There’s hardly a film coming out this year that is as anticipated as The Flash. With its troubled, start-and-stop production history, and the mystery surrounding the finished product’s overall story, it’s a movie that fans have been looking forward to seeing for a number of reasons. Now, after multiple delays and years of speculation, the film finally has a proper trailer, one that has set the internet ablaze with praise and excitement.
I think it’s safe to say that even though the Flash getting a solo film is noteworthy in itself, the fact that Michael Keaton will return as Batman after a 31 year absence is what is garnering much of the attention. And with good reason, because Keaton rocks and that trailer showed just how cool his Batman can truly be.
While the longer official trailer is replete with some crazy shots and great Batman action, another trailer was released during Super Bowl LVII that was shorter in length, but had some additional footage not found in the longer trailer.
Specifically, a very interesting shot related to Keaton’s Batman.
At around 19 seconds in the trailer, there’s a quick glimpse at Batman’s wardrobe. As opposed to multiple suits of the same general design, though, we see seven unique costumes that raise a ton of questions while increasing our overall excitement.
There is a lot going on here, in a good way. Aside from the multiple Batsuits, there are a bunch of cool gadgets on the wall at the back, from Batarangs to grapple gun launchers and hooks. If nothing else, this tells a story about Keaton’s Batman, in that there are more stories about this Batman. His journey didn’t begin in Batman and end in Batman Returns; no, this Batman had other adventures, both before and after those two films.
But what of the suits themselves? What’s significant about each costume, and what sets them apart from each other? Granted, it’s all speculation for most of these, but here’s what we can figure out based on a half second shot from the trailer for a major motion picture. And for your convenience, dear reader, I have numbered each suit to break them down, one at a time.
1. The Flash movie Batsuit
This one is simple enough. It is the suit that Batman will be wearing in the film, and the one that is featured throughout both trailers. It’s not a bad design, though I wish that the belt were still yellow as opposed to black. Overall it’s a solid blend of elements from Keaton’s earlier suits, with a bit of a modern update. Gotta love that yellow oval.
2. Armed Batsuit
Where some of the other suits here are relatively obvious and straightforward, this one was tricky. Namely, because of the two gun holsters at each arm, which is… a choice, to be sure. Is this a Golden Age throwback, meant to evoke the earliest appearance of Batman in the comics? That makes a certain amount of sense, if so.
Is it a reference to Batman: Odyssey?
That makes… much less sense, but would have definitely been a bold, absolutely insane choice if that was the case.
Luckily, the film’s costume designer Chris Weston has taken to Twitter to share his enthusiasm for this project, and provided some clarification on the suit:
Thankfully, those are grapple guns, not pistols. The tweet he was responding to pointed out that the oval is much like Adam West’s logo in the Sixties Batman television series, which I didn’t notice at first glance. Nor did the crooked ears stand out either, but that’s a fun detail too. I doubt this suit will be worn or be featured outside of this shot, but it’s still pretty cool.
3. Comic Batsuit
This is what I’m here for: a blue and grey suit, with the yellow oval. Funny enough, Affleck’s Batman also appears to have a blue and grey suit in the film, along with some armored accoutrements:
The Keaton suit is more in line with a traditional comic suit from, say, Jim Aparo, though, and Weston even mentions that he specifically requested the opportunity to design a blue and grey costume when he got the assignment.
Blue. Grey. Yellow oval.
4. ’89 Batsuit
Like it says, this is the original Keaton Batsuit. It has that rubbery look with the sculpted abs, and the cowl looks a bit bulkier than some of the others.
I love that it still has that weird barbed chest symbol, and here’s hoping that the boots are still those modified Nike Air Trainers. The drape of the cape looks a bit different, as the ’89 cowl kind of “fanned” out over his chest. The cape itself could just be pulled back over the shoulders here, though, so otherwise this looks just like the suit from the original film.
5. Returns Batsuit
This might be a hot take, but this might be my favorite onscreen Batsuit to date. It improves on the ’89 suit by having a slimmer cowl profile, and I like the armored body as opposed to molded abs.
Great ear length too.
Not much else to say about this, really, as it’s a familiar suit that doesn’t look much different than it did in 1992. Let’s just hope it’s made of sturdier material so it doesn’t tear as easily.
6. Underwater Batsuit
Now we’re getting weird, and I am here for it. The final two suits look like toys in the best way possible.
And no, I don’t mean they look like they were made to become toys. These suits look like they were adapted from old Kenner Batman action figures.
While I’ve seen some speculate that this specific suit takes its cues from Kingdom Come, I’m not so sure. Yeah, there are some similarities:
The bulky belt buckle and hard metal wings in particular at least resemble Future Bruce’s exoskeleton, so it very well may be based off this design. Looking at the cowl in particular, though, there are some big white lenses and a SCUBA-like rebreather. That coupled with wings that could be used for maneuvering underwater, and I think we have us an underwater Batsuit here.
7. Arctic armor Batsuit
Finally, this one took me a minute, but once I noticed a few telling details it started to click. The goggles are a pretty obvious giveaway that this is supposed to be some sort of environmentally specific suit, and then you look at the cape and torso. He has a hood, and the cowl and body armor are both white. Friends…
We’re a glass dome away from Arctic Batman. It’s all silly and fun, sure, but go back to the point I made earlier: these suits have a purpose. This is a Batman who needed to go on a mission underwater, and needed to prepared to survive in frigid climates. Whether we hear anything about these stories or not, the fact that Andy Muschietti, Chris Weston, and the rest of the team behind The Flash felt the need to include these suits shows that they care about Batman having an established history. That’s great storytelling, no matter how you look at it.
Plus, if Bruce needs to track down Zod in the jungle…
Well, victory is in the preparation, after all.
The Flash will hit theaters on June 16.