The first comic featuring Batman was issue #27 of Detective Comics from March of 1939. Ever since then, Batman can be seen getting from place to place in either a helicopter, jetski, motorcycles, by ropes dangling down the side of the building to his utility belt, or by my favorite, using the Batmobile. As far as television and movie cars go, the Batmobile is arguably the coolest of all of them. However, depending on how old one is, a different Batmobile may be remembered.
The truth is that the Batmobile has been made in many likenesses over the decades. There were cars throughout the years in the comics, and also in the 1943 movies. The popular television show did not start until January 12, 1966. It had its own quickly famous Batmobile.
Batmobile on the television show
Since the show in the 1960s, there have been movie adaptations of the Batman comic. For some of the movies, new versions of the Batmobile were created. However, that Batmobile that lasted the longest in service to the Batman, Bruce Wayne was the one created by George Barris for the 1960’s television show that aired on ABC for three seasons.
Mr. Barris custom made that Batmobile in 15 days at his shop. It was built upon a Lincoln Futura concept car that Ford sold to him for one dollar. For decades after the car debuted in the television show, people remembered that car and Batman in the same sentence.
In the movies
In 1989, that changed. A new generation of people and older fans alike were introduced to a new Batman movie. Of course, a new Batmobile was also introduced. A few more Batmobiles have been made since then for other movies.
Each Batmobile has been loved. Each one has been increasingly thrilling in their absurdity as each was introduced. Cars with fins, with wings, with a motorcycle escape pod, with turbine engines, with six wheels, with smoke, with rocket tubes, with a bat ray, with… well, you get the picture. Everything that a crimefighter and his partner might need was available in the Batmobile. In fact, the car is so cool that it even made Commissioner Gordon jealous in one of the movies. He says, “I gotta get me one of those”
The Batmobile is its own character
The Batmobile is so cool and has attracted so many fans over generations, that the car itself is a character expected to show up at some point in every new storyline. But it is becoming hard to keep track of them all through the years. So, Warner Brothers Entertainment just released a recap of the 80 years of the Batmobile in a video on Youtube. It is a great piece to watch. Warning, it is an hour in length. So be prepared to binge-watch it, or watch it in portions. But it is worth it.
The video is below.
For eighty years, the Batmobile has been around as a supporting character to comic, television, and big-screen heroes. Each iteration has become iconic in its own right. However, the imprint on the minds of generations of fans has been undeniable. So much so, that even without heroes, butlers, or commissioners to drive it, the Batmobile is still cool all by itself and brings a sense of satisfaction to fans when they finally see it appear.