Since the jury’s still out on The Batman’s Batmobile, here’s how we’d rank all the other previous cinematic versions:
#8 – The Batmobile from “Batman and Robin” (1949)
This sequel to the 1943 serial (see #7 below) suffers from the same low budget issues faced by its predecessor, resulting in a normal 1949 Mercury Convertible playing the role of the Batmobile. Sadly, there were no additional design elements incorporated and the only way you could tell whether it was the Batmobile or Bruce Wayne’s regular ride was by its convertible top: when it was covered, it was the Batmobile, and when it was down, Bruce Wayne was driving it.
#7 – The Batmobile from “Batman” (1943)
Batman’s earliest live-action depictions happened way back during World War II, four years after his debut in Detective Comics #27, in a 15-part serial titled, “Batman.” Given this period of history and the low budget set aside for this production, the Batmobile was simply a black 1939 Cadillac. It was truly plain compared to the more lavish design in the comics from the same time. However, this only ever-so-slightly edges out the one from the 1949 sequel since it at least look dark colored in black and white!
#6 – The BatKilmer Mobile from “Batman Forever” (1995)
Based off an initial design concept by H.R. Giger – who also designed the xenomorph creature from Alien – this Batmobile’s design looks like it was finished off by a Batman or Lucius Fox who demanded, “More Bat-branding!!!” From the glowing Bat-logo hub caps to the gigantic wing/fin motifs on the vehicle’s rear, it looked like it was designed to be a toy first. We think it’s better than the ones in the 1940s only because it actually has some (okay, A LOT) of Batman-esque design elements overlaid.
#5 – The BatClooney Mobile from “Batman & Robin” (1997)
Despite being from the most universally panned Batflick to date, this Batmobile was a tad better than its previous iteration. It still looks like it was designed first as a toy, but it looks less garish and more functional than its predecessor. Mind you, it was still garish – with neon LEDs emblazoned all over the vehicle – but we think it could make sense in a world that had more of a street racing “Tokyo Drift” vibe.
#4 – The Batfleck Batmobile From The Snyder-verse (2016-2017)
As seen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as well as Suicide Squad, the Batfleck Mobile seems to build on Christopher Nolan’s real-world aesthetic (see #3 below) while blending it with the Snyder-verse’s moody tone. That’s why one of the most noticeable things about this Batmobile is the intimidating Gatling gun right on the hood!
#3 – Christian Bale’s Tumbler From Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-2012)
Okay, when this was first revealed, we went “WTF?!” and thought about how un-Batmobile-like it looked. The Tumbler was just this hulking… thing and it didn’t have any Batman-esque design elements to it. However, once we watched Batman Begins and saw its practicality, we loved how it felt just right in the more “realistic” universe Christopher Nolan built.
#2 – Adam West’s Batmobile From the Batman movie (1966)
This Batmobile brings a smile to our face. Even though the 1966 Batman movie and TV series were campy as heck, its Batmobile was anything but (if you ignore the Bat-tastic puns like “Bat-tering Ram” and the many ridiculously-named Bat-gadgets). The 1966 Batmobile looked like a car, had a tasteful color palette, and a pretty iconic design based off a 1955 Ford Lincoln Futura.
#1 – Michael Keaton’s Batmobile from Tim Burton’s Batman Movies (1989 & 1992)
Whenever someone says, “Batmobile,” this is the design that we think of most often. Revealed in Batman (1989), it somehow manages to blend the fantastical elements of being a superhero vehicle decked out with all sorts of gadgets, while maintaining a sense of realistic use as a vehicle, and also keeping in line with the unique aesthetics of Tim Burton’s Gotham City. Given its iconic design and cinematic wow-factor, this remains our favorite cinematic Batmobile!
So, that’s our list, ranked in order of preference. Do you agree or disagree? Let us know by sending us a tip or leaving a comment!