June 10, 2015

Horse 1913 - Build a Better Batmobile

Photographs have leaked on line recently of the new Batmobile in the forthcoming film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Like most of these reboots of films that need to be darker and edgier, the new Batmobile also looks darker and edgier and more impractical.
If I was Grand Poobah and Lord High Everything Else and in charge of film production at Warner Bros. Pictures, there is only one clear choice for the Batmobile for and it would be this:

Oh what's that I hear you scoff? The Mazda 2 isn't dark enough or edgy enough? Have I got news for you? I think that if they wanted to give Batman the coolest ride that he’s ever had, they should have given him a black Mazda 2 sedan.

Why?

Batman's very first car in 1941 was a Cord 812. Although 185 brake horsepower seems paltry by today's standards, it wouldn't have been at all out of place in the 1940s. By the time that the first film by Columbia came out in 1943, Batman had stepped up to a Cadillac Series 75 Convertible. Perhaps most famous, was the Batmobile from the 1960s television series starring Adam West. That car started out as a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car and had some work done on it. Since then, Batmobiles have all tried to look cool I suppose, but none of them look like the sort of thing which is remotely practical or concealable.

If you’re driving around Gotham, you’re going to want a car which is both nimble and blends into traffic. What supervillian is going to suspect that a small sedan is packing AIM-120 AMRAAMs and sidewinders? None, that’s who. If Batman truly is the “World’s Greatest Detective” and wants to be the “Dark Knight” then he’s going to want a car that allows him to not only slip into the shadows but disappear in plain sight.

Also, what does he do when he wants to go down to the shops for a carton of milk, a loaf or bread or a bagel? You can’t leave this grey vomitous looking automotive shambles parked in the street without someone noticing. Even if a black Mazda 2 sedan was secretly equipped with extra jet engines and fold away wings, he could leave empty chip packets, half drunk soda bottles and burger wrappers on the floor, no one would be any the wiser.

I've heard all sorts of theories over the years as to why Batman is an inherently bad character; all of which seem to centre around the fact that he doesn't use his considerable resources in actually combating Gotham's endemic underlying problems. Buying expensive cars in this light, tends to look like a case of conspicuous consumption and whilst I totally understand the need to have an iconic car for your lead character to drive, Inspector Morse's Jaguar Mark II and Lupin the Third's Fiat 500 both prove that it needn't be expensive.

Besides which, if you are in Gotham and see a thing which look kind of looks like a tank, you're going to know that it's Batman instantly. If you saw a black Mazda 2 sedan just sort of pootling along in traffic, you wouldn't think anything of it... until it opened up with 20mm cannon fire.

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