Batman’s Dawn of Justice Mech Suit WASN’T Created to Fight Superman

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The show-stopping Mech Batsuit in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice wasn’t designed by Bruce Wayne with the Man of Steel in mind.

Director Zack Snyder knew if he was going to have Batman battle Superman onscreen, then the Dark Knight would need some heavy firepower in his arsenal. As such, 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice introduced to the Mech Batsuit, a heavily armored outfit that permitted Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne to survive blows from the Man of Steel, and deliver some of his own. Inspired by Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, this mech suit wasn’t designed by Batman to battle a Kryptonian, however.

Instead, as Snyder revealed in the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Tech Manual, Bruce likely designed the exoskeleton to confront slightly more mundane, and local, threats.

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Batman Mech Suit in Batman v Superman

“The suit is clearly inspired by Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns,” Snyder said in the books, “but we were also having to drill down into the why of it. I believe that it was probably originally created for another reason — for riots that he had to deal with, maybe. So the suit was not specifically created to fight Superman, per se, but I think he’s repurposed it. In this case, he’s really using it to buy time.”

The idea that Batman repurposed the Mech Batsuit to fight Superman is an interesting one, in line with Snyder’s characterization of the vigilante. Affleck’s Batman is a far more brutal version of the Caped Crusader, which led to to some backlash following the release of Batman v Superman. It makes sense that this take on the Dark Knight would develop such a powerful and armored suit to deal with more difficult problems, especially considering how obsessed with preparation he’s shown to be.

Costume designer Michael Wilkinson said in the Tech Manual that he and Snyder purposefully made the suit raw and bulky: “You get the sense that it’s something that a guy has put together — welded, prototyped — in his work room. It’s unfinished and raw and oversized and a little brutish.”

Once again, that’s in-character for the Snyderverse’s Batman, considering that, by the time of the film’s events, he had been consumed by his quest and had fully dedicated his life to fighting crime. Of course he would spend all of his time tinkering with new gadgets and upgrades to make him even more powerful; an armored mech suit certainly feels like the logical next step.

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The explanation about the Mech Batsuit’s origin also raises an intriguing question: What kind of riots was Batman dealing with that would cause him to create such a powerful suit? It stands to reason that Affleck’s Batman could have used the suit to deal with breakouts from Arkham Asylum or Blackgate Penitentiary. Alternatively, could he have put on the suit to give him a fairer chance against monstrous villains like Bane or Killer Croc?

Either of those explanations would be believable, and would open the door for further exploration into Batman’s battles should Affleck continue to play the character past his appearance in Andy Muschietti’s The Flash. Aside from serving as a tribute to one of the most iconic Batman stories of all time, the Mech Batsuit also perfectly displays just how raw and obsessive Snyder’s interpretation of the character truly is.

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