So, it should be no news to you that Zack Snyder has revealed The Batfleck in all of his muscle-bound glory by now, and regardless of what position you take on whether Ben Affleck will bomb or succeed under the cowl of The Dark Knight, one thing is perfectly clear: He looks freakin’ awesome.
I’m a huge Batman fan, and admittedly; I’m not too excited about hearing that Affleck was cast as the iconic Bruce Wayne/Batman character, but this also comes from someone who almost cried when Christopher Nolan had cast Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight… and I’m glad that I was wrong. I’m hoping I’m mistaken about Affleck too, and I’m going to wait to see footage from the movie before I start getting all negative, but acting aside… I can’t wait to see this new Batman in action. The suit looks simple, functional, classic, and looks like the suit itself embodies our fresh Bruce Wayne’s older and weathered character… and he looks like a monster! Snyder has hinted at the idea of Batman and Superman coming to blows in his next film and Affleck looks like he could, I’m hoping for a secondary armor suit calling back to Frank Millers “The Dark Knight Returns.”
Since the unofficially titled Batman vs. Superman is still two years away, and The Batfleck suit isn’t officially on film, we will look at all the suits that were previously on film, who was in them, and why they were awesome… or not.
10. Batman and Robin (1949) – Robert Lowery
Batman and Robin was a 15 part movie serial that was released by Columbia Pictures, and we’ve got to admit that Bats has looked better. Obviously, in 1949, budgets were extremely low and production value wasn’t the greatest, so Robert Lowery’s Batman basically wore a skin tight, light spandex material, and put one of the funniest cowls on in history.
Look at it in all of its floppy eared glory! The suit really looks like something a kid would wear on Halloween these days, but to its credit, it brings the look of The Batman from his earliest days in Detective Comics, which was ten years prior to Batman and Robin’s release, and it’s fitting that its earliest days in film are pretty much the same. The movie serial itself is entertaining if you can look past the black and white, and the really, really low budget nature, but delivers in fun.
9. Batman (1943) – Lewis Wilson
Lewis Wilson was the first person to wear the cape and cowl as a Live-Action Batman, and the suit pretty much looks the same as Robert Lowery’s. The reason why I’m putting it above Lowery’s is simply this: They couldn’t come up with something better in six years? Wilson’s suit brings Batman to an audience in a way they had never seen before: Live.
Only four years had gone by since the world was introduced to Bob Kane’s Batman, and you could imagine the ecstasy of a child in 1943, when only Superman was the other hero was gracing the silver screen, to see another hero burst out of the comics and onto the screen. Today we are kind of spoiled with top of the line production value and costume design; Wilson’s suit was nothing special, but I don’t think anything can take away from seeing your favorite hero on film, in costume, and kicking bad-guy ass for the first time in history. That must have been something.
8. Batman: The Movie – Adam West
Ah, yes. Bat-Shark Repelent anyone? One of the most iconic portrails of our beloved Batman was by Adam West from 1966-1968. After one season of Batman, Batman: The Movie was released and man; it was something. Honestly, it’s a very entertaining film, and it really speaks to the t.v. series’ campy nature, but it’s a much different portrail than the darker versions that modern fans are used to. Originally, Batman was set to take a more dramatic path on the 60’s T.V. series. A different actor was set to play The Caped Crusader and everything, but it didn’t take. Eventually, it was decided that the only route to take was to develop the series as a campy comedy adventure.
West’s suit fit the show’s aesthetic perfectly, but still wasn’t that amazing. They added color, shortened the ears, and added eyebrows… what? They made Batman look pleasing to the eye, and eased him playfully into our concsiousness. Despite the aforementioned eyebrows, West’s bat suit was a great improvement from the past, began a new chapter in the legacy of Batman, and is still iconic today.
7. Batman Forever – Val Kilmer
Some fans don’t really like Batman Forever, and I understand why. Tommy Lee-Jones as Two-Face and Jim Carrey as The Riddler kind of played each of their roles like The Joker, Dr. Chase Meridian was smoking hot, but really useless to the overall film, and… ugh, Robin. This would be the third time in a more modern film era where we’ve seen The Batman; previously played by Michael Keaton. Val Kilmer was a pretty believable Bruce Wayne, but even the suit couldn’t make him into a good Batman.
The suit stays true to the iconic black and yellow breast plate, but takes on a shiner look with bigger gauntlets, and stays true to the darker version of Bruce Wayne that Tim Burton portrayed in Batman 1989, with one massive fault. Why, Joel Schumacher, why the hell did you have to put nipples on the bat suit? More importantly; why Val Kilmer, why the hell didn’t you ask for the bat-nips to be removed? Let me get this straight, Bruce Wayne essentially makes his own suit, right? And even if he didn’t I highly doubt that he’s asking whoever is making his suits to include nipples. I don’t understand it; I never will; I wish it never happened.