There’s been a lot of fuss about the latest armored version of the Batmobile to be seen in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (right), but neither the idea of the car itself or constantly evolving versions of it are anything new.
Batman drove a car in his very first appearance in 1939’s Detective Comics #27, but it wasn’t christened the “Batmobile” until Detective Comics #48 in 1941. The vehicle has undergone a number of changes over the decades — and, perhaps not surprisingly, it has seen the most change during the modern “movie” era.
The latest reboot of DC Comics’ flagship Detective Comics title reaches the culturally significant milestone issue No. 27 soon, and so modern legend artist Frank Miller was commissioned to create a two-page spread for the interior of the issue featuring Catwoman.
The original Detective Comics #27, published in May 1939, featured the debut of Batman — called “The Bat-Man” — as well as the first appearance of Commissioner Gordon.
The big wigs at DC decided that the Miller image should become a variant cover. Then that variant cover was canceled (allegedly over a dispute between DC and Miller over increased compensation for bumping the drawing to coveted cover status).
Then retailers revolted over the cancellation, because orders were placed on the basis of getting a highly desirable and collectable (read: license to print money) Frank Miller variant cover.