15 Greatest Batmobiles of All Time

the batmobile from the adam west batman tv series

It’s been an interesting year for Batman. We’ve got some extremely dark interpretations (That Killing Joke animated movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) and some joyously silly ones (Lego Batman Movie with Will Arnett and the return of Adam West and Burt Ward in Return of the Caped Crusaders). It’s as good a time as any to look at all of the things Batman’s car has been over the years.

1. Batman: The Animated Series

the batmobile from batman the animated series

Batman: TAS presented a gorgeously Art Deco vision of Gotham City, unrestricted by budgets or realism and lovingly painted on black matte paper that gave the entire show a unique visual pop. This gloriously sleek Batmobile is the whole show summed up in one image.

(image via DeviantArt)

2. Batman ’66 Batmobile

the batmobile from the 66 batman tv series

Even if you don’t think that the Adam West Batman series is one of the greatest Batmans of all time (spoiler: it is) you can’t deny that the show’s aesthetic was gorgeous. This sleek Bat-ride was built around a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, and it remains the go-to mental image of a “Batmobile” for generations of fans. This specific Batmobile is so popular, it has an entire website dedicated to it.

(image via Wikipedia)

3. The Brave and the Bold

the batmobile from the brave and the bold cartoon series

The Brave and the Bold cartoon was a giant love-letter to Silver Age weirdness. Its far-reaching retro madness included everything from designs inspired by the Adam West show to team-ups with C-string heroes and villains from the 60s. This car drew inspiration from all the best parts of ’60s Batman, and was gleefully, goofily unhinged. One episode saw the car turn into a submarine, which then turned into a motorcycle.

(image via Batmobile History)

4. The Original

the original batmobile

Batman hasn’t always had a fixation with putting pointy ears on things. The original Batmobile was simply a supercharged red roadster – suspiciously similar to the one that Bruce Wayne drove around in the daytime. It’s probably best he upgraded.

(image via Batmobile History)

5. Jerry Robinson’s Batmobile, Batman #5

the jerry robinson batmobile

Bill Finger, unsung hero of the Batman mythos, was the person who came up with the word “Batmobile” to describe Batman’s red coupe. But it was Jerry Robinson who first drew a car that lived up to the name. Stylish fender skirts protect the tires, an enormous bat face covers the front of the car, and we get our first bat-shaped fin – one giant one, right down the middle.

(image via Batmobile History)

6. Tim Burton’s Batmobile

the batmobile from the tim burton batman movie

The Batmobile from Time Burton’s films isn’t as burned into our memory as the one from the animated show it inspired, but it’s still a beautiful car, infused with a similar Deco aesthetic and built on a Chevy Impala chassis.

(image via Warner Brothers)

7. Dick Sprang’s Batmobile, Batman #20

the batmobile from batman #20

Dick Sprang took Robinson’s design and made it more dynamic. Visible headlights and a higher profile (both in terms of design and publicity) made this THE Batmobile of the 1940s.

(image via Batmobile History)

8. Sprang’s 1950 Redesign, Detective Comics #156

the batmobile from detective comics #156

A new car for a new decade, Sprang’s update of his own work retains the fin down the middle and the bat on the front, but looks more like a Studebaker had a baby with a Chrysler. The bubble windshield has been echoed throughout the years, and seems to have lent its shape to the classic Adam West car.

(image via Batmobile History)

9. “Vintage” Batmobile, Detective Comics #219

the vintage batmobile from detective comics #219

Batman got into a lot of weird situations in the 1950s. On one occasion he needed to sneak into a classic car convention, so he replaced his regular ride with this doorless wonder, inspired by the 1905 Marmon.

(image via Batmobile History)

10. Beware the Batman

the batmobile from beware the batman

This relatively-obscure animated series fell victim to infighting between Cartoon Network and DC, with the last half of the series airing in the dead of night. But before it was killed off, it gave us a great take on Batman, with a more active vision of Alfred, underused characters like Katana and Anarky, and this stylish, aggressive-looking F-1 inspired Batmobile.

(image via Wikia)

11. Batman: Odyssey

the batmobile from batman odyssey

Neal Adams is more of an artist than a writer, and his turn as author for Batman: Odyssey had a lot of confusing moments. But that book did give us this new vision of the Corvette-inspired sport coupé that Adams designed back in the ’70s. Gone are the big fins and bright logos. The only indication of whose car you’re looking at are a pair of lights on the hood that look an awful lot like the eyes of a certain cowl.

(image via Batmobile History)

12. Batman: Dark Allegiances

the batmobile from batman dark allegiances

The Batmobile is always best when it exudes a timeless cool, and nobody does that better than Howard Chaykin. We love this vintage-inspired car from Chaykin’s Dark Allegiances, an alternate-universe story that saw Batman, Catwoman, and Alfred try to foil an assassination attempt on FDR’s life.

(image via Batmobile History)

13. Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham

the batmobile from judgment on gotham

Simon Bisley’s super-stylized paintings are always a treat to look at (if somewhat pointedly uncomfortable at times). We love his take on the iconic car, that somehow looks like a real thing while also looking like it escaped an Alien movie. Nevermind the fact that you wouldn’t actually be able to see out of the front at all…

(image via Batmobile History)

14. The Muscle Car, Batman #526

the muscle car batmobile from batman #526

The 1990s were a great time for fans of Batman design. Alternate-world anthologies like Legends of the Dark Knight and Batman: Black and White gave us a legion of new creators with radically different visions of Batman and his toys. But the king of them all came from the mainstream Batman book. J.H. Williams’s redesigned Batmobile for the ’90s was nothing like anything that had come before it, but it instantly became a classic. Batman lost it during the Gotham earthquake in 1999, but this fan-favorite keeps showing up, anyway.

(image via Batmobile History)

15. The Dark Knight “Tumbler”

the batmobile tumbler from the dark knight film

This one’s contentious, we know. And it doesn’t have the sleek aesthetics that most people associate with the Batmobile. But that’s okay. After 75 years, Batman has been a lot of things to a lot of people, and there’s room for (nearly) all of them to be valid. This beautifully ridiculous thing from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was the best possible blend of real-world aesthetics and Frank Miller’s preposterous tank-thing from Dark Knight Returns.

(image via Wikia)