On March 4, 2022, Matt Reeves’ The Batman will release in theaters, debuting Robert Pattinson’s caped crusader in yet another DC reboot. A new Batman means a new Alfred, Batcave, Batmobile, rogues’ gallery, and, of, course a revamped batsuit. To quote one Carrie Bradshaw, “ the suit maketh the man ,” or rather, the Batman. Even if Pattinson screws the pooch portraying Bruce Wayne, he can still nail Batman courtesy of a badass batsuit (and an intimating batvoice). From what we’ve seen of The Batman , Pattinson’s bulletproof armor might be one of the best batsuits in recent memory. While most live-action batsuits have been relatively bulletproof, “The Patman” appears capable of enduring assault rifles at point-blank range…Holy Contemporary Action!
As we await the debut of yet another vigilante ensemble, here’s our ranking of the best batsuits—from bad to Batfleck.
Cover Photo: Warner Bros.
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10. George Clooney's Batman Main Suit (1997)
The camp of Joel Schumacher’s Batman films were at their campiest in Batman & Robin . Many of the suits in both Batman Forever and the former incorporated silver/bright colors—which makes absolutely no sense for a ninja vigilante...unless the design is aimed at selling toys rather than fighting crime. On top of Clooney’s main suit was equipped with ice skates (because Mr. Freeze), nipples (of course), and a skin-tight quality that facilitated that essential shot of his batass at the beginning of the film.
9. Val Kilmer's Batman Forever Main Suit (1995)
Schumacher once said that Kilmer’s suit in Batman Forever was inspired by the statues of ancient Greece. Enter the batnipple—the downfall of 20th-century batsuits. If it weren’t for that accessory, this suit was arguably an upgrade from the Burton costumes, being sleeker and more mobile. Too bad it committed the cardinal sin.
8. Ben Affleck's Justice League Tactical Suit (2021)
Ben Affleck has worn as many batsuits as any of his predecessors, and they’ve all been dope. One of which is the tactical suit he wore in Justice League ’s climactic battle against Steppenwolf’s forces in Justice League. Sporting flight goggles and upgraded armor, this ensemble was the perfect hybrid between his typical garb and that mecha suit he wars against Superman in Batman v Superman .
7. Ben Affleck's Batman V Superman Mecha Suit (2016)
If you love Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns or had a full-fledged nerdgasm when the first trailer for Batman V Superman was unveiled (and then became celibate when you saw the film), then Bruce Wayne’s mecha suit tickles your fancy. This massively-strong batsuit exoskeleton not only allowed Batman to take on Superman but defeat him (with the help of a little kryptonite). However, it’s not necessarily practical outside of smash-and-grab jobs.
6.. Adam West's Batman Suit (1966)
While this one wouldn’t be considered chic nowadays, Adam West’s tentpole batsuit was very comic accurate in the 60s. Before Michael Keaton appeared as Batman in Tim Burton’s film, West’s small-screen caped crusader was the quintessential Dark...er campy Knight.
5. Christian Bale's Batman Begins Suit (2005)
In the wake of 90s camp, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins revitalized its titular character with Bale sporting the cowl. The film’s gritty and grounded approach to its source material saw Bruce Wayne utilize Wayne Enterprises' R&D department and one Morgan Freeman for all his gadgets, including the batsuit, which was made from a paramilitary "Niomex survival suit.” Tack on a utility belt stocked with the latest toys and you’re good to go.
4. Robert Pattinson's The Batman Suit (2022)
We have yet to see this one actually in action. Reeves’ vision for The Batman is inspired by Miller’s Batman: Year One , following a younger Batman. That being said, the home-made, gritty aesthetic of this suit looks amazing; the Batman insignia worked into the chest plate appears to have been crafted from a gun (the fun that killed Bruce’s parents?), the suit is heavily armored compared to previous iterations, and is loaded with dart throwers on his gauntlets. As seen in the latest trailer, his gloves can even electrocute criminals. If you can’t stop Pattinson with an assault rifle, how can you stop him? You can’t. Go home Riddler, you’re drunk.
3. Michael Keaton's Batman & Batman Returns Suits (1989 -1992)
Ever since 1989, “[he has been] Batman.” Keaton’s suit in Burton’s Batman was the first all-black, with a yellow chest emblem live-action depiction of the Dark Knight. Irrespective of the fact that he couldn’t move his neck—which has actually become an iconic aspect of the costume—Keaton’s first suit influenced every single black cape that would follow, including the upgraded, more armored version in Batman Returns . Not much of Keaton’s suit in the upcoming The Flash movie has been seen. Based on what has been teased, appears the cowl and overall aesthetic remains intact.
2. Christian Bale's The Dark Knight/The Dark Knight Rises Suit (2008-2012)
Lucius Fox: You want to be able to turn your head .
Bruce Wayne: Sure would make backing out of the driveway easier.
Nearly two decades after Keaton’s debut, Batman finally moved his neck in The Dark Knight. 2008’s upgraded suit incorporated a cowl separate from the neck, allowing for more fluid movement. However, this made the cape crusader more susceptible to knives and gunfire. This same suit was also worn in The Dark Knight Rises and remains (probably) the most realistic batsuit to date.
1. Ben Affleck's Batman V Superman & Justice League Main Suit (2016 - 2021)
You gotta give it to Zack Snyder and Batfleck. Regardless of how you feel about Batman V Superman and Justice League , Affleck’s batsuit felt most like something ripped out of a modern comic. Heavily influenced by Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns , this batsuit was meant for hiding in the cover of night and looking badass when coming into the light.
Honorable Mention: Batman V Superman & Justice League's Knightmare Suit
None of this get-up really made sense, but it looked super cool. A dumbed-down version of Affleck’s batsuit dressed in a duster coat, scarf, fighter pilot goggles, this fit was featured in Batman v Superman and Snyder’s Justice League ’s dystopian dreamscape, imagining a world where Darkseid conquered Earth and turned Superman in the Snyder-Verse sequels we’ll never see.