Thursday, November 21, 2019

"Classic Batman!" The Making of a Bronze-Age Cosplay! DC Comics!

I grew up at just the right time in comics history. In the early 70s, (as I was coming in as a new comics reader and fan) DC Comics was re-making and modifying the Batman character, taking him back to his original roots as a darker, street-tough detective (in a push-back reaction to the then-recent and ridiculously popular "high-camp" 1966 BATMAN television series). This lead to a run of wonderful and dramatic comics, mostly helmed by writer Denny O'Neil and artist Neal Adams.

I recently set out to create a Batman cosplay that mirrored this famed Bronze-Age version of the Dark Knight (which, to me, is simply "the right Batman"), so read along below to follow my process in putting together one of my favorite cosplay costumes!

Above eight images: I got my hands on a perfect cowl made by the
wonderful Tiger Stone folks, modifying the size of the eye-slits, then
adding shaded mesh for the famous "opaque eyes" look...

Above: I created my own design for a one-piece bodysuit,
crafted to my own measurements, to be later printed by an overseas firm!

Above four images: I made this utility belt from foam board and plastic
capsules, all cut and sanded and carefully placed over the top of a
slim military belt! Note the added pouch for custom trading cards to
give away to kids!

Above four images: I consulted a terrific local seamstress to
create the iconic form-fitting gloves! Perfect!

Above four images: I met with the same seamstress to fashion this
huge cape, complete with added dowel rods for creating the famous
"spread bat-wings" look...

Above three images: The entire suit assembled! Along with boots
found on eBay, and black custom trunks, the look is complete!

Above: Yes, I'm well aware that the "70s Batman" appeared to be sporting a
blue-and-black outfit, but remember how, in comics, the color blue often stood in for
 black, in those pre-computer coloring days! Also, black and gray simply works better in
a real-life iteration for this version of Batman!

Pic by Fablegraph LLC.

Above: The suit packed up, ready to
hit the road to conventions and charity

Above three images: I sometimes mix and match various elements of the suit,
sometimes with other bodysuits or utility belts...

Above three images: Things...happen.

Above: Me posing with my fave version of Batman (that inspired
this very cosplay)! Art by Neal Adams.

BAT-BONUS! Click below to see "70s Batman" in action!