Every great Batman needs a great Batsuit, one that suits their style of Batman, one that intimidates their enemies before they even appear from the shadows.
From Adam West’s skin-tight borderline-Halloween-costume to Ben Affleck’s The Dark Knight Returns-inspired battle armor, the Batsuit is essential to get right on the big screen. If it looks wrong, it can throw off the whole picture. If there’s even the slightest flaw, fans will go to their Twitter feeds in disgust.
It’s no good for Batman to come out of the darkness wearing something that would embarrass the other members of the Justice League and make Catwoman run away.
We’re looking at all the cinematic Batsuits from the Batman movies and seeing which one was the best—the one that all the other Batman actors looked upon with the greenest of envy.
14. George Clooney’s Batsuit (Batman & Robin)
The nipples. That’s that needs to be written about this car crash of a design from 1997’s cringe-inducing movie Batman & Robin.
The suit lacked any originality, had a weird sheen to it (which meant Batman’s enemies could have seen the light bouncing from the angular nipples as he tried to stay in the shadows), and the Bat-symbol wasn’t just minuscule… it was 1990s-cell-phone minuscule.
13. George Clooney’s Winter Batsuit (Batman & Robin)
At the very least, the Winter Batsuit it did away with the infamous nipples; however, it added the most eye-watering cod-piece that cinema has perhaps ever seen.
Forget the reason behind why Batman has a suit that’s essentially blue and silver—why does Batman have a suit for winter? Didn’t he design his original outfit to be warm enough for cold weather? Whatever the reason, it deserves to have scorn poured upon it.
12. Val Kilmer’s Batsuit (Batman Forever)
The original Batman nipples. Whoever decided that Batman’s imposing, crime-busting attire should have nipples on it needs to go and re-think their life decisions.
The rest of this Batsuit was a steady effort. Despite the baffling bit of slight sheen, it modeled well on Kilmer. Plus, the Bat-symbol—though small—was still within the realm of the classic design.
11. Adam West’s Batsuit (Batman: The Movie)
There’s no hate for Adam West or his Batsuit from me. It was a brilliant look for a Batman of a different era, with mean eyebrows and a utility belt stacked with everything a crime-fighter could need.
Of course, it doesn’t look like anything more than a Halloween costume by today’s standards—but, in its way, it’s iconic.
It retained the original Batman color scheme and the Bat-symbol still looks good; however, no other Batsuit has made the word “POW” appear after punching a bad guy, which is what makes it so great.
10. Val Kilmer’s Sonar Batsuit (Batman Forever)
Other than the J.J. Abrams-style lens flare that the sheen on the suit would result in, Val Kilmer’s “sonar” Batsuit at the end of Batman Forever wasn’t all too bad.
The nipples were gone, at least. And while the Bat-symbol was wide across the chest plate, the rest of it had all kinds of vents and angles that made it look menacing. The film for this Batsuit has long-buried this one, though, which is a shame.
9. Ben Affleck’s Battle Batsuit (Batman V Superman)
Lifted directly from the pages of The Dark Knight Returns, Ben Affleck’s battle armor that helped him defeat Superman is cool because it appealed to fans.
It lacked originality, of course, and nobody seems to know how he shed it so quickly after the battle… but the adaptation of it for the big screen was everything fans had wanted to see for a long time.
8. Robert Pattinson’s Batsuit (The Batman)
While the jury is still out on this movie, the Batsuit seems to have a functional design with some pluses and some minuses. The cool pointy ears and Bat-symbol look great on the outfit, while the collar and the Steve-Jobs-turtleneck yacht-design chestplate are drawbacks.
The footage we’ve seen so far leads us to think the film will match the look, so the suit should feel right within the movie.
7. Ben Affleck’s Finale Batsuit (Zack Snyder’s Justice League)
Of all the suits that Batman has worn for a final battle, this one is the best. It felt like it was built for a purpose—a fight in which Batman would need everything at his disposal.
It’s derivative of the standard Affleck Batsuit, which was good as it thematically matched up with the rest of the films. The only drawback was the Nite Owl-inspired goggles, which were a Watchmen rip-off. Batman doesn’t rip-off.
6. Ben Affleck’s Knightmare Batsuit (Zack Snyder’s Justice League)
You either love this Batsuit or you hate it. It’s been retrofitted from the original outfit and made to be end-of-the-world appropriate.
The jacket-and-motorcycle-goggles design instead of the iconic cape is unique for Batman, giving him a different feel as he walks around in the rubble of Earth. If Steve McQueen ever became Batman, this is what he’d have looked like.
5. Christian Bale’s Original Batsuit (Batman Begins)
The last suit of the “bolted neck” era of Batsuits, where anybody who wore the costume couldn’t turn their head to see danger. Batman Begins breathed new life into the franchise, and the suit reflected Christian Bale’s character: intimidating and ominous.
The design of it was subtle and paid homage to the original color schemes here and there. But, as a Batsuit, it was detailed and tactical with no drama to it—which was a good thing.
4. Ben Affleck’s Original Batsuit (Batman V Superman)
Inspired by The Dark Knight Returns, Affleck’s standard Batsuit showed off a creature in the night, not a man wearing a cape. It was hulking, monstrous, and—in the warehouse sequence—perfect.
Its best features were its Bat-symbol, which was spread wide across the chest, and the original color scheme that brought the feel of the classic graphic novels to the cinema.
Though Snyder’s team lacked originality in the design of it, the suit was a perfect fit for the tone that Snyder set out to capture.
3. Christian Bale’s Second Batsuit (The Dark Knight)
Functional, mobile, and draped in the perfect cape. The Dark Knight saw Batman get a new outfit as Bale’s Batman addressed the issue of not being able to move his head, so the new lightweight suit was created for him.
The suit is iconic, not because its inspiration is obvious—though it did feature light-up eyes—but because it appeared in masterpiece films. Our only gripe is that the Bat-symbol feels lost within the plates. If Batman was real, this is the suit he’d wear.
2. Michael Keaton’s Batsuit (Batman Returns)
To the naked eye, the sequel suit to Keaton’s original classic Batsuit looked similar, but it made some changes—good and bad.
The most noticeable design shift was to the Bat-symbol, which got a slight redesign into something simpler, which worked perfectly. The cowl was a bit more angular as well.
The only downside came to the less muscle-toned body, which got replaced with a more armored look. However, the Batman Returns suit was still incredibly cool to witness.
1. Michael Keaton’s Batsuit (Batman)
Easily the best Batsuit of all time. The 1989 film’s Batsuit might not have been the most functional or the most comic-book accurate, but it had a dark and fearsome panache.
The way the cape drapes over the shoulders, the bright yellow of the Bat-symbol, Keaton’s menacing performance in the costume—all of it came together in a way that no other movie has managed to top.
Bonus: Kevin Conroy’s Batsuit (Batman: Mask of the Phantasm)
It’s Batman’s most iconic appearance for millions of viewers out there: the classic Batman colors of gray, black, and yellow, with the white glowing eyes that shone in the night.
Kevin Conroy’s animated Batman looked the business. His cape flowed with the shadows and his figure was looming, powerful, and terrifying to all the criminals of Gotham City.
Bonus: Will Arnett’s Batsuit (Lego Batman)
Fun, functional, LEGO, and entirely based on the 1989 Batsuit. What isn’t to love about it? Especially the retention of the glowing eyes!