• Flash’s Boots and Aquaman’s Armor: How DC’s New Live-Action Costumes Draw From the Comics

    DC FanDome 2021 has been chock full of footage for upcoming superhero movies and shows, from The Flash to Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom to Shazam! Fury of the Gods. And if there's one common thread in all these reveals, it's that a lot of DC characters are getting new live-action costumes.

    Let's break down the most memorable new costumes featured at FanDome and how they're drawing inspiration from DC's comics.

    Aquaman's Blue Armor

    Jason Momoa's Aquaman only just acquired his trademark orange and green armor in the climax of 2018's Aquaman, and it already looks like he's changing things up again. The sequel will introduce a new suit that shares that same basic design but adds in a more muted blue and black color scheme.

    This suit seems to be an homage to the one introduced in 1986's Aquaman #1. But that version had a more free-flowing, organic design that imitates the look of flowing water. We assume the idea here is that Arthur needs a more stealthy outfit for his new mission, possibly one designed to blend in deep beneath the ocean's surface. So there's still a chance we'll see him wear the classic orange and green for the rest of the film.

    This suit also resembles the blue armor worn by Aquaman's sidekick Tempest.

    Black Manta's Armor

    Black Manta isn't getting quite the visual overhaul his nemesis is in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, but there are some notable differences here. We can see his Manta armor has been significantly upgraded, becoming far more sleek and organic in the process. Between that and the silver shoulder and chest plating, this Black Manta looks very close to how he was depicted by artist Ivan Reis in the comics.

    The Arrowverse Flash's Gold Boots

    The Arrowverse's Flash tends to get a new costume every season or two, but this latest redesign definitely feels special. Over the course of the series, Flash's suit has evolved from the functional approach of the early Arrowverse to something more and more comics-accurate. For example, he gained a white chest logo in Season 2 and sleeker, more form-fitting suits in Seasons 4, 5 and 6. In Season 8, Flash is finally donning his trademark gold boots, effectively completing an eight-year journey.

    The Flash Movie Costumes

    Meanwhile, the Flash movie is introducing two drastically different versions of the Flash suit worn by two different versions of Barry Allen. The DCEU's Barry has replaced his armored suit with a sleeker costume inspired by his brief run-in with the Arrowverse's Flash. This suit has glowing lightning lines reminiscent of Flash's New 52 costume.

    Meanwhile, the mysterious second version of Barry will be donning a cruder costume borrowed from Michael Keaton's Bruce Wayne. This suit looks to be basically Keaton's Batman Returns costume spray-painted red and yellow. We can't imagine how anyone is supposed to run in that thing, but there you go.

    Sasha Calle's Supergirl Costume

    The Flash movie may be introducing Supergirl to the DCEU, but this doesn't appear to be a traditional take on the character. The costume worn by Calle's Supergirl shares less in common with the classic blond-haired, skirt-clad Supergirl than it does a version of the heroine seen in the Injustice: Gods Among Us universe. This Supergirl, named Lara Lane-Kent, is introduced via a dream sequence to show what Superman and Lois' unborn daughter might have become if not for the Joker. The movie may be drawing on that version to create a new Supergirl better suited to the twisted reality that is Flashpoint.

    For more DC FanDome fun, check out our full breakdown of the new trailer for The Batman and learn about Black Adam's rocky history with the JSA.

    Batgirl's Movie Costume

    We got a brief glimpse of the upcoming Batgirl movie in the form of concept art. While it's tough to make out the finer details of the costume here, this suit does appear to be reminiscent of the New 52 Batgirl costume, with its sharp angles and more armored aesthetic. One might also draw comparisons to Batgirl's Arkham Knight look.

    Blue Beetle

    If there's any DC hero who looks like they walked right off the page and into DC FanDome this year, it's definitely Jaime Reyes. We got our first look at concept art for the upcoming Blue Beetle film, and the movie looks to be sticking very closely to Jaime's traditional armored suit from the comics and animated shows.

    Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.

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    Why the Robert Pattinson Batman Needs the Riddler – DC FanDome 2021

    The Batman franchise is being rebooted on the big screen once again, this time with Robert Pattinson taking up the cape and cowl. The Batman looks to be darker and more violent than even Batman Begins or Batman v Superman. But there’s one important difference this time around. Batman’s first major foe isn’t the Joker or Ra’s al Ghul -- it’s Paul Dano’s Riddler.

    You might think you know this colorful, flamboyant trickster, but how much are you really clued in on the history of Edward Nigma? And what makes him the natural choice to be this Batman’s first major nemesis? Let’s take a deep dive into the complex puzzle that is the Riddler. And for more on the movie, check out all our DC FanDome coverage!

    The Riddler’s Origins

    The Riddler first appeared in 1948’s Detective Comics #140. If not quite as old as Batman rogues like Joker and Catwoman, he’s still part of that classic first generation of Gotham villains. More contemporary Batman comics have even reworked Riddler’s origins to show he was among the first to grapple with the Caped Crusader, even before Joker himself.

    Given the fluid nature of DC continuity and Riddler’s own disjointed mind, we don’t know a lot about the origin of his criminal career. We don’t even know if his real name is Edward Nygma or Eddie Nash. There is one constant, however. Since childhood, Riddler has been fueled by a compulsive need to prove himself as the smartest person in the room. He craves intellectual validation, and he believes Batman to be his only truly worthy opponent.

    That’s the core of every crime Riddler has committed in Gotham. He’s not really in it for the wealth or the love of killing, though he and his gang have certainly left a bodycount over the years. Riddler simply wants everyone to know how clever he is. He can’t help but create complex puzzles and leave clues behind for the Dark Knight Detective to solve. To his eternal shame, Riddler has never succeeded in hatching a mystery Batman can’t solve. But that never seems to stop him from trying.

    Gotham City’s Zero Year

    2013’s Batman: Zero Year offers a dramatically revamped take on Batman and Riddler’s first battle, and it’s one that reestablished Edward Nygma as one of Gotham’s most dangerous super-criminals.

    Similar to Batman: Year One, Zero Year showcases Bruce Wayne’s early months back in Gotham City from his world travels, as he works to establish himself as a costumed vigilante. But where Year One is basically a crime noir with Batman battling gangsters and the police, Zero Year offers a complex conspiracy with Riddler at its center.

    The name “Zero Year” comes from the climax of the story, as Riddler floods Gotham and transforms the city into a lawless wasteland. For those hellish few months, the survivors are stuck living out of time. That is, at least, until Batman solves Riddler’s puzzles, restores power and proves himself to be Edward Nygma’s intellectual superior.

    A later storyline called The War of Jokes and Riddles revolves around the idea that Joker and Riddler are the only two villains truly worthy of killing Batman. Naturally, that means the two go to war with each other for the privilege, forcing Batman to contend with the hundreds of dead bodies left in their wake.

    In the end, Riddler manages to hurt Batman in a way even Joker never could. Batman and Riddler form a temporary alliance to stop Joker, only for Batman to discover just how twisted his new partner truly is. Batman snaps and tries to stab Riddler, only for the Joker of all people to save Nygma’s life. Batman has always managed to stop himself from killing the Joker, but somehow Riddler knows how to push the Dark Knight’s buttons like no other.

    Solving the Ultimate Mystery

    In many Batman stories, Riddler is consumed by what he considers to be the ultimate mystery - who is Batman underneath the mask? That’s the basis for the version seen in the Batman: Earth One graphic novels, where Riddler is depicted as a sadistic serial killer obsessed with this mystery.

    Ultimately, Riddler is too smart not to finally uncover the truth. That’s the reveal at the heart of a comic book storyline called Batman: Hush. While the titular villain of this winding murder mystery turns out to be Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend, Tommy Elliot, ultimately it’s Riddler at the center of the web.

    Batman’s smartest enemy figuring out his secret identity may seem like a recipe for disaster, but Batman reminds Riddler that knowledge isn’t always power. After all, what good is the world’s most valuable secret if everyone knows about it? Even Riddler has no answer to that puzzle.

    Luckily for Batman, Riddler promptly forgot this secret after a convenient case of amnesia.

    Hush was later adapted into an animated movie, with one key difference. In this version, Riddler himself is revealed to be Hush, part of his ploy to elevate his status among Gotham’s villains. In this case, Riddler is killed by Catwoman before he can share his secret with the world.

    Riddler’s Role in The Batman

    Based on these storylines alone, it’s clear why Riddler is worthy of becoming Batman’s first foe in the new movies. He’s not only smart enough to give Batman a run for his money, but he can rival Joker for collateral damage when he has the right motivation.

    Emphasizing Riddler also makes sense given that the new series seems to be drawing inspiration from Batman comic writer Scott Snyder, who penned Zero Year and several other key stories. One telltale clue is Batman’s gauntlets, which closely resemble those worn by the Talons. These undead assassins serve the Court of Owls, another of Snyder’s DC creations. This underground organization existed in Gotham long before Batman came on the scene, and some fans are speculating that Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne may have trained with the Court in the same way Christian Bale’s Bruce was a member of the League of Shadows.

    The trailers for The Batman reveal Dano’s Riddler to be a terrifying serial killer with a deep interest in Gotham’s secret history. This version of Riddler seems more Zodiac Killer than campy DC villain, and his full-body leather suit is a far cry from the bright green, question mark-heavy suits we’ve seen in the past

    Based on these trailers, Riddler seems intent on exposing a vast conspiracy at the heart of Gotham City, and he’s leaving a trail of bodies to help Batman piece together the clues. He’s targeting everyone from the mayor to the District Attorney to the police. He’s even live-streaming his crimes for good measure, because what good is a riddle without an audience?

    But where that trail ultimately leads, we’ll just have to wait and see when The Batman hits theaters in 2022.

    Do you think Riddler is a worthy villain to kick off the rebooted Batman franchise? Let us know down in the comments. And for even more on the upcoming film, check out our The Batman trailer breakdown where we delve into why the Robert Pattinson Dark Knight might be the craziest one yet.

    Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.

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    The Batman: Robert Pattinson Wore Val Kilmer’s Batsuit for Screen Test – DC FanDome 2021

    The Batman director Matt Reeves revealed that leading man Robert Pattinson wore Val Kilmer's Batsuit from Batman Forever during an early screen test.

    "Rob was litterally wearing Val Kilmer's Batsuit," Reeves explained. "Which, by the way, was a crazy moment." Pattison went on to describe the experience of wearing the iconic suit, which got a bit sweaty.

    "It was crazy," Pattinson said. "I remember putting it on and saying, 'this is going to be absolutely impossible.' Wearing a two-inch-thick rubber suit and being incredibly nervous and full of adrenaline the whole time. I remember we did like two takes and we were saying, 'What can we do about this sweat?' And I was like, 'nothing, there's nothing that can be done.' I had to be drained of liquid."

    In The Batman, Pattinson will play a younger version of the Caped Crusader who is in Year 2 of his superhero career. "[Batman] doesn't have as much control over his personality. The delineation between when he's Batman and when he's Bruce is not so clear. In other iterations of [Batman's story], he really knows what he's doing when he's putting on the cowl. And I really like the idea of him being a little out of control. He hasn't defined what Batman is. He gets lost in it... He's not sleeping, and he's becoming this odd creature."

    Another Batman alum, Christian Bale, also wore Kilmer's Batsuit during his early Dark Knight Trilogy screening tests. The Batman is set to open in theaters on March 4, 2022.

    For even more on the film, check out our The Batman trailer breakdown where we delve into why the Robert Pattinson Dark Knight might be the craziest one yet. Or dive into why the Robert Pattinson Batman needs the Riddler.

    For more from DC Fandome check out IGN for all the latest reveals and announcements.

    David Griffin is the TV Streaming Editor for IGN. Say hi on Twitter.

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