When Bob Kane was initially figuring out the design for his new superhero - Batman - he came up with a fairly colorful costume. It was inspired by the strongman looks of other superheroes of that era, like, most famously, Superman. However, when he brought writer Bill Finger into the mix, Finger effectively threw out everything from Kane's design besides the name. Finger felt that if they were going to make a superhero called "Batman," they should really take advantage of the dark aspects of that name. So out went the colorful suit and in its place came one of the most iconic costumes in comic book history.
Today, we will explain some of the weirdest and grossest secrets about Batman's iconic costume, some of it is real life problems, and some is from the comic books.
20 Batman Once Soiled Himself
Early on in his career - during the miniseries Batman: The Widening Gyre - Batman is trying to relate to a new hero, so he tells him a story set during Batman: Year One. Batman broke into a social gathering to threaten some corrupt politicians, and it turned out the explosions he used were so intense that he actually relieved himself inside his costume.
19 Bathing In Sweat
When wearing a rubber suit, it creates a small film of sweat between the clothes and the skin, which keeps the skin warm and moist. It literally means being covered in sweat from the moment the suit is put on. It also means putting on a cold and wet suit after a break.
18 Rashes, Irritation, Cut Off Circulation
Due to the compression from different thicknesses of the rubber suit, and any seams that might be protruding will irritate or even cut the skin. Wearing it over a long period of time might also cut off circulation or press enough on the skin to be very irritating. According to Christian Bale, upon seeing how cool it looked, it's worth the discomfort, heat, sweat, and the headaches.
17 George Clooney Had An Accident
Ok, calling it an accident isn't entirely correct as it seems the actor did it on purpose. While filming Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin, George Clooney urinated in his suit on several occasions due to the difficulty and the insane amount of time it took to remove the Batsuit and then putting it back on to resume filming.
16 Burnt To A Crisp
It's been mentioned that the suit consists of a Nomex/Kevlar weave. And that makes no sense. Kevlar can stop bullets, while Nomex is a poor conductor of heat. The problem is mixing the two together would create a problem. It basically means the suit is neither bulletproof nor flameproof. So Batman would've been shot to pieces and burnt to a crisp on an average night out.
15 The Horrible Smell
After wearing the suit for a while, Batman's skin will be rather clammy and he'll start to smell. If he wears it for long enough, the bad guys will be able to smell his presence. Basically, his entire body will be a breeding ground for bacteria. Needless to say, the suit will need to be cleaned after use.
14 Tons Of Talcum
We've already established that it takes time and effort to get the suit on. It also takes talcum. Lots of it. Talcum reduces the friction between skin and cloth, but it will eventually mix with the sweat and turn into a paste. Another option is silicone oil, which is the only type of oil that won't ruin the rubber.
13 Dehydrated And Overheated
With the rubber Batsuits, it's easy to get dehydrated and overheated, especially so with the suit being so heavy and actors not drinking enough water due to the suit not being very bathroom friendly. Dry rubber can also suck out some of the moisture from your body, even if you are not sweating actively.
12 Victim Of The Weather
When wearing a rubber suit, the temperature will have a much bigger impact on your body temperature than if you wear normal clothes. If it is hot, you will be hot, if it's cold you will be cold. No one wants to see Batman with a runny nose and sneezing his enemies in the face.
11 Nippled Suit
In Batman Forever, Joel Schumacher had the audacity to add nipples to the Batsuit. Although Schumacher doesn’t account for the cringe-worthy dialogue and the Mardi Gras aesthetic, he apparently did have a good reason for adding nipples to the Batsuit: He wanted the costume to be anatomically correct. Weird, and a bit gross.
10 Silver Codpieces
Batman and Robin from 1997 was the sequel to "Forever" and took the Bat-nipples and made them even more defined, including a suit-up scene that featured close-up shots of the chest and the suit's sculpted rear. Then, in the film's finale, Batman, Robin, and Batgirl get silver-blue suits that are the apex of Schumacher ridiculousness, with massive silver codpieces!
9 Batman Struggled To Breathe
The thick rubber suit made breathing difficult, something every Batman from Michael Keaton to Ben Affleck has complained about. Christian Bale actually had some serious breathing issues due to his Batsuit in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. It's hard to imagine Batman running across rooftops and fighting multiple baddies at once while wheezing and gasping for air like an asthmatic.
8 Affleck Was Given A Tip By Bale
Christian Bale, star of The Dark Knight trilogy told Ben Affleck to make sure to he would be able to use the bathroom without having anyone help him, because it's a little bit humiliating. You need someone to help you out of the costume and Bale found it to be ridiculously unheroic saying "Excuse me, I need to pee, could somebody undo me please?"
7 Ben Affleck Held It In
According to an unnamed source on the Batman Vs Superman set, Ben Affleck was constantly trying to avoid going to the toilet because it was such an ordeal. The entire production had to stop and begin the tedious process of peeling the suit on and off. It was not an ideal situation.
6 Panic Attacks
Michael Keaton, original Batman star said: "I drink a lot of coffee, I eat a ton of vitamins and I drink a ton of water – I couldn't do any of that because I couldn't get up to go the bathroom. So, they put me in this thing and inside - honestly, I started having panic attacks. Literally, panic attacks."
5 A Team Effort To Feel Uncomfortable
Getting in and out of the suit apparently took somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour - with the help of a team - which means bathroom visits have to be carefully planned. We can't even imagine how bad it must feel having to put the cold, wet, sweaty suit back on after a not so quick bathroom break.
4 Alone In The Bathroom
According to Val Kilmer: "You need help getting dressed … it takes about 45 minutes to get undressed. You need help going to the bathroom. And then when you call out for help, no one comes." Imagine Batman crying out for help in the bathroom with his suit around his ankles. Not so tough now, is he?! Also, kind of disturbing.
3 The Cowl Would Be Of No Help
Apparently, by putting Kevlar in the cowl it makes Batman able to be shot in the head. That is not exactly how Kevlar helmets work though. His skin-tight "helmet" would be mostly useless. It might stop the bullet, but the momentum would probably still result in skull fractures, concussions, and potential brain damage - even death.
2 Restricted Movement
Due to the heavy-duty rubber used for the cowl in the original movies, it was impossible for Batman to turn his head. Clooney's Batsuit weighed 90 pounds, and he said of the suit; “They put you on a flat board and bolt you into this thing, and then they pull the board out and leave you standing. Joel Schumacher says “Action!” I say I’m Batman, and then cut.”
The restricted movement of the 90's era suits combined with the troubles of breathing properly while wearing it, being dehydrated, and knowing help would be needed in order to get the suit off would lead to claustrophobia. According to Keaton, the suit triggered his claustrophobia - luckily, he found a way to harness those frightening feelings and it gave Batman more credibility.