Batman is one of the most popular superhero characters of all time. And through the years, the way he is portrayed on the small and big screen has evolved. From the low budget TV series of the 1940s to the present blockbuster film, Batman has changed a lot, and so have the other characters such as Joker and Catwoman.
Batman through the Years
|Lewis Wilson as Batman Source: Lacopertaazzurra|
The first time Batman was seen on the small screen was through the 1943 self-titled serial starring Lewis Wilson. The superhero had a very low budget look that was also used in the 1960s TV series that starred Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. The aesthetics of the TV series was campy and featured kitschy catch phrases.
"Bartender, a bit of advice. Always inspect a jukebox carefully. These machines can be deadly."
|Adam West as Batman & Burt Ward as Robin Source: CinemaBlend|
However, things became dark after the success of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns. Tim Burton brought Batman to the big screen in 1989 with Michael Keaton playing the brooding superhero that’s veiled in shadow. The same look was seen in the sequel Batman Returns, only darker.
|Michael Keaton as Batman Source: HeroComplex|
Then the 90s brought a more cartoonish look of the caped crusader when director Joel Schumacher took over the movie franchise as director. In Batman and Robin, the costumes looked toy-like with ice-colored accents. Also looks like someone is a little cold..... #nipples
|George Clooney as Batman Source: Troykane|
Batman returned to the dark side when director Christopher Nolan took the helm of the franchise with Batman Begins. The costume of the superhero felt and looked more like a heavy armor that made the caped crusader an imposing presence on the big screen. Then The Dark Knight came, which was the first time in which the superhero wore a costume that allowed him to turn his head. The latest costume worn by Ben Affleck in Batman Vs. Superman, returns to the form-fitting armor that resembles Frank Miller’s version.
|Christian Bale as Batman Source: Narpyarp|
|Ben Affleck as Batman Source: mosqueteirosnerd|
Evolution of Joker through Time
|Cesar Romero as the Joker. Source: DailyStar|
There aren’t a lot of comic book villains that’s as consistent as Joker. He is the most iconic character in history, and his face is recognizable even if his makeup has evolved through the years. The first actor who portrayed Joker on the small screen is Cesar Romero and started the trend of Joker wearing clown makeup and red lipstick for his permanent smile.
Then in the 1980s, Joker makes a comeback in live action through the blockbuster movie Batman, where the villain was played by Jack Nicholson. He wore colorful white makeup, the trademark red lips, and bright purple suit.
|Jack Nicholson as the Joker & Michael Keaton as Batman. Source: GoogleDiscovery|
However, the most memorable Joker of all time might probably be Heath Ledger. It was the most violent and darkest version of the villain to date. A of fans of the comic books said that Ledger’s portrayal was true to the character’s murderous origins.
|Heath Ledger as the Joker. Source: EMGN|
Fans of Joker are looking forward on how Jared Leto will play Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad. Based on the trailer, gone is the white makeup, and replaced with tattoos and silver teeth that make him look deranged as the previous reincarnations of the Batman villain.
|Jared Leto as the Joker in Suicide Squad. Source: Apocaflixmovies|
These are how Batman and Joker evolved over time. Their costumes and makeup changed according to how the characters were played. And their looks will keep changing in the future, depending how the characters are developed by the directors and writers.
I for one will be keeping an eye out for new looks all the time and look forward to re-creating these awesome looks on my YouTube channel. Jared Leto's joker look will be coming in the next month! Make sure you're subscribed, especially if you want Halloween costume ideas and tips!