It’s not fair. It just isn’t. Not only do superheroes have superpowers, get all the girls, and generally have all the fun – they also, by and large, get to drive ludicrously cool vehicles fitted with all kind of crazy bad-guy-destroying goodness. Miniguns, flamethowers, grappling hooks: you name it, they’ll have ‘em, the swine. So in honour of The Green Hornet’s beloved steed, The Black Beauty, we’ve gathered together 10 other would-be competitors for the Best Superhero Vehicle crown for you to decide which is the best. So let us know in the comment box below: which would you rather have?
Film: The Green Hornet (2011)
Owner:** **The Green Hornet / Britt Reid (Seth Rogen)
Features: Black Beauty, a 1964-1966 Chrysler Imperial, is a car like no other. As much a lead in the film as Seth Rogen and Jay Chou, this star car packs a screen presence precious few other vehicles could dream of (shame there hasn’t been a Knight Rider film, really). It also boasts a GM Performance ZZ454 500hp crate motor and Race Trans Turbo 400 manual valve body transmission, in case you were wondering. Then there are the miniguns that pop out of the hood, its suicide doors with 12-Gauge AR-15 machine guns, another minigun in the boot, an m2 flamethrower in the front grill, 12 front and rear stinger missiles, giant spikes that come out of the wheels and all the bulletproof accoutrements you’d expect of a giant flashy gun on wheels. Sure, that does somewhat detract from the luggage space, but overall: awesome.
Driving song:** **Galloping Home, also known as The Theme from the TV show Black Beauty, written by Denis King
Film:** Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
*Owner:* Dr. Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd)
Features: It has a “photon accelerator” and an “ion generator” for propulsion (read: “science words make things go zoom zoom!”), three muckerflippin’ cockpits, it’s bullet proof, and, um, it can fly. Something we decided we wouldn’t allow on this list, admittedly (sorry Nite Owl), but as it can also drive normally-like, we’ll let it off. Besides, it looks like an awkwardly cooked silver fried egg (which is nice) and/or a robotic manta ray from space. But more than anything, the Fantasticar is incredibly cool because not only does it have the best name for any vehicle, ever, (including the AMC Gremlin and the Ford Probe) but it can also hold Ben Grimm… and still move.
Driving song:** **The Trammps’ Rubber Band
TV Show: Batman (1966 (1966-01-12) – 1968)
Owner: Bruce Wayne / Batman (Adam West)
*Features:* Holy cow, Batman! The original batmobile? From the 1960s live action TV show? I thought this was Empire! I thought this was a movie website? What is going on? Seriously though, we couldn’t not include it: it’s the coolest thing in the world, ever. Okay, that’s exaggerating things somewhat, but it’s up there. You know, with Boba Fett’s helmet and Jimi Hendrix’s hair.
Based around a Lincoln Futura Show Car, some of its lines are meant to be inspired by the mako shark; the rest, presumably, by bats. As for the on-board gadgets, well, they’re in a league of their own, including lasers, rockets, a Batphone, a radar, a mobile Batcomputer, a smoke emitter, a Bat-tering ram, a rear-facing camera, a police beacon, two parachutes (for performing 180 degree “bat-turns”), a voice control Batmobile Relay Unit, and of course, the Bat-ray, which can do just about anything. In other words, shove your DV7 up your jacksy, Mr. Bond.
Driving song: "Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da BATMAN!"
Film: Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992)
Owner:** **Bruce Wayne / Batman (Michael Keaton)
*Features:* Though it can’t beat the 1960s original in the never-ending gadget stakes, Burton’s bad boy gives it a run for its money, boasting as it does a fully-functioning gas turbine (good for 15 seconds’ worth of ozone-destroying, high-speed madness), two Browning machine guns, a grappling hook (useful for sharp turns), a Batdisc ejector, smoke emitters, oil slick guns, and, of course, bulletproof shielding. Plus, in Batman Returns, the Batmobile can jettison its sides and transform into a “Batmissile” so it can blast through tighter alleyways and the like. Oh, and it gets you from A to B, if, you know, you need to drive somewhere. Seriously, it’s the ultimate art-deco commuting vehicle.
Film:** Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008)*
Owner:* Bruce Wayne / Batman (Christian Bale)
Features: Yes, it’s another one of Batman’s cars, the jammy sod. Never called the “Batmobile” (as nicely as that trips off the tongue), the “Tumbler” is based on a prototype military vehicle meant to leap over otherwise unbridgeable gaps. To look at, it’s meant to be “a cross between a Lamborghini and a tank” (its designer’s words, not ours). But if you ask us, it’s some sort of giant-wheeled, multi-layered scarab beetle of doom. But it gets better in The Dark Knight, of course, as when it’s damaged by one of The Joker’s rockets, it simply sheds its back end and transforms into a very nimble motorbike. One that can travel through office block corridors, flip around lampposts and scoot up walls. And, eventually, flip a whole truck over. Neato!
- Driving song:* **Tumblin’ Dice by The Rolling Stones
Film: Wolverine: Origins (2009) / X-Men (2000)
Owner: Wolverine / James Howlett / Logan (Hugh Jackman)
Features: It’s just a bike, really, so wheels and an engine an’ that, albeit quite a cool one. It goes brrm. But wait, you mean the one in the actual X-Men movies? Well, technically that’s not actually Logan’s; he just nicked it out of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters’s garage and in reality it belongs to Cyclops. But that’s Wolverine for you, always taking things that don’t belong to him (other people’s girlfriends; limbs), the little scamp! As for Cyclops’s bike, that does have one special thing going for it: press a button and it goes super-brrm. If that’s a word. Which, on reflection, it most definitely isn’t.
Driving song: Wolverine - The Musical theme song by, um, Hugh Jackman
Film:** Ghost Rider (2007)
*Owner:* Ghost Rider / Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage)
Features**: Compared to the original bike in the comic, this 12 foot-long half-bone, half-metal monstrosity (almost literally a monstrosity, and in a good way) was even more hellish than we ever dreamed of. The special effects team really do deserve several tips of the hat for their work – even if the film itself doesn’t. As for its abilities / features: well, it goes like the clappers, can leap almost anywhere, can drive up buildings, bomb it over water, and remains continuously on fire*. It is, to quote producer Avi Arad, “the epitome of how fun hell can be.” Almost can’t wait now. Almost.
Driving song:** **Hell’s Bells by AC/DC
Film:** Kick-Ass (2010)
*Owner:* Red Mist / Chris D'Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse)
*Features: Sometimes, you’ve just got to let the owner of the heavily-modded red and black Mustang show off his own car, you know? So, over to you Red Mist: “It’s got sat-nav, it’s got my iPhone so I can check the websites for emergencies when I’m driving around, it’s got a little bit of mood lighting right there (red, natch), a rear-view camera – no big deal – oh, and check this, you’re going to love this, (flicks switch)… the mist.” Because, as everyone knows, when your car squirts mist out of its bonnet, it’s a damn fine car. Which makes most old Volvo Estates with no windshield washer fluid suddenly prettay kewl…*
- Driving song:* **Crazy by Gnarls Barkley
Film:** The Incredibles (2004)
*Owner:* **Mr. Incredible / Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson)
Features*: It might look like just another average sedan, but Mr. Incredible’s incredible vehicle not only transforms into a sleek, ‘50s-style black number: it also makes Joe Schmo Bob Parr look like Mr. Incredible… i.e. it changes his clothes for him. Which is nice. It fits all the kids in, and we’re guessing its boot space would be capacious enough to house a pram / buggy for the little one, as well as air bags, seatbelts, and child-locking in the back. Again, that’s all conjecture. We’re 100% sure it goes fast, though. Really, really fast.
Driving song:** **The Incredible Song by Joe Cornish
Film:** Mystery Men (1999)
*Owner:* Mr. Furious (Ben Stiller)
*Features*: In the world of the Mystery Men, down at the auto yard there was this old Herkimer Battle Jitney. That’s right, the finest non-lethal military vehicle ever made! With a little bit of help from Dr. Heller (the inventor of "blame thrower" and the "shrinker"), it has a giant electro-nuclear-magnet attached to it, making it officially the greatest non-lethal fighting vehicle ever built, and several tonnes of villainy-squashing awesomeness. It looks like a giant bus-tank, it handles like a giant bus-tank, and it’s what we’re hoping the producers behind the remake of Summer Holiday (N.B. not actually happening) will pick as the modern replacement for the red London bus. Fingers crossed!
Driving song: “Mystery” by Hugh Laurie
Film:** The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
*Owner:* Captain Nemo (Naseeruddin Shah)
*Features: It’s wholly unremarkable if we’re talking merely in terms of natty gadgets and gizmos – unless you count the fact that Nemo can track it remotely, allowing it to serve as the beacon he needs to fire his missile accurately – but that doesn’t much matter. Not when you realise it has six wheels, it’s covered in ivory and silver, and looks unbelievably amaze-balls – even if by rights it should handle like an angry hippo covered in butter instead of nimbly spinning around Venice of an evening. But we’re splitting hairs here, we know: it’s a good looking car. A good-looking, fast car, in a bad-looking, highly disappointing movie. But hey, you can’t win ‘em all, can you Sean?
**Driving song:* Beyond The Sea by Bobby Darin