3. Batman Begins – Christian Bale
Eight years after Batman and Robin threw the Batman franchise into development hell; Christopher Nolan released a grounded and dark take on the character in Batman Begins and started off a new trilogy of movies, that I am personally thankful for as a Batman fan. Along with the challenge of rebooting Batman into something Warner Brothers wanted to keep revived; came the challenge of rebooting Batman’s suit and how to realistically portray Bruce Wayne assembling it before ultimately becoming Batman.
It’s pretty awesome how the suit comes together in the film, and that’s kind of what makes it so cool. It is made of military prototype armor that was developed by Wayne Enterprises that was deemed too expensive for a soldier’s life, thus being shelved, and how it fit Bruce perfectly? We will never know. It’s a very basic and flat black with the feint bat symbol protruding ever so slightly, the gauntlets were gained from his training in the League of Shadows, and he had gadgets! Most importantly the grappling hook, I don’t understand why Nolan didn’t make more use of it in his films, and the result is a Batman we could believe in the real world; the only complaint I had with the suit was the cowl. For some reason, it didn’t flow to me.
2. Batman (1989)/Batman Returns – Michael Keaton
After Adam West portrayed Batman, the world waited for another Batman film to be made and finally in 1989 Tim Burton released his critically acclaimed Batman. Known for his darker mind, Burton thought up a perfect and delightfully dark Gotham City for his Caped Crusader to fight evildoers.
I won’t go over all the gadgets that Keaton’s Batman was holding in his belt, but in the darker universe of Burton, Batman lurked in the shadows just as he lurked in the shadows behind Bruce; it was the first time we had seen Bruce lament on the death of his parents on film, which helped the film’s climax when it is revealed that a young pre-Joker Jack Napier was the one who murdered them.
Michael Keaton was cast for the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in these films, and while I didn’t think he was the best Bruce Wayne; I loved him as Batman. The suit whom Tim Burton and Co. Developed has become classic and should be remembered for many years to come. It was simple, effective, equipped, and spoke to the tone of the films and character.
1. The Dark Knight/The Dark Knight Rises – Christian Bale # 2
At the beginning of The Dark Knight, Bruce is still using his suit from Batman Begins, that is until a bunch of dogs maul him. Bruce draws up plans for an upgraded suit which enables him to move faster… and turn his head. Christian Bale sports this suit in the two ladder installments and it really doesn’t change.
The addition of the ability for Batman to turn his head wasn’t on film since the 1966 Batman: The Movie, and it made sense. The upgrade alone gave the suit a fresh and newer look compared to all that came before it; it looked modern, and it looked like armor. The suit in The Dark Knight was equipped with a sonar type device in the helmet that allowed Bruce to go all NSA on Gotham and basically see anything he wanted; not to mention the projectile gauntlet blades. The suit fit modern audiences without escaping reality too much, and we were given a truly rebooted Batman to send the franchise into the prosperous future.
Author Bio: Nick LaMacchia is from Buffalo, NY. While currently residing in Portland, OR, he is writing a sci-fi trilogy of novels, with the first being published late in the year. He’s obsessed with film, football, hockey, Batman, and real chicken wings from his hometown.