If there’s ever a superhero who deserves a cool car, it’s Batman. Superman can fly everywhere anyway, he doesn’t need one. With Bruce Wayne’s money and resources he’s able to create whatever he wants and depending on which version of Batman you subscribe to (Nolan’s, Burton’s, Schumacher’s ((heaven forbid)) ) you can be assured that he can have exactly what he wants and how he wants it.
However, money doesn’t necessarily buy style and there have been some dreadful decisions in the history of Batman, from his suit to his car, to his drawn-on eyebrows. We take a look at the legacy of Batman to date and look ahead at the minimal information we currently have on the new “Batfleck” combination and those newly released pictures.
Even kids of today recognise the “old” style batmobile from the incredibly successful 1960s show starring Adam West. Regardless of the cheesy dialogue and the cringe-worthy on-screen prompts describing the action (Kapow!, Thwack!) and the pausing long dialogue of Mr West, it had a sense of classic style about it. Underneath the cheese, no-one would turn down an opportunity to have their own 60’s Batmobile, complete with V8 atomic turbine engine and red-on-black decals!
The “Burton-mobile” first graced our screens in 1989 and this first bat-sequel showed off the batmobile in even more dramatic fashion than the first film. With an overall darker tone, Tim Burton’s version of the caped crusader was at first lampooned and then eventually taken into movie-goers hearts (until the Nolan Years). The car was practically missile-shaped and had that cool sliding roof on the cockpit. Hop-in, hop-out. Awesome. The remote control Batman had for the car was also a neat addition, making it ultra-handy after a heavy night out on the town.
Batman Forever wasn’t the ultimate mess that people thought it was at the time of its release but the fresh, neon-like design of the ’95 Batmobile was a bit too much for some to stomach. The film was a flop and the car was… gaudy to say the least. It was like someone had stolen the batmobile and pimped it to high-heaven, adding modifications to the panelling and then sticking neon bat stickers onto the oh-so awful Alloys. Only batman wearing a string vest and gold chain would be driving this as he pulled up to a club. Lit up like a Christmas tree, the only thing that made this cool was Val Kilmer.
It wasn’t possible to get any worse than Batman Forever’s reincarnation was it? Yep. 1997 brought us so many terrible images and that was just from this film. Even more pimped than the previous iteration, this version had a smooth curving bonnet shaped to a point making it look even more like a drag racer. However, if we’re honest, it’s still not as horrendous as those batsuit nipples and bat-credit card. There are some things not even George Clooney can try.
Just when we were in the pit of despair with the batman franchise, Chris Nolan comes along and shocks everyone by delivering what was a fantastic, gritty, real-world interpretation of this classic icon. The Tumbler was awe-inspiring and could bounce from rooftop to rooftop! It could smash through walls, through police cars and it didn’t need no pimped-up lighting tubes to make it the most bitchin’ batmobile this side of the Gotham River. If you were 16 again and wanted a car for your birthday, this has got to be number one choice. Nothing says “Respect” more than rocking up in the school car park in a full size Tumbler, ready for the school day ahead.
This one is going to split opinion. Since Ben Affleck was announced as the new Batman in the upcoming Batman vs Superman, there has been a lot of online chatter but this recent image that “leaked” shows a similar dark feel to the new Batman design, along with a familiar feel to the batmobile which looks more akin to the original 1989 version. How Affleck will size up in the suit, who knows.
He’s been working out apparently but what’s the point when the suit has musculature armour on it? And by the look of the photo it’s been photo-shopped in order to brighten the image. Atmospheric yes, but you have to admit it wouldn’t look out of place to spot that someone had written “clean me” on the windscreen, such is the dusty nature of the picture. These are early designs I’m sure but we can only hope that they don’t ruin what has been a reinvigorated franchise and that they produce another cracking batmobile that we can all pine for.