His name is Wayne, Bruce Wayne. A billionaire playboy by day, a dark caped crusader by night. His one credo – don’t kill. And though he’s a comic book hero – his personality and his toys – chief among them the Batmobile, have always fascinated the real world.
His famous Bat logo has changed over 70 years of Batman history, he has been impersonated on numerous occasions in TV shows and movies (both animated and live), so there’s no surprise his very own “car” has transformed quite a lot over time.
Thanks to the fact that you’re not a real life character – rather than a work of cultural fiction – Batman has changed, and his “car” accordingly, to suit the needs of the moments – while also evolving to be contemporary or futuristic.
Among the first incarnations of the “Batmobile” – actually the first car to be named as such – was the 1941 ride that appeared in Detective Comics #48. It was very subtle for Batmobiles and it only featured a small gold bat logo up front, with the car apparently based on a contemporary Cord Roadster.
The true king of customizations, George Barris, has made one of the best known Batmobiles ever – the one used in the 1966 TV series that had Adam West as the Caped Crusader. The car was based on the equally impressive and out of the world Lincoln Futura. The 1970s series “Superfriends” has premiered the famous Bat logo that we have grown accustomed to and changed the color of the car to blue.
While many-dreaded Tim Burton’s choice to cast Michael Keaton into the 1989 cult move Batman, the Batmobile garnered only positive reviews, with its darker take complementing the tormented title character.
The animated series that ran from 1992 to 1995 introduced one of my own favorites, with a decisively dark theme, a nose longer than Pinocchio’s and a design that paid homage to early means of motorized transportation, such as steam trains.
We should fast-forward through the stupid takes of the Batmobile chosen for the equally stupid Batman Forever and Batman&Robin large screen movies. So, after another appearance on the TV screens for “The New Adventures of Batman & Robin”, we finally get to Christopher Nolan’s reboot.
With a huge star (Christian Bale, you should definitely see his very interesting small-budget Equilibrium) playing the larger than life Batman, a massive star cast that included Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman, there wasn’t any room for error. So, Nolan made an interesting choice – reinvent the Batmobile into the Tumbler. It doesn’t befit any of the previous incarnations but aids in establishing Batman as a believable character. Now, all that remains is to wait for 2016 and see another reinvention: Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – which also brings a new Batmobile.
Via Business Insider, www.batmobilehistory.com