Robert Pattinson's Emo Batman Eyeliner Is Nonnegotiable

There’s a reason Batman is called the Dark Knight. Like your friend who worked at Hot Topic in high school and refused to go anywhere without a pair of knee-high combat boots on, part of Bruce Wayne’s superhero charm is the way he presents himself, from the pointed bat ears down to the statement piece that is his utility belt. When the first trailer for The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson, aired in 2020, fans of the Caped Crusader took a moment to keyboard smash when Pattinson took off his mask to reveal smudged eyeliner. More than a year later, on Jan. 25, the film’s director, Matt Reeves, finally explains what the unexpected look was all about in an interview with Esquire.

“You can’t wear a cowl and not wear that,” Reeves says. “All of the Batmen wear that. I just loved the idea of taking off [the mask] and under that there’s the sweating and the dripping and the whole theatricality of becoming this character.” Did Reeves’s answer immediately conjure up mental images of Batman applying eyeliner in his car while speeding off in the Batmobile to stop the Joker from Gotham knows what? Absolutely.

It’s unclear when Batman actually has time to apply eyeliner, but the fact that he makes time for at least a minimal beauty routine to match his emo, goth aesthetic is admirable. Without it, would he even be the Dark Knight? Friendly suggestion: he might want to invest in a waterproof liner to avoid smudging under the mask. And a relaxing lavender face mask to help wind down after a long day of chasing bad guys wouldn’t hurt.

Can we expect Batman to venture into using matte black eyeshadow or even rock a bold lip to complete his goth look in the future? Only his mask — and Alfred — know for sure.

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