Ride in Style

Earlier this year, the Batmobile from the 1966 <i>Batman</i> TV show sold for a whopping $4.62 million dollars. And why not? It's just about the coolest thing on four wheels. <p>Sure, many superheroes travel under their own power (flight comes in handy), but what about those who can't? Here are 10 of the coolest, most exciting ways that superheroes get around. (Sorry Spidey, the Spider-Mobile didn't make the cut.)


The Fantasticar is pretty darn cool, even if it kind of looks like a shoebox. <p>Designed by Jack Kirby as the primary mode of conveyance for the Fantastic Four, the flying Fantasticar has undergone some serious upgrades over the years, including the ability to break into four separate vehicles for the members of the team, and modular upgrades that let it travel in hostile environments.


Designed by a group headed by Black Panther using advanced Wakandan technology, the Quinjet — so named for it's five engines — has been a staple of Avengers comics for decades. <p>The Avengers have even used extra large Quinjets to travel en masse into space, and modified the ships for stealth use, and to travel underwater. The Avengers' unofficial mid-western branch the Great Lakes Avengers even had their own version, the "Quinjetta," which was actually just a modified Volkswagen Jetta.


The Time Sphere is a mode of chronal conveyance used by many characters throughout DC Comics, including Rip Hunter, the Time Master, and the Legion of Super-Heroes. <p>The Time Sphere is most famous for bringing the Legion back in time to find a young Clark Kent, and to bring Kent forward in time to the 30th century, where his adventures as Superboy inspired a whole galaxy of heroes.


Wonder Woman's Invisible Jet may seem a little silly — and it is — but it's also really cool. <p>Unlike today, where she's almost as powerful as Superman, Wonder Woman was once unable to fly, move at super speed, or travel great distances very quickly, so she was given the Invisible Jet as a way to explain how she got from Themiscyra to America and all around the world so fast. Why is it invisible? Presumably so she can hide it when she's in her civilian identity of Diana Prince, only to summon it with her telepathic tiara when the need arises.


Green Hornet's Black Beauty may be just about the first superhero vehicle, predating the Batmobile by a scant few years. <p>Loaded with guns, rockets, a "polarized" window and headlamps, and all manner of gadgets, Black Beauty is the prototypical super car. In fact, Green Hornet's sidekick Kato is actually the car's usual driver, a role he fills in Britt Reid's non-costumed life as well.


The X-Men's Blackbird may be the most iconic aircraft in comics. Instantly recognizable as a modified Lockheed SR-71, the Blackbird has appeared in all of the X-Men films and hundreds of comics since its debut, along with the "all-new X-Men" in the mid-'70s. <p>Even though it's sometimes called the "X-Jet," the Blackbird retains its capabilities for space-flight and incredible speed in all its incarnations.


What's cooler than a super jet, or even a super car? How about an entire floating fortress? <p>That's how Jack Kirby envisioned the Helicarrier, the sky-bound headquarters of Marvel super-spies S.H.I.E.L.D. when he created it in the '60's. Though it's been crashed, rebuilt, re-designed, relaunched, and upgraded numerous times, the original Helicarrier design was built using technology from Tony Stark, Reed Richards, and even the mutant Forge. It also made a dramatic appearance as a central point of last year's megahit <i>Avengers</i> film.


Speed Racer's iconic race car may be built for speed and survivability instead of combat, but it's still loaded with dozens of incredible gadgets and gizmos. <p>About 10 years ago, a team of designers built a working model of the Mach Five, reported to have 345 horsepower and cost between $75,000 and $125,000. Chim-Chim not included.


James Bond has had a ton of cars with numerous gadgets, but none are as iconic as the series of Aston Martins he drove in the '60s and '70s. <p>Outfitted with different features as the films required, Bond's Aston Martin could change colors, alter its license plates, and even double as a submarine. That's saying nothing about the bevy of weapons and features each version boasted, including machine guns, rockets, and even lasers.


There you have it. There's not a single car in fiction that's more desirable or iconic than the Batmobile. <p>From it's early origins as a fin-topped roadster, to its topless days running on atomic batteries, to its sleek, over-clocked dragster era, and even recent models where it could actually fly, the Batmobile remains the coolest car ever envisioned, the scourge of crime and the envy of crimefighters. <p>It doesn't get any cooler, or more loaded with gadgets, weapons, and "wonderful toys" than the Batmobile.

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Date: 09 July 2013 Time: 07:47 PM ET