The last 80 years have given fans many versions of the Dark Knight, and with each Batman comes one or more suits to fit the actor as well as the style of the movie he represents. Some are flashy and cartoonish, some are grounded in realism, and some are a proper mix of the two.
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To make things precise, this list will only feature officially released live-action Batman suits shown on television and film. However, there must be actual clear shots of the actor inside the suit, so silhouettes such as the nightmare Batman from Titans and the suit seen in a case on Crisis On Infinite Earths won’t count.
Updated on March 30th, 2022 by Melody MacReady: Another decade and fans have been introduced yet another live-action Batman, this time with Robert Pattinson’s take on Bruce Wayne/Batman. He has officially debuted in Matt Reeves’ The Batman with his own distinct suit that fans will forever remember.
The debut of Robert Pattinson makes for a total of 18 individual Batman costumes that have appeared in live-action since 1943. Some are better than others but each one is unique in its own way, even the ones that fans may dislike the most. Each one reflects the style and vision of the creators at the time thus acting as a time capsule for the era in which they appeared.
18 Robert Lowery’s Batsuit – Batman And Robin (1949)
Lowery portrayed Batman in the 1949 Batman And Robin serials. This costume may be over 70 years old, that’s no excuse for the poor design. Especially since the Adam West suit does something similar but is executed far better.
The eye holes, ears on the cowl, the wacky Bat logo all look less official than something you would find on a dime-store knock-off Halloween costume.
17 Lewis Wilson’s Batsuit – The Batman (1943)
Lewis Wilson’s suit also suffers from age and cheap design, but it does have far superior details. The cowl, while a little silly with ears that don’t match, better represents Batman as he looked in his first appearance. The Bat-symbol also features a better design than his successor.
The utility belt looks pretty on point too, although it was quite flimsy when it came to actually containing items. In one scene when Lewis is hanging upside down, you can clearly see his cigarettes fall out of his pocket.
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16 David Mazouz’s Batsuit – Gotham (2019)
After five seasons of anticipation, David Mazouz finally became Batman in the final episode of Gotham. Sadly, the suit reflects the quality of the finale: rushed and disappointing. The cowl looks uneven, the logo is noticeably jutting off the chest plate, and the cape seems it just doesn’t drape well on David Mazouz.
This suit is also one that suffers when shown in a screenshot instead of in-motion. It’s rather noticeable that the armor pieces are black foam glued onto a cloth suit. Even for what’s supposed to be a prototype Batman suit, it looks out of place.
15 George Clooney’s Batsuit – Batman And Robin (1997)
Other than the notorious Bat-nipples, there’s nothing really that stands out as good or bad with the George Clooney Batsuit seen in 1997’s Batman & Robin. It comes off as an even more rubberized version of Val Kilmer’s suit.
There is a credit to be given to the design resembling human anatomy. That likely took a long time to create but sadly, it still doesn’t provide anything new, so the suit comes off as mediocre.
14 George Clooney’s Anti-Freeze Suit – Batman And Robin (1997)
This is a case where the Anti-Freeze Batsuit could have been an iconic suit. The details on the suit are unique, the symbol is broad and dynamic, and the concept of Anti-Freeze armor is something Batman would have. Even if it was only meant to sell toys, it’s commendable.
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Where the suit fails is with its coloring. The blue and bright silver don’t match Batman, even in the more over-the-top version of Gotham City that Batman & Robin takes place in.
13 Adam West’s Batsuit – Batman (1966)
One of the most iconic Batsuits of all time, keeping in mind that the time was the 1960s. It takes the standard look of Batman from the Golden Age and Silver Age and adapts it for the beloved series.
It might not be the most epic Batsuit ever made but it fits the intentionally cheesy Adam West Batman series and the actor always looked dashing in it. This suit is still beloved by many, including Matt Reeves who used it as inspiration for Robert Pattinson’s mask in The Batman.
12 Val Kilmer’s First Batsuit – Batman Forever (1995)
This Batsuit from Batman Forever was a lot sleeker and more movable than the two that preceded it, and it was quite nice seeing the Caped Crusader move like an actual martial arts expert for the first time.
Still, the human anatomy design is still disliked amongst fans and like Clooney’s suit, it’s a little too clean, glossy, and perfect. The Bat-Nipples aren’t as noticeable this time and Val Kilmer manages to look good in the suit in several sequences.
11 Michael Keaton’s First Batsuit – Batman (1989)
There is no denying that Michael Keaton’s Batsuit was revolutionary, beginning the still-going use of armor for Batman’s suit. The all-black uniform, tall ears, yellow oval Bat symbol, and cape are what many helped bring new light to Batman.
With that said, there are dated elements to this suit. The cowl doesn’t always fit Michael Keaton correctly, the way it attaches to the suit is noticeably cheap and asymmetric, and the armor doesn’t really look like armor. It’s still an iconic suit that will forever remain a part of Batman’s history.
10 Christian Bale’s Second Batsuit – The Dark Knight/The Dark Knight Rises (2008/2012)
The first time a cinematic Batman could move his neck. The main portion of the Batsuit introduced in The Dark Knight is composed of a complex design to allow fluidity in movement. However, perhaps with every good aspect of this Batsuit, there is also a less than stellar aspect.
For example, the cowl is far too small thus making it always appear as if it’s crushing Christian Bale’s skull. It’s most noticeable in The Dark Knight Rises when he is constantly hanging his mouth open. The symbol is barely visible and there are far too many layers of armor going on at once.
9 Val Kilmer’s Sonar Batsuit – Batman Forever (1995)
Where Batman & Robin went too far with trying to sell toys, Batman Forever hits the solid middle ground. Val Kilmer’s Batman upgrades to the Sonar Batsuit, a bright grey suit with new gadgets and a completely new design that fans have grown to appreciate more over time.
It saw the return of the non-oval, big bold symbol on the chest that is one of the best Bat-Symbols. It wasn’t too long after this the comic book look also decided to ditch the yellow in the emblem, going back to darker and stealthier roots.
8 Ben Affleck’s Knightmare Batsuit – Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice & Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2016/2021)
It was quite cool seeing this alternative take on the regular Batman ensemble, channeling an Elseworld comic book vibe. It’s essentially what if Batman was surviving in a Mad Max-esque setting trying to survive against an evil version of Superman.
The trenchcoat and goggles give the Batsuit something that’s never been seen before on film. The only thing lacking is that it’s not really a new suit but simply Ben Affleck’s regular suit adorned with post-apocalyptic gear.
7 Christian Bale’s First Batsuit – Batman Begins (2005)
This Batsuit from Batman Begins was the most movable Batsuit to date back in 2005, but still heavy and tight, which Christian Bale says helped him channel the beast from within. It too suffered from the actor being unable to move his neck.
What makes this suit so great is that similar to the Sonar Batsuit, it meets the middle ground between comic book accuracy and being grounded in realism. It’s shown to be advanced prototype body armor for the military but Batman customizes it to fit the vigilante design that he needs.
6 Michael Keaton’s Second Batsuit – Batman Returns (1992)
Michael Keaton’s second suit in Batman Returns improved on the original vastly, taking the rubber and incorporating it into more a proper body armor design with art deco ab affair. At the same time, the suit still matched Tim Burton’s darkly fantastical style.
The chest logo was also changed from Tim Burton’s stylistic design from the first film with a curly tail, back to a more classic comic book depiction. This Batsuit is a perfect example of less is more and that even the smallest changes go a long way.
5 Ben Affleck’s Armored Batsuit – Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016)
Where most Batsuits take heavy inspiration from suits seen in comics, the armored mechanized Batsuit was taken straight out of the pages of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. From the squared-off ears to the glowing white eyes, it is a work of art on its own.
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Seeing Ben Affleck’s Batman battle Superman in this armor was a moment for fans to rejoice. However, there was more to the suit than just translating a comic-book panel to live-action. There were enough details added to the suit to fit a somewhat realistic look while keeping the overall look from the comics.
4 Ben Affleck’s Second Suit – Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
The two main Ben Affleck suits are very similar but the one if Zack Snyder’s Justice League does have some differences. The first is the cowl that sports longer ears that are more angular in shape. Batman wears new gauntlets that feature straps and longer fins.
The suit itself is mostly the same except for new panels of small armor on the arms and abs. So in a way, it features everything that made the Batman V Superman suit so good but doesn’t quite have the same impact.
3 Robert Pattinson’s Batsuit – The Batman (2022)
The newest Batsuit, Robert Pattinson’s suit for The Batman was designed to allow him to move. It retains a more grounded look but tributes a lot of Batman’s history. The more tactical design for his belt and holsters is reminiscent of Lee Bermejo’s design, fitting for this more horror-like take on Batman
The symbol with no bat head is similar to Batman’s first-ever symbol from his first appearance. The cowl has similarities to Adam West’s cowl. There are also bits and pieces taken from Batman: Zero Year and the Batman: Arkham games. All culminate into a suit that mixes realism and fantasy into a perfect first suit for Robert Pattinson’s debut.
2 Ben Affleck’s First Batsuit -Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016)
Finally, after years of black armor and rubber alike, Batman was finally able to embrace his classic comic book look in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. A massive gray bodysuit to match Ben Affleck’s physique at the time, short ears and bold symbol skin to Frank Miller’s older version of Batman mixed in with some armor pieces to modernize it.
The symbol itself is one of the only disappointing aspects, looking more like a block than a bat. However, there are smaller details that fans can easily miss such as his golden arm fins and knuckles and the years of battle damage present on the suit itself.
1 Ben Affleck’s Tactical Batsuit – Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
Batman upgrades in Zack Snyder’s Justice League to a Batsuit that rests somewhere between his base suit and the armored suit from Batman V Superman. With longer ears, more armor plating, and a mixture of grey, black, blue, and gold all mixed, it comes as a natural progression for this Batman.
With aliens, monsters, cyborgs, gods, and speedsters running around, it would make sense for him to upgrade to something that can allow him to keep up. Also, it reflects Batman’s arc from dark murderous creature of the night to a hero of both Gotham and Earth.
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