So, this Batman redesign needs some backstory. I picture this costume being worn by a Bruce Wayne who is just slightly past his prime. That is to say, he's still better than 95% of what he faces on a daily basis, but he doesn't quite move as fast as he once did, and those bruises take a bit longer to heal. I also wanted to create something with a bit more realism in mind - less fancy gadgety. My focus with this costume was to create a Batman that could take the fight right to the streets. I know some people will say that Batman probably enjoys the pain dished out on him, I think there comes a time when you have to have a pit of self preservation if you're looking to maintain a prolonged one-man war on crime.

A breakdown of the suit:

• Armored helmet - this is a gimme. From what I've seen in current Batman comics, ol' Bruce's headgear has become much more rugged. He may be a top notch combatant, but he's also got a top notch brain to protect.

• The basic suit - I love the classic, simplified bat logo. Under the suit, there's a layer of body armor, which adds a bit of bulkiness. Military style shoulder, elbow and knee pads are added - these are durable and will protect joints from impact/blows. What's more, they're easily replacable. I know some may say that money is no object to Bruce Wayne, but these are parts that are going to get worn out frequently.

• Gauntlets - these are armored, of course. Whether it be punching or blocking, having an armored gauntlet is nothing but an advantage. And no, they can't shoot rockets.

• Boots - army style combat boots. But, they still have secret compartments.

• Cape - I loved that the cape from Batman/Grendel had weighted tips for use as an offensive weapon. While this may be true of present-day Batman, it's a detail that I think is largely glossed over. Here, I've emphasized the ball-bearing tips. They're attached through the cape with a high-strength wire - I picture this Batman being able to use the bearings as an impromptu grappling hook. As for the cape itself - it's made of kevlar, reinforced with a flexible titanium mesh covers from neck/shoulders to about the belt line for added protection.

• Equipment - here's where I think I'll get the biggest gripe. Yes, Batman has a gun.

Hear me out.

The gun comes from two inspirations - The Dark Knight Returns, and Terminator 2. In DKR, Batman uses a rifle to create a tightrope to walk between buildings. In T2, the T-800 uses a grenade launcher to non-lethally disable police officers. The whole idea of Batman's shotgun here is to be a non-lethal utility weapon/tool. It can be loaded with beanbag and gas rounds to disable criminals, and also a grappling hook/line combo, for scaling walls and swinging from rooftops. Aside from that, it's a pretty decent melee weapon in the hands of someone as skilled as Batman.

Other examples of equipment are flashbang and smoke grenades, telescopic batons, concealed hacksaws, lockpicks, and acids.

As I said before, this a more realistic Batman - I've stripped away a lot of the gadgetry in favour of a leaner and meaner fighter. This batman is out to break arms, legs and hips, but not kill - whatever is the most efficient way to end a threat is the way that will be chosen.

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