The original Rainbow Batman debuted in 1957’s Detective Comics #241. It’s one of the most memorably bizarre Batman covers of the Silver Age. As for why he must wear a different-colored Batman costume each night, it was in order to keep everyone from realizing that both Robin and Dick Grayson had broken their arms at the same time, thus keeping their identities secret.
It was one of the Silver Age stories, like “Robin Dies At Dawn,” that Grant Morrison brought back into continuity during his long run on the Batman titles.
It’s part of a set of other weird Silver Age versions of Bats being offered as Con exclusives:
The first is a classic Batman representing the Dark Knight’s iconic blue and grey costume for many of his Silver Age adventures, while the other three are more one-off specifics. There’s Negative Suit Batman from Detective Comics #284, in which a blast from an experimental ray rendered Batman averse to light itself. There’s Zebra Batman from Detective Comics #275, in which an encounter with magnet-powered supervillain Zebra-Man left Batman’s suit scrambled into Zebra-esque crazy black-and-white waves.
Those are both pretty colorless schemes, so the set gets a blast of candy-coated crayon in the form of the iconic Rainbow Batman, from Detective Comics #241, which included a storyline where Bruce attempted to protect and injured Dick Grayson from harm by wearing a series of garishly colored Batman outfits while they were out on patrol, distracting thieves away from the Boy Wonder’s compromised state. It’s ridiculous, and I love it, and I will purchase any and allversions of this suit wherever possible. Like right here, where the pricey set will set you back $80.i09
Comic-Con International in San Diego (SDCC) begins Thursday, July 18th and ends on Sunday, July 21. Check out their site for more info.