After this headline from the Brighton Argus on 17th July, it shouldn’t really be much of a surprise that the caped crusader would spend an extended stay in the city by the sea.
What with it’s state of eternal drizzle and (indo-)gothic architecture, all Brighton really needs is a high crime rate and a motley assortment of superpowered psychopaths for the Dark Knight to really feel at home.
Dramatically lit in the Costume Gallery of the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery is the batsuit donned by Christian Bale in 2012’s Dark Knight Rises. Whilst that instalment of director Nolan’s bat-trilogy is arguably the weakest, the batsuit itself is an iconic piece of popular culture, every aspect of it, from the pointy-eared cowl to the bat-insignia blazoned across the chest is instantly recognisable.
Now, this isn’t the first time this intrepid Museum Adventurer has stumbled across a bat-relic in a museum. No, the dark knight, in various incarnations has appeared in such august institutions as the V&A for Hollywood Costume, the Smithsonian (albeit in lunchbox form) and even in the Gotham Museum and Art Gallery. Yes, that last one is fictional, but who can forget the cinematic disaster that was Batman and Robin?
So, what was Bruce Wayne’s alter ego doing in Brighton – apart from saving baby girls?
He’s here as part of The Costume Games which encourages people to “dress up and play”, it’s an event that grown out of the cosplaying phenomenon that has sprung up, particularly around the superhero genre.
Whilst this suit lacks the controversial bat-nipples that were so prominent on George Clooney’s batsuit, it does contain more silicone and polyurethane than you can shake a bat-stick at. Designers Lindy Hemming and Chris Nolan used a tonne of silicone and 800kg of polyurethane to make 25 different versions of the costume over the course of Dark Knight and Dark Knight Rises.
(Those of you who are quick at maths will have no doubt worked out by now that there’s 40 kg of silicone and 32 kg of polyurethane in each suit).
The batsuit is on display until 20th September and you can find out details on how to see it at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery’s website.