Batman has had many artists and writers that have put their own spin on DC Comics greatest character. He’s had masters like creator Bob Kane, Grant Morrison, Jim Lee, Scott Snyder, Chuck Dixon, Neal Adams, Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, Mike Baron, and a host that is to great to name every single one.
He’s gone through every phase in the DC Universe and though he may always be the World’s Greatest Detective, his costume has gone through tremendous changes over the years. From one-shots to Elseworlds to rebirths to the multiverse to animation, the Caped Crusader has gone through several changes over the years in regards to costumes.
I have compiled a list of my favorite artist variations, special events, and animation. To avoid complication, there are no live action costumes.
Here is my list of top 20 favorite Batman costumes.
Pulp- In the series First Wave, Batman stunned fans when he pulled out two pistols to take on fellow pulp character Doc Savage. Though he did not shoot to kill the famous adventurer, it still shock the masses to see the Caped Crusader opening fire on a fellow detective.
Retro- DC New Frontier brought their classic characters to their roots, including Batman. Though the movie adaption was terrible, the comic book showed what it was like for heroes during the Silver Age of comic books.
“Millerverse”- Frank Miller created this version for The Dark Knight Returns and All-Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder, this design shows a very muscular Bruce Wayne who relishes his role as The Caped Crusader.
New Genesis Batman- After The Darkseid War, Batman became a New God and was able to speak with the Mobius Chair. He asked it two questions, “Who killed my parents?” The chair replied, “Joe Chill.” Batman then asked, “What is the Joker’s real name?” The chair’s response is hidden, but Batman calls out, “That’s impossible!” It was revealed in New 52 Justice League #50 that the chair said there were three Jokers.
Earth 2- Batman was lost along with Superman and Wonder Woman in a battle with the forces of Darkseid. This was the costume he wore during the final battle when he and the Justice League perished.
The Long Halloween– Tim Sale drew a dreary and pulp themed Batman with elongated ears. Though this story is no longer canon, it definitely has earned a place in Batman lore.
Terry McGinnis- The Batman of the future was trained by Bruce Wayne. For a time, Tim Drake took his place, but Terry has since returned to the role of the Future Dark Knight.
Batman Noel and Joker– Lee Bermejo designed a more armored Batman. The design for the graphic novel Joker: Dark Knight would influence Christopher Nolan’s hit films Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises.
The Dark Horse- Alex Ross gave us an aged and armored Batman. This armor was strong enough to fight Wonder Woman in the hit Elseworld series Kingdom Come.
Hellbat- When Batman’s gadgets, martial arts, and armor fail him, there is the Hellbat armor. It was designed by Superman and Wonder Woman to give Batman the extra strength he needs to take on villains like Darkseid in hand-to-hand combat.
Black and White- Steve Rude, of Nexus fame, brought a horror movie themed costume for Batman. It combined its later incarnations of the Dark Knight Detective with the classic look of the original.
The Original- Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s original costume may not look like much, but for its day, it brought terror to the streets of Gotham City.
BATMAN INC- The Dark Knight once had a network of like minded superheroes that helped him patrol the world. This is the costume that he wore to lead them against the evil organization Leviathan.
The Animated Series- Bruce Timm and Paul Dini used inspirations from various sources for Batman: TAS , The New Adventures of Batman and Robin, and Justice League Unlimited. It is one that lives in the heart of every child of the 90s.
Zero Year– Replacing Year One as the dominant Batman origin, Batman battles Red Hood, Dr. Death, and the Riddler in an epic battle for control over Gotham City.
Final Crisis- Jim Lee’s portrayal of Batman has been seen throughout the decades. His modern interpretation brought in a whole generation of new Batman fans.
Earth One– Influenced by Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher films, these graphic novels show a rookie Caped Crusader learning how to fight and defeat the criminal element in Gotham City.
New 52- Bruce Wayne became a darker knight in City of Owls and other epic quests that showed Bruce Wayne fighting new enemies like Talon and battling for the very soul of his family against old enemies like the Joker.
Rebirth- After Flashpoint came Convergence, and from that came the DC Rebirth. Batman has a brand new costume and a wider range of weapons. He has new sidekicks like Duke while also working with old ones like Robin, Nightwing, and Batgirl.
Post-Crisis- Neal Adams brought Batman out of the campy funk he had been in for so long. His focus on Batman as a detective and vengeful vigilante continues to influence the character to this day. Adams was one of the greatest writers who continues to impact the Dark Knight.
Those are my favorite Batman costumes. Did I miss any of yours? Comment below and be sure to like and share this article. Be sure to subscribe for more comic book related posts.
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This was updated from a previous post.