HOLY BATMAN: The 75-Year Evolution Of The Batsuit

Batman the animated seriesBatman: The Animated Series screencapThe animated series Batman is probably the most recognised version of the Caped Crusader.

Batman is turning 75 this year.

To celebrate, Warner Bros. is holding a year-long celebration for the Caped Crusader complete with new animated films, a potential Fox show, and a re-release of Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman.”

The Bat’s also getting a new video game.

In honour of our the Dark Knight’s milestone, we’re looking back at a favourite of ours.

A while back, the guys over at Screenrant produced a handy infographic which covers most of Batman’s looks over the years. We found a few from the past that weren’t included — Rainbow Batman, anyone?

From Zebra Batman to the killing machine of Azrael, see the many styles of the famous cape and cowl.

May 1939: Batman's first appearance in Detective Comic 27 -- Batman wore a bulletproof vest under his suit and had purple gloves. He also wore a standard belt with a round buckle.

Note the very bat-like ears

1939: Detective Comic #30 'Golden Age Batman' -- The Caped Crusader has sharper, pointier ears, and more durable wings.

1940: Detective Comic #30 -- Batman's outfit is visibly more blue with the addition of longer boots and gloves.

1943-1949: 'Batman and Robin' serial -- The Dark Knight wore a long snout and flimsy ears that makes him look completely unrecognizable.

Aug. 1952: Batman Vol 1 #72 'Jungle Batman' -- This wasn't a regular thing ... but we found it worthy of inclusion. Batman went through a few weird outfit changes in the '50s ...

March 1957: Detective Comics Vol 1 #241 'Rainbow Batman' -- Batman didn't actually wear a rainbow costume; however, to draw attention away from an injured Robin, the Caped Crusader wore different coloured batsuits. Rainbow Batman popped up again in cartoon 'Batman: Brave and the Bold.'

Aug. 1958 / 2009 / 2011: 'The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh' -- No, this isn't Bruce Wayne; rather, it's Tiano, an alien from the planet Zur-En-Arrh. His costume consists of red, yellow, and purple with a much different logo. The character returns over the years in comics and television appearances.

Jan. 1960: Detective Comics #275 'Zebra Batman' -- In one issue, Batman became a zebra-like menace.

Oct.1963: Detective Comics Vol. 1 #320: 'Batman and Robin - the Mummy Crime-Fighters' - Another singular issue, Batman and Robin were turned green after getting zapped with an alien device. Instead, they attract attention to themselves by fighting crime dressed as mummies.

1960s: 'Silver Age Batman' - The comics added the gold oval to Batman's 1940s Golden Age counterpart.

Despite the sometimes cooky outfits, for most of the '60s, Batman appeared like this.

1966-1968: Adam West's Batman -- The costume lightened in tone to parallel the comical television portrayal of the Caped Crusader.

1960s: Justice League Batman -- The Caped Crusader added a yellow oval around the black bat. Batman also switched from a pouch belt to a capsule model.

1973-1979: 'Super Friends' / 'The New Adventures of Bat Man' -- Both the Justice League and subsequent cartoon looked like fictitious renderings of Adam West's live-action Batman.

'80s/'90s' 'Modern Age Batman' -- The Dark Knight remained similar in style to his former self from both the Golden and Silver Ages with blue cape and cowl along with grey tights.

Issues #336 and #463 respectively

Feb.-June 1986: 'The Dark Knight Returns' - Batman appeared with a mix between his Golden Age and Adam West / Super Friends' look. The mask and colours remain similar, the yellow circle is gone, and the Bat logo appears much larger.

1987: 'Batman: Year One' -- The costume returned to a grey and black version with a sometimes yellow oval. This also introduced the pouch utility belt. 2011 saw the return of 'Batman: Year One.'

1989: 'Batman' -- Burton's Batman introduced us to a much darker version of the Dark Knight. This suit introduced the grapple gun and also became the template for future designs.

1992: Batman Returns' -- Major changes in the sequel include the bat emblem and design of the suit. Batman's chest and abs look less natural.

1992-1995: 'Batman: The Animated Series' - Arguably one of the most popular and recognisable versions of Batman was the Emmy Award-winning series which mixed a grey suit with an alternating black and blue suit.

1993-1994: 'Knightfall' -- When Azrael briefly took over Bat duties, he recreated the batsuit with a bat-signal chest light, razor sharp arm gauntlets with grappling hooks, rapid-fire Batarang launchers. The cape became a series of armoured plates.

1995: Troika Batman -- When Bruce Wayne returned to the mantle, the suit went back to black, keeping the yellow oval encasement.

June 1995: 'Batman Forever' -- Val Kilmer wears two batsuits in the film. The more sleak 'Panther suit' (left) came complete with black utility belt and controversial bat nipples. The Sonar suit (right) was a metallic silver piece of armour with the bat logo spread across the chest.

1997: 'Batman & Robin' -- George Clooney's appearance as Batman brings two more batsuits, a bluer one with the nipples still in place and an Arctic Suit (below) with silver patches.

1997-1999: 'The New Batman Adventures' -- After the 'The Animated Series' concluded, this reboot saw Batman with a grey and black costume sans the yellow oval bat circle. Characters were drawn in a simpler style to adhere to crossovers with 'Superman: The Animated Series.'

1999: 'Batman Beyond' -- Terry McGinnis' futuristic Batman ditched the cape, opting for a full black suit with red logo.

Sept. 1999: 'No Man's Land' comic -- Batman returns with the gold emblem around the bat logo and a grey and blue suit, a mix between the Troika and Year One costumes.

2001-2006: 'Justice League' Batman -- Later versions of Batman in the Justice League removed the yellow emblem, following the design of Superman and Batman from their respective animated series. This version also had higher, pointed ears.

2000: 'Hush' -- The cape, cowl, boot, and gloves return to a lighter blue and the yellow oval remains missing from our hero's chest.

2004-2008: 'The Batman' -- The yellow oval returns! This sleeker version of the Dark Knight produced for WB's Saturday morning kids block nearly mirrored the 'Animated Series' look but with less detail.

2005: 'Batman Begins' -- With Christopher Nolan's entry into the bat franchise came a darker version of Gotham's Knight.

2008: 'The Dark Knight' -- Three years later, Nolan's batsuit exhibits a more armoured and defined look.

2009-2010: When Dick Grayson (the original Robin/Nightwing) took over for Bruce Wayne he returned to the traditional early looks of the Caped Crusader.

2009: 'Brave and the Bold' -- The campy Cartoon Network reboot returned with a bulkier animated series version.

2009: 'Arkham Asylum' -- As animated series voice actor Kevin Conroy reprised his role as the Dark Knight, Batman also saw a return to his outfit from the '90s cartoon.

2010-2011: 'Batman Incorporated' -- When Bruce Wayne publicly announced he was funding an international organisation with Bat-members from all over the world, he returned to a traditional grey and black costume maintaining the yellow oval.

June 2011 issue

2011-2014: The New 52 Comics -- Batman resembled the figure gamers became familiar with in 'Arkham Asylum.'

2011: Batman: Arkham City video game -- The Bat didn't undergo many changes from one game to the next.

2012: 'The Dark Knight Rises' suit was more or less similar to the one in 'The Dark Knight.'

July 2012: Earth One Batman -- The yellow oval returns around the bat logo in a more subdued costume.

Oct. 2012-2013: 'The Dark Knight Returns' - The two-part animated film mirrors Frank Miller's 1986 comic with a 55-year-old Batman who comes out of retirement. Unlike the comic, the logo resembles earlier animated projects with the addition of the yellow circle.

2013: 'Injustice' game -- The Dark Knight looks encased in a solid metal casing of the Arkham City game.

2013: Arkham Origins video game -- Warner Bros. Montreal stepped in for Rocksteady to create the Bat for the next video game instalment . The suit had the same feel with a slightly smaller logo.

2014: 'Arkham Knight' - Later this year, Rocksteady is back in the driver's seat releasing its final Batman game. The cape has been altered for gliding and there's added armour for realism.

Now, we're patiently awaiting to see the new Batsuit Ben Affleck will wear in the upcoming 2016 'Man of Steel' sequel.

BONUS: The first suit -- Before the Caped Crusader donned the batsuit, his father, Thomas Wayne dressed in a bat-themed costume to a masquerade.

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