The ears (or lack thereof) on the bat symbol of Robert Pattinson’s costume in The Batman features an interesting callback to the Dark Knight’s very first comic book appearance, going all the way back to 1939. Recently, The Batman director Matt Reeves released a test video that showed off the new Batsuit. The test video avoids showing viewers a full look at the costume, but it did provide a fairly detailed preview of Batman’s chest armor, Bat symbol, and the bottom half of his mask.

Robert Pattinson is set to succeed Ben Affleck as the next big screen Caped Crusader in The Batman, which is set for a June 2021 release. The movie will apparently move on not only from Affleck, but the supporting cast of Batman characters established in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League by introducing new versions of Commissioner Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth, played by Jeffrey Wright and Andy Serkis, respectively. As for the villain, The Batman will include multiple representatives from Batman’s rogues’ gallery, including Riddler (Paul Dano), Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), and Penguin (Colin Farrell).

The costume that Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne will wear in the movie is loaded with comic book references and influences, with one of the biggest being the design of the bat symbol. At first glance, it may appear that The Batman made a major change to the comic book hero by taking away the ears, which are an important part of the iconic symbol. But in actuality, this is similar to the way it looked when Batman was created in Detective Comics #27 in May 1939. The original version of the Bat symbol didn’t have ears.

However, it didn’t stay that way for more than a few months. In August, Detective Comics #30 added ears to the symbol, and they’ve remained a consistent element of the Batsuit ever since, which is why some are surprised to see them taken away for The Batman. This could be an indication that The Batman is looking to embrace Batman’s Golden Age roots.

It’s true that, for the most part, the influences found in the new Batsuit are linked to Batman’s later appearances. The Batman seems to be drawing inspiration from Rocksteady’s Arkham games and the Batman: Earth One graphic novels from 2013 to 2015. The Batman may even be honoring a comic that was released as recently as 2019, which saw Bruce Wayne melt down the gun that killed his parents and put it in the armor beneath his symbol.

The look of the Bat symbol in the test video suggests that this is the direction The Batman will go with Robert Pattinson’s character, an amalgamation of Batman throughout the eras of DC Comics. Since Reeves looks to bring Batman back to basics, with him using his skills as the world’s greatest detective, it makes sense to honor various parts of the character’s comic history. That’s why it may be so important for The Batman to dig into Batman’s original comic book appearance as well. This way, The Batman can pay homage to a full range of Batman stories.

More: The Batman: Why Robert Pattinson’s Batsuit Is Better Than Ben Affleck’s

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