Just as we did with Pattinson’s Batsuit, we thought it would be fun to take a closer look at this new Batmobile and the ways it seems to draw inspiration from other incarnations of the Batman mythos. From classic comics to fan-favorite TV series, these are all the stories that may have influenced the new Batmobile. Check out the slideshow gallery below or scroll down to learn more.
The ’70s and ’80s Batmobile
While the new Batsuit seems influenced by both modern, rugged costumes and classic Golden Age designs, the Batmobile itself hearkens back more to the ’70s and ’80s-era Batman comics and artists like Neal Adams, John Byrne and Jim Aparo. In those days, the Batmobile wasn’t the heavily armored tank it’s often depicted as now, but a modified sports car. Many artists in this era used muscle cars like the Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Mustang as a starting point.
The Dodge Challenger
Some fans are suggesting this new Batmobile may be directly modeled on the Dodge Challenger. Comparing the Batmobile to both classic and modern incarnations of the Challenger, it’s easy to see certain similarities, particularly in how the Challenger contours itself around the rear wheels.
Others have pointed out the movie could be taking cues from artist Francesco Francavilla. Francavilla previously released a series of “Batman 1972” images online, where he re-imagined Gotham City and its heroes and villains through a distinctly gritty and retro-flavored lens. That includes the Batmobile, which is pure ’70s muscle car.
The Super Powers Collection
The classic 1980s toy line The Super Powers Collection follows a similar aesthetic as the comics of that era. That includes the Batmobile playset, which offers a sleek, angular take on Batman and Robin’s vehicle. We can see definite similarities between this toy and the new movie Batmobile (in shape, if not color), and we wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn Reeves is a Super Powers fan.
The new Batmobile’s closest real-world counterpart is undoubtedly the iconic car from the 1966 Batman TV series. While Pattinson’s Batmobile has a slightly more modern look, both vehicles have that same modified sports car aesthetic. Designer George Barris actually built the 1966 Batmobile on top of a Lincoln Futura concept car.
Batman: The Animated Series
In the animated realm, no Batmobile is more instantly recognizable than the one from Batman: The Animated Series. While this new Batmobile doesn’t share a lot in common with the BTAS version (as that one is boxier and more in line with the 1989 movie), the shape of the rear fins does evoke the animated series.
DC recently released a YA-focused graphic novel called Batman: Overdrive. In the Overdrive universe, Bruce Wayne is a teenager trying to avenge his parents’ deaths, leading him to modify his late father’s sports car as a tool in his war on crime. Overdrive has a similarly homemade, rugged design sensibility when it comes to both Batman and his car. We doubt the book actually inspired the movie given how new it is, but the similarities are interesting nonetheless.
Pattinson’s Batsuit seems to be directly inspired by the work of Lee Bermejo, who’s well known for his extremely detailed and heavily armored take on the Dark Knight. The Batman doesn’t seem to lean as heavily on Bermejo’s work when it comes to the Batmobile, but there are still comparisons to be made. Bermejo’s Batmobile as seen in Batman: Noel is much bulkier, but it still has the look of a muscle car modified for war. Bermejo’s Batmobile also has an exposed engine, not unlike the way this car has a vented hood to give Batman that extra boost of speed.
The Cyberpunk Influence
While the new Batmobile shares plenty in common with older incarnations of the Batman franchise in both comics and TV, Reeves and his team look to be venturing outside the Batman franchise and into the realm of science fiction, specifically the cyberpunk genre.
This has as much to do with the way these teaser images are framed and lit, but it’s hard to look at the new Batmobile and not be reminded of the futuristic world of Blade Runner. We doubt this Batmobile can fly, but the steep slope of the rear window is definitely reminiscent of the hover-cars driven by Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling’s characters.
One teaser image in particular reminds us of an image for the upcoming videogame Cyberpunk 2077. Both shots features protagonists leaning on their cars and taking in the sights of the city around them. It’s anyone’s guess whether this is an intentional homage on Reeves’ part, but it could be a sign that The Batman will have a strong cyberpunk influence to go with the rumored ’90s-era setting.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.