With Batman ‘s Arkham City just released, lots of people, including myself, have the caped crusader on the mind. While I’m only 10% through the game and still have a lot of thug butt kicking left to do, I’m still inspired to do a visual history on our favorite anti-hero’s ride. It might surprise you just how much the car has evolved over time. Let us take a stroll through time.
The Picture on the left appeared only months after the term “Batmobile” was coined. For the next couple of years the overall look did not really change too much. While only minor differences were instated depending upon the comic book and the artist, the theme of the car was beginning to take shape. It was moving to solidify the darker roadster with bat-like wings as fins which would be utilized throughout future iterations.
The change from 1943 to 1950 saw the car begin to take a sleeker look, more modern (for the time) while keeping the bat like battering ram that adorned the front. However, the new version also introduced a lot of tech that the Batmobile still uses today (such as jet propulsion and computer screens, as well as radar).
In the mid-to-late 1950’s the Batmobile kept the sleek look and ushered in what is called the bubble dome. The picture on the left was the first to introduce the idea while the one on the right was what drove the Dark Knight into the 1960’s.
The 1960’s were an important decade for the Bat. For instance, that’s when the Batman TV series starring Adam West first appeared for American’s viewing pleasure, as well as Batman’s first animated hoo-rah (with Superman no less). Adam West’s famed ride is pictured left, while the iconic Batman: The Brave and the bold model is pictured on the right.
The 1970’s saw many different versions of the Batmobile, depending on what artist was illustrating it at the time. It wouldn’t be until the 1980’s that we would really start to see the post-modern Batmobile cement it’s self into the hearts of kids everywhere.
The 1980’s finally saw the Batmobile design begin to resemble the modern jet fighter to a greater extent by bolstering more aerodynamic and lengthened vehicles; eventually culminating into the very sleek and very cool Batmobile found in Tim Burton’s Batman movie. Burton wanted an aesthetically pleasing design which at the same time looked powerful.
Then came the 1990’s, and with it the Batman I grew up loving. While the Bat saw many different iterations through the 90’s, his most memorable for my self would be the Batmobile from Batman: The Animated Series pictured in the top right. Batman: The Animated Series is probably, to this day, the best Batman cartoon ever and had tons of episodes. However, TV wasn’t the only place (other than the comics) that Batman owned in the 90’s; he also two motion pictures. Batman & Robin and Batman Forever each presented wholly distinct versions of the Batmobile while keeping the sleek, jet fighter inspired motif. They are pictured (above) in the bottom left and right accordingly.
Than came Y2K and some of the most glorious years for Batman. Above we have the now famous version from Chris Nolan’s Batman Begins. While it is probably the most iconic version from 2000- present it is certainly not the only one. I leave you with a few more versions seen in the last decade below.