Book Review: Batman V Superman — Dawn of Justice: Tech Manual by Adam Newell and Sharon Gosling

Through the years, the Batman character has been known for his gadgets and technology. These have ranged from the ridiculous (Bat Shark Repellent, anyone?) to the really cool (The Batmobile, the Batcave, and the Batsuit and cowl, itself). There is no shortage of this tech in the new movie, Batman V Superman — Dawn of Justice as, after all, Batman is just a man, and taking on the likes of Superman requires more than just fists. The Batman V Superman — Dawn Of Justice: Tech Manual takes an in-depth look at the many varied bits of technology used in the film — mostly by Batman, but also by Superman and Wonder Woman.

The book, written by Adam Newell and Sharon Gosling, is 175 pages long and, not surprisingly, about 150 of those pages are dedicated to the Dark Knight. The first third of those pages details the Batsuit. Director Zack Snyder describes his Batman as in his late 40s and war weary, and the suit reflects this, not looking pristine but, rather, showing lots of wear and tear from many difficult encounters. The text includes quotes from costume designer Michael Wilkinson about the look they were going for with the suit and how they wanted Batman’s physique to look bulkier than Superman’s classic bodybuilder stance.

Full-body scans were taken of Ben Affleck before fitting him into the Batsuit and the all-important cowl. The cowl for this film is made out of flexible foam latex, allowing for a better range of motion for Batman’s head. The inside of the cowl houses an aluminum protective helmet, including a voice modulator that Affleck could speak into. So when fans hear the deep voice, it is actually coming from the suit.

We learn that the Mech Suit Batman wears in the movie was an actual suit and not a CGI effect and that, not surprisingly, it was cumbersome. This adds an even greater degree of realism to the story and shows the attention to detail paid by the costume designers for the film. We get to see concept sketches and prototypes — both here and in the other sections — and what their on-screen counterparts actually looked like. Similar attention to detail is paid to all other aspects of the Batsuit.

The next portion deals with Batman’s armory of weapons. While one Batarang was used in the film, the production crew made a second design, which keen viewers will notice on display in the Batcave, to show the device’s evolution. Of course, being the 21st century, Batman’s tech has evolved to include items such as a digital leach, which could be attached to computer servers to steal whatever files Batman deemed necessary.

The Batman portions conclude with highly detailed sections on not only his vehicles — including the Batwing and Batmobile — but also the Batcave. The vehicle section in particular is of note as it includes blueprints, sketches, preproduction models, and photos of the actual vehicles used. The Batcave section outlines all of the tech contained within, as well as Batman’s well-known collection of artifacts, some of which are only seen briefly on screen. Here, fans are allowed to take a much more in-depth look at the caped crusader’s vehicles and base of action.

While this is primarily a Batman book, the last two sections are dedicated to Superman (Henry Cavill) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). Here we learn that Superman’s costume, while similar to the one worn in Man Of Steel, has actually been revamped for this film. There are close-up views of the costume itself, revealing intricate patterns, some done by digital printing, and even a hidden quote from author Joseph Campbell. We also see the microfluidic tissue transporter, capable of duplicating a person’s fingerprints and the Kryptonite containment square used by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) in the film. Wonder Woman’s armor, lasso, bracelets, and sword are also detailed in the book.

For fans of DC Comics who are into the technical aspect of their heroes, particularly Batman and his accompanying movie universe, this is a must-own book. While the book is heavily slanted toward Batman, there is still enough Superman and Wonder Woman to keep most fans of those characters happy. Newell and Gosling have outdone themselves here, providing excellent details and photos of the many varied bits of technology in the film. 

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