The iconic superhero detective, the martial edge lord, the millionaire tactician, the one we need, The Dark Knight, Batman. This hero (or antihero, depending on the iteration) is one of the most important characters of the superhero genre. Something about Batman just screams cool.
Wherever you are, however old are you, there’s a high chance that you’ve seen Batman. In movies, costumes, references, even series, this badass superhero is likable for many reasons. And when we like something, we make a cosplay out of it… or many.
Who is Batman?
There are so many iterations of The Dark Knight that this simple question is much more difficult to answer than it seems. Over 300 different Batmen through history, and each one is weirder than the last. This is a hard task to cover. There is a Batman-Joker mix, an Angelical Batman, a Mutant Batman, and even a Death Metal Batman.
Nonetheless, there is one Batman that is by far the most popular. The archetypical Batman, Bruce Wayne. We know the drill, little Bruce was leaving the theater with his parents and a thug leaves him an orphan. After that, the rich kid goes on a long quest to avenge his parents and in the process, he becomes one of the most powerful characters in all of DC, not by raw power, but with ingenuity and resources.
Bruce Wayne is a traumatized person, but far from letting his problems overwhelm him, he steps up and fights. Sometimes the vengeance takes the best part of him, other times he is the embodiment of justice.
There are times when he fights alone, but at some point in his life, he becomes one of the founders of the Justice League. Sometimes he kills and sometimes his morals restrains him. No matter how he is at any point in life, he seeks one thing above all, to stop crime in all his forms.
Here are some of Batman’s Quotes. Many of them are from different batmen, however, all can get you inspired to embody the one and only:
- “Bats frighten me. It’s time the world shares my dread.”
- “I won’t kill you, but I don’t have to save you.”
- “Without warning, it comes…crashing through the window of your study, and mine… I have seen it before…somewhere. It frightened me as a boy… frightened me. Yes, father. I shall become a bat.”
- “Criminals, by nature, are a cowardly and superstitious lot.”
- “But if I do that if I allow myself to go down into that place… I’ll never come back.”
- “Sometimes the truth isn’t good enough, sometimes people deserve more.”
- “No miracles…No mercy…No redemption…No heaven…No hell…No higher power. Just life. Just… us.”
- “The true crimefighter always carries everything he needs in his utility belt, Robin.”
- “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”
- “Maybe that’s what Batman is about. Not winning…but failing, and getting back up. Knowing he’ll fail, fail a thousand times, but still won’t give up.”
- “What were you trying to prove? That deep down, everyone’s as ugly as you? You’re alone!”
The Base Cosplay
Now that we’ve talked about The Dark Knight and his personality, we can dive into the costume itself. But before we do that, there is something to consider. Batman is an iconic character that has been around for near a century. This alone tells us that there hasn’t been only one Batman, but many. Therefore, if we want to talk about his costume, we need to establish the basics.
Even if they have different shapes and sizes, colors ranging from black to white and red to blue, or different combinations, some things make a Batman what it is. These are the ones that almost all Batmen share:
- Batman mask
- Batman chest symbol
- Gadget belt
- Spiked gauntlets
The mask is an essential part of the Batman Cosplay, not just because it’s iconic, but because it serves a purpose for the character: Keeping his identity safe. The identity of Batman is precious to keep his loved ones far from danger, but also as a way to infiltrate in social encounters that he finds useful.
Batman mask is present in almost all Batmen. It has a pair of pointy bat ears on the top sides of the head and covers his eyes, nose, and part of the chicks. How much it covers from the head and how pointy it depends on the iteration. Also, the colors of the mask range from light blue to pitch black, passing through many dark blues.
Batman Chest Symbol
Batman carries its symbol with pride and also with a purpose: to imbue fear. The Dark Knight is not a children’s game. His symbol is present in all his gadgets to let the criminals know that he is present and that things could go very wrong… for them.
The Bat-Symbol is omnipresent in all batman iterations, with little to no variations. Some are more minimalistic and others have some sort of quirk attached to it, but they are almost always a symmetrical black bat symbol with their wings wide open.
Although Edna Moda would object, Batman loves his cape. It resembles the wings of a bat, and many times it has some sort of technological power attached to it. It was present in the first appearance of the character, and it has stood the test of time.
The Cape always accompanies the color of the mask and even is a continuation of itself. The width of the cape reaches the arms of the character, and the length goes all the way to his feet. For a cosplay, you may want to dial down the size of the cape to be more comfortable.
Deus Ex Machina, or belt in this case. The Utility Belt is one of the most iconic and resourceful gadgets of Batman. It has all the things Batman could need. Ranging from batarangs to bombs or the mythical grapple gun, this belt has anything an investigator/superhero could want.
Most times in comics, his belt is yellow, making it some of the most prominent parts of the suit. With that said, in other iterations, the belt has got a more reserved treatment, with colors from pitch black to that of the main suit, oftentimes gray. This belt can have anything inside, and from the outside, it seems like a collection of pockets and bags.
Since 1940, one of the most characteristic features of Batman is his spiked gauntlets. This detail may be simple, but it adds a lot to the character and therefore, to the costume. As with all his other clothes, the gauntlets can have some technological gimmick attached. In Nolan’s films, we see it used to shoot the spikes, kind of like a one-time shotgun.
Most often than not, the gauntlets are dark blue. This helps to give the suit some complexity, separating the gauntlets from the arms. Sometimes, though, the gauntlets are black or some color between the two.
As with many other comic masterpieces, Batman has seen a lot of apparitions in the seventh art. We’ll talk about two of the most famous.
Tim Burton and the Return to the Dark Theme
The first time Batman came to the big screen, it was in a funny and playful show that brought Batman’s popularity up. However, after some years, Warner Bros decided to give us a darker tone with the superhero. Tim Burton designed a dangerous Gotham, filled with crime and much more political intrigue.
This Batman had a completely black costume with only the spark of yellow of the belt and Chest Symbol. This costume was rigid and cumbersome, however, it had all the fearful presence that Bruce Wayne needed to transform himself into a nightmare for the criminals. The main suite was mostly an armor with latex sprayed on top of it, the mask and the cape were a single piece, heavy and large.
Christopher Nolan and the Masterful Trilogy
This apparition of the Batman is probably the most famous, and with good reason. Christian Bale gives life to one of the most well-written and crafted Batmen of all time. This Batman is dark and realistic, maintaining his sci-fi gadgets, and with a complete story, from beginning to end. In the trilogy, we see him going from a lost soul that learns to kill for the league of shadows, to a redeemed hero praised by Gotham.
There were two suites in the franchise, I recommend the second one because it is the most comfortable and realistic. The costume is a black prototype infantry suit with the added parts that make the Batman suit what it is. The cape is retractable, but of course, you can wear a full cloth cape, the mask is a single piece around the head, the utility belt is shiny brown and the gauntlets are black and have very sharp spikes.
There are over 300 hundred different Batmen in the history of the character, therefore, we can’t talk about them all. With that said, some great Best Batman Cosplay Ideas don’t see much cosplay. So here I bring you 3 great candidates for a Batman costume that can make the difference:
The Dark Knight Returns
One of the most influential Batman of all time. This 50-year-old Batman is the epitome of The Dark Knight. An old and grumpy Bruce, that lived through a lot and is willing to do everything to save his city. The suit is simple but mighty. You can choose to use a bloodied and scrappy version or a full metal armor and maintain that rough vibe. If you have a big, muscular body, this costume may fit you just right.
Another simple yet effective costume is the futuristic Batman Beyond. Just black and red throughout the costume gives it a uniform and schematic look. This young Batman is more a fighting teen than a detective as his mentor. Nonetheless, this brave and stubborn Batman is a hero in his own right. You can make this costume work with a full black bodysuit and some red velour additions.
The One Who Laughs
Last but not least, I now present the scariest Batman of all. For those who would love to have a Halloween Batman costume, the Batman who laughs is for you. Picture Batman and the Joker jointed into a single person, the cunning and resources of Bruce Wayne, and the twisted mind of the Joker.
This costume is very hard to use and could be very awkward to wear. Nonetheless, this frightful presence that kind of reminds me of a Resident Evil monster is awesome to bring to a Halloween party.
Question: What’s the best Batman Costume?
Answer: It very much depends on you. If you want an easy suit, I recommend you try the Adam West costume. It is a little quirky but is fun, easy to make, and with cheap materials. Nonetheless, if you already have some skills in costume making, you could try some of the less chosen costumes. A good pick could be the medieval Batman, who has all the Batman parts but added on top of medieval armor. It all depends on your taste, of course.
Question: Which are the Most Important Batman Gadgets?
Answer: Over the years and within each iteration, The Dark Knight has had a lot of powerful, useful, and funny tools. The most iconic of all is, of course, the batarang. This simple shuriken-like weapon is the most used tool of batman, is equipped with many types of shenanigans, like explosives or remote control systems.
The other big gadget of Batman is, of course, his grappling gun. Being a superhero that spends most of his time on rooftops but lacking the ability to fly, this tool, along with some other type of fall-prevention contraption, is his lifesaver most of the time.
Question: What Characters are the Best for a Group Cosplay with a Batman?
Answer: For a very lonely character, Batman has some of the best companions a person could ask. If you have a group of friends that want to cosplay together, and you want to go as Batman, the best choice would be, of course, the Justice League. Superman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, are all excellent options. Also, very fitting are other allies of Batman: Robin, Batgirl, Nightwing, Alfred, James Gordon, etc.
Nonetheless, Batman not only has some cool friends but many of the most iconic villains of all time. If you have a companion that wants to rival you at a convention, you could try Joker, Catwoman, Two-face, The Penguin, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Ra’s al Ghul, Riddler, Bane, and more.
Embody the Dark Knight himself is not an easy task. It is a multi-faceted character with many options to choose and sometimes it can be daunting. Nonetheless, this is easily overcome because of one crucial fact: It’s fun! (and also pretty cool).
Batman is an iconic character that has stood the test of time and it won’t go away soon. It’s not cliché, it’s a classic, two very different things. So, don’t be shy and give it a try! There is a Batman for everyone.