- Bruce Wayne: “I want to borrow it. For spelunking. You know, cave-diving.”
- Lucius Fox: “You get a lot of gunfire down in those caves?”
- ―Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox after Fox has shown him the nomex survival suit[src]
The Batsuit is the costume Batman wears to conceal his identity and to frighten criminals. Unable to create it by himself, Bruce Wayne needed Lucius Fox to provide him some sort of armor. Fox presented him a prototype armor suit that was rejected by the army due to cost. After receiving the suit, Bruce sprays it with black rubber and adds a bat symbol.
Nomex survival suit
The suit is derived from Lucius Fox's Research and Development program, within Wayne Enterprises' Applied Sciences Division. It is described by Fox as a "Nomex survival suit" originally intended for advanced military use, but, with its $300,000 price tag, was considered to be too expensive for the United States Army and military in general. Based on an advanced infantry armor system constructed from Nomex, the first layer of protection is an undersuit with built-in temperature regulators designed to keep the wearer at a comfortable temperature in almost any condition. The second layer of protection consists of armor built over the chest, calves, thighs, arms, and back. This armor features a kevlar bi-weave that can stop slashing weapons and can also deflect any bullet short of a straight shot impact, and reinforced joints that allow maximum flexibility and mobility.
The armor was then coated with a black latex material to dampen Bruce's heat signature, making him difficult to detect with night-vision equipment. Made of a graphite material, the cowl acts as a protective helmet. The cowl's Kevlar lining is supposed to be bulletproof. A manufacturing defect in the graphite used in the production of the first shipment of the cowl's components made its outer shell incapable of withstanding blunt trauma (a flaw Alfred demonstrated to Bruce Wayne using a baseball bat). Batman apparently took on Falcone and his henchmen at the docks with the defective helmet. The second shipment was supposed to fix this problem. An advanced eavesdropping device is concealed within the cowl's right ear and enables Batman to listen in on conversations from a distance.
Batman's cape is made of "memory cloth," also developed by Lucius Fox. It is essentially flexible in its normal state, but becomes semi-rigid in a fixed form when an electric current is passed through it from the microcircuits in his right glove. Bruce also adds metal gauntlets with angular fin blades on the forearms, a weapon kept from his experience as a pupil of Ra's al Ghul's organization, the League of Shadows. Mainly used to block against knives or other stabbing weapons, Bruce managed to surprise Ra's by breaking the blade of his ninjaken in multiple places with the gauntlets.
Although supposedly designed for maximum flexibility and movement, the Nomex armor does restrict Batman's movement somewhat, slowing him down in combat. The design of the mask and cape also restricted his neck movement, making it impossible for him to turn his head, and forcing him to rely on peripheral vision. For these reasons, Bruce asked Lucius to design a new suit with faster, freer movement in mind.
Second Batsuit design
- Lucius Fox: “You want to be able to turn your head.”
- Bruce Wayne: “Sure would make backing out of the driveway easier.”
- ―Lucius Fox and Bruce Wayne[src]
In this new design, the bodysuit is made of hardened kevlar plates on a titanium-dipped fiber and is broken into multiple pieces of armor over a more flexible bodysuit for greater mobility. The cowl of the Batsuit, which previously had been attached to the shoulder and neck, is now a separate component inspired by the design of motorcycle helmets, allowing the wearer to freely swivel and move his neck without moving the rest of his upper torso.. Also, a strong electric current runs through it that prevents anyone except Bruce Wayne from removing it, further protecting his identity. But this cowl was later shattered by Bane, a man of great strength.
In this Batsuit, the fins on the sides of Batman's gauntlets are now retractable and are capable of firing outwards as projectiles. The chest emblem is smaller than the original, and separated in half across the pectorals. Furthermore, this suit also has a built-in retractable 'memory cloth' cape that can be stored in compartments behind the shoulder blades. Though this function was only ever used once when scaled a vantage point in China.
The Batsuit also has "sonar-vision", where signals emitted by mobile phones are converted into images in a similar way to sonar. In order to view the-said images, white lenses fold down from Batman's cowl to cover his eyes. Fox ran the machine to enable the "sonar-vision", but since it went against Fox's morals to spy on 30 million people, Batman built a self-destruct mechanism to allow Lucius to destroy the machine, likely the glowing lcd lenses were never used again.
As a trade-off, the flexible armor leaves Batman more vulnerable to injury from bullets or knives in favor of increased flexibility and lighter weight. As a result Batman was seriously injured when shot point blank by Two-Face. When coming out of retirement, he resorted to wearing some kind of enhancement harness under the slacks of the suit, now having to walk with a cane normally.
The Utility Belt is a specialized belt Batman wears to equip his crime-fighting gear. The utility belt is a modified climbing harness, with magnetized impact-resistant pouches, and canisters attached to the belt at ergonomic points for ease of reach. It carries a magnetic gas-powered grapple gun, an encrypted cell phone, Batarangs, a medical kit, smoke bombs, mini explosives, periscope, remote control for the Tumbler, mini-cam, money, and other unspecified equipment. Batman removed the belt's shoulder and chest straps because they constricted his movements.
These are Batman's signature shuriken cut in the shape of his symbol. There is the standard larger version that can folded in half, but it seems these were almost never used. The small variants were used to shatter lightbulbs and windows early in his crusade. Later this seemed to evolve into an even smaller tranquilizer dart similar in shape and material.
The grapple gun is a tool item Batman uses to scale up or rappel down several stories, or swing between Gotham City skyscrapers on successive lines. It could even be used to incapacitate, restrain, or ensnare opponents.
Similar to a grappling hook, the line launching gun uses a strong clamp attached to a high-tensil wire for scaling surfaces and/or traversing gaps. It can be recovered by releasing the clamp and rewinding the cable. It was based from one that is designed as compact climbing gear for commando units. It is propelled with compressed air, and works with a magnetic grappling iron. The thin climbing cable was tested on a load-carrying capacity of 350 lbs. The line can be attached to a reel in the buckle in the utility harness, but this was only used to escape after being defeated by the Scarecow in The Narrows.
The Memory cloth is a piece of equipment that Bruce is shown by Lucius Fox at Applied Sciences. The item itself is normally soft and light, but when an electric current is passed through it the cape takes a rigid shape. Bruce took it, and the gloves then customized the skeleton and cut into bat wing shape scalloped cape and somehow made it a functional paraglider contraption.
- A HF Transponder that Batman uses to summon bats. Equipped in the left heel of his boot, when used at a lower frequency the sound can cause people to have incapacitating headaches.
- Pneumatic Mangler
- Sticky Bomb Gun
- EMP Rifle
- Christian Bale found the original Batsuit to be very uncomfortable and restrictive, as it was still very much derived from the standard WB batsuits of the past first established by Michael Keaton, with little improvement. The "bat suit wrangler", Day Murch from the 90's films was brought on to assist Bale and stuntmen like Buster Reeves. From Christopher Nolan's point of view, he was dissatisfied with the appearance of the foam rubber cowl, within the fiction it supposed to be made of a solid graphite material. For these reasons, Bruce's desire for a new costume in the movies was put into the story.
- The particular incarnation of the Batsuit in Begins has the most in-depth description of its make and function ever seen in a Batman film.
- Begins is also the only film to show Batman using multiple razor-sharp Batarangs held between the fingers, first established in the Frank Miller stories of the 80's like Year One, which is cited as a direct influence on the movie. Batarang props are seen on display in both sequels but are never used.
- The sonar lenses in the first sequel remain the only attempt to add somewhat white lenses to the standard cowl in the live-action movies. A very similar sonar lenses idea was used at the end of Batman Forever, although with a very different look to the lenses. The sonar batsuit worn by Val Kilmer was also used to screentest actors like Cillian Murphy for the first movie. Ben Affleck's power armor in Batman v Superman also had glowing whiteish-blue lcd light eyes.
Legacy and Cameo-appearances
- Bruce Wayne’s updated 2010 Batsuit, first shown in the Batman Incorporated storyline, was conceptualized by artist David Finch as an amalgam from the Batsuits in Tim Burton's and Christopher Nolan's Batman films.
- When the Tumbler was added to Batman: Arkham Knight DLC with no Bale batsuit skin to go with it unlike the Adam West, Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck releases, fan complaint was loud enough that one was eventually made available.