The original Batman Beyond costume was not created by Bruce Wayne

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The Batsuit worn in Batman Beyond is one of the best costumes in DC Comics, and its origins can be found in the costume worn by a Forgotten Batman.

One of the coolest superhero costumes in the DC Comics universe is the Batman beyond costume, first seen in the 1999 animated show. Set in the futuristic Neo-Gotham, the Batman beyond The costume was different from previous versions of the Batsuit due to its streamlined appearance, long ears, and no cape. The appearance of the Beyond costume helped differentiate Terry McGinnis’ crime-fighting style from Bruce Wayne, who had previously relied on fear and intimidation through his costume. As Batman beyond Later extended to comics, writer Dan Jurgens expanded on the series ‘existing lore, complementing Terry McGinnis’ story with other details from the DC Universe. As luck would have it, Jurgens directly addressed the iconic look of the Batman beyond costume and attributed the foundations of its design not from Bruce Wayne himself, but from an entirely different Batman: Jim Gordon.


In Batman beyond # 4, who saw Tim Drake replaces Terry McGinnis as Batman in Gotham’s future, Barbara Gordon gave him version 1.0 of the Batsuit, which turned out to be the same mecha Jim Gordon wore during Batman: Superheavy from the New-52 (written by Dan Jurgens, art by Bernard Chang, colors by Marcelo Maiolo, letters by Dave Sharpe). In a series of Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Danny Miki, Jim Gordon had taken over the role of Batman after the disappearance of Bruce Wayne. Without surprise, Gordon wore a different Batsuit from Bruce Wayne, one that consisted of a thinner black costume without a cape which was then paired with a large mecha costume which provided additional armor. Because Tim Drake was wearing version 5.0 of the Batman beyond costume, it is clear that substantial improvements had been made to streamline Gordon’s costume over the years.

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Tim Drake’s discovery of version 1.0 of the Batman beyond costume then place Gordon Very heavy mech and follows in a larger timeline in DC Comics that leads to the events of Neo-Gotham. Very heavy isn’t as well-known as a chapter in Batman’s history as other moments in New-52, making details of its inclusion in Batman beyond even more surprising. In this direction, Batman beyondThe return to a lesser-known story is a testament to the depth of Batman’s lore when it comes to the various people who have taken over the hood over the years.

Tim Drake discovers Jim Gordon's Batsuit in Batman Beyond # 4.

Approaching Batman beyond‘s Batsuit with Gordon’s Very heavy costume in mind, it makes sense that it was based on a costume worn by someone other than Bruce Wayne. Very heavy of its premise alone has provided space to consider what the meaning of Batman is without Bruce Wayne in the costume. He was asking the question of how much of the Batman character was an expression of Bruce Wayne’s personality, life experience, and response to his surroundings rather than the static elements that every Batman after him had to embody. By giving Gordon a new costume, and therefore a new Batman look, Very heavy showed that Batman can still be a personal identity to each person who wears the hood, reflecting not only their experience, but also their goals.

Batman beyond has always been to imagine a Batman without Bruce Wayne, and that Jim Gordon’s costume be the basis for Terry McGinnis ‘adjustments in line with the series’ themes. Gordon’s costume being the original proves just how Batman beyond was never only Bruce Wayne’s project, but that of different members of his entourage. In this sense, Tim Drake’s discovery of the origins of Batman beyondThe costume is about how Batman has always been an identity formed from the collective imagination, rather than strictly personal.

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