Batman: All 20 Batsuits ranked from worst to best

Photo: Batman Returns. Image Courtesy Warner Bros. / DC Universe
Photo: Batman Returns. Image Courtesy Warner Bros. / DC Universe /
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Batman, Robin, Douglas Croft, John Duncan
American actors Douglas Croft (Robin) and Lewis Wilson (Batman) on the set of Batman, directed by Lambert Hillyer. (Photo by Columbia Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images) /

20. Batman (1943)

The Dark Knight made his big screen debut all the way back in 1943 in the first ever Batman movie serial. It’s a monumental moment to reflect on because it kickstarted the Dynamic Duo’s relationship with the silver screen, but it’s interesting to think about whether or not all involved knew they were making history at the time. Nevertheless, they brought Batman off the pages of the comics and into the movies and it was huge.

The very first live-action Batman, Lewis Wilson donned the Batsuit for the 15-chapter serial. It’s hard to judge this one too harshly because of the limitations of the time, but it also doesn’t hold up by today’s standards (and it hasn’t in years).

In its defense, it’s a pretty comic-accurate adaptation, bringing to life the iconic grey and black costume the Caped Crusader wore in the pages of DC Comics at the time, but the cheap design completely undermines that. And while it’s certainly commendable that the serial went for the curved Bat-ears seen in the comics, the material it was made out of it prevented it from nailing the look, with the Bat-ears looking more like devil horns than anything else.