OPINION: Top 10 Comic Batsuits
If there’s one thing besides Batarangs that Batman has no shortage of...it’s Batsuits. Over the Caped Crusaders lengthy history, the Gotham Bat has donned more than a dozen different capes and cowls. Some are simplistic and elegant, some are complicated and colorful, but they're all tucked away somewhere deep in the Batcave (or prominently on display, depending on the story). In this article I'm going to run down my top 10 comic book Batsuits. For this list I'll be looking at strictly suits that have appeared in the comics, and I’ll also be excluding the more armor/mech type suits and focusing instead on the “regular” suits we’ve seen worn. This is all just my opinion, obviously, and I’d be happy to see your list of favorite Batsuits too!
10. Year One
The Year One suit is so simple yet incredibly effective. Clean lines and clear contrast do wonders for this suit. The classic black and gray color scheme get the job done. One of the handful of simplistic suits you’ll see on this list (I’m a bit of a minimalist) but easily a fan favorite. The Year One suit as drawn by David Mazzucchelli has and will continue to stand the test of time.
The Noel suit as drawn by Lee Bermejo is an extremely intimidating Batsuit. A menacing and expressive cowl that’s connected to the Bat symbol and cape as all one piece gives this suit a rather unique look. The accents on this suit work well too, looking not exactly like armor, but still protective. It also has some nice utility inspired hooks on the belt and then my personal favorite part of the suit has to be the boots with their handfuls of straps on each foot. A simple color scheme of gray and black fit well in the world this suit inhabits.
8. Earth 2 (Thomas and Bruce)
Alright I’m gonna cheat a little bit here because I simply can’t choose. The Earth 2 suits of both Thomas and Bruce Wayne are just too awesome for me to pick one. Thomas’ suit rocks an incredible black, gray, and red color scheme that really makes it stand out (and the red is a staple of Thomas Wayne Batsuits) along with the inverted triangle around the Bat symbol. All of the red accents on Thomas’ suit are beautiful and it’s something that really draws your eye on the page. As for Bruce’s suit he’s rocking the more classic black and gray color scheme with hints of yellow/gold accents. What elevates his suit for me is the escrima stick holsters on his legs, the accents around his cowl, and the look of the symbol being trapped between the straps on his chest that support his cape.
7. Neal Adams
Did you really think I’d leave this suit out? The iconic gray and blue suit is a staple of Batman and for good reason. It looks exceptional on the comic page especially when drawn by none other than Neal Adams. I don’t think there’s a need to go into too much detail about this suit, the image really says all you need.
6. Gordon’s Stealth Suit
One of my personal favorite suits that I hardly see get any love is the mostly blacked out stealth Batsuit Jim Gordon wears during the Superheavy arc by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. The all black with the yellow outline of a Bat symbol, a yellow military symbol on his shoulder, and yellow holster for his Batarang gun really bring this look home for me. It feels very Jim Gordon while still maintaining the essence of a Batsuit.
5. Batman Beyond
Another fan favorite suit is the ever popular Batman Beyond suit. I just talked about stealth with Gordon’s suit, but this one really is the definition of it, even going so far as to include a stealth feature that literally makes the wearer invisible. This futuristic Batsuit has all the standard bells and whistles a Batsuit normally would and loads more. If you think a tool should be there then it probably is. The suit is all black save for the big red bat symbol on his chest and the underside of the suit’s expandable wings also being red. These stark contrasts, the long ears of the cowl, and the lack of a traditional mouth opening help this suit stand out.
Aside from the Neal Adam’s suit I’d argue that this is the most famous Batsuit on this list. It’s arguably the most recognizable and has been a staple for Batman (and Batman merchandise) since it’s appearance in the early 2000’s. Jim Lee brought back the basics with this gray and blue color scheme, the trunks, and not much else going on. Sometimes less is more. This suit also introduced what I think is the first appearance of the Bat tread on the bottom of his boot. This suit is even making a comeback in current continuity as Bruce is set to start wearing it again.
3. New 52
This suit has a special place in my heart because it’s the suit I was exposed to whenever I first started picking up comics monthly. Lines, lines, and more accent lines are all over this suit but for me it works well. The dark black and gray color scheme with the utility belt being the only source of color really keep Batman in the shadows with this suit. I’m partial to the way Greg Capullo draws this one, especially in the Court of Owls story arc.
2. Zero Year (First appearance)
Long ears, short cape, purple gloves, and padding. There’s so much to love on this suit. The light gray mixed with the yellow accent of his belt, the eye catching purple gloves, and cool blue of his cape and cowl really make this suit a joy to look at. It’s a perfect modern rendition of Batman’s classic first appearance suit (drawn by Bill Finger) which I have to throw in as an honorable mention.
It doesn’t get better than this suit. This is the perfect modern Batsuit in my eyes. The classic gray body suit, the purple on the inside of the cape calling back to his first appearance, the yellow/orange outline around the Bat symbol in reference to so many other suits before this, the black utility belt with yellow/orange highlights that’s shaped like Bat fangs at the front, and the relatively straightforward cowl, gauntlets, and boots make this suit flawless for me. I’m again partial to the way Capullo draws it (he did come up with it after all) but there’s been a plethora of artists throughout Rebirth that have really done this suit justice.