It’s a new year! You’re feeling brave, you want to step into the shoes of a certain caped crusader and you have no idea where to even begin. Maybe you don’t have the time or skills to put a costume together. Maybe you’re not ready to carve foam, sew lycra and spend hour upon countless hour puff painting a texture onto your suit so that it looks screen accurate.
And that’s okay! Cosplay is for everyone and provided that you have the funds at your disposal you can easily pick up a costume that’ll make you feel like your favourite. By the New Gods of Apokolips and New Genesis, you will need some serious cash in the bank if you do go down this route so consider your wallets warned.
Let’s start off with the most obvious and crucial component for a Batman costume: The cowl. It’s the signature piece of kit for any dark knight in training, something that every costume has to have. There are tutorials out there for shaping and crafting cowls from materials which can be bought at a variety of stores, but if you want one that fits right out of the box? There are plenty to choose from across a wide range of trusted sellers.
Choosing your style of cowl
Before you even go shopping though, you need to make certain that you’re getting the right cowl for the suit you want to do. If you’re going movie accurate, you’ll have the following list of films to reference for a cinematic costume:
- Batman 1989
- Batman Returns
- Batman Forever
- Batman and Robin
- Batman Begins
- The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises
- Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
- Justice League
If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, cowl makers such as Tigerstone FX and ReevzFX also produce masks which are more directly influenced by personal designs and comic book aesthetics. I’ve got them linked below for you.
Will it fit me?
Certain cowls fit certain faces snugly, but provided that you have a head circumference of between 23 to 24 inches you should be fine with whatever is on the market currently. If you’re smaller, don’t worry: Padding a cowl is easy stuff and there are plenty of tutorials for this. If your noggin is on the larger side of the equation, a little bit of KY Jelly, satin lining or baby powder goes a long way but prepare yourself for a tight squeeze. I crap thee not, I’ve actually lubed up my own head for a Batman Arkham Asylum mask that I owned several years ago just so that I could wear the dang thing.
Who do I buy a cowl from?
Once you’ve chosen a cowl that you like, it’s time to browse the digital shelves! The sellers below all offer solid goods, mostly made from urethane and capable of taking plenty of abuse. They also all have their own artistic skills, with the same cowl having certain touches from each artist that highlight their style. For example, the Batman V Superman cowl from Tigerstone FX has deeper furrow lines that stand out more, while the Hernandez FX version uses softer and more subtle wrinklings of the brow in their sculpt.
In case you feel like browsing, here’s a list of sellers who come highly recommended not only from me but from many Batman cosplayers all over the globe:
- Tigerstone FX
- Hernandez Sculpture FX
- Gauntlet FX
- Iconic FX
- Batwing FX Designs
- Williams Studio 2
- Fanatic FX
Tips for wearing the cowl
From there, it’s just a matter of waiting until the package arrives. The great thing about these cowls is that thanks to their construction, many of them look fantastic not only on your head but off of it as well! As a display piece, they’re stunning recreations of the one finest heroes in cinema, and having a series of them lined up on a wall will instantly draw eyeballs your way. As for wearing it though? Prepare for an ordeal.
No matter how hot or cold it is outside, these masks are stifling when donned. With your head almost fully encased in rubber, you’re going to sweat your butt off inside of it. There is one tried and trusted way to keep all that sweat from running amok however! One simple life hack, that various Batman cosplayers have employed over the years. All you need, is one of these:
Yup, a sanitary pad goes a long way in soaking up bat-sweat, and once you place it on your forehead and then don a cowl you’ll be able to troop in relative comfort. Don’t forget either, to really sell the Batman effect you’ll need to apply black make-up around your eyes as well. You can get various brands at many stores wherever you are, but always make sure that you buy black make-up which has a rating for being able to survive even the sweatiest of brows.
That’s the end of the first part on assembling a Batman costume. Stay tuned to this Bat-Channel, as we’ll discuss how to get your hands on everything else that you’ll need to create a suit of armour that’ll turn you into a true caped crusader.
Last Updated: January 9, 2020