Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Batmobile: What a Pain in the Ass

What an utter pain in the ass it must be for Batman to get around.

He has two primary modes of transportation: swinging from gothic clock towers on his Batline, and cruising around Gotham in the Batmobile. Sure, he’s got a Batwing and a Batjet and a Batcopter and even a Bat-Segway, but mostly Batman relies on his ride to get from point A to point B.

Now, the Batmobile is a seriously tricked-out car, and you can’t blame the guy for wanting to drive it, but it must be a serious pain in the ass dealing with the Batmobile every night.

As anyone who lives in or near a big North American city knows, urban driving can be a maddening experience. Heavy traffic, one-way streets, swerving buses, crazy-ass taxi drivers, potholes, inadequate signage, kamikaze bike messengers, oblivious pedestrians – don’t even get me going about parking. The shit is hard enough to deal with in a normal city in a normal car. Now just imagine trying to navigate Gotham City’s rat nest of streets and alleys in an extra-wide custom hot rod with a wonky torque converter and limited visibility.

"If Batman wants to change lanes, you will let him into your lane."

Okay, the actual driving itself would probably not be an issue, as Batman probably has advanced defensive driving skills and an intimate knowledge of the street layout of Gotham. Plus, people would get the hell out of the Batmobile’s way. If Batman wants to change lanes, you will let him into your lane.

But what about parking? Can that thing even fit into a standard parking spot? Have you ever tried to parallel park a car that has huge scalloped bat wings on the back while wearing a rubber cowl that prevents you from moving your neck more than five degrees in any direction? I want to see a director’s cut of Tim Burton’s Batman where Michael Keaton tries to slide that beast into a parking spot without scraping the curb or bumping into another car. Now that would be some amazing shit.

For the sake of argument, let’s say the Batmobile has a self-parking system like the Lexus LS460 and Batman doesn’t need to sweat the details. But where do you park something like that?

How do you keep a low profile when you’re driving the most conspicuously bad-ass car on the planet? I mean, Batman wants to keep a low profile, right? There'd always be some asshole at a red light who wants to race:

The second you park that thing you would have tourists and drunks and passerby swarming you and snapping pictures on their cell phones. The Batmobile would be a major draw – YouTube in the DC Universe would be choked with videos of the Batmobile driving by or parking or waiting at a stop light.

Say you’re a frat boy out for a Friday night of drinking in Gotham Square. You get a text message from your buddy that says he just spotted the Batmobile headed south on Grand Avenue. You quickly down a final shot of Jaegermeister with your buddies Chet and Steven, throw the waitress a $20 (stiffing her on the tip) and haul ass two blocks west to Grand Avenue. Chet stops to puke. Fuck him, he can catch up.

A news helicopter is thrumming overhead – you must be close. You hear it before you see it – a deep rattling in your chest. Then, for a brief second it flashes past on Grand. Camera flashbulbs go off and people cheer. Out of breath, you make it to Grand just in time to see the big bat winged rear end of the Batmobile swing around a corner, followed by an SUV of screaming girls and a couple of paparazzi on scooters.

Steven wants to stop for another drink, but you keep jogging in the wake of the Batmobile. You can still smell the high-octane exhaust.

Your buddy texts you again – the Batmobile is parked in an alley between Grand and 14th. That’s like two blocks from here. Come on Steven, you pussy, keep up!

Then you do something that you’re never supposed to do in Gotham – you take a short cut through an alley. Steven doesn’t want to follow you, but you insult his manhood with colorful drunken slurs and he reluctantly gives chase.

Holy shit, dude! There it is, parked under a fire escape in the alley. Twenty feet of black muscle car with obsidian tinted windows and a matte finish. The engine is still hot. Fucking unbelievable! You make some guy take a picture of you and Steven with the Batmobile in the background.

This is so totally going on your MySpace page. WOOO!!! FUCK YEAH!!!

(BTW: You find out later that Chet was stabbed in the kidney by a psychopathic drifter who stole his shoes. That's Gotham for ya, LOL!)

So Batman parks his ride in as inconspicuous a spot as possible and takes to the rooftops to fight crime. Does he worry about people fucking with his car? I suppose he’s learned his lesson ever since that punk Jason Todd tried to jack his tires in Batman #408 and has implemented some security procedures. He’d have a number of redundant anti-tampering features built into the Batmobile, like the “armadillo armor” from the first Batman movie (minus the hubcap bomb – FYI Tim Burton, Batman doesn’t blow people up), an electro-shock feature like Bond’s BMW in Tomorrow Never Dies, an off-the-shelf car alarm from Car Toys, and maybe The Club for his steering wheel. I imagine the Batmobile would be coated in a graffiti-proof finish as well – you’d be surprised how many times Batman comes back from a night of crime fighting to find “PENDEJO*” painted on the side of his car. Punks.

Here’s what I don’t get: how the hell does Batman keep the location of the Batcave secret, considering that he drives the most conspicuous car in the world? We’ve already established that he’s likely hounded by photographers and news crews and drunk frat boys – how exactly does he slip out of town unnoticed in his Giant Rocket Car?

Every night he’d be on the way home to Wayne Manor and there’d be a news chopper flying overhead and a car or two full of idiots with the same idea. “Let’s follow Batman and see where he goes!”

So he gets outside of town and heads up into the hills, then promptly disappears into the side of a cliff. Sure, you’ve got a hologram covering your garage door up, but what if the guys in the news helicopter see you disappear into a hillside right next to Wayne Manor? You’re busted, Batman.

For argument’s sake, let’s say the Batmobile has a Romulan cloaking device and a sound-deadening “whisper mode” like in Blue Thunder. Big deal, the Batmobile still disappears on one of six roads every night. You could narrow it down. All it takes is an enterprising photographer with a sleeping bag and some time on his hands hiding in the right bush on the side of the road when the Batmobile rumbles by and vanishes into solid rock. I'm telling ya, Batman doesn't need to worry about The Penguin or Two-Face blowing his cover, he needs to worry about some scuzzy shutterbug who makes a living selling candid shots of heroes to tabloids.

Another hassle would be cops. Batman has an on-again, off-again relationship with the GCPD. Sometimes he can do no wrong, other times he's hunted by corrupt or overzealous police. Sure, he's pals with Commissioner Gordon, but there would always be some rookie cop fresh out of the Academy looking to make a name for himself by pulling over Batman.

I like to think that the veteran cops would just look the other way when the Batmobile rolls by, but there’s always that one cop with the stick up his ass. Technically, the Batmobile is not street legal. No license plates, no vehicle tabs, unsanctioned rocket afterburners, no proof of insurance, high-performance fuel... the list goes on. I can’t see Batman waiting in line to get an emissions test for his car or even getting a driver’s license. The guy breaks the law every time he slips behind the steering wheel.

So what's the solution? Ditch the Batmobile, man.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but for a while there didn't Batman have a private underground rapid transit system that his hunchback mechanic Harold set up for him? He could be downtown in 5 minutes on his Batsubway and wouldn't have to worry about parking, gawkers, or ozone emissions. That seems like a good choice if you're heading out for a night on the town.

Another option would be to just have an anonymous black town car or a van with tinted windows. You could soup it up with all your Bat shit, but it would be a much lower profile ride. Matt Wagner had the right idea in his excellent Batman and the Monster Men series. Here Jim Gordon and a detective discuss Batman's impounded pre-Batmobile car:

Now that makes sense. If you're a creature of the night, would you drive around in a really distinctive car with loud pipes or would you keep it on the down-low? You're supposed to be a Living Shadow, dude. You are the night, etc.

I hate to say this, but what would make the most sense for Batman is to have a series of black Ford mini-vans stashed in monthly parking lots all around Gotham. He could change in the back or stitch up his wounds without drawing any attention to himself. Most of the time he could just take his private subway into town, but if he needed a ride, he'd have a van parked within blocks.

There: problem solved, Batman. Swallow your pride and park the Batmobile and get yourself a fleet of mini-vans. It might not be as glamorous as driving around in a black penis surrogate of an auto, but it would certainly be much less of a pain in the ass.

*I had to re-spell the Spanish word pendejo three times. I am so ashamed of my monolingualism.


M said...

You're right, paparazzi culture sure has ruined things for famous super-heros...

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Dave, but the Batmobile is just too cool to ditch like that.

But I get where you'r coming from. Not only is it the most conspicuous ride imaginable, but it'd be impossible to move around any major urban center at a decent speed. Everytime somebody draws the Batmobile there's always, like, one other car on the road, which is just silly. Robin's motorcycle makes a bit more sense, really.

I'm a fan of the simple, inconspicuous sedan idea, myself, which is what he used in the earliest Bob Kane stories, and was also an idea they did a lot with in the Batman-inspired anime series The Big O. There was also an issue of the Timm-verse Batman comics, I think by Ty Templeton, that depicted the Batmobile as being able to transform into a more traditional four-door, but that was a bit sci-fi for me.

David Campbell said...

I wrote a Batman story when I was a youngster that featured a portable hologram system mounted on the roof of The Batmobile. He just flipped a switch and voila! Now he's driving a bitchin' Camaro.

Apparently I've been thinking about this for years. But I agree, Patrick - the primary reason Batman keeps the Batmobile is because it is so damn cool. It'd be tough to let go of something like that.

Sleestak said...

Damn, Dave.

Yeah, the Punisher drives around in his box-style Punish-mobile and no one ever notices.

Chris Sims said...

So I'm guessing you did a Google Image Search for "Douchebag?"

acespot said...

The Punisher drives around in a nondescript white van. Remember why? Chase (BKV) laid it out for us in Runaways: everyone's got one.

I'm sure that he's got access to them, so why doesn't Bats use the JLA transporters more often?

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

In BTAS, the Batmobile camoflaged itself as a dumpster.

Also, it would be cool if his vans had motorcycles launch out of them, or is that too Captain America?

Anonymous said...

Wonder Woman isn't going to go for some bitch minivan. If B-Man is going to land some Amazonian pussy he needs the Batmobile.


Dan said...

That's one reason why I've never bought the whole "Nobody knows for sure if Batman is real or not" thing that they occasionally go for.

I think Batman really just needs a Child-Molester Van with shag carpeting on the walls, a mattress, a lava lamp and a four-foot bong in the back.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, he needs to rock the A-Team van or have a big Star Wars mural airbrushed on the side.

Anonymous said...

Dave, I think you meant "bendejo" not "bendeco." Unless the graffiti kids are into Dada or something....

David Campbell said...

Ooops, thanks. I've been away from my birthplace in L.A. for too long...

Anonymous said...

Ummm -- in a world where people can't tell the difference between Clark Kent and Superman because he puts on a pair of glasses, there is no fucking way in hell that anyone will ever be able to trace the batmobile.

I mean, we can tear comic book logic apart topic by topic. But in the end, I am happy to suspend my disbelief over the batmobile. No problemo.

Steven Hardina said...

Also, it must be damn annoying to drive a car with a cape on. Especially a Breyfogle cape. It's gonna be bunched up under you or behind your back, and it's gotta get caught in that door every time.

I have to agree with Patrick, the motorcycle is really the way to go. They should bring the bitchin Year 100 cycle into continuity, that thing was too awesome. He could have those stashed all over the place, hanging like bats in the various nooks and crannies of Gotham.

Anonymous said...

Seeing as I'm in the position to pitch Batman ideas to DC... I am so going to pitch something about this. And seeing as how I just wrote a Batman story about a drag racer and DIDN'T include any of this I am seriously pissed off...

Anonymous said...

This has always bothered me. I honestly could never figure out how Batman writers don't go mad trying to explain where he parks the damn thing, let alone how he gets it around a crowded city.


Anonymous said...

I've thought about this, and I've discovered that this is a problem you can't mention to a non-comics friend.

Another problem is the fact that he has about a hundred different Batmobiles, so every cop in Gotham must have figured "Huh. Every time I see it, it's a different super-car that looks like it costs a couple million bucks. Who pays for all of these cars?"

Phillip said...

Pendejo is spelled... well, you know. Like that.

Dave said...

John Byrne's "Man of Steel" miniseries from the mid-80s showed Batman in a non-descript sedan and I thought it was pretty damn dope. The issue was supposed to portray Batman and Superman's first meeting and seems to be pre-Batmobile, but I remember the sedan had an ultra teched-out crime computer in the trunk where Batman checks out some evidence under a microscope. Ya gotta love the Batmobile, but for a slightly more realistic take on Bats, the "plainclothes" car can be pretty cool.

LaRue said...

See, Dave, I'm fairly sure that if you can come up with a fairly plausible explanation for why he still has the Batmobile, despite all that, you could totally make the script for a fill-in issue out of it, at the very least.

As much as I love the idea of multiple Bat-vans stashed around Gotham, the Batmobile is too cool to lose. Somehow, Batman's the only super-hero that can get away with a "theme vehicle". Well, him, Mr. Incredible, and maybe Captain America (though, what he had, it still was basically an unassuming van...). Of course, the Fantastic Four pull it off with the Fantasticars, but dang, everyone knows who they are.

Anonymous said...

A motorcycle for Batman really would not work.

That damn cape would cause too much drag resistance, it'd be like he had a 'chute permanently deployed.

God forbid it gets caught in the wheels/spokes/whatever ala Isadora Duncan.

The Batmobile is just too sweet a vehicle to ditch, but it truly is impossible to maintain a low profile in that thing - OR circumnavigate city traffic.

If a perfect hologram/camo/cloaking device and whisper-mode aren't possible...then it's time for a change.

Honestly, he's BAT-MAN...not Speed-Racer, so he SHOULD get around in the AIR.
Whip up some kind of powered flying harness and be a WINGED creature of the night.

Then, the silliness of bat-swinging from BAT-LINES can be used as a bat-back-up contingency.


Anonymous said...

BTW, Dave.

Nicely written little short-story vignette there.

The "Chet stops to puke. Fuck him, he can catch up" line was a nice touch.


Sunny said...

OMG- DAVE!!!!!!

The Batmobile is about all Batman has going for him in the HERO department.

hahahahaha! GREAT Post today!

thekelvingreen said...

Another hassle would be cops. Batman has an on-again, off-again relationship with the GCPD.
Especially if he likes ramming them into fiery doom, like the Goddamn Batman does.

I think Batman really just needs a Child-Molester Van
Hulkster, that'd be the Goddamn Batman again, I think.

The guy breaks the law every time he slips behind the steering wheel.
These heroes need to register their vehicles with the authorites, or there'll be trouble. They'll have to take Driver's Ed too, to prove they can safely operate these things. Some of the heroes will register, some won't. There'll be disagreements. There'll be punching. A robot clone of Captain Marvel will put a hole through Colossal Boy's chest during an argument over parallel parking. It'll be the comics event of the decade! It'll be just like Wathcmen!

Licence and Registration, Sir?. An eightyish issue crossover coming this summer.!

thekelvingreen said...

...Wathcmen [sic]...

Mikey said...

One of the finest in a long series of excellent posts.

Now quit resting on your laurels and write some more!C

Anonymous said...

"You’d be surprised how many times Batman comes back from a night of crime fighting to find “BENDEJO” painted on the side of his car. Punks"

Coffee spewing from my nose! Thanks Dave.

Jeff Rients said...

I'd keep the Batmobile for situations where a dramatic entrance is called for (as well as impressing the lady types), but I agree that the van idea is the way to go for routine Batting around town.

Le Ted said...

Reading this post made me really, really miss the Velvet Marauder. Rock on, DC.

Adam said...

Two points. Well, three.
Firstly, I love how you didn't just make fun of the concept, you thought of something better to deal with the issue. That extra step is why you da' man.

Secondly, that part of Batman Begins I always found a bit of unbelieveable, when he outdrove the police department. Cars, ok, maybe even helicopters, but you can't outrun a radio.

Thirdly, Batman set up something similar after(before?) No Mans Land when he set up all of these sub-Batcaves around Gotham, so things could be closer. However, it ended up badly as villans inevitibly found them and looted them or some such thing.

Steven Hardina said...

Something like Blue Beetle's Bug would really work for Bats. And for those nights he really wants to spice it up, he needs a totally sweet airship. I'm sure his scientific genius could overcome the limitations of speed and fragility. If there's one thing the animated series taught us, it's that Gotham needs airships. Batman having swashbuckling air-pirate-style fights over Gotham with Cavalier and Captain Stingaree for the goddamn win.

Anonymous said...

The "batsubway" was destroyed during the Gotham Earthquake arc.

Anonymous said...

The car is part of the plan to scare punks.

If you are Joe Thug, which is scarier:

- A guy dressed like a bat comes running out of the entrance to the "F" Train and yells at you to put your hands on your head.

- What sounds like a Hell's Angels Convention pulls up behind you and hits the brights. DROP IT, PUNK screeches over the P.A. system.


A conversation somewhere in Gotham:

Joey: Dude, I'm telling you Ace got dropped by Batman last night.

Frank: No way, Batman is bullshit.

Joey: No, he rolled up in his Batmobile...

Frank: Batmobile? What, like a van?

Joey: It was the scariest shit I ever saw. The car came out of nowhere, with like skulls and wings and shit on it. You couldn't hear nothing, then all of a sudden it was super loud. It was the craziest driving I ever saw. He made like three guys crash in a row. And he had a goddamn rocket engine on the back.

Frank: Come on.

Joey: Dude, I swear to God, the thing could fucking fly.


And that, gentlemen, is why Batman has the Batmobile.

Anonymous said...

I'll add my voice to the legions who believe that the Batcycle is impractical for everyday use. However, I don't think a van or Ford Everysedan is going to cut it for the Dark Knight.

I'm thinking tricked-out Prius. Ditch the afterburners for a more eco-friendly (not to mention fuel-efficient) hybrid engine with variable-whatsit transmission and aerodynamic styling. The thing already has a touchscreen systems monitoring computer that's just a spectrum analyzer away from being a mobile forensics lab, so high-tech gizmos aren't a problem.

I know what you're thinking: a Prius doesn't have the balls for a high-speed pursuit through the bustling streets of Gotham!

The solution is to drive smarter, not harder. It's all about knowing the lay of the land (onboard GPS would help with that, obviously), drafting behind tractor-trailers and knowing that the Clown Prince of Crime may have gotten away this time, but there's no way he's getting 60mpg in that crazy clown car.

rachelle said...

Fantastic! You are so right!

I just assumed no one in Gotham parks their cars on the side of the road because they will be jacked the second they turn their backs. Thus, Batman gets to park wherever he wants.

This was hilarious. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Next transportation-related topic, Dave: "If Wonder Woman can fly, why does she need an invisible plane?"

David C said...

I think the "subway rocket" was a really good idea. I think Chuck Dixon invented it largely for the same reasons Dave discusses here, the impracticalities inherent in the Batmobile. And the implausibilities of the subway rocket itself are fairly easy to deal with. (Batman's hours and the subway system's probably don't overlap much, Batman's established as a guy who knows every inch of the city's sewer system, etc.)

Doesn't seem like anybody else cared for the idea much, though. Dixon also wanted to bring back the Whirly-Bat, but sadly, couldn't convince his editors.

Medraut said...

Its interesting that some writers try to deal with the issues you spoke about. I just got done reading the Batman Chronicles Vol. 1 and was highly amused by Bob Kane having Batman drive around in a red sedan, Batman having trouble finding parking, and one case where he get lost on the back roads and have to pull over to get directions from a farm house (luckily for Batman there were mobsters inside so he didn't look like a complete tool).

Also, I noticed most of the scans you used to illustrate theses issues are from the Alan Grant, Norm Breyfogle run on Detective. So obviously the two of them had fun with the concept.

Anonymous said...

One of the things I liked about Chuck Dixon's early Nightwing run was how he had Dick deal with the Batmobile issues. In #16, Wheels, he decides to get himself a car. "I love my bike, but there are times you just NEED a car. And this car can't be a Batmobile. At least not on the outside. I don't have the luxury of a subterranean garage twenty miles from the city. I need a car that won't rate a second glance on the street. A car that can change its appearance like a chameleon changes shades."

He starts by buying his own inconspicuous garage, then builds a frame, engine, and interior. From there, he gets several outer shells -- the body of a taxi, a muscle car, a police cruiser, etc. Each of these hangs in the garage, suspended by chains. When he wants to change his look, depending on his needs, he just drives in and switches bodies on the car.

Anonymous said...

Guys, he uses the vans and stuff for the standard trip into town. He busts out the Batmobile when he's looking at vehicular warfare.

The right tool for the right job.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dave,

If you have a minute, could you draw us a picture of Batman on his Bat-Segway? Please? Talk about an illogical choice for a vehicle. I need to see it, and I think you are the man to draw it.

Thanking you in advance.

Chris Arndt said...


Just remember. and maybe you better edit it... Batman driving a supercharged car before he had a Batmobile is something that was always true, especially in the Bob Kane originals, and thus it's not one of Matt Wagner's ideas.

and if you suggest that it is was Matt Wagner's idea, ever again, I will insult Ed Cunard right here. again.

Yes. I will take hostages. I will not strike at you directly, Dave!

Anonymous said...

Excellent photo-shopping in there, Dave.

David C said...

"If you have a minute, could you draw us a picture of Batman on his Bat-Segway?"

Oh, yeah, like the guy in the 60,000 dollar Bat-suit is gonna stop and show you his Bat-Segway! COME ON!!!

Chance said...

This is the best post on this blog in a long, long while, in my humble opinion. Classic Dave's Long Box. Total entertainment.

It doesn't pay to get too realistic about things like the Batmobile. (Check out the brief story of Alfred commissioning the 'Mobile in the Bizarro collection.) Loved the drunk frat dudes story. That's Gotham for ya, LOL!

Anonymous said...

You know, it only got a brief mention in the intro to this post, but why the hell does Gotham, the most corrupt city in the world, have the nicest roads on the planet? Batman's able to race down any road in town without hitting potholes or uneven pavement or anything. Is the GC Street Department the only honest city agency?

spacekicker said...

Awesome. Good points good points. I think after awhile the citizenry just try and leave him alone. He probably had a shutterbug after him but then Batman is so paranoid he probably has some sort of EMP things that blow up cameras that look at him the wrong way. OR he just show's up at their house and looks at them. All he needs to look at them

Unknown said...

He had a jet-pack in a couple of episodes of B:TAS.
That was cool.

Erin Palette said...

I'm reminded of the Chameleon XLE from Saturday Night Live, which made a surprising amount of sense.

And if you'll forgive me plugging myself, I satirized the "Batmobile as penis substitute" here.

Bully said...

Late to the party, but an amazing, amazing post, Dave.

I always loved the TV commercials that played with the concept of the Batmobile, like that McDonald's movie tie-in promotion where Michael Gough as Alfred radioed Batman on patrol to remind him to pick up a Big Mac meal at the drive-through.

And, how does Batman avoid traffic and deal with difficulties on the road? Easy! Doesn't anyone else remember those OnStar commercials with the Batmobile was outfitted with that technology?

Anonymous said...

This is funny, I wrote a first draft of a novel that plays on the Batman mythos. Anyway, I have my hero basically doing ALL the things mentioned in this post. Great minds think alike!

Anonymous said...

Hey I was just reading some website devoted to the history of the Batmobile, and apparently between 1969 and 73 Batman drove a series of "low visibility" Batmobiles which generally resembled stock cars. One of them even had Diplomatic plates.

Although the guy does have a serious modding fetish - check out what he did to the family limo in Tec #816.

duck1123 said...

I think George Clooney as Batman had the right idea. (I can't believe I actually said that.)

Streets too crowded? Just drive down the side of the buildings. It makes perfect sense.

Also, I always assumed that the Batmobile has that anti-graffiti system as in Demolition Man.

Anonymous said...

Is there any way I can directly link to the post? I'd like to share this on places like netscape. There need to be more Dave's Long Box loving!

David Campbell said...

Sure, here's the link:

Thanks pal!

Anonymous said...

Even better, let robin drive around in the batmobile distracting everyone while batman slips in with the basic minivan, swings the side doors open to reveal a minigun mounted where the chitlins would normally be crying in their juice! BAM! That way Batman is more effective and can take the batmobile out when hunting for chicks (robin certainly doesn't need it unless cruising the gay bars.)

Anonymous said...

In the 60s TV series one time they showed Robin "setting" the anti-theft device: There was a red button with the sign "ejection seat" and he flipped the sign to say "ignition." Naturally the Joker or whoever found the car and pressed the button. They did a similar thing another time only with red fog instead of an ejector seat.

Unknown said...

a Pontiac was good enough for Michael Knight.... :-P

Anonymous said...

i think that the batmobile is awesome but it would be a pain in the ass to park it would probably take up the whole parking lot. But i would not cahnge it a bit

Anonymous said...

i think that the batmobile is awesome but it would be a pain in the ass to park it would probably take up the whole parking lot. But i would not cahnge it a bit

Anonymous said...

I think we've approached the issue of a distinctive Batmobile all backwards- Batman should use an unremarkable looking stock sedan shell over a custom modded Bat vehicle with all the tech hidden inside. Register the vehicle as a company car to one of Batman's blind shell corporations. Now here's the fun bit...the kickass Batmobile shell IS THE HOLOGRAM. Batman transforms the car only when needed for that "special circumstance", and the car "vanishes" whenever he needs to disappear! Gee, we were following Batman out of the city, but we lost him before he even crossed the bridge-maybe he never leaves?

Anonymous said...

very cool that you got to check out some bands you usually woudn’t. Win win situation.

Unknown said...

I suspect that in the 'real' Bat-universe, Batman DOES use a 'stealth vehicle' for everyday activities- probably a vehicle that would be easy to get in and out of in the costume, plenty of storage space, well-tricked out... but so basic to look at, you never notice it. I'm thinking something like a Honda CRV or something.

On the other hand, there is a value in a flashy, distinctive vehicle. He would use it for impressive entrances, when he expects to need to do something extraordinary (a CRV driving on rooftops would certainly catch the eye!)

It also makes sense to use the vehicle for distraction and visibility. Since you cannot see the driver in most versions of the Batmobile, ANYONE could drive it around (We have seen Gordon, Alfred, and Robin all behind the wheel at one time or another, and of course the auto-pilot), and everyone would think Batman was over THERE when in reality he is either miles away or RIGHT BEHIND YOU!

Finally, having something like the Batmobile driving down bad streets would certainly keep the fear of the hearts of the evil-doers, give hope to the fearful, and inspire the good... even if Batman was not driving it.

Unknown said...

I've rethought the 'stealth Batmobile' along the lines of the 'Urban Camouflage'post at

The stealth Batmobile would be a plain white mid-sized American-made utility vehicle- Jeep, Bronco, etc. Externally, it would have a yellow lightbar or strobe, a search light, vehicle ID numbers, a 'If this driver is operating...' sticker, commercial plates, a ladder rack, several antenna, a innocuous company name with a cruddy logo.

It would be a couple years old, a touch of rust, some minor dents... it would look like every one of the hundreds of such vehicles on the streets today. It could park ANYWHERE and not draw attention. It wouldn't even get tagged very often- no one tags old service trucks- it just is not macho enough.

Take off the cape and cowl, wear a rip-away jumpsuit and hat and he could just park and leave the vehicle and never be noticed. Scout out buildings, make fake deliveries, climb fire escapes with a clipboard in his hand- and no one would see him. he'd be socially invisible.

David said...

The dude is absolutely right, and there is no question.
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