Director Zack Snyder unveiled the first look at the Tactical Batsuit™ from the Justice League set on Wednesday. In it, the Dark Knight (Ben Affleck) can be seen standing defiantly next to the Batmobile, and given the amount of smoke and sparks it’s emitting in the photo, it looks like it has seen better days. Designed for combat, at first glance the Tactical Batsuit looks a hell of a lot more practical than the Mech Batsuit the Caped Crusader designed to fight the Man of Steel in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
“Homestretch. Last day filming Batman in the new Tactical Batsuit,” Snyder wrote on Twitter. Details on the Bat’s tactical suit actually came out months ago when reports from the London set of Justice League hit the internet. Cinema Blend revealed that the new and improved Batsuit (which will debut in the film’s climactic third act) was created so that the Bat could “step up his game” in combat situations with superpowered adversaries, like the immortal Steppenwolf.
The suit isn’t a complete redesign; in fact, many of the elements are simply technical enhancements to the Bat’s sleek Batman v Superman suit. (For example, his abdomen is much more protected in the tactical suit.) Details like its stubbier ears, sinewy texture, large emblem, and gauntlet-like gloves are still there, only heightened and more pronounced, especially the gauntlets. Unlike in Batman v Superman, where the Bat’s gauntlets had Kryptonite (Superman’s key weakness) embedded in the knuckles, these gauntlets are heavily armored and most likely hiding serious artillery to use against his foes.
Of course, the Tactical Batsuit™ has also been compared to the Nite Owl costume from Snyder’s Watchmen movie. The cowls, with their stylistic edges and built-in goggles, are similar. According to costume designer Michael Wilkinson, via Cinema Blend, the goggles were created not as an homage to Nite Owl but rather a tribute to the Dark Night’s iconic design.
“We loved the way, in the comic books, that Batman’s always drawn with these white flashes for eyes,” he told reporters on set. “So we played around with ways of doing that, and realized that they would sort of catch the light, to call to mind that classic age from the comic books.”
These goggles are also being worn for a specific reason: to pilot a brand-new Bat vehicle. (Maybe the Batcopter?!) So far, only two new rides have been confirmed: The Nightcrawler (a.k.a. the Batmobile’s bigger, cooler brother) and The Flying Fox. It’s possible that Batman will need the goggles to pilot one of these vehicles.
The reaction to the suit thus far has been mostly positive (Nite Owl comparisons aside), but when it comes to the DC Extended Universe, it’s not the costumes we’re worried about.
The Justice League hits theaters on November 17, 2017.