Robert Pattinson’s Batman punches in the chest for multiple bullets in the latest trailer The Batmanwhich indicates how bulletproof his version of the bat suit is. Although he lacks superpowers, Batman fights crime in Gotham City with superior martial arts, a brilliant intellect and state-of-the-art equipment. A common piece of equipment for live-action Batman adaptations is a batsuit made from bulletproof material. Not all Dark Knight costumes have the same level of protection, so how does Pattinson’s suit compare to the others and the comic source material?
In his first comic book appearances, Batman didn’t wear armor, but rather a simple, light, and flexible costume with an intimidating appearance. One of the earliest uses of an armored batsuit comes from the first standalone Batman book from 1940, in which the Caped Crusader survived a gunshot wound from The Joker thanks to a layer of armor under the main suit. Modern comic iterations of Batman wear fully armored batsuits that offer significant protection from gunshots; partly inspired by the various film adaptations and their many shout-outs.
In the latest trailer for The Batman, Robert Pattinson’s batsuit is put to the test several times. While battling a gang of criminals in clown makeup, Batman is shot dead with a pistol at close range, but he shrugs this pretty quickly and continues fighting. Later in the trailer, Batman walks up to a group of attackers with assault rifles, who shower him with gunfire. Batman walks largely unhindered through the hail of bullets before starting a counterattack. This indicates that Pattinson’s Batman uses an extremely durable material that can withstand more shots than most versions of the Dark Knight.
While Adam West’s Batman wore no armor, Michael Keaton’s iteration in the Tim Burton films had a very durable suit that could accommodate direct shots. However, as shown several times in Batman and Batman Returns, the force often knocked Batman off his feet and left him breathless on some occasions, while the suit kept gunfire from being instantly fatal. Pattinson’s gear offers more protection and allows him to remain in combat condition even after numerous shots.
Christian Bale’s first batsuit in Batman Begins also offered protection from gunfire, although Lucious Fox specifically advised against scoring direct hits. Although protective, the suit proved too restrictive, so Bale’s Bruce wore a modified suit in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Bale’s second Batman suit offered far more flexibility, although he was even more prone to being shot, something Bruce learned firsthand when he went up against Two-Face.
The only live-action Batman iteration whose suit offers a similar level of protection to Pattinson’s is the DCEU Batman. As shown in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ben Affleck’s Batman wears a light and flexible suit that allows him to fire shots in the head at close range without any obstacles. The suit has some vulnerable spots, as shown by an attacker’s knife piercing the suit near the shoulder, but this could have been a lightly armored area for articulation purposes. Ben Affleck’s Batman armor, like Pattinson’s batsuit in The Batman, is completely bulletproof and protects Batman from enemies carrying weapons.