Unlike Superman, who has the ability to fly, and Spider-Man, who can cling to pretty much any surface, Batman has to rely on his mastered skills as well as advanced technology in his one-man war ‘gainst crime. Whether in the comics or movies, the Dark Knight is often required to chase after his foe(s). To cover up his inhuman disability, he opts to use specially-designed vehicles. If Bruce Wayne lived in Los Angeles instead of Gotham City, he’d probably hate having to drive in traffic. While well-suited for fighting villains, usually, a motorcycle or helicopter makes an excellent choice; here are several vehicles Wayne has used in his career, ranging from his original car to TDK's two-in-one.
First appeared in 1966 but unlike other vehicles, it wasn’t intended for use in the TV series, which didn’t have the budget to create such elaborate vehicles.
Driven by Batman on his way to Gotham Observatory after the city had been completely frozen over by Mr. Freeze for its ability to handle icy terrain.
Escape-vehicle integrated into his traditional ride. When needed, the car could shed its outer “skin” to form a bullet-train-like vehicle that’s able to pass through narrow spaces. Batman used the Batmissile to escape from the GCPD after Penguin’s hijacking of his car in Batman Returns.
Made the Caped Crusader appear to have wings. It functioned like a traditional glider but was built to resemble the wingspan of a bat. Batman hid these on select buildings throughout the city.
Motorcycles… Cool, yes? The Batcycle’s the personal bike of the World’s Greatest Detective. Although mostly used by Robin, Batman sometimes rode it when his “other” vehicle was too cumbersome or was being repaired. In Batman & Robin, it served as Batgirl’s vehicle when the film was at its climax.
Intended as an “escape pod” but also served as an auxiliary vehicle. Armed with dual front-mounted cannons, machine guns, and grappling hooks, the Batpod gave Gotham’s guardian greater mobility at the cost of protection.
What kind of rich guy would you be without a luxury car? Wayne had driven a Murciélago roadster in Batman Begins (valet referred to it as a “nice car,” with Wayne commenting “You should see my other one”), a model Murciélago LP 640 in TDK (used to stop an assassination attempt on Coleman Reese’s life), and an Aventador LP 700-4 in TDKR (stolen by Selina Kyle after being confronted at a charity ball). Fun fact: Murciélago… That’s Spanish for “bat.”
At times, Batman had to take to the ocean, so he’s got a personal watercraft that could reach speeds of up to 120 mph. The Batboat included a harpoon with a high-tensile titanium cable, a grapnel that doubled as an anchor, variable-setting depth charges, and a small supply of homing torpedoes with heat/motion/vibration target-acquisition designed to target propulsion systems.
If Batman could travel on land… And by sea… Then why not in the skies as well? Taking advantage of the resources of WayneTech’s various divisions, Bats designed modified versions of commercial products for use. An early model Batplane was a hybrid fighter jet. The current one’s a modified Wayne Aviation SlipStream; it’s detailed to resemble a standard mid-size corporate jet.
Second aircraft developed following the destruction of the original. After agreeing on a partnership with the Boy Wonder in Batman Forever, Batman flew it to end Riddler’s reign of terror. Upon approach of the island where the latter’s stationed, Batman ejected its wings as it was fired at. When not in use, it’s stored in the cave, hanging upside down from the ceiling like a bat.
In TDKR, Wayne met with Lucius Fox to discuss the business options of a crumbling Wayne Enterprises. After their talk, Fox was curious as to why Wayne didn’t inquire ‘bout any new equipment, noting that their meetings used to “end with an unusual request.” Wayne replied that he’s retired but Fox coerced him to look at some new stuff anyway, entered the Applied Sciences division, then unveiled a new vehicle. And yes, it did come in black!
Came complete with an array of weapons. In Nolan’s movies, this vehicle was Batman’s primary mode of transportation. Originally sporting military desert camouflage paint, Wayne requested to have the Tumbler painted black. Wayne Enterprises accountant Reese confronted Fox ‘bout his designs of the Tumbler, asking sardonically if Fox never noticed it tearing up the streets on the news. The Tumbler had a pair of machine guns mounted in the nose of the car between the front wheels. In “attack mode,” the driver’s seat moved to the center of the car so that the driver was repositioned to lie face-down with his head in the center section between the front wheels. This served two main purposes: first, it provided more substantial protection with the driver shielded by multiple layers of armor plating; second, the low-down, centralized driving position made extreme precision maneuvers easier to perform while lying prone reduced the risk of injury a driver faced when making these maneuvers.
Arguably THE most popular vehicle. In Arkham Asylum, Batman drove it to transport Joker back to Arkham after the latter’s failed attempt to kill the mayor. Batman parked the car in front of the Intensive Treatment Center but when Joker began his siege, he commanded Harley Quinn to destroy it in order to prevent Batman from escaping. Following an encounter with Bane in the Medical Facility, Batman used the vehicle’s remote guidance system to cause it to crash into Bane to send him hurtling into the water of the docks. In The Batman, the Batmobile resembled a sports coupe with multiple jet exhaust slits protruding from the back bumper. When the first Batmobile wasn’t enough to stop the speed demon Gearhead, Bats upgraded his wheels with a much faster engine as well as a lighter chassis. With more speed, Gearhead was no match for “Flash.” In Batman Beyond, it could FLY. Its design was a radical departure from the usual style of Batmobiles, as they usually had a bat-motif, from a bat-faceplate on the grill to tail-fins resembling bat wings. The new Batmobile was a simple sleek pod with sharp angles as well as rounded sides while the interior was a red-illuminated cockpit with computer circuitry.
Bat-Bike, by Andy Walsh.
Which vehicle(s) is your favorite?
Storm by Leila Leiz
Phil Noto ~ Superhero Candids
The second THANOS AND DARKSEID: CARPOOL BUDDIES OF DOOM. Guest starring: Doctor Doom!
Written by Justin Jordan (who has a new issue of Green Lantern: New Guardians coming out this Wednesday and has a new series, Dead Body Road, coming out in December) and drawn by Rafer Roberts (who is currently making Plastic Farm and Nightmare the Rat comics).
You can read the first Thanos and Darkseid here.
My entire set of covers for the “Duck Knight Returns” saga. I’ve spent enough time on these that I kind of wish it was a real thing. I’ve toyed with the idea of redrawing a few sequences from DKR in Frank’s style with the duck…
Mickey Through The Years - 85th Anniversary Wallpaper by Fidel Santiago