You asked for it, so here it is. Only 1120 words. I could do more but decided to only spend a half a day or less researching batsuits of various eras and styles and staying within mainline continuity. I do have the psychology of Vandal Savage to dissect. (And yet another shameless plug for The Psychology Of Supervillians Club..March 2020 - Vandal Savage ) To long for one post so I broke it up into two posts. Pre-history influences up to 1961. 1961 to present day.
The Batsuit influences and influence through the ages: Part 1 (Pre-history to 1961)
We can see both the Batsuit impact on the American psyche but also the inverse of the the American and British psyche impacting the batsuit.
First let us look at the historical color scheme. While the base chest and leg covering is often gray, most noted colors are blue and yellow. We see this in the cape, cowl, gauntlets & boots clearly in blue. The utility belt clearly in yellow. This can be clearly seen as far back as Detective Comics #35 January 1940.
Now we look back at where this color scheme may have originated, especially on a subconscious level. In 1940, it would be fair to say that Alfred is around 50 and bruce around 28. That would mean that Alfred would have been born approx 1890 and Bruce approx 1912. This means that Alfred would be roughly in the 18-20 year old range at the time the cub scouts were formed in England. We see throughout Alfred’s timeline that he is naturally nurturing and excels at bringing people, often kids, into the fold and encouraging them to study certain areas, earning the equivalent of merit badges from Batman as their skills progress. This shows his affinity for being a Cub Scout leader in his young adulthood, as a way to mentor boys prior to going from the Britain to the US.
Given the age of the death of his parents, Bruce would have been a natural fit for the American Cub Scouts which started in 1918. This would have been a valuable tool to a young Bruce Wayne and given him the experience in earning merit badges, the knowledge and drive to expand that to all the other areas delved into and mastered in his teenage years and early adulthood to prepare him to be Batman. It would be natural for Alfred to encourage this, as a way for Bruce to, if not heal the wound of his parents murder, certainly put him on track to understand various disciplines and encourage that growth.
What are the main Cub Scout colors, mostly blue with a noticeable yellow highlight, at a key movable body point. In the Cub Scout case at the neck, in the batsuit at the waist. Why are these critical. Whether consciously or subconsciously, both Bruce and Alfred would have been aware that the yellow Cub Scout neckerchief was a way to draw attention to the face. Inversely, in the case of the batsuit, it is deliberately put at the waist to draw the eye away from the face, which will positively impact in helping keep Batman’s secret identity.
So now we have seen how a specific area of both the British and American psyche could impact the color choices of the batsuit. It is also worth noting throughout much of Batman’s history from the late 30s thru the 70s (at minimum) these stories were still tailored in a such a way to appeal to young boys, some of which were cub scouts, so they could relate to a color schheme that early in their life came to represent values (Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent)
Now lets move to Batman #39 Feb 1947. We move into the post-WWII era up until 1961. It is clearly evident in the sculpted form on the gauntlets the cape edge and the ears on the cowl a wider line, but the ears being thrust back more and slightly shorter than the 30’s costume to frame the face better. This was a precursor to the effects scene by double breasted suits and fedoras in mens fashion in the 1950’s. Also one can look at the gauntlets and ears as representations of the fins on cars of the 1950’s
–end part 1–