Review–New Batman v Superman Tech Manual provides in-depth look at movie props and costumes

Tech Manual A

Although the film is taking its lumps in the critics’ arena, you can’t deny that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has plenty of clever new tech to show off, especially for the newest big-screen version of Batman.  Not only do we have a new Batsuit, we have Bat armor, and a new arsenal of fun toys aka weaponry.  And then there are the vehicles–a new Batmobile, a new Batwing.  Any art director that gets to dabble in the world of Batman knows what it’s like to be a kid with the keys to the candy store and whether you’re a fan or not of Zack Snyder’s story, he did manage to create an interesting new look for DC on film.

A new book from Titan Books takes a detailed and deep dive into the making of the movie. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Tech Manual, a full-color, quality hardcover released this month, is a nicely crafted behind the scenes tie-in, offering plenty of cross-appeal.  If you’re a fan of the movie, or if you’re a fan of Batman and Superman at all, you’ll enjoy this look behind the scenes at the props and costumes of the film.  If you’re a fan of the moviemaking process, you’ll appreciate the presentation of the set design in hundreds of images and interviews about the creative process.  And if you’re looking to cosplay Batman, Superman, or the new Wonder Woman, you now have unprecedented access to detailed costume photos, especially for Batman, with all you need to fabricate your own utility belt, cowl, cape, and Batarangs.

Bat Supes A

Most of the book is about Batman, primarily since the Superman of this new film is in essence the Superman from Man of Steel–so little was needed to be updated for this movie, whereas Batman and the Batcave were entirely re-imagined.  Superman and Wonder Woman and their costumes only receive a few pages each.  The book features concept art, blueprints, set design and construction detail, and graphic design pieces made for the movie.  Look for interviews with concept artists, the Batmobile builder, the propmaster responsible for weapon design, and director Zack Snyder, all providing insight into the movie’s visual narrative.

Bat Supes B

Fans of movie props will appreciate the detailed photos of the hand weapons.  If you’ve read many of the “making of” movie books reviewed here at, you can also start to recognize similarities of design components, and details common among prop weapons among the science fiction, action, and superhero movie genres.  For example, the grappling gun from Batman v Superman has much in common with the Romulan phaser from Star Trek (2009).  Robin’s mangled staff has components found in both lightsabers from Star Wars and Klingon Death Sting phasers from the original Star Trek movies.

What is missing?  We would have loved to see some detail of the supersuits for Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg, and more material on Superman and Wonder Woman.  The scope of this book is fairly specific, so maybe those costumes will appear in another book.

Bat Supes C

You can pick up a copy of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Tech Manual, a nice addition to your genre film bookshelf, at a discount here at

C.J. Bunce

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