With the passing of San Diego Comic Con last weekend and the release of the Dark Knight Rises this Friday, I thought I would examine one aspect of the Batman mythos that has endured beyond anyone’s expectations.
At SDCC we saw the release of a picture of the new Batmobile, and although I cannot say I like it (they’ve turned the sleek, stylish car from previous movies and turned it into a jagged chunky dune buggy?). no one can deny the persistence of this one car. Greater than Herbie, greater even that K.I.T.T.!
What other hero has had a vehicle that has generally entered the public lexicon? My mother doesn’t even know that Batman is Bruce Wayne, but she knows what the Batmobile is.
Mention the Invisible Plane to her, and I get a blank look. Who else has that recognition? Not even the Power Rangers’ Megazord has that reputation!
The Batmobile was first introduced in Detective Comics #27, back in 1939, but only truly entered into the public consciousness in the Sixties’ Batman television series, the campy adventures of Adam West and Burt Ward as the Dynamic Duo.
We all know the dark and gritty detective that Batman began as and has returned to in recent decades, the true Batman. Many of us long-time DC fans see the old CBS show as little more than an embarrassment. Yet how much of Batman’s success today as an everlasting icon do we owe to the slapstick comedy of the show and the hatred of comic books that Greenway Productions own William Dozier held for comics in general.
And embarrassed we may be, but if you find it on air as you flick through the channels, do you really just click on to the next channel? (Well, maybe if you’re in company…)
Initially only seeing stills of the new Batmobile, I took an immediate dislike to it. Gone are the smooth lines of the earlier movies, the sleek form of the animated series or even the faux-luxury of the Sixties version. Then I had the lucky chance to see a quick twenty-minute documentary on the new Batmobile, and in motion, it looks really impressive. As long as it keeps moving that is.
I remain unconvinced as to how this will translate to the comics page, but all of a sudden, I cannot wait for Friday.