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When and why, in the DC universe, did Batman change the logo on his costume from just a black bat to a black bat set inside a yellow ellipse?

I ask because I remember the following story (see attachment) which shows Batman apparently too busy to go out with Robin. In the cover, there is a clue given "The tell tale clue is on this cover". In fact, the masked figure is not Batman but a criminal that has escaped but made the mistake that Batman had changed the logo from a black bat to one set inside a yellow ellipse. enter image description here

I wonder if any reason was given for the change either in this story or one preceding this story. According to ComicVine "Robin, for his part, was able to instantly see through the "Batman's" deception due to the fact that the criminal's costume was out of date, and thus did not reflect the alterations Batman had made to his uniform, in the five years the other man had been incarcerated."

marked as duplicate by Wad Cheber, Skooba, Jason Baker, Möoz, Adamant Jul 7 '16 at 21:42

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Out-of-universe, the logo was changed to bat set in a yellow ellipse in 1964 and then later rounded in 1966 for the reason that it was easier to trademark.

In universe there isn't a stated date as when, but Year One has the Bat symbol without an oval, while Year Two has the bat symbol within an oval.

The reason the oval exists like that in-universe has out-of-universe origins too. Someone pointed out that it was like a target and then someone else eventually thought, maybe Batman considered that since too much armor would slow him down, he intentionally did that to draw shots there and have that part of the costume more reinforced that other parts. I do not know when this was officially stated in the comic, but I know it has been.

Wikipedia says this about when it is first mentioned...

In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, the yellow ellipse design was explained as being a heavily under-armored, intentional target, to draw enemy fire away from his unarmored head and body.. A subsequent issue of Shadow of the Bat re-established the concept.

Extrapolating is then that between Year One and Year Two Batman was shot/winged a number of times and came up with this target strategy to help keep this from happening.

Side note: As of March 2000 Batman has used the ellipse-less design which was directly after No Man's Land which was a turning point for the character in many ways and could reflect that he no longer needs to draw attention with the ellipse because he is working more with others and they'd draw the attention, although this is questionable because that was the point of Robin's coloring and he didn't change out the ellipse then.

  • 1
    Shouldn't it be "heavily over-armored?" – Rogue Jedi Jul 7 '16 at 12:43
  • It should be Heavily armored, period. I think Under-armored is referring to that the armor is under the suit, but that's the kind of thing you get from wiki articles ^.^ Technically it's also nonsense as Batman uses a Kevlar vest with a ceramic plate there. The suit itself is a nomex/kevlar tri-weave that has several layers One of which is lead, an electronics layer, and a cooling layer... but we never see this drawn or correctly displayed. I'd love to get an accurate drawing of the Batsuit, but it's not going to happen. – Durakken Jul 7 '16 at 12:50

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