Breaking Down the Stage Show Fashions of ‘Batman Live’
A handful of promotional photos from the Batman Live: World Arena Tour were released on the event’s official Facebook page Tuesday morning, revealing what Batman, Robin, The Joker, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, The Riddler, The Penguin and Poison Ivy will look like in the forthcoming theatrical show. Launching in the UK this July, Batman Live is not a musical (like that other thing) but a big budget stunts-and-pyrotechnics spectacular featuring Robin origin storyline by Allan Heinberg, Stan Berkowitz and Alan Burnett.
While we await photos of Commissioner Gordon, Alfred, Two-Face, and The Ventriloquist to surface, let’s take a closer look at this first round of costumes from Batman Live.
Design-wise, the Batsuit in Batman Live is structurally similar to that seen in The Dark Knight, but the BL costume designers went with a metallic gunmetal finish. The torso features scaled armor on the abdomen, almost resembling an arthropod, while the legs appear to be articulated with bulging, segmented armor, presumably meant to simulate the appearance of Batman’s muscular physique. With such a heavy-duty costume, the gloves feel a little flimsy in comparison, unlike the sturdier Bat-gauntlets that we’re used to seeing.
While the padded armor on Robin’s torso may initiate comparisons to Chris O’Donnell’s Robin costume in Batman Forever, there is a heavy influence of Robin Hood elements within this design. Upon closer inspection, Robin’s “R” emblem is actually designed to look like a bow and arrow. The arrowhead motif is also featured on Robin’s utility belt and on his gloves (which appear to be of higher quality than Batman’s gloves). Although the thick green fabric featured on the sleeves and pants is quite similar to the materials often seen on costumes of medieval times, they feel a bit too heavy to coordinate smoothly with the rest of the costume.
The Joker looks like a hot mess. The combination of the patterns on his suit and vest just look silly, especially in contrast with the makeup (which actually doesn’t look too shabby). While I do love the Joker card motif on the vest, from afar, it resembles a blocky, patchwork pattern that looks really awful with the neon green pinstripes; a quick costume fix would be to keep the suit a solid purple. The grey gloves and small flower brooch seem really superfluous and dowdy in comparison to the rest of the outfit.
Although Catwoman is one of the better costumes in this lot, there’s still room for improvement. Since the costume appears to be based off of Selina Kyle’s current Darwyn Cooke-designed look, the lack of details (i.e. the ears are wrong, no silver zipper down the front) gives the illusion that this costume isn’t fully finished.
One-part Pippi Longstocking, one-part sad clown ballerina. I do like the idea of translating the jester neckpiece into an ornate necklace, though I think that the concept could have been better executed. The shoes almost look cute, however the color-blocking and laces give them the illusion of sneaker heels. Maybe the purpose of this new costume is to make her Puddin’ look better in comparison? But seriously now – what IS this?
Riddle me this, Batman – Mr. Nigma is the best of the bunch, looking classy and impeccable in his question mark swag.
Another one of the better ones of the bunch, although I think they could have embellished the suit a little more. I’m just incredibly grateful that they didn’t go with the costume/prosthetics that Danny Devito wore in Batman Returns (so wah-wah-wrong).
Don’t you just love those moments where your best friend recruits you to cosplay with her at the very last minute (because she needs an Ivy to go with her really awesome blue and red Harley Quinn getup!) and you manage to pull together a look courtesy of a tub of body glitter from a Hollywood Blvd. stripper supply store, a garland of leaves from JoAnn Fabrics (a sparse yard of leaves should be enough to cover me up!), and a bottle of cheap orange spray tan? Yeah.
Costume critiques aside, another big reveal today was an awesome shot of the Gotham City stage that will be used in the tour, complete with the Batsignal.