Batman Factor

The Original Inspiration for Batman’s Cape Came From a Sketch by Whom?

The Original Inspiration for Batman’s Cape Came From a Sketch by Whom?

The original inspiration for batman’s cape came from a sketch by Leonard Da Vinci.

Leonard Da Vinci (April 14, 1452 – May 2, 1519), an Italian sage of high renaissance, is considered one of the most distinct personalities ever to have lived. He was famous for his achievements as a painter, amongst other achievements, such as his notebook, where he made drawings and notes on science and invention.

His notebook involved collecting diverse subjects such as anatomy, astronomy, botany, cartography, painting, and paleontology. Leonard’s virtuosity exemplified the resurgence of humanist ideas, and his works impacted newer generations of artists.

Bob Kane, an American comic book writer, animator, and artist who co-created with bill finger, the DC comic character (Batman). His original inspiration for batman’s cape was from Leonardo Da Vinci’s diagram of ornithopter (Greek “ornithos” and “pteron” meaning “bird”  and “wing,” respectively), an aircraft that flies by flapping its wings.

When bob sketched his first model of batman, it was quite different from the present batman. Kane’s original sketch had two wings on batman’s back that stayed up instead of a cape. Kane claimed Leonard Da Vinci’s drawing of the ornithopther inspired his sketch.

Vinci’s interest in flying inspired his designs. His deep study of birds and bats helped in devising a flying machine that would trap a person into a set of wooden wings, allowing them to fly and keep afloat.  Although he never built a working model, his works impacted the later studies of aerodynamics.

Original Inspiration: Images Of Leonard Da Vinci’s Ornithopter Design

images of leonard da vinci sketches. www.wikipedia.com

Images of Batman cape sketched by Bob Kane

The Original Inspiration for Batman’s Cape Came From a Sketch by Whom? Where Are Things Now

There have been so many evolutions to batman’s cape from where it started to where it is today. Like how the Batmobile is ever-changing, and even characters like the Joker keep changing, you also must expect the same change with Batman’s cape.


If you look at the two pictures above, you can clearly see a difference in the capes. The first batman cape was just attached to his arms, but it did not look like the original drawing. Nor did the cape look like the wings from an actual bat.

It’s clear to see that the cape ended up evolving to look like a bat spreading its wings truly. Many animals will do things to make themselves appear bigger to scare away prey. The same effect is used by Batman when he does spread his wings.

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