FAN NEWS

We Rank (Almost) Every Batmobile Ever

Joshua Lapin-Bertone

Joshua Lapin-Bertone

July 11, 2019

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"Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed..." Ready to move out, readers? As part of our year-long celebration of Batman's 80th anniversary, we're taking a long look at the Dark Knight's wheels. In the 1997 movie 'Batman & Robin,' the Boy Wonder noted that “Chicks dig the car,” but let’s be honest – we ALL think the Batmobile is something special! While it's near impossible to create a complete list of the Batman's many cars -- since comic book artists' depiction of the vehicle has often varied from issue to issue -- join us as we stroll through the Caped Crusader's garage and rank our favorites...

 

 

27 – The “Lost a Wheel” Batmobile

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This Batmobile was featured in ‘Batman’ #408 and is similar to a few of the sports car models the Dark Knight drove throughout the 1980s. This vehicle is mostly remembered for its poor security system, since a street kid named Jason Todd was easily able to steal its tires. Still, this Batmobile helped introduce Batman to Jason (AKA the second Robin and current Red Hood), so it can’t be that bad.

 

 

26 – The Ben Affleck Batmobile

 

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This heavily armored Batmobile was the vehicle of choice for actor Ben Affleck's Batman in ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,’ ‘Suicide Squad,’ and ‘Justice League.’ The car has almost as many features as Batman’s utility belt, including twin machine-gun turrets, spiked coils, grappling hooks, and a variety of other defenses.

 

 

25 – The ‘Beware the Batman’ Batmobile

 

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The Dark Knight used this vehicle in the underrrated CG-animated ‘Beware the Batman’ TV series, and it sure came in handy! This sleek Batmobile might seem basic, but its weapons system ensured Batman could take down a gang of criminals without ever exiting the cockpit. Like other Batmobiles, this one had a gun turret, albeit with non-lethal firepower.

 

 

24 – 'The Batman’ 2004 Batmobile

 

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This Batmobile was heavily featured in 2004's ‘The Batman’ animated series. Since the cartoon takes place in the early days of the Dark Knight’s career, the car’s design and armory are simple, but it can still do its job effectively. Batman was able to program the vehicle to drive on its own, which proved beneficial during some of his more dangerous cases. The car was eventually retired after being destroyed by Gearhead in the episode “RPM.”

 

 

23 – The New 52 Batmobile

 

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This Batmobile was seen racing through the streets of Gotham throughout DC’s New 52 era, starting in 2011. It first appeared in ‘Detective Comics’ #9 and contains some great design homages to previous Batmobiles. It’s a lowrider like artist Norm Breyfogle’s Batmobile from the late 1980s, and it contains a bat-shaped ramming head like the vehicles of the Golden Age, making this car the perfect marriage of retro and modern.

 

 

22 – The "One Year Later" Batmobile

 

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This slick roadster debuted in ‘Batman’ #652. Its basic design seems to be modeled after a Porsche, with the fins of the 1989 Tim Burton Batmobile thrown in, and a Golden Age style bat-head for good measure. The Dark Knight used this vehicle during 2006's “One Year Later” storyline.

 

 

21 – The First Batmobile

 

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You can’t beat the classics! In 1941's ‘Detective Comics’ #48, history was made when Batman and Robin took to the streets in their very first Batmobile. Previously Batman had only driven Bruce Wayne’s town car, which wasn’t a good way to maintain a secret identity. Unlike later Batmobiles, this one was red. This convertible had a small bat ornament on the hood, but otherwise it seemed like an ordinary car. It was, however, far from normal, as the modified battering ram was powerful enough to drive through solid walls.

 

 

20 – The Rebirth Batmobile

 

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This Batmobile was first seen in 2016's ‘Batman’ #1 and has been the Dark Knight’s standard car for most of the “Rebirth” era. The vehicle’s long, narrow design pays homage to the Batmobile from ‘Batman: The Animated Series,’ with a bat's head on the front to evoke the classic Golden Age designs. The car was modified for extra speed, which helped Batman cover more distance during time-sensitive missions. This Batmobile also has a powerful ejector seat, with enough precision to help the Dark Knight reach high altitude aircrafts.

 

 

19 – The 1990s Batmobile

 

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After reclaiming the Batman mantle from Azrael in 1993-1994's "Knighhtfall" storyline, Bruce Wayne made some upgrades to his crime-fighting arsenal, including this heavily fortified Batmobile. The vehicle debuted in ‘Batman’ #526, and features gadgets, non-lethal weapons, and a powerful jet turbine engine. This Batmobile was heavily used throughout the '90s until it was destroyed during Gotham City’s devastating earthquake in the “Cataclysm” storyline.

 

 

18 – The ‘Batman & Robin’ Batmobile

 

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This powerful Batmobile was driven by actor George Clooney's Batman in 1997's ‘Batman & Robin.’ The vehicle measures about 30 feet long, and features neon illumination throughout its interior and exterior, helping the car brighten up Gotham’s dark streets. Unlike previous cinematic Batmobiles, this was a one-seater -- which wasn’t a problem since Robin had his own Redbird cycle. This Batmobile may be bulky, but its high-powered engine ensured it could clear long distance jumps, as demonstrated when Batman pursued Arnold Schwarzenegger's cold-pun-slinging Mr. Freeze.

 

 

17 – The Neal Adams Batmobile

 

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When Dick Grayson left the Batcave and enrolled in Hudson University in 1969's 'Batman' #217, Batman adopted a back-to-basics approach to his crime-fighting career, and that included his ride. The Dark Knight decided the Batmobile needed to be less conspicuous than in years prior, so he began driving a modified corvette. Although the Neal Adams-designed vehicle appeared like an ordinary sports car (albeit one with Batman's silhouetted head painted on its hood), it contained a series of hidden features, such as military-grade reinforced wheels, self-driving capabilities, and heavy armor.

 

 

16 – The Transforming Batmobile

 

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While the Dark Knight loved his inconspicuous corvette, he eventually decided criminals (superstitious and cowardly lot that they are) needed something to fear, so he made some modifications to the Batmobile in order for it be, well, more Batmobile-ish. His sports car now had the ability to transform into a drag-racing open-top Batmobile. The Caped Crusader demonstrated this handy feature in 1982's ‘Batman’ #344, shocking his fellow motorists.

 

 

15 -The ‘New Batman Adventures’ Batmobile

 

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This Batmobile was heavily featured in the 1997 ‘New Batman Adventures’ animated series and its subsequent tie-ins. Its updated computer system was now on par with the one in the Batcave, giving Batman’s crime-fighting more mobility. Although this car wasn’t as iconic as its ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ predecessor, its heavy armor and defense system ensured it survived for decades, remaining intact when Terry McGinnis first entered the Batcave of the future in ‘Batman Beyond.’

 

 

14 – The ‘Brave and the Bold’ Batmobile

 

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Batman: The Brave and the Bold’ perfectly captured the spirit of Golden and Silver Age Batman comics, and that included their Batmobile. The vehicle was a perfect visual combination of the 1940s bat-head Batmobile and the 1966 live-action roadster. This car was also known for its surprising transformations. In some episodes it changed into a Batplane, a Batboat, a Batrocket and even a large battling Batsuit of armor. This Batmobile may appear quaint, but its hidden talents made it Batman’s greatest asset -- next to his "hammers of justice."

 

 

13 – The "Batman R.I.P." Batmobile

 

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Taking the streets of Gotham by storm, this Batmobile was first seen in 2008's Grant Morrison-scripted ‘Batman’ #676. The car’s high speeds made it a force of nature, and its armor plating gave it extra durability, allowing the vehicle to withstand heavy impact and still maintain its pristine appearance. This Batmobile was also armed with non-lethal mini-guns, and an electrical shock security system to prevent any street orphans from trying to remove its stylish tires.

 

 

12 – The ‘Batman Beyond’ Batmobile

 

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The 1999 animated classic ‘Batman Beyond’ brought Gotham City into the future, and that meant giving the Batmobile an impressive update as well. This Batmobile wasn’t limited to the road and was usually seen flying hundreds of feet in the air. The vehicle had its own camouflage system, similar to Terry’s batsuit, allowing it to stealthily pursue criminals. Its interior featured a state-of-the-art computer system, which controlled the vehicle’s heavy arsenal. This Batmobile was also strong enough to snag and tow multiple aircrafts after using its magnetic mounts to slow them down. Is it any wonder Terry had so much fun piloting this thing?

 

 

11 – The ‘Batman Forever’ Batmobile

 

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When Val Kilmer suited up as the Dark Knight for the 1995 film ‘Batman Forever,’ he took Gotham’s streets by storm with an updated Batmobile. The vehicle measured 25 feet long, and its turbo booster enabled it to reach speeds up to 329 MPH. This car is probably most remembered for a surprising feature it revealed during a dead-end chase with Tommy Lee Jones' Two-Face. When the Batmobile was cornered in an alley, the car launched a grappling hook to the top of a building, causing the vehicle to vertically tilt. Supported by the strong cable, and powered by its boosters, the Batmobile drove up the wall of the building, much to Two-Face’s chagrin. While this Batmobile proved useful in such situations, it ultimately met its end when the Riddler threw a bomb at it during his invasion of the Batcave.

 

 

10 – The Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely Batmobile

 

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The streets of Gotham aren’t the only place where one can find the Batmobile. In 2009's ‘Batman and Robin’ #1, surprised Gothamites were shocked to find a flying bat-shaped craft soaring through the night sky. This flying Batmobile was a pet project of Damian’s, who built the vehicle from unused blueprints he found among his (then thought deceased) father’s things. The craft had the ability to switch from air to ground by retracting its wings into fenders. While in the air, the Batmobile had outstanding maneuverability, which helped the craft evade attacking enemies and get through tight spots. Who needs a Batplane when you have a Batmobile this cool?

 

 

9 – The Batmobile of 1950

 

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In ‘Detective Comics’ #156, Batman heavily redesigned the Batmobile so it would be “ten years ahead of anything else on wheels.” Batman added a built-in crime lab, which helped him do detective work on the go in the days before there was a Bat computer. Rocket tubes were added to the fenders for increased speed, while a radar antenna was installed to navigate dark corners. Batman bragged that it could reach speeds up to 100 mph, which was impressive for a 1950 car. This version of the Batmobile, designed by Golden Age Batman artist extraordinaire Dick Sprang, may seem dated to some, but we prefer to think of it as timeless. And at the time of the story’s debut, the car’s features were state-of-the-art, making the vehicle the most iconic Batmobile of its era.

 

 

8 – The 1940s Batmobile

 

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In 1941's ‘Batman’ #5, artist Jerry Robinson changed history when he created the first recognizable Batmobile. The previous Batmobile had been a modified red convertible with a bat hood ornament and bore little resemblance to later models. This vehicle changed the game, with Robinson making the car black, adding bat fins, and the first bat-tering ram head. The vehicle didn’t do so well on its first outing, crashing into a ditch in a chase with the Joker. Despite that setback, the car endured and helped pave the way for the many Batmobiles that followed it.

 

 

7 – The Tumbler

 

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Director Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight' Trilogy took Batman to new heights, so naturally a new Batmobile was needed, one unlike any that had ever been seen on screen before. The vehicle was introduced by Wayne Enterprises' Lucius Fox in ‘Batman Begins,’ as the skilled engineer showed Bruce Wayne a prototype for a vehicle he called the Tumbler. While the car looks like a small tank, the armored vehicle proved to be faster and more durable than it appeared. Bruce Wayne saw potential in it and used a black version as his Batmobile. The Tumbler came with many special features, including a secondary electrical engine so the car would be quiet for stealth missions, dual front autocannons, and a powered jet engine for jumps. The vehicle could also eject its two front wheels to form a smaller motorcycle known as the Bat-Pod. Is it any wonder the Tumbler is so popular?

 

DC Universe Community user YoYoFroYo writes, “The car basically did all its own stunts. They actually filmed it going 100 mph through tight tunnels, swerving between cars (which must have been a nightmare to film it going that fast). It also really did jump off of a ramp through a waterfall and into the Batcave. I mean, how do you beat that?”

 

 

6- The ‘Dark Knight Returns’ Batmobile

 

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One of the most memorable scenes in writer-artist Frank Miller’s classic ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ occurred when Batman confronted the Mutants with his tank-like Batmobile. This large attack vehicle was one of the largest versions of the Batmobile, and the Dark Knight estimated that Superman was the only living creature capable of damaging it. This theory was proven during the story as the Batmobile withstood bullets, explosives, and other deadly attacks. The all-terrain vehicle had front-facing guns, which Batman loaded with rubber bullets (he swears). The interior contained a small medical wing, which came in handy due to Batman’s advanced age. The breathtaking sequence featuring the impressive tank is one of the reasons ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ is immortal.

 

 

5 – The Norm Breyfogle Batmobile

 

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In 1988's ‘Detective Comics’ #592, artist Norm Breyfogle presented a new design for the Batmobile which became a consistent comics staple for the next 6 years. This car was less bulky than some of its predecessors and became throughout fandom as the “Slim Batmobile." This Batmobile featured an updated computer system, a parachute for abrupt breaking, and an arsenal of surprises. This sleek model was destroyed by John Paul Valley in “Knightsend” but is still fondly remembered by Batmobile enthusiasts.

 

Fun Fact: Corgi Toys released a fantastic 1:43rd scale diecast model of Breyfogle's masterpiece in 2004. 

 

 

4 – The "New Look" Batmobile

 

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In 1964, a new Batmobile debuted for Batman’s “New Look” era (which saw him, for the first, sport a yellow oval behind the Bat symbol on his chest). Bruce Wayne proudly showed off the new ride in ‘Batman’ #164, and the Dynamic Duo soon took it to the streets. This open-top was perfect for the 1960s and went through a few redesigns over the decade. The Golden Age bat-tering ram head was removed from the front of the car in favor of a stylized hood with a painted bat. This car paved the way for the iconic 1966 Adam West Batmobile, forever cementing its place in pop culture.

 

 

3 – The ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ Batmobile

 

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Who could ever forget the sight of the Batmobile exiting the Batcave as Danny Elfman’s theme music played in the background? This is how every episode of ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ began, and it helped fans young and old fall in love with the show's Batmobile. This model borrowed from Tim Burton’s 1989 film vehicle and took things to the next level aesthetically. This Batmobile was equipped with a defense system that included tire slashers on its hubs, gas dispensers, and shield plating. With its memorable design and its powerful yet practical features, is it any wonder this Batmobile is the favorite of so many fans?

 

 

2 – The Tim Burton Batmobile

 

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When Michael Keaton suited up as the Caped Crusader for the 1989 ‘Batman’ film, he came riding one of the coolest cars around. This Batmobile (designed by Anton Furst) was shaped less like a car and more like a missile. Which was fitting, since the vehicle was a force of nature. (Did you see what it did to Axis Chemicals?) This vehicle was equipped with two front-facing machine guns, a protective cocoon to prevent burglaries, and a grappling hook to help with sudden 180-degree turns. Batmania was everywhere in 1989, and this car played a huge part in the pop culture phenomenon. It was recently voted the second "Favorite Batmobile" of our Community.

 

Community member BatJamags writes, “There are two kinds of people in this world: People who think the best Batmobile is the ’89 Burtonmobile, and people who are wrong.”

 

 

1 – The Adam West 1966 Batmobile

 

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Was there any doubt this Batmobile would be the winner? An Italian-made Lincoln Futura Concept car customized by the late "King of the Kustomizers" George Barris, this vehicle became a pop culture staple when Adam West and Burt Ward rode it through Gotham City in the 1966 ‘Batman’ television series. Most Batfans still get chills up their spine when they hear the words, “Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed.” It may not be able to fly, climb walls, or fire ballistic missiles, but you can’t deny the emotional resonance this vehicle has in fandom. Other Batmobiles have come and gone, but this one has remained in the public consciousness and withstood the test of time. In fact, the 1966 Batmobile was just voted the "Favorite Batmobile" of our Community in a landslide.

 

“This one is a no-brainer: The Batman ’66 Batmobile,” wrote Community member baseballmaniac01.45870. Is it the slick look? The red siren? The bubble domes? The rocket? Whatever the appeal is, we can’t get enough of this classic Batmobile!

 

 

Honorable Mention: The Robinmobile

 

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Since we've spent all this time celebrating the best cars Batman has ever driven, we thought we’d give some space to Robin (before he complains). While the Boy Wonder is usually relegated to the passenger seat of the Batmobile, in ‘Batman’ #101 (written by Edmond Hamilton and penciled by Sheldon Moldoff) Robin was given his very own Robinmobile. Batman was on an undercover mission, so his junior partner was given redesigned versions of Batman’s gear to keep up appearances. Once the mission was over, Robin lost his vehicle and the Batmobile returned. Sorry, Boy Wonder!

 

 

Which Batmobile is your favorite? Let us know in our Community!