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Warner Bros Brings the Batmobile to Comic-Con

Text and Photos By: Abel S. "Honest Abe"

07-20-12

To commemorate the release of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, Warner Brothers presented all six Batmobiles together at Comic Con. From the original TV series right up to the current incarnation, the Tumbler, all were available for photographs on the lawn between the San Diego Convention Center and the Hilton Bayfront Hotel. Ready to drool? Read on!

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Let’s start with the original 1966 Batmobile, created by George Barris. Based on the Ford Futura concept car, Barris created the iconic look with a budget of $15,000 and fifteen days to complete the work. If you ever get the chance to hear him speak, he’s quite passionate about the Batmobile and its place in history. Featuring a V-8 engine, atomic batteries to power and turbines to speed, indeed!

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In the production of the 1989 feature film 'Batman', director Tim Burton turned to art director Anton Furst to create an art deco version of the Batmobile. This version features a jet turbine engine and a maximum speed of 330MPH when the booster is engaged.

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After two films, Burton moved on so director Joel Schumacher wanted to put his own imprint on the Batmobile for Batman Forever. The first designs were by H.R. Giger but ultimately this is designer Tim Flattery’s vision. His version features a Chevrolet 350 engine and a carbon fiber body. The Batmobile has the same max speed of 330MPH but the similarities end there. Of particular note is the single elongated fin protruding out the back.

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For the next film, Batman and Robin, a different look yet again took shape. This is the only Batmobile to feature a single rider cockpit style without a canopy. This vehicle features a similar engine but an even longer rear fin.

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With Christopher Nolan’s new films, a new design was needed. Nolan and Andy Smith collaborated on what they lovingly called a mashup between a tank and a Lamborghini. At 15 feet long, and with a weight of 2.5 tons, this vehicle is obviously inspired by Frank Miller’s version of the Batmobile from his graphic novel, The Dark Knight Returns.

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For the newest version, The Dark Knight Rises, a more modified version of the original Tumbler was created. This is the first to not feature the signature black paint.

No matter which is your favorite, there’s no denying the sheer beauty of seeing all of these iconic Batmobiles gathered in one location.  The fanboy in me could hardly contain himself!  This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

About the Author: Abel Pinedo has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. He's also an annual visitor to such conventions as Comikaze, San Diego Comic Con, Wizard World and More. When he's not touring the convention circuit he can usually be found at his keyboard telling the world about his adventures.