Batman’s evolving costume throughout the decades

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Batman Adam West
Actor Adam West in the Batman outfit from the classic 1960s TV show.

DC fans have been celebrating Batman’s 75th anniversary this year, and in the decades since his 1939 debut in Detective Comics #27, the Caped Crusader’s costume has gone through quite a few style changes. Billionaire Bruce Wayne’s classic blue, bat-eared threads have evolved as much in the illustrated pages of comic books as on television and movie screens.

One of the first popular live-action series starring Batman and his sidekick Robin began in 1966, when Adam West and Burt Ward played the masked detective and boy wonder. The show was silly, fun, and had bright-colored costumes that looked like the sort of get-up you’d buy at the local Halloween store.

It wasn’t until director Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie that audiences caught a glimpse of a far darker, more serious look for Batman (played by Michael Keaton), with his slick black clothing cast against the foggy city of Gotham. Soon thereafter, the beloved Batman: The Animated Series took off in 1992, with a mix of the shadowy Burton-style Batman and the old school comic look. Then, everything started to go downhill once the imaginatively creepy Burton stepped away and Joel Schumacher took over. His films, like Batman & Robin, made the costumes look like cheap, plastic toys, losing the fun factor of the 60s show and coolness of the Burton flicks.

It wouldn’t be until 2005 that Batman got his flow back on the silver screen, with Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. In what’s considered the finest collection of Batman movies ever made, The Dark Knight Trilogy featured ultra-realistic outfits and gadgets for Bruce Wayne. Military-grade high-tech toughness met dark swagger in a hard-hitting and intimidating blend.

Now, the first image of the Dark Knight’s latest incarnation in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel has been released, and Ben Affleck certainly seems to wear the cape and cowl well. While it’s kind of hard to make out Affleck’s look in the new photo from director Zack Snyder, his style certainly seems to be heading in the right direction. The ears are smaller than usual and the bat sign is big, with an overall black cloth-like vibe going on. The Batmobile behind him is definitely super awesome, and I can’t wait to see more photos!

Featured image courtesy of Zack Snyder Twitter.