History of the Batmobile

Before the Batmobile - 1939
Batman made his very first appearance in Detective Comics No. 27 (May 1939). Although the Batplane was introduced only four issues later, in Detective Comics No. 31 (September 1939, see History of the Batplane) the strip's creators didn't seem to realize the need for a comparable ground vehicle till a year and a half later. Initially, Batman simply drove around in several ordinary cars, but as early as Detective Comics No. 30, August 1939, readers were informed that the Batman drove a specially built high-powered automobile - as seen in the picture at right (as always, click on thumbnail pictures for larger versions).
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The First Batmobile - 1941
In Detective Comics No. 48, February 1941, the name "Batmobile" was first applied to Batman and Robin's automobile. But it was not the distinctive black car with the tall scalloped fin and the intimitating bathead on the front that for decades was instantly recognized as "the" Batmobile. Instead, it is a bright red convertible whose only distinquishing mark is a small bat-shaped hood ornament. It is, however, so fast that bystanders cannot believe their eyes.
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The Classic Batmobile - 1941
Batman No. 5, Spring 1941, introduced the form of the Batmobile that woud become standard until the early 1960's. The new Batmobile was a long, powerful, streamlined automobile with a tall scalloped fin and an intimitating bathead on the front. There was no doubt about to whom this car belonged. Three pages after it was introduced, the new Batmobile was forced off a cliff by the Joker to crash in the ravine below. This inauspicious beginning did not taint the Batmobile's career, however. Another, identical Batmobile was streaking through the panels of the very next story in the same issue.
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The character of Batman, the emblems and the comic book panels on these pages are the property of DC Comics. All text and photographs are 2002 Dan Thompson, except where otherwise noted. This homepage is not intended to infringe on the copyright of DC Comics to its characters, but was created out of gratitude to all the wonderful writers, artists, and editors who created the Batman.