While brooding in his study over how to be a more effective crime fighter, Bruce Wayne saw a bat come through his window and perch on the bust of his father.
After he saw that as a sign, he realized that "criminals were a superstitious, cowardly lot" and ended up adopting the persona of a bat in order to conceal his identity and strike fear into his adversaries. It was as a result of that incident that Batman was born.
Bats are hunters, mysterious and unpredictable. They stalk their prey, observe intently, then swoop in to strike. Bruce used this suit to inspire fear since he was already much faster, stronger, and more powerful then any ordinary human could ever be- it made him seem otherworldly.
When first preparing for his war against crime, Bruce Wayne realized that he would need a disguise that not only concealed his identity, but could also provide adequate protection from any threats that he might've gone up against and make him look formidable. He ended up taking pieces of tech either that he invented, fabricated, or things from the Wayne Enterprises facilities, and ended up "cobbling" all the pieces of tech that he could gather into his first suit. The first Batsuit consisted of a heavy amount of kevlar padding centered around the chest area. The undersuit had armor plates layered with kinetic damping gel, all over an impact dispersion sub-structure and WayneTech biomechanical support technology, protecting against slashing weapons, blunt trauma, and most firearms. The downside of the body armor was that it slowed his mobility and flexibility a bit. The suit's lower region consisted of a pair of military-like pants with kevlar plating in the thigh area.
The suit's boots were comprised of black combat boots that contained steel tips in them and ballistic shinguards that ended in reinforced kneeguards, all of which were made up of a strong reinforced carbon fiber/plastic material. The "mask" was designed like a cowl-shaped helmet with a graphite exterior that housed Kevlar paneling, which made it impact resistant and protected the wearer from small-caliber firearms and concussive blows. An advanced eavesdropping device was concealed within the cowl's right ear that enabled Batman to listen in on conversations from a distance and communicate with Alfred in the Batcave. Bruce also borrowed an experimental device from the WayneTech Applied Science Division called Detective Mode and applied it into the suit's cowl.
The cape was a memory cloth that was developed by Wayne Enterprises that had been shelved and never utilized. At first glance, it looked like a simple, flexible fabric like Nylon on the outer layer, similar to a parachute, but when a current was applied, the loose molecules realigned and became rigid, which allowed him to glide over long distances, Additionally the material was water and fireproof and the winged tips could be used to disorient foes in combat. The cape also had a secondary feature that allowed Batman to hide where his body actually was when he dealt with snipers, as seen with Deadshot at Blackgate Prison in Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate. The gloves consisted of black ballistic combat gloves that had reinforced knuckles and were made out of brass and Kevlar, which also contained 3 custom made bladed fins in the gauntlets, that were used to block knives and other slashing weapons.
Inside the left gauntlet was a mini computer that was linked to the Batcomputer that was capable of summoning the Batwing, criminal files, maps, and was able to locate anyone in Gotham City. A Utility Belt with magnetized holding pouches allowed Batman to carry his gadgets and other weapons that were nonlethal that he found useful.
The Batsuit was later designed into a lighter version that was made from a titanium fiber cast with Kevlar plates from the WayneTech Applied Science Division. The new suit afforded somewhat better protection along with being more flexible and allowed Bruce to be more agile so he could focus more on combat and stealth.
Becoming a veritable tech armor that was designed to enhance and support his abilities as Batman, as Bruce's career continued, he evolved and updated the suit to keep ahead of the technology in the streets of Gotham, and used the resources of Wayne Enterprises to do so. Eventually the suit itself became a kind of totem and symbol for himself and others. An example of the realm of darkness defending the realm of light - the aptly named The Dark Knight.
Once he was faced with the threat of the Scarecrow's attack on Gotham, Batman realized that he needed to be faster and more mobile out in the field. Lucius Fox then sent Batman a new suit that allowed him to use his speed and mobility without being restricted, but also increased his tolerance to impact forces. Lucius constructed that new suit with tri-weave titanium fibers, with flexible liquid armor with light mechanized parts. The benefits of that suit not only allowed Batman to be faster and more agile, but also allowed him to better tolerate the G-Forces applied to his body when he ejected out of the Batmobile. Additionally, if the suit wasn't capable of withstanding an impact and Batman was wounded, the suit would compress around the wound and stop the bleeding, as revealed by Robin in Batman: Arkham Knight.
The Batsuit could be upgraded with XP in Combat Armor and Ballistic Armor (See Arkham City Section for more). The suit was bulletproof and knife proof, but flexibility was less. The suit was very strong against bullets. This was shown a number of times during the incident as Batman was shot numerous times by a variety of calibers from basic handgun rounds to high caliber rifle rounds of .50 calibers (the kind of ammo used by the snipers in the game). He was shot in the shoulders, chest, abs and knees a number of times throughout the incident and the armor, while damaged, stopped the rounds from penetrating. The armor was apparently able to withstand or significantly reduce the impact from bullets as well as Batman barely flinched when shot during these moments, only really showing any signs of pain from being shot was when shot in the knee, which his armor took. There could have been a chance that there were ceramic plates in the chest and arm for how scratched up they looked. There was also a probability that the suit was electric proof, as Batman took the Shock Gloves from the Electrocutioner and there were no effects on him. After Batman fought Killer Croc, his teeth marks were in his left gauntlet.
This suit also held a projector in the left gauntlet, which showed blue-colored holograms. Given that neither of his suits in Asylum and City had that feature, Batman likely didn't think that it was important to incorporate this.
Cold, Cold Heart
Batman could use most of his hand-to-hand combat moves without the Batsuit (normal strikes, Special Combo Takedown, Ground Takedown).
Batman started out using the Arkham Origins Batsuit, but switched to the XE Suit after he realized that he needed a more armored Batsuit to take on the likes of Mister Freeze. It had the heating on some of the areas of the suit, it was armed with Thermal Gloves, and it also came with Thermal Batarangs. This special version of his Batsuit not only offered him greater protection, but also allowed him to take Mr. Freeze head-on, as the suit was able to withstand the extreme temperature and break the ice he was able to create.
The Batsuit could be upgraded with XP through the WayneTech upgrades menu. There were 4 upgrades in total, and each upgrade increased Batman's maximum health by 25%, for a total increase of 100%. That meant that buying all the upgrades increased Batman's health to 200%, and doubled his resistance to damage. The suit's design was based on the Animated series. Also, the suit looked like it was not bulletproof or knife proof, but there was a lot of flexibility. This suit was what an experienced Batman considered a "Basic" Batsuit and offered him basic protection and gadgets and was one that Batman had for quick deployments in emergencies, as it was missing a large portion of technology found in his other suits, including older ones. Furthermore, the Detective Mode had to be recalibrated during the incident to differentiate armed henchmen from unarmed henchmen. Additionally, the suit wasn't as armored as previous or future suits nor as resilient.
- Armor Upgrade 1: Military grade spun para-aramid fibers molded into the Batsuit chest piece provided greater protection from attack.
- Armor Upgrade 2: Super lightweight Nano-engineered polymer plating incorporated into the Batsuit created a more resilient outer shell.
- Armor Upgrade 3: Ultra-strong micro plating developed by Waynetech, layered between the regular armor and the undersuit provided further protection.
- Armor Upgrade 4: When the Batsuit's armor was soaked in a top-secret prototype formula developed by Lucius Fox at Waynetech, its durability and protection was greatly increased while retaining full movement and flexibility.
Following the completion of the game's story mode, an alternate Armored Batsuit could be chosen in the Challenge Mode.
Unlike in the Cold, Cold Heart DLC pack, Batman couldn't use any combat moves other than normal strikes without the Batsuit.
The Batsuit's upgrade menu had 2 sections: the Combat Armor decreased damage from hand-to-hand combat, and the Ballistic Armor decreased damage from firearms. Both could be upgraded up to 4 times and the settings for it were both reasonable and plausible. The suit was again, like the suit in Arkham Asylum, made from a titanium fiber cast with Kevlar plates. The bulletproof strength was little weak to stop blunt trauma as, when shot, the impact would drop Batman to the ground, something his previous suit didn't allow. That was shown when Two-Face shot Batman in the chest in such a manner that the bulletproof mesh/plate was seen on the left side of the chest.
Nine months later, the Batsuit held a holographic screen projector in the right gauntlet. However, unlike the Arkham Knight Batsuit's version, the projection was in black and white rather than color.
Batman: Arkham City Lockdown
Alternate Batsuits were available for Batman: Arkham City Lockdown and each suit possessed a varied balance of Health, Damage, and Speed. Players could choose which suit most fitted their combat style.
- Arkhamverse Batsuit - Health 100, Damage 100, Speed 100
- Batman: The Animated Series Batsuit - Health 90, Damage 120, Speed 100
- The Dark Knight Returns Batsuit - Health 135, Damage 110, Speed 90
- Batman Beyond Batsuit - Health 80, Damage 80, Speed 115
- 1970's Batsuit - Health 85, Damage 70, Speed 120
- Earth One Batsuit - Health 100, Damage 130, Speed 85
- Bruce Wayne - Health 60, Damage 70, Speed 110
- Batman Incorporated Batsuit - Health 145, Damage 90, Speed 100
- Batman: Year One Batsuit - Health 70, Damage 125, Speed 95
Batman started by using a suit made of a Kevlar weave with ceramic plates centered around the bat symbol with the inclusion of a holographic screen projector in the right gauntlet that allowed him to communicate with Oracle and other allies face-to-face. This suit was a modified version of the one in Arkham City, called "Version 7.43".
Upon request, Lucius Fox delivered the "Batsuit Version 8.03", an advanced suit designed with flexible plates overlaying a MR-fluid (magnetorheological fluid) armor layer, and incorporating the latest in cutting-edge technology.
The tri-weave bodysuit consists of an outer and inner layer made from a titanium-dipped tri-weave fiber mesh. Sandwiched in between is the MR-fluid based liquid armor system. The proprietary WayneTech Smart MR-fluid hardens in response to impacts, specifically designed to provide superior shock absorption, as well as enabling greater force delivery behind counterattacks. The liquid body armor layer is also more flexible than the ceramic or fiber-based alternatives used in previous suits, allowing for greater maneuverability and faster elimination of multiple targets in quick succession (Fear Takedowns). The suit's subsystems are symbiotically integrated with the Batmobile and provide a quick launch capability via the vehicle's electromagnetic ejection system (analogous to launch from a railgun). Designed to withstand up to 6gs of acceleration, the suit increases navigational capability by tolerating high acceleration maneuvers without risk of injury (vis-a-vis gliding, grapnel boosting, and high-speed ejection from the Batmobile).
In addition, the Batsuit v8.03 incorporates the aforementioned holographic projector, as well as the ability to remotely control the Batmobile using haptic controls that are mounted on the gauntlets. The gauntlets themselves posses retractable blades and sensors that worked in conjunction with Detective Mode to analyze foreign samples and upload data to remote sites.
While the new suit was high tech in nature and offered Batman his full mobility, it was, however, only moderately effective against bullets. While the actual plates could easily stop bullets (as demonstrated by Gordon and Batman at the end of the game), in between the plates was where the weakness of this armor was, as demonstrated by the Arkham Knight as the liquid armor layer was highly effective against impact, but only offered moderate protection from bullets, especially at point blank range. However, if shot, the suit was designed to compress around the wound and stop the bleeding, as revealed by Robin in an optional conversation.
Note: Magnetorheological (MR) fluids are 1 of 2 types of liquid body armor currently under development in real-life; the other being shear-thickening fluids (STF) (aka Dilatants - a class of non-Newtonian fluid). More about liquid armor here.
In the case of the Batsuit v8.03, the WayneTech Smart MR-fluid layer most likely consists of iron nanoparticles suspended in an oily liquid. Under normal conditions the armor remains flexible, but when an electrical current is applied to circuits running throughout the armor, the resulting magnetic fields re-align the iron particles and hardens to protect the user from impacts. Interestingly, the Batsuit's liquid armor is stated to harden on impact, not via electrical current, a distinct property of dilatants (see above), not MR-fluids. One possibility is that the suit incorporates piezoelectric/piezomagnetic elements that generate transient magnetic fields when stressed. There's also a DLC where you can wear the "Batsuit Version 8.04" and the "Batsuit Version 8.05", which is an updated version of the "8.03" suit with a gold bat symbol on the chest.
Bruce, when going into the Batcave, started to dress once again in the "Batsuit Version 7.43".
- The Batsuit in Arkham Knight resembled the armored suit in both Arkham Asylum and the Armored Edition of Arkham City.
- The comic series Batman: Arkham Unhinged integrates a few of the Alternate Batsuits in-universe. In one story, various criminals under Hugo Strange's captivity narrate their experiences with Batman, showing him wearing a different Alternate suit with each different recollection. These include the Dark Knight Returns suit, the Batman Beyond suit and the Batman The Animated Series suit.
- The developers of the game made it so that the owners of the PC Batman: Arkham Asylum could alter the color appearance of the Batsuit, and enabled players to create their own varieties of Batsuits to use in the game.
- The Batsuit was an obtainable item at the Xbox Avatar Marketplace. The suit cost 400 Microsoft Points.
- In each game (except for Origins Blackgate), the default Batsuit got damaged as the player progressed in the story. In Return To Arkham, some of the damage is revealed earlier, and it sometimes has additional damage which suddenly disappears afterward (only for Asylum). While in Asylum, City and Origins, players cannot get rid of this damage in any way, in Knight completing the main story unlocks a repaired version (8.04) in the showcase, which the player can then equip post-story.
- The Batsuit in Asylum (while having the least amount of damage compared to its predecessor and successors) has several cuts in both the costume and the cape, caused by Harley Quinn dropping an elevator, suddenly appear after the first Scarecrow Nightmare, Batman being thrown into wall during his fight with Bane, the explosion in the Warden's safe, Poison Ivy's plants destroying the Batcave, Titan Joker overwhelming Batman, which resulted in a large portion of the cape being destroyed, and finally, the final cutscene, where Batman destroys his right gauntlet with Explosive Gel.
- In City, Batman is shot by Two-Face in the left part of the Bat-Symbol, thrown out of the Steel Mill window by Joker while strapped to a wheelchair, struck by Ra's al Ghul's sword (which also leaves some scratches in both gauntlets), and suffers heavy damage after the battles with Mr. Freeze and Clayface. In Return to Arkham, additional damage (that only appears during the battle with Clayface) appears on the cape after Wonder Tower explodes, and unlike the Asylum remaster, it stays there forever.
- The suit in Origins has perhaps the largest amount of damage done to it, with several scratches (and teeth marks caused by Killer Croc), bullet holes (caused by Deathstroke, several GCPD officers, and Joker), and lots of cuts in the cape (caused during Batman's fights with Bane and Firefly, the latter of which had left a burn mark in the back of the neck).
- The two suits in Knight also get damaged. For the first suit, Batman gets several scratches after a run-in with Poison Ivy, and stays like that until the second suit is equipped. For the second suit, there is a bullet hole in the left part of the belly caused by the Arkham Knight, several tears and dirtiness after the Knight shoots a missile at Batman, lots of mud after the battle with Knight's excavator vehicle, and finally Commissioner Gordon shooting the right part of the Bat-Symbol to fool Scarecrow.
- If the player took damage in Arkham Asylum combat maps while wearing the default suit, Batman's costume took a damaged appearance between rounds.
- During Batman: Arkham City's release, a falsified rumor was generated of a Zorro-esque skin for Batman being available. It was later found to be a hoax.
- If counting only the main suits within the Arkhamverse canon, the Extreme Environment Suit, in Cold, Cold Heart, was the only Batsuit that had white lenses in the cowl by default, which gave Batman the traditional "white eyes" – as opposed to the other suits where the lenses only appeared white-eyed in Detective Mode.
- In Arkham Knight, Batman started out with the Batsuit from Arkham City and later upgraded to the Batsuit Version 8.03.
- The Batsuit 7.43 was quite glitched, as whenever Batman removed his mask, it still remained attached to the suit model, which meant that the suit could not be seen without its mask.
- In Arkham Knight, most alternate suits had a unique animation and model when removing the mask. Even the cowls made from non-mechanic material acted like mechanical ones.
- The Arkham Asylum skin for the Arkham Knight Batman had a different cape. It was cut more inward than round. Why that change was made was unknown.
- The holographic projector function was available as early as Arkham Origins, but wasn't seen again until Arkham Knight. It's possible that Batman didn't see that it was of much use since it would have portrayed who his allies were. It could also be that Batman couldn't implement it properly into the next version of the suit.
- Though the Batman Beyond Batsuit appears as DLC in both Arkham City and Arkham Knight, its design is different in both games. In Arkham City, it resembles the one from the animated series, while the one in Arkham Knight has a more realistic, high tech design.
- The change was possibly made as some players found the cartoonish-looking bodysuit to look weird in Arkham City's realistic setting (especially in comparison to the suit from Batman: The Animated Series). Unfortunately, the new design has caught some flak for looking too realistic, to the point that it barely resembles the original costume aside from the Bat-symbol.