat costume worn by his father at a costume ball, but the primary impetus of his decision to adopt the bat persona has always been the incident of the bat coming in the window of his study. It is as a result of this incident that the batsuit was developed.

Color scheme

It was a basic convention of comic books at the time of Batman's creation that black needed a highlight color (usually blue) in order to show detail and give the illusion of three-dimensionality. Over time, the initial blue highlight spread out over the previously black cape and cowl to become the dominant color. Thus artists renditions depict the costume as black and gray or blue and gray. During the 1990s following Bruce Wayne's return to costume after the events of the Knights End storyline, he utilized an all black costume that incorporated some armor advancements that Jean-Paul Valley had created. The bat symbol on the chest has also alternated from a simple black bat to a bat design on a yellow ellipse. The yellow ellipse was introduced in 1964 as part of the "New Look" Batman stories, and was meant to be a connection to the Bat-Signal. In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns it is revealed that the yellow ellipse design was deliberately meant as a target, attracting a potential gunman's aim to the heavily armored chestpiece, and away from Batman's unarmored face. While TDKR is not considered DC "Canon," a subsequent issue of Gotham Knights re-established the concept. Other elements, such as the utility belt and the length of the cowl's ears, have been changed by various artistic teams.

Basic suit

A revised incarnation of the "New Look" Batman costume by Neal Adams.
A revised incarnation of the "New Look" Batman costume by Neal Adams.

The basic foundation of the Batsuit is a tight-fitting bodysuit, similar to many superheroes. In early depictions, contrasting briefs are worn over a unitard, similar to the garb of early 20th century circus performers. In modern depictions, the briefs are integrated into the main costume, so that section of the costume constitutes only a seam and color change from the rest of the suit. The body suit has varied in color and style as depicted by different artists: grey tights with dark blue briefs, light blue tights etc.

The Post-Crisis version of the bodysuit is not constructed from simple fabric, but from Kevlar thread and carbon nanotube fibers. This imparts it with a unique sheen and makes it heavily resistant to tearing. In addition, the suit also is constructed with a full body electric shock delivery system, which is also layered into the suit's fabric. The basic version of the Batsuit is insulated against electricity and is mildly fire resistant. Batman utilizes many different body armor designs, some of which are constructed into his Batsuits, and others which are separate. In its most basic version, the suit is bulletproof around the upper torso and back and can withstand a point blank range blast from a 12-gauge shotgun. Other versions are entirely bullet proof to small arms fire, and have advanced flexible armor plating made from Carbon composites and lightweight metal polymers.

Cape

As different artists have taken over the responsibility of drawing the character, the details of the suit have changed considerably. The original incarnation of the cape was a wing-like structure inspired by drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci. This eventually evolved into a more cape-like design of varying length. Some artists draw the cape with protrusions on the shoulders, likely representing the "thumb" part of a bat's wing, though this is not a consistent addition. The cape is occasionally depicted as bulletproof.Batman Annual #15 (1991) The cape varies according to the current writer, sometimes being depicted as bulletproof and fire resistant, and other times being nothing more than simple fabric that tears easily and sustains constant damage and is continuously replaced. For example, in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Robin's Reckoning", Batman fell through a floor heavily compromised by machine-gun fire and landed badly, hurting his leg. He ripped up his cape and used some pieces of broken wood to make an impromtu ankle splint.

In film adaptations the cape has also incorporated Nomex fire-resistant/retardant material (as demonstrated in the film Batman Forever) and a Kevlar weave to slow the impact of bullets. The cape ends also contain lead weight tips that prevent the cape from getting tangled or blowing in his face in windy conditions. The weights can also be used for offensive purposes, like striking an enemy by whipping the cape around. This device was expanded in The Dark Knight Strikes Again where the ends of the cape contained razor-sharp blades which Batman used to slice through several corrupt government officials. In the 2005 film Batman Begins, the cape was also used as a sort of hang glider; when an electric current was applied to the cape, the shape-memory fibers aligned into a semi-rigid form resembling a bat's wings, allowing Batman to glide over the streets and rooftops of Gotham. A more primitive version of this hang-glider concept was presented in Batman Returns, in which a harness folds out of the cape to make it a rigid wing-like structure, then folds back when the wearer rolls forward on the ground after landing.

Gloves

In the earliest Batman stories of Detective Comics, the costume featured a few curiosities before it evolved in to its more or less standard style. The first gloves were purple in color, ordinary looking, and lacked any sort of scalloped fins or other stylings, and only came to the wrists. The second Batman adventure depicted the character wearing no gloves at all. A few issues later the gloves became longer, and by 1940 the familiar fins were added (in early stories, these pieces originally resembled miniature, scalloped bat wings, but eventually became three simple triangular fins). In some later incarnations, the scallops are attached to a separated bracer worn below the glove around the wrist. In Batman Begins these bracers are part of the costume of the ninja sect Wayne trained with, painted black. Traditionally, the scallops serve a defensive purpose and are used to defend against bladed weapons, such as swords or knives. Additionally, the gloves have been specially treated to be both shock-proof as well as radiation-resistant. The gloves are joint reinforced and the glove designs that incorporate fingertip blades and have joint armor-reinforcement in the glove, from the wrists and knuckles to the fingers. He also has electrical shockers in the fingertips of his gloves, which are used to control the structure of his cape. Additionally, Batman hides a few pieces of his arsenal in his gloves, such as a lock pick.Robin #14

In The Dark Knight Batman's new lighter suit has separate bracers that have a double row of fins, these fins can also be fired off to act like Flechette|flechettes.

Armor

The Batsuit has been repeatedly updated in order to reflect advances in technology. Originally the costume contained no protective armor, since the creative talent felt that it made Batman seem too powerful to see him shrug off bullet hits. However, the real world advent of various forms of personal protective materials like Kevlar and the realization that being shot while wearing such protection still should be avoided, has led to the costume being re-imagined with varying forms of bulletproof protection. Despite the armor, Batman almost always evades gunfire and is very rarely actually shot. After recovering from his spinal cord injury (the result of Bane's attack), Batman reinforced the armor with a material to dampen shocks and impacts to protect him from such abuse.

Cowl

Batman's cowl does more than just conceal his features and strike terror to the hearts of his enemies. Occasionally, the cowl is depicted as having defense mechanisms such as electric shock or stun gas in order to prevent unauthorized removal (as shown in The Dark Knight).Batman: Hush comic book storylineSuperman/Batman: Public Enemies comic book storyline In Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne mail orders the materials to build the cowl through a maze of untraceable shell companies. To avoid suspicion, Wayne orders very large quantities of 10,000, each part sent to different location, and under different aliases. Because some meta-human criminals have the power to see through solid objects, Batman also lines the cowl with lead to protect his identity.Superman/Batman #9 The cowl also contains shifting lenses that identifies suspect's identities, as well as their weak points (through medical records), while simultaneously avoiding the possibility of eye identification. The cowl has special visions, like infrared vision (heat sensors), night vision, and ultraviolet vision.Batman: Hush comic book storyline It is implied that Oracle manages his cowl's computer. Recently (in Detective Comics #838), it's been revealed that Batman also has an echolocation system in the cowl. In Batman: The Animated Series, Batman wears a special motorcycle helmet when riding his Batcycle that is molded with bat ears to accommodate his cowl's ears.

In addition, one of the cowl's ears carries a high-gain antenna for an internal comm-link on the left side of the cowl, allowing Batman to stay in contact with his allies.Batman: Detective Comics #741 The comm-link can also scan police radios and other communication frequencies. It also carries an inertial navigation unit to keep him in balance when facing foes such as the Scarecrow or Count Vertigo.Batman #647 The cowl's Kevlar panels provide protection over vulnerable skull areas against internal ballistics. The front of the skull and the sides of the temples also have small armor inserts to increase the effectiveness of skull strikes and protect from concussive blows. Repeated encounters with the Mad Hatter also forced Batman to shield his cowl against the villain's mind control. Its basic design has remained unchanged; however, it has been frequently updated to advance Batman's crusade. The one aspect of the cowl that does undergo variations is the ears, although the length and pointiness of the ears is primarily due to the style of the artist drawing Batman, and tends not to be tied to the functionality of the cowl in any way.

Boots

In Batman: Year One, it is depicted that Batman hid a few pieces of his arsenal in his leather boots, such as a blow gun with fast-acting anesthetic darts and an ultrasonic device built into his left heel. Batman's boots are highly unique. The basic design of the boots are modeled on Tactical boots, but they are made from lightweight rubbers and are much more flexible to allow for full extension when kicking. The boots feature a unique "slingshot" ankle reinforcement design that acts as both armor and as reinforcement for the ankle joint when kicking or landing from high distances. The bottom is a flexible split sole design and is textured to for a variety of surfaces. The boots also have steel toes, making them much more effective when on the offensive. Despite that Batman is already an accomplished Olympic level diver, during the Batman: Hush storyline, it is revealed that he installed underwater propellers in the heels. In Batman Begins, a boot heel is revealed to contain a hypersonic signaling device capable of calling live bats to it (presumably, from the Batcave) as a form of protection and cover for Batman during a getaway. This device was originally introduced in the Batman: Year One series. In Batman & Robin, the boots have ice skates built into them. These can be seen in the scene when the hockey players attack Batman and Robin.

Utility belt and other equipment

Batman's utility belt is his most characteristic prop, much like Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth, or Green Lantern's ring. The exact contents of this belt are not known because Batman usually changes it to suit his needs. His uncanny ability to carry unusually appropriate tools is legendary. Batman's enemies are especially interested in the utility belt as they believe it will give them an advantage over him, but the belt's pockets are locked and only Batman knows how to open them. Occasionally, the utility belt is depicted as having defense mechanisms such as electric shock or stun gas in order to prevent tampering.

The array of devices Batman carries have become more complex over time. The simple coiled rope and batarang scaling equipment became a rocket powered (or compressed air powered) grapple gun.Miller, Frank. Batman #406. "Batman: Year One", DC Comics, 1987; and Batman vs. Predator #3 (1992) The suit has also carried on different occasions a re-breather device, flash and gas grenades, explosives and a detonator, lockpicks, a signaling device for the Batmobile, electronic surveillance equipment (including video camera and monitor), a forensic kit for gathering crime scene evidence, a medical kit, a cache of money and, in early incarnations, a pistol in a holster. On any occasion where Batman anticipates encountering Superman, he has also carried (in a lead case) a Kryptonite ring given to him by the Man of Steel as a weapon of last resort (in some instances, Batman has acquired - or manufactured - the kryptonite himself, such as Frank Miller's The Dark Knight graphic novels). One exception to this is seen in Kingdom Come, since in that novel, Superman has become impervious to kryptonite.

Variants

Batman keeps variant costumes for dealing with extraordinary situations; for example, he has been shown in a [[Scuba set|SCUBA variant of his costume, a fireproof version for fighting his enemy Firefly, a thermal insulated version for fighting Mister Freeze, as well as others. Many versions of the hero, including those shown in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Kingdom Come, Batman Beyond and Batman versus Predator, show him swapping his cloth costume for a suit of powered armor.

Jean-Paul Valley's Batsuit

Jean-Paul Valley in his Batman armor.
Jean-Paul Valley in his Batman armor.

In the Knightfall story arc (1992-1994), the character Jean-Paul Valley redesigned the batsuit during his tenure as Batman. Rather than appearing as a new costume, Jean-Paul developed it over time. Valley created an armored suit that contained more gadgets, including a shuriken launcher, flamethrower and other, more lethal weapons. This version of the suit did away with the traditional cape and cowl. It featured armored and bladed wings and was highly bullet proof, capable of sustaining direct machine gun barrages as well as enduring the explosions from grenades and high intensity fire. The suit also featured an underwater rebreather. A circular ammo feeder affixed to the back of the suit provided Valley with continuous Shuriken. This suit has often been seen as a reaction to occasional fan criticism that the batsuit was not high-tech enough for the modern age. In the end, the suit became Valley's vulnerable point, as Bruce realized that his replacement had become too reliant upon the suit's gadgetry. In their final confrontation, Wayne, in his traditional bat costume, tricked Valley into discarding the armor. Upon seeing Wayne revealed in his batsuit under blinding daylight, Valley's fragile mind collapsed and he acknowledged Bruce Wayne as the true Batman.

The gauntlets from this costume are now being used by Kate Spencer, the current Manhunter, who obtained them from an Los Angeles Police Department|LAPD evidence room. They had been used by a small-time crook who unsuccessfully robbed the safe of a Gotham lawyer who keeps information on all his supervillain clients' loot.

Troika

While no different in terms of gadgets, the batsuit that Batman wears, first in the Troika storyline, is noticeably darker than his default costume, comparable to the batsuits worn in the Tim Burton movies. The costume is also much sturdier than his regular costume, as it is made of Kevlar for added protection. The gauntlets and boots for this Batsuit are also one piece, connected seamlessly to the arms and legs. By Robin #14, Batman substitutes the original gloves and boots for ones of more protective quality, citing his encounter with the Russian Troika.

Other media appearances

Television

1960s Batman

The Batman television series of the 1960s featured a blue-purple and gray version of the batsuit with a noticeably shorter cape and tiny ears. There were also white eyebrows painted on the cowl. In keeping with the Camp (style)|campy nature of the series, the devices on the utility belt were often used as gags, with one of the most bizarre items being a thermos for storing alphabet soup. In one episode, Bruce Wayne carried two capsules that when dropped in a glass of water became full-sized costumes for Batman and Robin, complete with utility belts. In the crossover episode featuring The Green Hornet, Britt Reid refers to Batman's costume as a "goofy purple cape."

DC animated universe

Batman's different costumes throughout the DC animated universe.
Batman's different costumes throughout the DC animated universe.

In Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995) the Batsuit overall looks like the "New Look" costume except the cape, cowl, gloves, briefs and boots are colored black instead of blue, though they do feature a bluish shine and the cape's underside is blue. Occasionally the cape and cowl are also shown to be one piece and when he's not fighting, the cape is usually seen covering Batman's entire body below his head. The costume lacks any armor qualities, instead being merely a body suit with no apparent special features and it often becomes torn in serious fights. It is occasionally seen packed in Bruce Wayne's luggage or in his vehicles, and it is made clear that he has numerous spares. Some changes in the design over time (the coloration, the chest emblem) were made, for both budgetary and aesthetic reasons.

In The New Batman Adventures (1997-1999) whose animation style was based on that of Superman: The Animated Series, Batman's physical appearance changes to match Superman's somewhat. The Batsuit's colors became darker overall and the utility belt used pouches instead of capsules or cylinders. His suit also has extended razors on his gloves. The blue portion of his cape is changed to dark gray, and the cape itself is redesigned to reach over his shoulders. His bat emblem is replaced by larger bat without a yellow ellipse. He also has an alternate suit of black armor capable to withstand extreme heat and flame (such as Firefly's attacks) and presumably bulletproof as well.

In Justice League/Justice League Unlimited (2001-2006) Batman was again redesigned and the Batsuit was given a mixture appearance of the previous two suits. The costume is generally the same as in The New Batman Adventures, but has the brighter colors from Batman: The Animated Series. Additionally, the artists added certain modifications to foreshadow the futuristic costume variant (see below), including the lengthening of the "ears" on the cowl and the addition of heels on the boots.

In Batman Beyond (1999-2001) an extremely different variant of the Batsuit is featured. The new costume does away with the traditional individual articles of clothing and appears to be a simple black bodysuit with a red chest emblem. However, this version is more than a simple costume. Form fitting and highly responsive, it's actually a "powered suit", similar to an artificial powered exoskeleton. Originally, Bruce designed the suit for himself and wore it to aid his aging body, as the series' storyline was set years after Justice League. When Bruce gave up on being Batman permanently, Terry McGinnis replaced him and became the suit's primary wearer from then on. Giving Terry increased strength, and equipped with sophisticated built in gadgets similar to Jean Paul Valley's variant, it's unlike any other Batsuit in the DCAU. This costume is used in the Superman/Batman comic in which Terry makes his first appereance. Of its several features, the most frequently used are a set of retractable wings and jet boots which, together, allow for flight, an active camouflage system which renders him nearly invisibility|invisible, and a two-way radio and surveillance system that allows Bruce to see and hear everything Terry does and give him advice.

The Batman

In the animated show The Batman (2004-2008), the Batsuit looks almost like the one in Batman: The Animated Series, but has shorter ears on the cowl to make him look more like a "boxer," claws on his gloves, a slightly redesigned bat symbol with the yellow ellipse on his chest, a more high-tech computerized utility belt, and a longer cape that, just like the Batman: TAS costume, sometimes covers his entire body below the head.

Film

Batman

The Batsuit of Batman, worn by Michael Keaton.
The Batsuit of Batman, worn by Michael Keaton.

Tim Burton's films feature a completely black Batsuit (excepting the black-in-yellow field bat-emblem and the utility belt) with heavy armor placed on the chest, forearms, and boots, with the chest armor incorporating the bat-emblem. In Batman, the basic design of the suit, done by Bob Ringwood, is essentially the Neal Adams version of the costume, which was still in vogue in the comics during the 1980s. This movie suitBatman (1989 film) was notable for its introduction of the grapple gunGrappling Gun: In comic books, the Dark Knight doesn't carry a gun that shoots bullets. In the film, he is armed, however, with this weapon, the Grappling Gun: a spring action, speargun-like device that shots a grappling hook and, when needed, paralyzing gas., which was later adopted by the comics, for the black eye makeup used to make him less recognizable, which has been used in all Batman films following this one, and for the construction of the cowl, which made it impossible for actor Michael Keaton to turn his head while wearing it. The costume was constructed of heavy materials (foam rubber), instead of the thinner material seen in the comics. While Bruce Wayne is depicted as a muscular man in the comics, Keaton was not of the same physical build and the armor was designed to make Batman appear that way.

Batman Returns

The Batsuit of Batman Returns, worn by Michael Keaton.
The Batsuit of Batman Returns, worn by Michael Keaton.

In Batman Returns,Batman ReturnsBruce is seen choosing his Batsuit and accessories out of many spares from a large walk-in closet. The suit used in this film differs slightly from the previous versionThe new batsuit for Batman Returns, featuring a more angular shape in the musculature of the armor that is shown to have weak areas (most notable when Catwoman was able to pierce the side of the suit after feeling for weakness in it). It also features a bat-emblem more similar to the DC Comics emblem than the previous film's costume and both the emblem's field and the utility belt are colored goldenrod instead of plain yellow. In the film, Batman appears wearing a glider which folds out from his cape.

The costume for Batman Returns was made out of a thinner, slightly more flexible foam rubber material than the costume for the previous film. This is especially noticeable around the mouth area of the cowl. When Bruce reveals his identity to Catwoman towards the end of the film, he literally tears off the cowl, revealing its consistency being highly similar to rubber.

Batman Forever

The Batsuit of Batman Forever, worn by Val Kilmer.
The Batsuit of Batman Forever, worn by Val Kilmer.

The Batman films of Joel Schumacher are notorious for their addition of rubber nipples to the Batman and Robin costumes, but, ironically, not on Batgirl's costume. (On the DVD commentary, Schumacher claimed they were inspired by statues of the Greek gods.) In Batman Forever, the Batsuit is somewhat similar to the previous two films' costumes, except for the focus on a more anatomical design overall and a black utility belt instead of a yellow one. One notable feature of the costume is a button on the utility belt which causes a fireproof coating to excrete from and cover the cape, allowing Batman to wrap it around himself as a shield from extreme fires, and a more 3-D bat emblem on his chest. Also like in Batman Returns, Batman has numerous spares which he keeps in a large dome-like structure in the Batcave of this film.The new Bat-Suits for Batman ForeverBatman Forever Dr. Chase Meridian, the film's love interest for Batman, mentions the appeal of Batman's suit as she runs her fingers across the chest section. After all of the regular Batsuits are destroyed by the Riddler, Batman is forced to use a prototype "Sonar Suit", which is an iridescent silvery-black and more armor-like. This new Batsuit utilizes lenses that slide automatically over the cowl's eyeholes to display a sonar-generated image of Batman's surroundings to him, allowing him to see with more accuracy in extreme darkness or glare. The Batsuits in this film were created from a less dense mixture of foam rubber, which resulted in much lighter suits and allowed more flexibility for Val Kilmer and the various stunt players, while increasing durability. More than 100 Batman and Robin costumes were created to allow for the range of stunts, from underwater scenes to scenes involving fire and extreme fighting.

Batman & Robin

The Batsuit of Batman & Robin, worn by George Clooney.
The Batsuit of Batman & Robin, worn by George Clooney.

In the second and final Schumacher film, Batman & Robin,Batman & Robin Batman produces a credit card from his utility belt which has an expiration date of "Forever". This film also added pop-out ice skates to the costumes' boots. The new Batsuit was also noticeably more blue in tone, and a second, more silvery and elaborately detailed costume (supposedly an Arctic version of the suit) was worn during the film's finale against Mr. Freeze. The elaboration however has been criticized and mocked in reviews due to the detail of rubber nipples and ice skates.

Batman Begins

The Batsuit of Batman Begins, worn by Christian Bale.
The Batsuit of Batman Begins, worn by Christian Bale.

The costume in Batman BeginsBatman Begins is given the most complete description ever seen in a Batman film and possibly the comic books. The suit is derived from Lucius Fox's Research and Development program, within Wayne Enterprises' Applied Sciences Division. It is described by Fox as a "Nomex survival suit" originally intended for special forces|advanced military use, but, with its $300,000 price tag, was considered to be too expensive for the United States Army and military in general. Based on an advanced infantry armor system constructed from Nomex, the first layer of protection is an undersuit with built-in temperature regulators designed to keep the wearer at a comfortable temperature in almost any condition. The second layer of protection consists of armor built over the chest, calves, thighs, arms, and back. This armor features a kevlar bi-weave that can stop slashing weapons and can also deflect any bullet short of a straight shot impact, and reinforced joints that allow maximum flexibility and mobility. The armor was then coated with a black latex material to dampen Bruce's heat signature, making him difficult to detect with night-vision equipment. Made of a graphite material, the cowl acts as a protective helmet. The cowl's Kevlar lining is supposed to be bulletproof. A manufacturing defect in the graphite used in the production of the first shipment of the cowl's components made its outer shell incapable of withstanding blunt trauma (a flaw Alfred demonstrates to Bruce Wayne using a baseball bat). Batman apparently takes on Falcone and his henchmen at the docks with the defective helmet. The second shipment was supposed to fix this problem. An advanced eavesdropping device is concealed within the cowl's right ear and enables Batman to listen in on conversations from a distance.

The utility belt is a modified climbing harness, with magnetized impact-resistant pouches and canisters attached to the belt at ergonomic points for ease of reach. It carries a magnetic gas-powered grapple gun, an encrypted cell phone, Batarangs, a medical kit, smoke bombs, mini explosives, periscope, remote control for the Batmobile (the Tumbler), camera|mini-cam, money, and other unspecified equipment. Batman removed the belt's shoulder and chest straps because they constricted his movements. Batman's cape is made of "memory cloth," also developed by Lucius Fox. It is essentially flexible in its normal state, but becomes semi-rigid in a fixed form (Batman's wings in the movie) when an electric current is passed through it from the microcircuits in his right glove. Bruce also adds metal gauntlets with scallops on the forearms, an innovation derived from his experience as a pupil of Ra's al Ghul's organization, the League of Shadows. Mainly used to block against knives or other stabbing weapons, Bruce managed to surprise Ra's by breaking the blade of his ninjaken in multiple places with the gauntlets. The left boot heel contains a high frequency sonic "sounder" which can summon bats. When used at a lower frequency the sound can cause people to have incapacitating headaches.

Actor Christian Bale said of the Batsuit while filming Batman Begins: "It's hot, dark, and sweaty and it gives me a headache." This line was so popular that the costumers on the film had it printed on their t-shirts.Christian Bale speaks from set of Batman Begins

The Dark Knight

The Batsuit of The Dark Knight, worn by Christian Bale.
The Batsuit of The Dark Knight, worn by Christian Bale.

The Batsuit is changed in the next film The Dark Knight (2008). In this new design, the bodysuit is made of hardened kevlar plates on a titanium-dipped fiber and is broken into multiple pieces of armor over a more flexible bodysuit for greater mobility. As a trade-off, however, the flexible armor leaves Batman more vulnerable to injury from bullets or knives in favor of increased flexibility and lighter weight. The cowl of the Batsuit, which in previous film incarnations has been attached to the shoulder and neck, is now a separate component inspired by the design of motorcycle helmets, allowing the wearer to freely swivel and move his neck without moving the rest of his upper torso as was characteristic in all the previous cinematic versions of the Batsuit. Also, a strong electric current runs through it that prevents anyone except Bruce from removing it, further protecting his identity.Entertainment Weekly #940

In this Batsuit, the iconic blades on the sides of Batman's gauntlets are now retractable and are capable of firing outwards as projectiles. The bat emblem is smaller than the one in Batman Begins and it is more similar to the Batman logo used in the posters.

The suit again has an external 'memory cloth' cape, but, now has the ability to fold into a backpack shape as demonstrated pre-base jump in Hong Kong. It is unclear in the film if once deployed, as a glider, it can return to this backpack shape automatically. According to costume designer Linda Hemming this backpack idea was developed, at the request of Christopher Nolan, as a fall back if the cape were to get caught up in the rear wheel of the batpod in motion.

The Batsuit also has "sonar-vision", where signals emitted by mobile phones are converted into images in a similar way to sonar. In order to view the images, white lenses fold down from Batman's cowl to cover his eyes. Aesthetically this gives Batman, for the first time on film, the 'white eyed' appearance he is always depicted with in the comic-books and animated series.

Interestingly, the aforementioned feature is similar to a function of the "sonar suit" in Batman Forever which also has a "sonar lense" feature. However, those lenses appear green as shown in the film, rather than the glowing white as seen in The Dark Knight. Also, the lenses in Batman Forever and The Dark Knight seem to function along different principles. In The Dark Knight, the lenses' sonar feature depends on the signals given off by cell phones around the city, whereas in Batman Forever, the lenses' sonar feature works along an unexplained means.

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