Hello again and welcome to this year’s A-z Blogging Challenge for April 2013. As I mentioned yesterday, a slight change of theme this year as I sit down with you all and discuss Modes Of Transportation In Television & Film. Now this can be anything from a car or spaceship to the likes of jumping through time and space via wormholes or even a phone booth! I hope you will enjoy reading my posts and feel free to comment on them with your memories and likes about each one, and its now time to move onto the letter “B”, which can only really mean one thing…
“B” is for “Batmobile”
Batman has been a favourite comic book character since I was a little boy. Not my bestest favourite, but right up there 😉 Now, any rich vigilante with expensive gadgets will tell you (because Batman of course is NOT a superhero, owing to the fact that he has no super-powers) that they need some form of getting from A to B. The Dark Knight decided on a car as his main mode of transport for getting quickly to scenes of crime in Gotham City and his vehicle has seen many forms over the years in TV & Film. Now before the die-hard fans start nit-picking, I appreciate that there are more than these ones (video games and graphic novels etc) but I am focussing solely on TV & Film. Lets look at the evolution of the Batmobile.
The 1960s Original Batmobile (Adam West)
We start in the 1960s when Adam West and Burt Ward were rocking the Batcave with some “Holy Hotwheels” with their converted Lincoln Futura, painted in jet black with a red trim. Now not only does this car look great, it’s the nearest we get to an actual road car that the real caped crusader would have had access to at the time. I mainly remember watching the show and seeing the Batmobile firing up its jet thruster and racing out of the Batcave and heading off to aid Commissioner Gordon in his fight against crime in Gotham City, but I think that now I am growing older and have a more rounded appreciation for things of yester year, I realise now that this is the nicest of all the Batmobiles. It all goes a bit wild from here, but there is a 20 year wait for the next step in evolution’s great journey.
Michael Keaton’s 1989 Batmobile
The Batman franchise was resurrected in 1989 starring Michael Keaton as Batman and Jack Nicholson as The Joker. As this was a much bigger budget than the previous TV and film efforts, there was much more scope for coming up with something entirely new to help Batman in his fight against crime. The result is the above car. Resembling something like a rocket car and a huge phallus, this vehicle is certainly memorable in its design.
This version of the Batmobile has much more weaponry that its predecessor including machine guns, bombs, shields and an anchor for making extreme turns. For me, this was the last decent looking Batmobile on the silver screen. I loved the fact that everything was black, and it should be. Batman was never about being showy when it came to his equipment. Black is his colour and it makes everything simple and especially for night use it is the perfect disguise for hiding in the shadows. The following Batmobiles are my least favourite and they actually just don’t do that much for the character either.
Val Kilmer’s Car Used in Batman Forever
With its fancy silver trim and possibly one of the largest fins in automobile history, this car does nothing but draw attention to itself. It is shaped like something akin to a shark or an alien from the movie of the same name (which in itself is interesting because HR Giger was initially involved in its design), but look at those wheel arches, just hideous. Also, during the conversion of this car, they couldn’t have done something a little better with the headlights? Stuck on the front there like they were an afterthought. Uurgh, just horrible. Also, there is no way that thing is getting into an underground car park with the monstrosity sticking on the back of it. I can see the conversation at the car body shop now “I think I ordered the LARGE tail-fin? HELLO!”. Lets move on…
George Clooney’s Batmobile (1997)
This is slightly better, but still a little too extravagant for me. I think it is more like something Dracula would drive in a poor 1980s cartoon. There is also no way that thing is getting over speed bumps either, the ground clearance is ridiculous! Of course, by now the franchise was very tired and the movie Batman & Robin should have never been made anyway, it is truly awful and the car does nothing to redeem anything about the film in any way. And so the Batman franchise died with the box office disaster and so did the cars. The comics and graphic novels did continue to bring forth new incarnations of the Batmobile, but it wouldn’t be until 2005 that we see a much simpler, less fancy design of the Batmobile.
Christian Bale’s Batman “Tumbler”
When the Batman movie franchise was rebooted in 2005, Bruce Wayne was looking for a vehicle and his chief scientist Lucius Fox happened to have something in storage that he had been working on. The Tumbler is something like a cross between a sports car and a tank, with big tyres, big guns and plenty of shielding. It also has the added bonus of including a Batpod – a vehicle which is ejected from the front end of the Tumbler utilising its front wheels. Batman goes on to use the Batpod as his primary vehicle in the final film The Dark Knight Rises before going on to use The Bat, pretty much a flying version of the Tumbler. As to what I think of the Tumbler? Well its alright I guess, but its more of an attack vehicle than just a mode of transport and I think that’s why for me it didn’t hit the spot. Christian Bale’s Batman was more about using the big toys rather than the stuff on his utility belt and just having a good old punch up.
So Batman has many forms of transportation at his disposal, and they have ranged from the dull converted street car to the outright flashy, shiny and fancy flying Bat, but in the end, the original 1960’s version will always be my favourite one.Who knows what form the Batmobile will take when the franchise is next rebooted (which it will be in one guise or another). Lets just hope that it looks good, and doesn’t get blown up at every opportunity to have an explosion. =) And now, a small tribute – enjoy and thanks for reading.