Tag Archives: Frank Robbins

The Batmobile That Wasn’t: A Frank Robbins Tribute

My favorite BATMAN comics are from the Seventies.

After the TV show featuring Adam West ended, DC COMICS decided to do away with anything that could possibly be associated with it’s “camp” humor:  Robin the Boy Wonder graduated and went off to college, Batman shut down the Batcave and Wayne Manor and  moved into downtown Gotham, and Bruce Wayne became a social activist.  Batman was more involved in mysteries and usually operated only in night-time stories.

They put the Batmobile in storage.

The chief architect of this approach was writer Frank Robbins.  Mr. Robbins was also an accomplished illustrator, but drew only a handful of Batman stories.  In one of them, “Forecast for tonight… Murder!” (DETECTIVE COMICS #420, November, 1971), we get a *glimmer* of a new Batmobile.  Enjoy the story here and them come back to talk about the car: For a year, Batman had been driving nondescript sports cars, so as to better operate undetected in Gotham.  Nonetheless, everyone was beginning to get a creative itch, and Mr. Robbins set that off in this story, where the sports car in question began to get some … details.  

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Yes: Mr. Robbins gave Batman a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS, more affectionately known as a Daytona Spider.  By opting for the open Daytona, he renewed the trend started by artist Carmine Infantino back in 1964 to show Batman driving with his cape launched in the air behind him.  He also started the trend of the Seventies Batmobiles: stock sports cars with a hood decal.

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I love it.  It only appeared in one panel, but it so reflects one man’s impression of the Batman mythos that I had to celebrate it in model form.  Enjoy!

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