The Batsuit is the armored costume worn by Bruce Wayne while fighting crime as Batman. It serves the dual purpose of protecting his identity as well as himself from injury, and also helps to inspire fear in his enemies and add to the illusion of a man-sized bat.
It was designed by Bruce once he realized that fighting crime in Gotham City as a faceless vigilante was not enough, and that he had to give criminals something to fear.
The first known Batsuit worn by Batman was used during the very beginning of his career. It was pieced together from various pieces of WayneTech equipment, and served as a flexible yet formidable suit of armor.
The suit itself covered Batman's entire body, and seemed to be made of a hardened plastic material worn over a tight bodysuit. It included a defensive cowl that functioned like a helmet, allowing him to move his neck fully and remove it separately from the suit.
The suit was primarily gray, and featured various shades of this color throughout. The cape was designed to allow Batman to traverse the city without transportation, allowing him to glide and dive without being too heavy. The cape was a dark shade of gray, and was darker than the rest of his suit. The suit also featured a black bat emblem on his chest, though it did not match his Batarangs or the logo used on his computers and other equipment. The suit featured heavy boots and gauntlets, which included talons on the sides so as to defend against bladed weapons. The suit also included a gray belt, within which Batman stored his gadgets.
The Batsuit was, for the most part, bulletproof, as evidenced when Batman was able to withstand three gunshots from the Joker and get back on his feet with little injury. However, the force of the repeated shots caused him to fall to his knees temporarily. Additionally, he was also able to withstand a stray shot to the shoulder during a confrontation with Howard Branden and his SWAT team.
The XE (Extreme Environment) Suit was designed by Batman to withstand extreme cold, and he wore it during his first encounter with Mister Freeze.
In terms of style, the XE suit was very similar to his standard suit, except for the fact that it was much bulkier. However, despite this, its honeycomb structure allowed for insulation without increasing weight, and Batman was able to move unimpeded.
The XE suit featured armor over Batman's shoulders, which were usually left bare with his cape. It also featured retractable blades on the gauntlets, which were akin to ice-picks. The boots were fitted with picks so that Batman could walk across ice without fear of slipping, and there were pieces of metal holding the suit upright in order to help his balance. The suit also featured Thermal Gloves, and coils across the suit would glow orange whenever it powered up to either unleash heat through the gloves or protect Batman from cold.
The second known Batsuit was wildly different compared to Batman's earlier suit, and was worn much later in his career. It was a manufactured suit that held together, and was not assembled piece-by-piece.
The suit featured a much lighter gray bodysuit, and was designed to reduce his weight and increase his maneuverability. It featured a jet-black cape and cowl, unlike the previous dark gray. The cowl, while not connected to the cape, was larger, and the piece covered Batman's collar. It also featured significantly longer ears than his previous suit.
It featured a pair of dark trunks, and was adorned with a pale gold leather belt instead of the metallic gray of his previous belt. The gauntlets and boots were also black, and were designed to be far less bulky. The gray bodysuit was more anatomically correct in this iteration, and was designed to show Batman's incredible physique, featuring strong chest and abdomen muscles, in addition to strong calves and biceps. This suit also included a bat emblem, but this version was far more elongated and thin than previously, and was designed differently from the version included on most his paraphernalia.
An armored variation of this Batsuit was also designed and worn by Batman occasionally.
Instead of the bodysuit, it featured a dark gray metallic armor around the body, and dispensed with the anatomic muscle interpretation. The suit featured an armored codpiece instead of trunks, and also boasted a brace to protect Batman's spine. The gauntlets and boots also had a shiny dark blue finish, and the knuckles were made of metal so as to deal greater damage to foes. The belt featured more cylindrical containers, and had a different central design.
The third known Batsuit worn by Batman was incredibly similar to his previous suit, but featured noticeable differences. He updated to this suit at some point prior to the opening of Arkham City.
This Batsuit was fundamentally similar to his previous version, but featured a navy blue cape and cowl, rather than black. This was likely done so as to blend in better with the night sky. The belt was also recolored to a dull shade of gold, and the pouches were completely redesigned, featuring more curved edges. The gauntlets and boots also boasted an altered design, and a terminal screen would appear on the left gauntlet while Batman typed up commands. The bat emblem was also altered, and this time matched the design used on other pieces of equipment.
Batman's fourth known suit, dubbed the v7.43 Batsuit, was designed and worn by Batman following the total shutdown of Arkham City.
This Batsuit was a departure from his two previous suits, but retained many similar design aesthetics. The suit was far less anatomically correct - rather than replicating authentic muscles, it was composed of armor segments that vaguely resembled the shape and location of muscles. The lower portion of the suit featured grooves and patterns that were not featured in Batman's previous suit. The cape and cowl were recolored to a charcoal shade of gray, and the cape appeared to be more of a fabric material than his previous suit. The cowl and cape seemed to be bolted together and onto the suit, and the back of the cowl boasted new lines and patterns.
The armored portion of the suit retained its gray color, but differed between light gray and dark gray on different areas of the suit. The darker gray could be seen on the Batsuit's biceps and inner thighs. The belt was far more low-slung, and was modified from the one Batman wore in Arkham City. It was recolored to deep gold, and the central design was completely changed. The pouches were redesigned as well, featuring less curved edges and a different latching mechanism. The back of the belt featured no pouches, and was completely bare, and all but the left and right-most pouches were leather. The pouches on the left and right were both metallic.
The boots and gauntlets were modified from their previous design. While they featured the same basic design as the previous suit, they were less curved, and the boots in particular featured more armor plating. The gauntlets were more heavy-duty, and were fitted with a holographic projector, enabling advanced communication with allies. The talons were also much shorter, and the gloves were completely changed.
The emblem on Batman's chest was the same as his previous suit, but rather than simply being a recolored portion of the suit, it was in fact a separate material that was fitted onto the suit. In order to not restrict Batman's chest movement, it featured segments that would expand and retract as Batman moved.
Fifth Batsuit Edit
Upon request, Lucius Fox delivered the "Batsuit Version 8.03", an advanced suit designed with flexible plates overlaying a MR-fluid (magnetorheological fluid) armor layer, and incorporating the latest in cutting-edge technology.
The tri-weave bodysuit consists of an outer and inner layer made from a titanium-dipped tri-weave fiber mesh. Sandwiched in between is the MR-fluid based liquid armor system. The proprietary WayneTech Smart MR-fluid hardens in response to impacts, specifically designed to provide superior shock absorption, as well as enabling greater force delivery behind counterattacks. The liquid body armor layer is also more flexible than the ceramic or fiber-based alternatives used in previous suits, allowing for greater maneuverability and faster elimination of multiple targets in quick succession (Fear Takedowns). The suit's subsystems are symbiotically integrated with the Batmobile and provide a quick launch capability via the vehicle's electromagnetic ejection system (analogous to launch from a railgun). Designed to withstand up to 6gs of acceleration, the suit increases navigational capability by tolerating high acceleration maneuvers without risk of injury (vis-a-vis gliding, grapnelboosting, and high-speed ejection from the Batmobile).
In addition, the Batsuit v8.03 incorporates the aforementioned holographic projector, as well as the ability to remotely control the Batmobile using haptic controls that are mounted on the gauntlets. The gauntlets themselves posses retractable blades and sensors that worked in conjunction with Detective Mode to analyze foreign samples and upload data to remote sites.
While the new suit was high tech in nature and offered Batman his full mobility this suit however was only moderately effective against bullets. While the actual plates could easily stop bullets(as demonstrated by Gordon and Batman at the end of the game) in between the plates was were the weakness of this armor was, as demonstrated by The Arkham Knight as the liquid armor layer was highly effective against impact,but only offered moderate protection from bullets, especially at point blank range. However if shot the suit was designed to compress around the wound and stop the bleeding, as revealed by Robin in an optional conversation.
Note: Magnetorheological (MR) fluids are 1 of 2 types of liquid body armor currently under development in real-life; the other being shear-thickening fluids (STF) (aka Dilatants - a class of non-Newtonian fluid). More about liquid armor here
In the case of the Batsuit v8.03, the WayneTech Smart MR-fluid layer most likely consists of iron nanoparticles suspended in an oily liquid. Under normal conditions the armor remains flexible, but when an electrical current is applied to circuits running throughout the armor, the resulting magnetic fields re-align the iron particles and hardens to protect the user from impacts. Interestingly, the Batsuit's liquid armor is stated to harden on impact not via electrical current, a distinct property of dilatants (see above) not MR-fluids. One possibility is that the suit incorporates piezoelectric/piezomagnetic elements that generate transient magnetic fields when stressed. There's also a DLC where you can wear the "Batsuit Version 8.04" and the "Batsuit Version 8.05" which is updated version of the "8.03" suit with a gold bat symbol on the chest.
- The bat emblem in Batman: Arkham Origins appears to be a cross between its Arkham City and Year One designs.