90s Week: Back to the Drawing Board with Bruce Wayne

In 1995 a team of "archaeologists" at DC discovered Bruce Wayne's long lost collection of concept sketches for his costume. These sketches were released in the form of an Elseworld entitled Batman: Knight Gallery, and let me tell you, it has not aged well.

From these historic drawings we learn that:

a) Bruce Wayne was ahead of his time in terms of costume design;
b) Bruce Wayne has terrible ideas, and
c) Bruce Wayne draws a lot like some of the top artistic talent at DC circa 1995 (and also Jim Balent)

By the way, I hope you like pointy shoulders, because you are going to be seeing a lot of them.

My favourite thing about the above design is that the Bat-emblem is a brooch. My least-favourite thing is everything else. But as you will soon see, this is probably the best costume design of the lot.

The answers to his shoulder questions are yes, yes, and yes. Also: they look ridiculous. And I would have to think that his cape being feathered that way on the bottom would make gliding difficult. And it has an ugly belt and it's Not dark enough.

Well this gives "sharp dresser" a whole new meaning.

Ears better - more fierce & intimidating. Also, can make shish kabobs on them.

Some vision and snag concern re shoulder hooks & gauntlet projections. SOME?! SOME?! Nothing could be within a foot and a half of him without getting stabbed.

"Robin, you head that way and I'll...oh shit, sorry Robin."

And what are the shoulder spikes good for? Does he have a problem with seagulls landing on him? (Also, this one was designed by James "Jim" Balent, who I am sure needs no introduction).

Bruce is worried that this look is "too fancy." I am more concerned by the fact that it is "too stupid," "too ugly," and looks "too much like Batman is being sucked down the drain."

I don't really see how this design would hinder agility more than the pointy ones.

We have the hilarious bat-emblam-as-brooch look going on again here, and we have a right shoulder adornment that I cannot figure out at all. I am also not sure how he puts the boots on.

Oh, I don't know if it sacrifices all of the fear factor. I would be pretty scared if I saw anyone wearing this. Because they would look crazy. I am picturing this entire suit being made out of crushed velvet in royal blue and shiny grey.

Bruce Wayne and I clearly have different definitions of "good."

This is...I just...

And you know if 1995 dudes were looking at this page and saying "Oh man, that is so wicked!"

And in case you were wondering what it might look like in red:

How would he even fit in the Batmobile with those things on his shoulders?

But wait, it gets worse:

It certainly is memorable, but I don't know about striking. Confusing is a better adjective. Why would he need hooks all the way up his thighs?

I am trying to picture Batman, whenever this was supposed to be (the past), sketching this thing. And being ok with it. Considering it.

I think I am actually going to keep this page in a drawer somewhere so when my future children ask me what the 90s were like I'll just show them that. And they will cry.

I would say it is more than "verging" on the bizarre. It has kicked bizarre in the nuts and just kept running. As for not being terrifying, well...I wouldn't feel comfortable if I was cornered at a party by someone wearing it.

But how about the Donnie Darko rabbit look?:

It also looks very uncomfortable. And I doubt it breathes well.

Y'know, even if you did as he suggests and combine the best elements of each of these designs, you would still have a truly hideous costume.

There were also some Robin costume concepts, which were...not great...

So there are a bunch of reasons why the 1990s was an ugly and regrettable decade for superhero comics.To DC's credit, at least they just put out this Elseworld book of crazy 90s costumes instead of actually changing Batman's costume to one of these. At least until Azrael showed up.