The Batmobile is the primary vehicle of Batman. It has many, many versions, and you would kill Alfred Pennyworth just to be in front of the wheel of one.
Batman has seen thousands of battles ever since his parents were gunned down in Gotham. Prowling the streets at night, his cowled figure casts even the most dreaded criminals in a cloak of fear and "Oh shit, it's the Batman!"
But like every great hero (without superpowers), Batman must rely on a means of transportation, no matter how pussifying the phrase 'means of transportation' is. Thus, we present the Montage of Awesome Batmobiles:
Means of transportation? More like...like..means of transportation. Damn it.
Bruce Wayne, thanks to his multimillion dollar business empire, has the scientific and financial power to build all different kinds of Batmobiles. There are probably more Batmobiles than days in a year.
And that's just for Bat-June.
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Batmobile is its potential to possess the most advanced technology and weaponry possible. Tanks, drug-fueled villains, old ladies - no landborne moving obstacle has crossed the path of the Batmobile and won.
The Batmobile, like Batman, has seen many changes in its long career. Here are some of the notable versions of the car:
The first Batmobile was featured in one of the early issues of Detective Comics. It was based on an old convertible, and possessed none of the bone-bashing, bridge-collapsing goodness the later Batmobiles had.
It wasn't even painted completely black, for God's sake.
Look at that color scheme. Terrible. You have to wonder whether Batman's heart really was in it. Bruce Wayne didn't even have the heart to complete painting it black, perhaps feeling that this was some abomination to mankind. "I...I just can't. This feels wrong. It's..not Batman."
He also probably rejected it because of its sentient attraction to cocaine.
The 1970's Batman
The 1970's era Batman starred in a TV series, with Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. The series' Batmobile featured several impressive features such as a battering ram, fire extinguisher and a smoke screen projectile. It also had atomic batteries and speed turbines, mentioned whenever the Batmobile is used, just to remind people.
The 1970's era Batmobile had some strange seating designs in its first prototype.
It also had a Bat-Symbol on the sides, just in case someone managed to mistake Batman's car for another black, bat-wing spoilered car with two masked individuals riding it.
Thief, to his associate: "Jeezus, Lenny, there's someone in front of us! Is it Batman? Check if it's Batman."
Batman and Batman Returns
For Tim Burton's Batman, the Caped Crusader (please don't tell him we called him that) used a Batmobile made from a Chevy Impala chassis, and was so long, it sees very sharp corner turns like Superman sees Kryptonite.
Seriously, one degree of turning error and you're dead.
This awesome, drunken-inspired turning feature can be explained by the fact that Bruce Wayne is Michael Keaton in this film, whose Bat-inventions in these movies include the unturnable Bat-Cowl and its equally pitiable method of removal.
Did we mention that this Batmobile can detach itself to fit into narrower spaces? It literally disassembles itself just for this purpose. Whereas normal mortals would just purchase smaller cars to fit alleyways, Keaton Batman scoffs at us. Why?
Evidently, 'picking up those discarded Batmobile pieces' was part of the design phase all along.
Batman: The Animated Series
The Batmobile in the DC Animated Universe follows the same pattern as the Batmobile of the Burton films.The series has a backstory for the Batmobile - it is maintained by a mechanic named Earl Cooper, who was commissioned by Batman to take care of its repairs.
"This is good. Yeah. Wait - missiles! It's got to have missiles! And an air-conditioner! I'm a genius!"
This man must have the strongest sense of responsibility ever - if a real person were given hold of the Batmobile even for a second, it would be gone before Bruce Wayne could even say "Fuuu-".
And now we've gone and crashed it. We are so deceased.
The Schumacher Era - Dongmobile
Joel Schumacher's time as showrunner for the Batman movies was filled with homosexual overtones, Bat-nipples, and the promise of more Bat-nipples to come.
Joel Schumacher turned out to be a man who keeps his promises.
Not even the Batmobile was safe from his Midas-like touch of emasculation. In Batman Forever, the Caped Crusader is forced to endure what could possibly be the most unintentinally dongtastic design for Batman's vehicle ever:
Did Batman not wonder if the Dongmobile was an April Fool's joke?
Behold: the Schumacher Batmobile. Armed with a Chevrolet high-class motor, it was built using fiberglass and carbon fiber, and equipped with a rocket thruster that - oh who are we kidding it's a giant dong. Batman is riding a giant dong. Don't anyone dare tell us there's nothing wrong with that sentence.
You see this cowled, brooding face, Schumacher? You are making it sad.
The least that can be said is that none of Batman's other vehicles in the movie look like-
Notice how even the Bat-Symbol is saying, "What the hell, man?"
In the comics, there exists a new Batmobile used by the new Batman, Dick Grayson.The new version was started by Bruce Wayne and completed by his ninja assassin son, Damian Wayne, the new Robin.
This is Damian Wayne. He is the new Robin. His Batman is a pussy ex-acrobat. Trouble ensues. This caption is too long.
The new Batmobile is equipped with life-saving projectiles such as freeze foam, defensive weaponry such as sonic blasts, and the ability to fly. In the first appearance of the manta-ray looking Batmobile (complete with eyes), Batman puts it to good use by rocket-blasting the hell out of a criminal's car.
The Batmobile, demonstrating two ways of dealing with traffic: flying and missiles.
Sadly, the new flying Batmobile was destroyed during an attack in Gotham City when it was shot down using a bazooka. We imagine this made the exchange of insurance information pretty awkward.
Batman Begins and The Dark Knight - The Tumbler
Christopher Nolan's benevolent gifts to mankind, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, comes with smaller, equally awesome sub-gifts, like if Santa Claus gave you a rocket launcher that fires rocket launchers that fire grenades.
This is the image that we see in our dreams every Christmas Eve. Every. Single. One.
Batman Begins provides a background for the new Batmobile. The Tumbler is a military vehicle that was developed by Wayne Industries for army bridge-building purposes, and was diverted by Lucius Fox for Bruce Wayne's personal use. Because that's the kind of army-hating bastard he is.
Also, the Tumbler used in the movie was actually a fully-functional car, developed by Nolan and The Dark Knight''s Production designer, Nathan Crowley. The car they developed was able to accelerate to over 100 mph and do a 30-feet jump. Keep that in mind during the next time Santa comes to town: someone actually created a real-life, working Batmobile.
And this is the image that we see in our dreams every night before our birthday.
The new Batmobile, although a bit bulky, plays a greater role in the plot of its movie than its Burton and Schumacher counterparts. It has a drive mode and an attack mode, experienced by Jim Gordon when he blows up the Gotham City monorail in order to save the city.
To be correct, it was more of a collaboration between the Batmobile and Gordon's moustache.
In continuation of the super-duper rocket launcher-launching-rocket launcher mentioned earlier, the Tumbler splits into the Batpod, a shoulder-propelled motorcycle that is as awesome as the man itself, shown during The Dark Knight. From this meticulous design, one of two things can be concluded: a) Lucius Fox is the smartest man in the world, or b) Bruce Wayne is a total bastard to sell vehicles to.
Wayne: "But can it turn into a motorcycle that can climb buildings? You know, just in case."