The Batman Beyond outfit, first featured in the animated show from 1999, is one of the best superhero suits in the DC Comics Universe. The Batman Beyond outfit was different from earlier iterations of the Batsuit due to its streamlined form, long ears, and lack of a cape. It was set in the futuristic Neo-Gotham. Terry McGinnis’ technique of crimefighting was distinguished by the appearance of the Beyond suit, which distinguished him from Bruce Wayne, who had previously depended on fear and intimidation achieved through his outfit. As luck would have it, Jurgens addressed the iconic look of the Batman Beyond suit directly, attributing the underpinnings of its design to a totally other Batman: Jim Gordon.
Batman Beyond #4
Tim Drake was given the 1.0 version of the Batsuit by Barbara Gordon in Batman Beyond #4, which saw him step in for Terry McGinnis as Batman in Gotham’s future. It was revealed to be the same mecha suit that Jim Gordon wore during Batman: Superheavy from the New-52. After Bruce Wayne vanished, Jim Gordon assumed the mantle of Batman in a series by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and Danny Miki. Gordon, predictably, wore a Batsuit that was distinct from Bruce Wayne’s, consisting of a leaner black suit without a cape that was subsequently combined with a massive mecha costume that offered further armour.
Gordon’s Superheavy mech and suit are then placed inside a larger DC Comics timeline that leads to the events in Neo-Gotham, thanks to Tim Drake’s discovery of the 1.0 version of the Batman Beyond suit. Superheavy is a lesser-known chapter in Batman’s history than other New-52 events, making its appearance in Batman Beyond all the more shocking. In this way, Batman Beyond’s reference to a lesser-known narrative demonstrates the breadth of Batman legend in terms of the various persons who have worn the cowl throughout the years.
With Gordon’s Superheavy suit in mind, it’s easy to see why Batman Beyond’s Batsuit was inspired by an outfit worn by someone other than Bruce Wayne. Superheavy’s premise alone provides room for reflection on Batman’s relevance sans Bruce Wayne in the outfit.
The fact that Gordon’s outfit is the original demonstrates how Batman Beyond was never simply Bruce Wayne’s invention, but rather a collaboration amongst several members of his inner circle. In this regard, Tim Drake’s revelation of the roots of Batman Beyond’s outfit exemplifies how Batman has always been a collective identity rather than a completely personal one.