The second Batsuit is more armor-plated in appearance. It seems somewhat more mass-produced than its predecessor, as Bruce now has a walk-in vault to select and assemble from multiple suit-pieces now present.
At some point after the 200th Anniversary Parade, the suit is updated to a more angular armor plated version, with more industrialized seam lines being shown rather than being hidden at joints or at the back like the previous sculpted muscle look. Most notably down the center of the thighs. This new version has shown to possess weak points in the armor, particularly in the pectoral seam or his lower sides, as demonstrated by Catwoman when she rammed her "claws" into such a spot.
However, the suit still retains its defense against bullets, although, again, the impact of the bullets knocks the wearer off their feet. It does not appear to leave bullet marks as easily the original torso after taking hits. A notable improvement allows the cape to transform into a glider.
The same utility belt was still in use for the second costume. The belt still had a small motor used for shifting equipment from the rear of the belt to the front. A handful of gadgets were typically stored on the back.
- The four capsules on the belt contain chemicals that have different purposes and can be mixed together to create explosives. Batman grabbed a Napalm Capsule from his belt and threw it at Catwoman's arm, after shaking it the liquid glowed blue.
The "spring-action reel and line" is a multipurpose gadget that has integral functionally with the utility belt. The compact pieces side form from the back to be assembled by Batman. It has various attachments:
- Grappling hook launcher for vertical ascents and larger hook to catch himself in a fall. Batman used the new version to pull out concrete from a wall the grappling hook was linked on to knock out a Red Triangle clown.
- A single-shot speargun that can be used on targets to tug them towards him or ensnare them on a line. It's only known use was on a Grissom thug in Axis Chemicals. Batman also seemed to no longer use the bola launcher or any other attachments favoring zip-lines for fast travel during this era.
Double Grappling HookEdit
There is also a separate large horizontal zip-line (known as "The Gauntlet") that fires two lines to form a path across a distance. Batman later took to using a small version of this item. The original device is so big there is no way it could be stored on Batman's person.
A powerful new self-guided, computerized Batrang was used by Batman to dispatch several Red Triangle thugs. Although after neutralizing nearly all targets it was snatched by the Ratty Poodle and used in the plot to frame Batman.
A key new of this costume was the cape's ability to transform into hang-glider wings.
- A remote primarily used to control the Batmobile. Issuing certain voice commands ("Shields", "Stop", "Shields Open") will direct the vehicle to perform certain actions.
- Ultrasonic Bat Beacon
Behind the ScenesEdit
Bob Ringwood created rough illustrations for the second costume, going back to their original concept of armor plating.
- The costume was constructed using sculpted foam rubber pieces over a neoprene bodysuit. The costume in Batman Returns was made out of a thinner, slightly more flexible foam rubber than the previous costume.
- Nike once again created the boots for the costume, this time based on Air Jordan VIs.
- The chest was made more traditional in the sequel, due to fan complaints. Burton wanted to "toughen it up a little" according to his commentary track for the dvd.
For reasons unknown the Kenner Batman action figure mold was not updated to reflect the new costume. Very few figurines from other licensees attempted the new art deco plated armor design.
Legacy and Cameo-appearancesEdit
- The paraglider-cape in Batman Returns is quite similar in concept to Christopher Nolan's "Memory Cloth" cape in Batman Begins.
- Catwoman (Selina Kyle) makes reference to the weak spot her movie-version found in Batman Returns in the Cry of the Huntress comic book miniseries, sharing the information with Huntress (Helena Bertinelli).
- Bruce Wayne’s updated 2010 Batsuit, first shown in the Batman Incorporated storyline, was conceptualized by artist David Finch as an amalgam from the Batsuits in Tim Burton's and Christopher Nolan's Batman films.
- The concept of the Batsuit being a technological suit of armor, most notably protecting him from bullets, would continue into future films.
- The gauntlet/zip-line, used twice in Batman Returns, went on to appear in comics and are an obtainable equipment piece in Batman: Arkham Asylum videogame series.
- See: Batsuit (Batman Returns)/Gallery for additional images.