DC Comics has dubbed today Batman Day. The Dark Knight has been fighting crime and serving justice for his 75th year since the 1939 debut of Detective Comics #27. Batman has been a big part of our lives, and was responsible for making us into the comic book fanatics we are today, whether it be through comic books and toys or television and movies. To show our appreciation for the man, the myth and the legend, we have compiled a plethora of Bat-themed lists. We hope that we can inspire you to read more about Batman and his legacy, or even give us some feedback if you agree or disagree with the lists. Sound off below! And click on the picture below to take you to all of our Batman Day articles.
Top 20 Batmobiles
When I was a teenager, there was no feeling like driving the coolest car in the neighborhood, taking it for a stroll to meeting up with friends and get into trouble. I would frequently imagine that my 1989 BMW was the Batmobile. Not only is Batman’s personal automobile his most important mode of transportation, but it’s one of his most trusted resources. Usually outfitted with gadgets and loaded with Bat-tech, these babies don’t come cheap. The models have changed and the accessories have been modernized through the years, but the Batmobile was always a reflection of the best in its time. Batman can’t fly, but these hot rides are not a bad consolation prize. Check out the many Batmobiles that gave the world car envy.
20.) Batman Reborn
Damian’s first stab at a Batmobile is kind of ugly, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful. At just ten years old, the son of Batman created a Batmobile that can fly and work underwater for himself while dad was out busy being dead/traveling through time or whatever. The gigantic red bat on the top looks like a kid designed it, but its functionality lets us know that a genius built it.
19.) The First Batmobile
Back in the day, before the gadgets and flying and stealth mode, Batman drove around Bruce Wayne’s car. It was a 1939 Cord 812, and the only distinction it had as a Batmobile was the subtle hood ornament of the Bat-symbol. Years into the legacy of the Batman, the Batmobile first appeared in Detective Comics #48. It served its purpose well enough, even though Bruce Wayne could only afford a model that was three years old. Pfft.
18.) Gotham’s Strangest Race
Nothing shows its age quite like the Batmobile from the 1955 Detective Comics #219. Batman and Robin get themselves involved in Gotham’s Strangest Race, where he takes the helm of a 1905 Marmon, favoring a throwback look for a classic car convention. Whether or not the Batmobile in this issue ran off steam or gasoline is unknown, and it’s an odd choice for a racecar in the mid-1950’s, but you can’t deny there is some charm to it.
17.) Batman and Robin movie
Joel Schumacher may be responsible for the worst Batman movie ever made, but that doesn’t mean his Batmobiles weren’t totally awesome. Inspired by the Jaguar D Type. The last movie to feature a classic-style Batmobile, Batman and Robin‘s vehicle had much more pizzazz, equipped with a bladed grill and sharper fins at the rear. It might be a bit gaudy – at 30 feet long, it remains the largest Batmobile thus far. The big kicker here is that it’s only a one-seater.
16.) Batman: The Brave and the Bold
The Brave and the Bold‘s version of the Batmobile is a conglomeration of past designs. It has the body shape of the modern sports car, the grille of the 1960’s style Batmobiles, and the detailing of Adam West’s Batmobile. Not only did it look rad, but it had the ability to transform into a plane and a submarine, as well as a Stealth mode. This animated follow-up to The Batman was a neo-retro show that had a completely appropriate Batmobile.
15.) Batman Beyond
This thing looks like it belonged to an alien overlord much more than it did the Batman. The near future, according to the show, has flying cars, and although Bruce Wayne may have retired from crime-fighting, we sure didn’t stop working. This monstrous Batmobile acts as a mobile Bat-computer, and has all the features of a high-tech military aircraft. Even though Batman Beyond’s suit has rocket boosters on the bottom of his feet, eliminating much of the need for a Batmobile in this world, it doesn’t make this incarnation any less awesome.
14.) The Dark Knight Returns Tank
An curmudgeonly man named Bruce Wayne gets so angry at the youth and the pit of despair Gotham has become that he decides to take up his old hobby of breaking the bones of bad guys. It’s only fitting that an old bat like Bruce would have a freaking tank as a Batmobile. Intimidation factor: 100. As he rides up on the mutants with this bad boy, all but their leader cower in fear. This tank is not a looker; in fact, it’s likely the the ugliest Batmobile of the lot. Maybe a built-in medic bay and a nearly-indestructible exterior will change your mind.
13.) Detective Comics #601
Not to be one-upped by Back to the Future, the late 80’s marked a time of change in the Batmobile’s technology. This sporty little number, and the various versions it inspired, was used in comic books throughout the mid-90’s. The large wheel covers give off the illusion that the car is hovering above the ground, while the gnarly spoiler compliments a body shaped like the Lamborghini Diablo of that time. It wasn’t just its looks, though. This Batmobile was one of the first to integrate the Bat-computer technology into the dash, as well as a few other useful resources.
12.) Christian Nolan’s The Bat
I know, technically this isn’t a Batmobile, but if you’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises, you know that this vehicle had to make the list. No, this isn’t Star Wars; this was Wayne Enterprises R&D dollars hard at work. Adjusting the concept of the Batwing for a modern approach, it’s easy to get awe-struck by the new jet. Aside from having enough firepower to take out his own Tumblers, word on the street is that it even saved Batman’s life when he installed an auto-pilot feature. And yes, it comes in black.
11.) The Batman series first Batmobile
With Batman Beyond ending in 2001, the animated world had to search elsewhere for their Batman solo stories. Enter ..er… The Batman. This 2004 show boasted a car that looked straight out of Fast and the Furious, which might have been due to the craze of the Need for Speed: Underground series. Everything on it was custom-bought, to “protect his identity.” Something tells me Brucey got into the import business, as well. Like most racers at the time, it looked far better than in performed, evident when Gearhead (voiced by Terry McGinnis himself, Will Friedle) was able to leave him in the dust in S3E5, “RPM.” With enough cash, it’s very feasible to dress a Honda Civic SI as this Batmobile. Just don’t try fighting crime in it.
10.) Hanna Barbera’s Batmobile
This design is heavily based of the 1960’s TV series and adapted for the animated series and Super Friends. It had a very chic design, with the blue took a lot of the flash out of it, but it translated very well to the the small screen. This simple design took Batman on numerous adventures with the Super Friends, and Scooby Doo, too. Before all the doo dads and technical add-ons, the Batmobile was just a really cool looking car that Batman drove around. When the Super Friends ended in 1977 (becoming the Challenge of the Super Friends), they switched to a more sporty look, but nothing can take the place of the Futura model.
9.) The Tumbler
Speaking of the Tumbler, the tank-like Batmobile from the Christopher Nolan reboots was a behemoth compared to the more petite versions of the past. This initially was met with conflict – that is, until it started steam-rolling squad cars in Batman Begins. It has been the biggest departure from the traditional Batmobiles, strong enough to withstand gunfire and small explosions, but agile enough to speed through Gotham. One of the neatest features was the ability to lock in a target using ballistics in some type of fighter-pilot mode. Also, when preparing to self-destruct, the Tumbler could split apart and essentially give birth to the BatPod.
8.) Arkham Asylum
The award-winning video game series didn’t give players a whole lot of exposure to Batmobiles, but when we did get to check it out, it was quite the beauty. Inspiration from Batman: The Animated Series was all over the place. Even the cast was basically a nostalgic nod to the 90’s cartoon. Unlike the B:TAS series, this Batmobile had much more detail, giving it the vibe of a bulky hot rod – and a build that looked like somebody could actually drive it. You likely won’t get to see this version again, as Rocksteady plans on going with a more Tumbler-like vehicle in Arkham Knight that will be drivable.
7.) Capullo’s Zero Year Batmobile
The New52 has been home to some hit or miss comics, but Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman has hit the bullseye every month since the relaunch. After Joker ruined everything in Death of the Family, they dove deeper into Batman’s past, exploring when Bruce Wayne first became the Batman. Batman’s first Batmobile via the relaunch debuted in Batman #25, and is inexplicably a Plymouth Prowler with a vintage Batmobile feel to it. This Batmobile doesn’t just run, it can also hide. With some assistance from the Batcave, it can launch itself into the air, and drive along the ceiling. Goodbye, traffic.
Batman’s car fetish doesn’t just stop at planes, boats and hot rods; he also has a thing for motorbikes. There’s the classic two-seater, which I’m sure Robin loved, the Tron-like one in the relaunch, and the BatPod from The Dark Knight trilogy – my favorite. Batman had this sucker tucked away inside the Tumbler, and blasted out on the magnificent bike when Joker disabled the Tumbler. Also, not that I need to remind you, he also let Catwoman borrow it in The Dark Knight Rises, leading to a great view of the horizon as she left. The revolutionary feature on the BatPod was the use of a gyroscope axle, allowing Batman to take dangerously fast turns with ease.
5.) New52 Batmobile
We’ve only got a glimpse of the Batmobile that Greg Capullo cooked up for us, and that was in Batman #9. This design from the former Spawn artist had a good deal of inspiration from the Hellspawn. There are some callbacks to the old designs, like the Bat-face on the grill of the car, also acting as headlights, but this design is highly futuristic, and thanks to the fact that it looks like Spawn’s cape flowing over the Batmobile, it’s even more frightening than usual. Once Zero Year is over, we will see if Capullo continues with this design or favors the Tumbler version that was used in Jason Fabok’s Detective Comics #20 a year later.
4.) Burton’s Batmobile
Have you ever wanted a car that took care of you instead of the other way around? Tim Burton’s Batmobile did just that. Gone was the Bat-face on the front, replaced with a jet turbine engine! When Batman fired it up at full blast, it exuded flames from the exhaust, leading to some not-so-fun times for thugs trying to sneak up on him. When in danger, the Batmobile could form a complete set of armor around the body. Other neat gadgetry included the ability to completely rotate itself 180 degrees by use of grappling hooks and a heavy-duty platform that dropped to the ground and rotated the car, as well as other neat tricks pertinent to the story.
3.) Adam West’s Batmobile
If I had one of these, I don’t think I would go about 10 mph. I would need to make sure that everybody saw me driving one of the classiest Batmobiles in history. Unlike the other movie vehicles, this car is already street legal. The 1955 Ford Futura, a concept car with a powerful V8 engine inside, was the model of choice. The fact that it is drivable makes it seem that much cooler, especially when you take into account that it had a phone in the car, along with sonar detection and a plethora of other tech familiar with the likes of James Bond at the time. You can find various replicas at comic book conventions, where people (suckers like me) will pay good money just to stand next to it and take a picture.
2.) Batman Forever
The first of Joel Schumacher’s babies, the Batmobile from Batman: Forever, is as unique and flamboyant as it is incredible to look at. The entire chasis lights up as it rolls along, and the long fins make it looks like a punked out Burton-mobile with a giant mohawk. An instant classic with Hush, neither the movie nor the Batmobile lasted too long, as it was destroyed less than half-way through the movie.
1.) Batman: The Animated Series
Nothing embodies the spirit of vengeance, the night, and Batman more than The Animated Series. People have tried to replicate this beast in real life and failed. It is not meant to be a real-life model. The fact that the front of the car is three times the size of the rest of it isn’t a design flaw. The perspective of animation used makes the Batmobile look like it goes on forever, like a specter watching over the streets of Gotham. Not much detail is needed to create the perfect Batmobile, which has lasted over twenty years as the Best Batmobile.