Student creates a Batman outfit - and it works

Story highlights

  • 21-year-old student Jackson Gordon has designed and built a functional Batsuit
  • Made with money raised on Kickstarter, the outfit has received a prestigious endorsement

(CNN)Jackson Gordon is no ordinary 21-year-old. By day he is an industrial design student at Philadelphia University, but Gordon has another side to him -- a side altogether darker, tougher and more enigmatic.

Hanging in his workshop Gordon has a full suit of armor plating, cape and cowl -- matte black and built to stop a knife. Gordon has an alter ego: the Dark Knight himself, Batman.
    You might expect his origin story to be cloaked in mystery, but speaking to CNN Gordon is quick to explain how the transformation took place.
    Gordon says his calling came five years ago when he began experimenting with cosplay.
    "Previously I'd been involved with costume making... I'd made a version of the Batsuit from Christopher Nolan's 'Dark Knight Trilogy' and I really liked that suit," Gordon says.
    But, as elaborate as his design was, it lacked the functionality or the authenticity of the genuine article.
    "I was frustrated every time I wore it," Gordon explains. "It really limited my mobility and I didn't like that -- it didn't go with the character."

    Building the Batsuit

    In September 2014 he bit the bullet, deciding "to do another one that wouldn't inhibit my mobility and would actually provide protection and function more like Batman's actual suit."
    The Batsuit had to be strong -- tough enough to withstand the stab or slash of a knife, the im