SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains minor spoilers for Detective Comics #988, from James Robinson, Stephen Segovia, Ivan Plascencia and Rob Leigh, in stores now.
Over the decades, Bruce Wayne has filled his arsenal to the brim in order too fight Gotham's worst criminals and protect the world with the Justice League. In addition to being one of Earth's greatest warriors and military tacticians, we can't forget he's a genius inventor too, often building rather specific weapons for the wide range of adversaries he often faces.
You won't find much disagreement when it comes to admitting Batman's most iconic weapon is the famous Batmobile. We've seen it at the Dark Knight's side in comics, cartoons, video-games and movies, and now the latest cinematic interpretation has finally made the jump from the big-screen straight to the pages of DC Comics: Zack Snyder's version of the armored vehicle is now official comic book canon.
In Detective Comics' latest arc, "A Solitary Man," Batman is investigating the murder of a mysterious person, Harold Frank. He's in his element again, going back to his detective roots, and more importantly, he's being distracted from the depression over the Catwoman wedding fiasco. As Alfred communicates with him from the Bat-cave, helping him on the mission, we see Snyder's Batmobile, next to the glass cases with Bruce's other Bat-suits and Robin costumes.
It stands out due to its sleek, non-bulky design, a look Snyder opted for when Ben Affleck debuted as the Caped Crusader in 2015's Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. There, despite its streamlined nature, we saw how explosive and durable it was, packing machine guns, missiles and an armor that would eventually be breached by a collision with Henry Cavill's Superman after the duo butted heads. In last year's Justice League, it returned to the big screen, bulked up some more in terms of weaponry in order to fight off Steppenwolf's Parademons, but maintained the same underlying design.
However, it's merely an Easter egg as Batman takes to the rooftops to make his inquiries about Harold's death. Surely fans would love to see him burning rubber with it throughout the streets of Gotham at some point, but it may take more than fan wishes as he's got a lot of options at his beck and call. In the panel (drawn by Stephen Segovia), we see Snyder's in the top left. Tim Burton's Batmobile (seen in 1989's Batman and 1992's Batman Returns, is parked perpendicularly to Snyder's vehicle, the Tumbler tank which Christian Bale piloted in Christoper Nolan's trilogy is present, and to the far right we see the one Val Kilmer drove in 1995's Batman Forever -- paying tribute to various eras of Bat-flicks.
DC Comics has featured non-comic Batmobile designs in the past; the '92 Bruce Timm animated series' vehicle debuted in the DC Rebirth continuity, and Burton's version appeared in the 1992 Judge Dredd/Batman: Judgment on Gotham crossover, as well as Sean Gordon Murphy's Batman: White Knight.
We've come a long way since first seeing a Bat-themed car in 1941’s Batman #5, which was likely designed by Jerry Robinson. Since those days, the Dark Knight has changed cars in a way that makes Fast and the Furious look like child's play. Hopefully, he decides to start driving these movie versions a bit more, because as it stands, having all these cool toys just lying there collecting dust in the Batcave seems like a waste.