😍 Costume Glow-Up! 😍

DC characters have seen quite a few costume changes over the years, and some have been downright EPIC.

Which character redesign knocked your socks off?

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Hot take: This is Black Canary’s best costume.

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@BatJamags Sorry, but I disagree. No offense, but I’m looking for the dislike button. :grinning:

I love the original, especially when drawn by a master like Alex Toth.

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Oh, yeah. I went with that one because I know I’m alone on it.

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On a less controversial note, say what you will about Post-Infinite Crisis Robin, but this…

… Is the only Robin costume that looks any good. Tim’s original outfit was a decent effort, but yellow, red, and green just clash too much.

Though now that I’m thinking about the dynamic duo, over his first forty years, Batman benefitted from three of the best costume redesigns ever.

First up, you have Bob Kane’s refinement of the original costume (for which, like most things Batman-related, Bill Finger definitely deserves the credit, but Kane’s modifications to the costume were good ones) in the character’s first year or two. Here’s Detective Comics #27 and Batman #1 for comparison:

I like this because when you’ve got a really boring primary color like grey, you need the secondary color to be a little flashier to offset it. The shade of blue they used (which was really the only one they could use due to printing limitations of the time) was too bright, but it was a good idea. The scalloped gloves and ditching the unnecessary second highlight color of purple were also good moves. Finally, the black around the eyes helps draw attention to his face.

And then you got the moment I find most inspired: Carmine Infantino’s 1964 “New Look” redesign:

What’s clever about this is that on the preceding costume, the symbol doesn’t draw your attention very well. The design prompts you to focus on the belt, not the bat, which seems counterintuitive. But if you made the belt black, the costume would have no highlight color at all and be even more boring. So the solution was to add yellow the bat. Bats aren’t yellow, so putting yellow around the bat makes sense, and now your attention is drawn to the symbol and the face. Good stuff.

Finally, we have one with more subtle distinctions, but a very good one nonetheless:

Neal Adams’ contributions included making the black area around the eyes more of an indistinct shadow than part of the costume’s pattern and smoothing out the edges of the bat to match the curve of the oval. He also lengthened the ears, making the batlike silhouette more prominent.

Personally, I think the darker variant of this design introduced after the Prodigal crossover in the '90s was an improvement in its own right:

90s Batsuit

It tones down the oversaturated blue of the earlier version while still being pretty well-balanced.

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Oh, and as one final note…


FIIIIIIIINGER STRIIIIIIIIPES

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There’s so many. One of my favorites was WW in “flashpoint” wearing Meras’s helmet. I love Mera but WW looked so bad*** in that costume.

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I’m gonna choose something from outside of the comics and movies. Speaking of “mind blown”, that’s exactly how I felt when I saw this statue of Superman. I’m more of a trunks guy, but I also like the futuristic look of the New 52 costume. I think this blends the two of them perfectly.

It’s based on this Ivan Reis design

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Great topic idea with endless possibilities, @ZatannaAndHerSpells!

A fun Batman costume that was both purposeful and stylish is “The Rainbow Batman”. It was featured in The Brave and the Bold (Season 2, Episode 19 “Emperor Joker”)

image

but first introduced here

and now makes a super awesome collectible in this set!

image

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I loved that as I did all episodes. I know it was the teaser intro but I still love those. Plus the episode that followed, which I think u mentioned emperor joker was equally as great.

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The Telltale Batman suit is the best
download.jpeg

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I’ve got 2 for Poison Ivy that I absolutely love. New 52 & Bombshells.

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@BatJamags, I could read your Batman dissertation all day, so well done! :clap:

Growing up on Batman ‘66, I adore the light blue Batsuit and cape, but have grown to love most variations - even the gray or black. In Batman The New 52, there is a fun nod to the old purple gloves when he is first starting out as The Caped Crusader.

There was also a mention of color selection in Batman and Robin The New 52. They reasoned that the flashier shades are actually more dangerous, which I thought was interesting.

In our house, we were discussing the ear length and came to the conclusion that the longer the ears, the more “comicy” it feels. Later iterations of the cowl seem to shave them down more and more while simultaneously attempting to appear more “realistic” and “gritty”.

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One of the reasons I like the blue and grey is because urban camouflage actually is blue and grey, not black, because black makes you more of a conspicuous silhouette. Now, that’s not going to really hold true with the very light shades on the classic outfits, but the darker, more muted tones on the '90s suit that I posted at the end would be pretty functional.

The page you posted from the New 52 Batman and Robin is actually really weird because that design and color scheme actually looks much more subdued than the actual Robin suit, so Bruce is kind of defeating his own point. Plus, I preferred the idea of the Robin costume being derived from Dick’s circus outfit, which gives it a reason to have the kinda gaudy color scheme that it does.

On the point about ears, I like both long and short ears for different reasons. The long ones look more stylish and batlike, and you can imagine them doubling as antennas for a communicator or something, but the shorter ones probably are more sensible. When they’re really short, they don’t look much like ears and don’t modify his silhouette very well, so I think I’d prefer a more classic, mid-length design. Certainly not quite as long as Bruce Timm (later in the DCAU like in Justice League; they’re pretty short in early BTAS but got longer with the change in animation style) or Kelley Jones draws them.


(Bruce Timm)


(Kelley Jones)

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Two recent Batsuits that stood out to me are from Batman: Earth One and Batman: White Knight.

Both are gray and have a skintight “tactical” appearance, showcasing all of the muscle acquired over the years playing Gotham’s hero. The seams are a nice touch as well. While the gloves are similar, the differences in the boots are major. The Earth One option really appeals to me because I don’t recall ever seeing his boots look like boots. They’ve always had a superhero look and come up higher on his legs. Additionally, Earth One has upped the drama on the cape and decreased the flashiness of his belt. The reviews for Batman: Earth One note that this is the first time in a long time where you can see Batman’s eyes in his cowl. Another noticeable choice is to subdue the Bat symbol on the chest. I’m not particularly for or against it. Comparing the cowls, I lean more towards White Knight’s style, as it’s sharper and the entire design of that book thrives on the hard edged line work, which I am a big fan of.

What are your thoughts on these two models?

Batman: Earth One | Book One

Batman: White Knight

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What issues are that Year One image from? It’s certainly not the Frank Miller/David Mazzuchelli story from 1987 by that name (notably, the '87 Year One suit is also fairly subdued, which I ordinarily wouldn’t like but Mazzuchelli’s beautiful art and the overall muted color palette of the story make it fit in more smoothly).

I have to say that I’m not a huge fan of either design you posted, since I think especially the first one looks pretty bland.

The second one is kind of hard to make out with the lighting and framing of the scene, and I tend to be forgiving of “weirder” Batsuits in what-if-type stories, which I understand is what White Knight is. I’m having a hard time telling whether it’s predominantly grey or black, which might make a difference because black is a nice primary color and can create a cool sort of Darth Vader effect. I still prefer a highlight color. For example, I think Michael Keaton’s batsuits look a lot better than Christian Bale’s because the symbol pops really nicely. Since I mentioned him, even Vader has the silver chestplate and the panel of buttons.

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That looks like Gary Frank’s art in Batman Earth One, not year one. He later in the story changes the costume to look like this

And then changes it again to this

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*Earth One

Good catch, @BatJamags and @moro! Thank you.

I agree with liking more fanfare in the costume, @BatJamags. Those two were standouts for those reasons. With a less pronounced Bat symbol on the chest plate, it also seems like a “yeah, it’s Batman - you know him already” kind of move. The White Knight suit is two-tone black and gray.

I like Bruce’s reasoning for choosing black more often, as it blends with the shadows (he works at night), strikes fear into his foes, and pairs well with the naturally dark Gotham streets. A blue or yellow pop of highlight is a really nice touch that I have always loved as well.

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I’m still new to the Raven character, but this design for The New 52 Teen Titans (Issue #17) is both haunting and impressive. I believe it falls into Trigon’s “Black Bird of Terror” storyline, where the character was reintroduced. It’s a stark contrast to Rachel’s appearance in Titans and is really stylish!

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