The Batman franchise has often been associated with pop culture phenomenons, and none more so than the Twilight and Harry Potter star, Robert Pattinson. Having recently wrapped a major international tour for his role as Batman in the upcoming film, The Dark Knight Rises, the actor has been taking a break from his busy schedule to indulge his passion for all things Batman and to celebrate the legendary character’s 86th birthday. So it’s no surprise that hundreds of fans from across the world have been taking the opportunity to pay homage to the caped crusader and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, in various ways.
From Character Designs To Costumes
While most fans may be happy to dress up like their favorite cinematic Batman, some have gone above and beyond, putting real effort into creating unique and detailed costumes inspired by the character’s looks from the movies.
Below we’ve collected a number of incredible outfits crafted by talented individuals and groups of creators, ranging from character designs to complete costumes, who have put their spin on one of the most iconic superhero outfits. Some of these designs are so good that they even managed to capture the essence of Batman perfectly.
The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight was arguably the first major installment in the Batman cinematic universe and has been considered one of the greatest superhero films of all time. The combination of Christian Bale’s intense performance and some iconic scenes, like the ones where he battles the Joker or the Penguin, have made him one of the most recognizable and beloved figures in superhero history.
While the Dark Knight does not get a whole lot of love from our collective imagination when compared to the other cinematic incarnations of Batman, it does still hold a special place in the hearts of comic book fans. That’s partly because of its influence on later films, like the Nolan Batmans, but it’s also because of how faithful it remains to the Dark Night comic book series, created by Jim Lee and written by Scott Snyder.
The movie’s costume designer, Michael Kaplan, has said that Christian Bale actually had a bit more leeway when it came to his costumes. In the comics, as in the 1939 film, Batman is often seen in a more streamlined suit made of a single piece of cloth, covered in a pattern that gives it a three-dimensionality.
This original get-up made its debut in the Dark Night comics in 1988 and has been a part of Batman’s look ever since. It was adapted for the big screen in 2006’s Batman Begins and has remained mostly unchanged ever since, with the only difference being that the pants were redesigned slightly to remove the zipper.
The Dark Knight is one of the most popular characters on our list, with countless articles and videos dedicated to him. It’s easy to see why he has so many devoted fans: He is an incredible role model for young men in terms of confidence, intellect, and moral character. He is also one of the few characters in recent history who truly fits the definition of a modern-day superhero: intelligent, daring, and intimidating.
The Dark Knight Returns
Since the first two installments of Batman’s cinematic universe were released, a sequel and prequel, there have been more than a few attempts to continue the character’s legacy on the big screen. The Dark Knight Returns is the only one to bring back key members of the original cast (Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Pat Hingle) and features a story that is set almost thirty years after the events in the previous movies. In this installment, Batman, now in his sixties, has retired and taken up the lifestyle of a crime fighter-for-hire, traveling the world and taking on the occasional case, much like the original comics character. The movie version of this character is much more fit and buff than the one we saw in the 1989 film, with Christian Bale adapting his performance for this iteration of the Dark Knight. He still has a lot of hair, but it’s a little more gray than before. He also lacks the mustache that made him recognizable when paired with that scowl.
This is the most literal adaptation of the Dark Knight yet, and while it does feature some of the most iconic scenes from the 1989 movie, it still feels like a somewhat unique spin, particularly when paired with Game of Thrones star, and Batman superfan, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s portrayal of Joker, who teams up with Batman for an adventure in this installment. It also marks the acting debut of Christopher Walken, who plays the role of Bruce’s friend, Alfred. This is one of the most important sequels in Batman’s history and it helped establish the Gotham City setting as a recurring theme in later films (most notably, The Dark Knight Rises).
For the first time ever, a film version of the Dark Knight made an appearance at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, where it was screened to an audience of fans. It was also shown earlier this month at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal and will show in theaters across North America in the coming weeks. We can’t wait to see how fans react when they see this legendary character for the first time in nearly thirty years.
Batman And Robin
Another sequel to our list is Batman And Robin, which follows the early years of Batman (Christian Bale) and his sidekick, Robin (Jackie Chan). The movie first hit theaters in 1997 and featured a very distinctive costume for both characters. Christian Bale’s Batman sported a grayish blue costume with dark red accent pieces, while Jackie Chan’s Robin was clad in a bright yellow outfit with black accents. These bright, happy colors clashed heavily with the characters’ actual personality traits, making for an extremely amusing contrast. For their part, Bale and Chan don’t speak in-character, instead opting to deliver one-liners at the expense of the audience (hence why this is often described as comic relief).
Batman And Robin is the first in what would be a series of films that pitted the caped crusader against the infamous Joker (in a face-off that has recently been ranked #12 on list of the greatest theatrical duels ever). This is also the first appearance of the Riddler, whose warped sense of humor would go on to haunt Batman in the coming years. For a long time now, the character of Harvey Dent has been associated with Batman and the idea of teaming up the two is something that could possibly (and probably will) happen at some point, as Harvey made a name for himself as a stand-up citizen and a philanthropist before his tragic turn toward crime. In the comics, he was once even married to Batman’s other famed sidekick, Catwoman (Kate Winslet).
Harvey’s story is one that is often compared to that of Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing, the sidekick who went on to become Batman’s legal counsel, Harvey Dent’s best friend, and the first honest cop seen in the superhero universe. The parallels between the two are countless and a recurring theme in comics and film alike. In 2016, fans will finally get to see Dick Grayson make his debut as an action hero in the upcoming Nightwing movie, which is currently in production.
Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises is the final installment in the Batman cinematic universe, which is set almost thirty years after the events of The Dark Knight. The movie continues the saga of Batman (Christian Bale) and his allies as they struggle against foes from beyond the grave, including the Penguin, the Riddler, and, of course, the Joker. As with most of the other movies on this list, Christian Bale’s outfit remains one of the most iconic, if not the most iconic part of this movie. For those unfamiliar, the Dark Knight Rises get its name from the grimy brown costume worn by Batman, which has been described as looking like it has “dried blood spatter[ed]” all over it.
The Dark Knight Rises is the conclusion of an epic trilogy and, for many fans, the culmination of years of anticipation. The film premiered in theaters across the world in early July and has been getting mostly positive reviews, with critics hailing it as the perfect cap to what is often described as the greatest superhero trilogy of all time.