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The Batmobile

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Like most fans my age, my first batmobile was the one featured in the Batman show starring Adam West. Like most fans my age, that batmobile, along with that show, were quickly discarded because I was both too old and too young to appreciate them.
Too old because I was an 11-year-old kid from El Salvador when I finally saw the show which meant that I had already seen cartoons like Mazinger Z and Battle of the Planets in their uncut versions. Not to mention that I had already read the Kraven's Last Hunt story in Spider-Man comics and was familiar enough with the bible to know how much gore the good book contains. The Batman show, therefore, soon lost its novelty and in my eyes was something that only small children could appreciate.
Too young because I was still ignorant of the history behind the show and of the Batman comics themselves so I couldn't appreciate that the show was a satire poking fun at both itself and its source material. And so, the batmobile was dismissed as too colorful and campy for me to take seriously. After all, I was a man of the world. I had seen Mazinger, Battle of the Planets, Remi, Baxinger, El Cid and the animated adventures of Don Quixote. Yes, I watched Transformers and GI Joe but that was all flash with no substance. Nobody died in those cartoons, nobody even got bloody. And Batman? Pshaw! Kid's stuff.
Then came junior high and a little series called The Dark Knight Returns. All of us were running around going, "See? THIS is what Batman is supposed to be like! Dark and gritty!" No sooner had I finished reading my borrowed copy of TDKR than previews and commercials for Tim Burton's Batman began to air.
"Where does he get those wonderful toys?" asked Nicholson and we all yelled back, "Who gives a shit (because, you know, cursing made you more grown up)! They're all badass!"
A batplane that looked like a bat??? And that batmobile!!! It was the ultimate penis car and it gave us hard-ons that even puberty couldn't contend with. THiS is what the batmobile was meant to be, right?! Black and sleek with hidden machine guns-wait, did someone forget that Batman isn't supposed to use guns? Ah, who cares! I want that thing to have my babies!- and other gadgets.
The movie sucked, let's face it. It was the best we'd had until then so we weren't allowed to pan it and I went to see EVERY single Batman movie that followed in the hopes that they would finally make a decent one not knowing that I'd have to wait 18 years for that dream to come true but the costumes were great, Keaton was great and goddamn it those vehicles were great.
Then there was Batman The Animated Series which tweaked the designs of the vehicles a little, put the Bat back in spandex and gave us the best Batman on screen, big or small, ever. And so, THAT was my favorite batmobile ever.
Until a few years ago when, while sitting in the break room at work during my lunch hour, I was looking up some reference for a batmobile drawing. Suddenly there it was and my mind was blown.
In all the shots of the batmobile that you saw on the show, I don't remember ever seeing it head on and part of the reason I had always given for not liking this batmobile was, "What did that car have to do with a bat?" But now here it was, staring me in the face. If you look at that car head on, suddenly the police light disappears and you have a bat staring at you! It's sheer genius in design! It's the only batmobile that truly earns its name. Stare at it long enough and it even begins to seem menacing; as if at any moment it might spread its non existent wings and lunge at you like that fateful night that a bat flew into Bruce Wayne's home and allowed the darkness in.
Forget the context they find themselves in. If you're talking design, the '66 batmobile is definitely above all others on the list.

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