BATMAN: Ranking The Caped Crusader's Best Movie Batsuits (Including THE BATMAN)

With critics raving about The Batman, we thought now would be a good time to look back over the Batsuits donned by DC's Caped Crusader over the years and rank them from worst to best. Check it out...

Batman is a character who has had quite the journey on the big screen. While we could trace it back as far as Adam West's adventures as the Caped Crusader, the modern era for this character in live-action began with Tim Burton's Batman in 1989.

From there, the hero entered a dark period with Joel Schumacher's cheeky, silly interpretation of the DC Comics hero in the 1990s, and fans had quite the wait before Christopher Nolan came along with his grounded, gritty reboot. Zack Snyder was next for a comic accurate, albeit divisive take on Bruce Wayne, and it's now Matt Reeves turn with upcoming reboot, The Batman

Looking back over these vastly different interpretations of the character, one thing they all have in common is unique takes on the Batsuit. No two "Batmen" look alike, but how do these costumes all stack up against each other? That's what we're exploring in this feature. 

To find out how these big screen Batsuits compare, all you guys need to do is click the "Next" button!
 

8. The Schumacher Era

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We're lumping these in together because, in all honesty, they're as bad as each other. With Joel Schumacher at the helm of the Batman franchise as Warner Bros. looked to increase merchandise sales after Tim Burton's dark take on Gotham City, the Caped Crusader became a walking, talking action figure.

Batman Forever gave Bruce Wayne a silly, silver Sonar Suit, while his main costume - a pared-down, plasticky version of the one worn by Michal Keaton - was fine, but forgettable. It also marked the introduction of the now-infamous "Bat-nipples" that became synonymous with this era of storytelling. 

Batman and Robin took things a step further, however, with the most 90s Batsuits imaginable, including special "ice armour" that made the movie's three leads look nothing short of ridiculous.
 

7. Justice League's Tactical Batman

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Look, we'd love to blame Joss Whedon for this ugly Batsuit, but it was all Zack Snyder's doing. 

We can appreciate giving the very human Batman a little extra firepower for the Justice League's battle against Steppenwolf and his Parademons, but if the filmmaker was looking for a perfect cross between the normal Batsuit and his armour inspired by The Dark Knight Returns, this was not it. Far too busy with silly goggles and an overabundance of plating, this was horrible to look at.

Unfortunately, it didn't come across much better in action (regardless of which version of the movie you watch). There were many ways to enhance the Batsuit to make it so that Bruce Wayne stood a fighting chance against this alien invasion, but this was a rare misfire on Snyder's part in terms of costumes.
 

6. Batman Begins

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After the lows of the late 90s, we were all ready to embrace a realistic, grounded take on this character in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins. The movie, while an undeniably long-winded origin story for the hero, was a success and embraced reality with a Batsuit that was... kind of cool? 

Past issues remained, including Batman's ridiculous inability to turn his head. Christian Bale also got into tremendous shape for his comic book movie debut, but the heavily armoured Batsuit made him look over-inflated, and robbed the Dark Knight's silhouette of the sort of iconic imagery we'd see in Nolan's later movies. This was "Fatman," more akin to a Rob Liefeld drawing come to life.

We appreciated seeing this Batsuit get built from the ground up, but it's just not all that special. 
 

5. Batman '89

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Michael Keaton wore two Batsuits over the course of his stint as the World's Greatest Detective, both of which worked well at the time. We'd argue that Batman Returns' effort is the weaker of the two as we saw even this take on the character start embracing the 90s aesthetic that would eventually lead to the Batsuits we've described from Schumacher's movies. 

However, Batman's looked phenomenal. Embracing that black colour scheme meant the comic-accurate yellow logo really popped off the screen. Yes, it was inevitably rubberized to some extent, but its foreboding silhouette and dominating presence did this iconic DC Comics superhero justice. 

There were pitfalls, like Keaton's Bruce Wayne being unable to turn his head, but we'll put that down to limitations of the time. This is an iconic Batsuit, but sadly, not necessarily the best of the best...
 

4. The SnyderVerse Batsuits

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We fully appreciate that not all of you love what Zack Snyder did with the DC Extended Universe (and particularly his killer Dark Knight), but you can't deny the Batsuits respected the source material! 

Influenced primarily by Frank Miller's comic book work, the costume pictured above looked like it had been lifted straight off the page and placed before us in live-action. It wasn't necessarily the most exciting to look at, but that's sort of the point, and everything from the classic logo to the utility belt (black instead of yellow, admittedly) worked really well and looked awesome in motion.

Love or hate Ben Affleck as Batman, we'd argue the cowl perfectly accentuated his chiselled jaw, and even the "Knightmare" Batsuit is receiving some props here as it was unique and suitably badass.
 

3. The Batman

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We've seen The Batman, so trust us when we say that what you've seen in the trailers doesn't fully do Robert Pattinson's Batsuit justice. Despite being a very early effort in this Year Two setting, it feels both suitably contemporary and faithful to what we've seen in the comic books over the years. 

With a greater focus on the collar area of this costume, it's arguably a pitch-perfect take on Lee Bermejo's beloved illustrations of Batman, and eliminates that pesky awkwardness with the hero's usual inability to turn his head. With an impressive array of gadgets and weaponry included in the suit, its beaten up, bullet marked appearance only serves to emphasise the dangers of being Batman.

By taking into account what Bruce goes through while protecting Gotham City, a lot more thought has been put into this Batsuit than others listed here, and we're excited to see its continued evolution.
 

2. The Dark Knight/The Dark Knight Rises

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Despite being grounded very much in reality, the Batsuit worn in both The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises by Christian Bale was damn near perfect. The cape and cowl look superb, while also appreciate the presence of the gold Bat-belt which pays homage to the comics.

It's a shame the logo wasn't displayed a little more prominently, but we're nitpicking there, and you can't help but look at this Batman and be impressed. It fit perfectly into the aesthetic Nolan created with his realistic Gotham City, but was still something you could imagine the hero wearing in our world.

In terms of comparing it to what we've seen on the page, it works very well, and after Batman Begins dropped the ball to some extent with the iconic silhouette of the Caped Crusader, this Batsuit perfected it.
 

1. Bat-Armor

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As divisive as the Dark Knight's battle with the Man of Steel may have been in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, how can you fault this armour? Lifted directly from the pages of The Dark Knight Returns by Zack Snyder, it was a literal comic book illustration come to life and not something we ever imagined getting to see grace the big screen. 

There may have been a few silly moments in this epic showdown, but if you didn't appreciate Batman unleashing all manner of weapons to slow Superman down while he delivered a beating, we don't know what to say. Was it perfect? From a visual standpoint, we'd argue that, yes, it was. 

Ultimately, if you don't consider this an "official" Batsuit, that's fine. However, in terms of translating this character from page to screen in a flawless manner, we don't think it gets better than this! 
 

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