If you searched for ‘Batman car’, you are obviously looking for the Batmobile. Duh.
It is perhaps the most recognizable car of all time – nay, perhaps the most recognizable machine of all time! And the bad-ass that drives it is among the coolest and most iconic superheroes of all time. Nobody can deny just how slick and impressive it is for Batman to zoom in and around Gotham in the Batmobile. It’s an all-time great partnership.
Batman’s relationship to his quintessential weapon has yielded excellent results over the years concerning catching criminals. As a result, The Batmobile has gone beyond the realms of being merely a useful ally and become an icon in and of itself.
But is Batman’s car really essential to his aims and objectives?
You might call someone daft for buying a Ferrari or a Lamborghini when living in the center of New York or London, seeing as though congested streets don’t allow drivers to use cars to their full potential. So what would you call someone driving an oversized, high-speed military car in the middle of a big city like Gotham?
Perhaps that ‘Batman car love’ – the Dark Knight’s attachment to his super-expensive, jet-fuelled ride – isn’t necessary at all.
And could that be a reflection of humanity’s obsession with technology, along with technological advancement?
Let’s dig deeper…
Batman Car Love: Bruce Wayne the Motor-Head?
Being Batman full-time, Bruce Wayne is often depicted in movies and comics as not having enough time for other things. The most prominent example of that is his sorry luck in relationships.
While there are exceptions, Bruce is often depicted as struggling to balance his work with a committed long-term romance. And although that isn’t always his fault, it certainly seems like a result of his busy, high-stakes lifestyle.
Being Batman is a heavy responsibility, after all! It would surely take its toll on anybody’s personal/social life. Nobody can really argue otherwise.
That being said, Bruce usually manages to find sufficient time to upkeep the maintenance of his Batmobile!
Way to prioritise, Mr. Wayne…
It wouldn’t require the greatest leap of faith to believe that there could be a comic called ‘Batman: Motorhead’, or ‘Batman & The Batmobile Take a Vacation’. There isn’t a comic with either of those titles … but it wouldn’t be enormously difficult to believe, that’s all I’m saying!
But It Is A Relevant Hobby…
It is tempting to laugh with blissful ignorance at Bruce Wayne’s expensive hobby.
But in fairness, the Batmobile has definitely helped Batman in many of his quests – assisted in the defeat of so many super-villains. As far as hobbies go, the Batmobile is almost as closely related to Wayne’s “job” as any other hobby you could think of. The Batmobile is seldom far away from its caped owner.
Its jet-powered engine gets Batman from A to B at speeds that are simply incredible even when compared to high-budget super-cars. The Batmobile is never to blame if Batman is late arriving somewhere.
It has had success deterring pursuers, as well as success overwhelming opponents in high-speed chases with its huge selection of gadgets and weaponry. Moreover, its heavy-armory protects it extremely well against gunfire and even stronger attacks.
Considering the fact that Bruce Wayne has no actual super-powers, something as powerful as the Batmobile is surely necessary to the success of Batman as a super-hero. If Superman can fly and Spiderman can spin webs, then Batman needs something to set him apart from regular citizens. Something that makes him ‘super’.
Without the Batmobile and his other gadgets, Batman would be just a man…
… wouldn’t he?
No. It’s simply not true that Batman would be “just a man” without his Batmobile and gadgets.
He has a multitude of skills at his disposal that would require super-human energy and time management in order to acquire. For example:
1. Highly Skilled in Combat
He has experted 127 different martial arts – that’s more martial arts than any current athlete in UFC (the leading Mixxed Martial Arts organization) has had time to even think about, let alone master (or even practice!). It is rare to see a mixed martial artist who has properly mastered one discipline, and even rarer to see a fighter who has mastered two (or more). For Batman to be an expert in 127 different martial arts is nothing short of extraordinary. It is literally super-human.
2. Detective Skills
Batman is, put simply, a world-class detective who can surely be ranked at the same levels as James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, etc. He often finds and defeats super villains, solving the cases about their crimes far quicker than the Gotham police force is capable of doing. He serves criminals on a silver platter for the officers to make necessary arrests. This is a highly sought-after skill in the real world, and Batman is better at it than most.
3. Master of Disguise
Of course, Batman has successfully hidden his alter-ego, Bruce Wayne, during his entire tenure as the Dark Knight. But more than that, he has an uncanny tendency to ‘disappear’ before people’s very eyes, possessing an ability to be virtually ‘invisible’. He is capable of engaging dozens upon dozens of opponents at any single time, making him a particularly difficult opponent for his enemies.
Batman With Car vs. Batman Without Car
So he’s an impressive specimen without his car and gadgets … but could Batman be as effective without his Batmobile?
Of course, the Batmobile offers a wide range of benefits to Batman – and it has been used as a weapon successfully for 80-years-worth of comics, movies, and more. Nobody can argue that Batman is weak with it as an ally; he clearly a successful superhero with it, and that’s that. Without the luxury of the Batmobile, Batman would be forced to adapt to a technically more difficult job.
But let’s be honest, if anyone has the ability to adapt then Batman is that person!
And in spite of the Batmobile’s incredible strengths, it also has some weaknesses. The most obvious example of this being its size and presence. Batman’s car is hardly an extension of his ability to become invisible, is it?
Without his car, then, it’s possible that Batman would be even more elusive than he already is.
And without the jet-fuelled, military-grade horsepower that the Batmobile provides, maybe Batman would learn to be even more subtle and precise in his approach to fighting crime.
In fact, the more time I spend thinking about Batman without his car, the more appealing the idea becomes! That could make a pretty sweet movie/story.
Mankind’s Love of Machines
It’s time to apply this DC comic geekery to the real world, where it can be of some use (or not, lol).
Take humanity’s technological progress in the last couple of centuries. From computers & the internet to television to electric cars and (of course) to space travel. More so, human society’s modes of survival are enormously reliant on their relationship to technology, and there seem to be no plans of stopping that progress any time soon.
Batman, too, has built somewhat of a reliance on technology for himself.
But there’s no doubting that humans have benefited from technology in many ways.
Life quality has improved, life expectancy has increased, and our imaginations have been sparked on an incredible, mass scale. The fact that you are reading this article is, in itself, a total miracle.
Also, the fact that we seem to be only a couple of decades away from putting a man on Mars … it’s simply incredible. Truly, it is amazing!
Similarly, Batman has benefited enormously from his awesome vehicle.
Do They Make Us ‘Better’?
The question relevant to this article, though, is this: have all these technological advancements truly served humans?
They have used up natural resources at a faster rate than any other species, potentially ‘locust-ing’ our very habitat; and they have caused air pollution; decreased the quality of food ingredients (with GMOs and pesticides) … are humans really making ‘progress’? Would humans be better off trying to survive in ways that don’t require such heavy reliance on machinery? That’s an enormous debate which I couldn’t possibly provide a solution to.
But could it be that this debate extends to Batman’s reliance on the Batmobile?
The Batmobile gives him a sort of ‘super power’. Does it make him a better hero?
The idea of a simple Batman – a man who can carry all that he needs by the strength of his own back, without the need for machinery – is a romantic, idealistic idea. Gotham’s criminals use machinery to carry out their crimes, and great skills in martial-arts are no match for high-speed and high-powered super-villains. Similarly, if humans stopped using their technology today, millions (billions?) of people would go hungry fairly quickly. So, for better or worse, there isn’t much choice for humanity now: there’s no turning back…
Equally, Batman’s old-school skills are not effective enough to defeat criminals in the modern world. Maybe the Batmobile and his gadgets are, actually, super necessary.
The fact of the matter is that Batman’s car is an incredible asset for anyone looking to battle villains. The Batmobile certainly doesn’t make its driver weaker.
It’s possible that Batman would still be a great hero without his Batmobile/gadgets. He could, in some ways, prosper without them! In adapting to life without technology, Batman would be forced to become an even more skillful and elusive hero than he already is.
Nevertheless, in a modern world, it’s highly likely that such technology is essential to Batman and the scale of his job.
In order to become Batman-like, then, a proper Batman car (if not an actual Batmobile!) would be an excellent next step.
Then again, if you aren’t a multi-billionaire, it’s probably better to start by learning a martial-art or two!