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Character Profiles - Gadgets - Bat-Suit

The Batsuit or Bat-Suit is the consists of a scalloped cape, a bat-like cowl, a tight-fitting body suit emblazoned on the chest with the symbol of a bat, a pair of gloves, boots, and a yellow utility belt.

While brooding in his study over how to be a more effective crime fighter, Bruce Wayne saw a bat crash through his window and perch on the bust of his father. Realizing that "criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot", Bruce adopts the persona of a bat in order to conceal his identity and strike fear into his adversaries. Subsequent origin tales have had Bruce terrified by bats as a child, and observing a bat costume worn by his father at a costume ball, but the primary impetus of his decision to adopt the bat persona has always been the incident of the bat crashing through the window of his study. It is as a result of this incident that the batsuit came into being.

The primary colors of the suit itself have changed from black and grey in the 1930's and '40's to blue and grey in the Silver Age and back to black and grey in the 1980's and beyond. The bat symbol on the chest has alternated from a simple black bat to a bat design on a yellow ellipse. In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns it is revealed that the yellow ellipse design was deliberately meant as a target, attracting a potential gunman's aim to a heavily armored part of the costume. Other elements, such as the utility belt and the length of the cowl's ears, have been changed by various artistic teams.

As different artists have taken over the responsibility of drawing the character, the details of the suit have changed considerably. The original incarnation of the cape was a wing-like structure inspired by drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci. This eventually evolved into a more cape-like design of varying length. The cape has also incorporated Nomex fire-resistant material and a Kevlar weave to slow the impact of bullets. In the 2005 film Batman Begins, the cape was also used as a sort of hang glider; when an electric current was applied to the cape, the shape-memory fibers aligned into a semi-rigid form resembling a bat's wings, allowing Batman to glide over the streets and rooftops of Gotham.

In the earliest Batman stories of Detective Comics, the costume features a few curiosities before it evolved in to its more or less standard style. The first gloves were ordinary looking, and lacked any sort of scalloped fins or other stylings, and only came to the wrists. A few issues later the gloves became longer, and by 1940 the familiar fins were added (these pieces were originally meant to be miniature, scalloped bat wings, but eventually became three simple triangular fins). On a curious sidenote, the second Batman adventure featured the character wearing no gloves at all. Another early curiosity was the cape, which at times seemed to attach to Batman's arms, giving it a more wing-like look. Although not used as such much in the cartoon or comic adaptations, the scallops on the gloves are ridged metal weapons, and can be used for blocking and trapping enemy weapons or securing a grip when climbing icy or otherwise sheer walls

The batsuit has been repeatedly updated in order to reflect advances in technology. Originally the costume contained no protective armor, but with the advent of various forms of bulletproof materials like kevlar, the costume has been re-imagined with varying forms of bulletproof protection. The array of devices in the utility belt have also become more complex over time. The simple coiled rope and batarang scaling equipment became a rocket powered grapple gun, the cowl was updated with night-vision lenses and communication equipment, and a device to attract the bats from the Batcave was installed in the heel of one of the boots. The suit has also carried on different occasions a re-breather device, flash and gas grenades, lockpicks, a signalling device for the Batmobile, electronic surveillance equipment, a forensic kit for gathering crime scene evidence, a medical kit, and, in early incarnations, a pistol in a holster. On any occasion where Batman anticipates encountering Superman, he has also carried a kryptonite ring given to him by the Man of Steel as a weapon of last resort.

Batman's utility belt is his most characteristic prop, much like Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth, or Green Lantern's ring. The exact contents of this belt are not known because Batman usually changes it to suit his needs. His uncanny ability to carry unusually appropriate tools is legendary. Batman's enemies are especially interested in the utility belt as they believe it will give them an advantage over him, but the belt's pockets are locked and only Batman knows how to open them. Occasionally, the utility belt is depicted as having defense mechanisms such as electric shock or stun gas in order to prevent tampering.

Click below for a more detailed look at Batman's Batsuit:

Click below for a more detailed look at Batman's Utility Belt & It's Compartments:

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