Top Ten: Superhero Vehicles
Web-slinging. Boom Tubes. Teleporting Dogs. These are just a few examples of the myriad means of transport superheroes have for getting around. But the news that the Batmobile from the ’60s Batman TV show has sold at auction for $4.62 million got us thinking about superhero vehicles. Specifically, the killing you could make in a superhero universe, selling insurance. But as a side note, we put together a Top Ten list (Ramp.ie style) of our favourites.
A car manufacturer makes Spider-Man a sponsorship offer that Peter Parker can’t afford to refuse. And lo, the Spider-Mobile was born. Peter and Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch, built the car themselves but in the end Spidey decided that swinging on webs was preferable to owning a car in Manhattan. Yeah, the Spider-Mobile is a joke. But a car that can drive up walls still merits a place on our list. Or have you never been stuck in city centre traffic?
16. THE FANTASTI-CAR
Technically not a car but we love a good pun. The Fantasti-Car is really more of an aerial vehicle but it can split into four parts and recombine for four-directional crime-fighting.
15. THE HAUNTED TANK
The ghost of a 19th century Confederate General haunts an M3 Stuart Tank and watches over her crew during World War II. The Haunted Tank has essentially been retired since The Big One but makes cameo appearances whenever possible. A 2008 mini-series depicted the General taking up residence in an M1 Abrams Tank during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
14. THE ECTO-1
A converted 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance car, the Ecto-1 is decried by Cadillac purists as being defacement of a really rare model. Just wait until they get a ghost in their garage. The rooftop gadgetry was never explained in the movies but an episode of the cartoon series depicted it as a proton-canon for extra-sized spectres.
13. THE METALLICAR
Speaking of ghost hunters and classic cars, Dean Winchester’s 1967 Chevrolet Impala has a built-in weapons compartment in the trunk and is slightly less conspicuous than the Ecto-1.
12. THE STARJAMMER
The Starjammer is the Millenium Falcon of comic books. A scrappy band of rebels led by Corsair (father of the X-Man Cyclops) until his recent death, the Starjammers travel through space in their signature ship fighting against the tyranny of the Shi’Ar Empire. It’s unknown if the Starjammer can do the Kessel Run is less than twelve parsecs. But its better than anything in the Shi’Ar Empire’s fleet.
11. THE LEAPFROG
When the kids known as The Runaways escape from their super-villain parents, they steal this unique ship to aid their getaway. Possessed with an artificial intelligence, the Leapfrog has the ability to leap great distances in a single bound. It also comes with a cloaking device so its massive jumps go unnoticed.
10. THE TIME SPHERE
Pre-dating the TARDIS by several years, DC Comics’ Time Sphere is used by the characters Rip Hunter: Time Master and the teenage heroes of the 31st century, the Legion of Superheroes. It’s got the whole, travel anywhere in space and time bit down but it isn’t bigger on the inside.
9. THE BLACKHAWKS’ FIGHTER PLANES
Another popular World War II era comic was Blackhawk, named for the leader of a group of ace fighter pilots. The Blackhawks came from multinational backgrounds and swore allegiance to no one country in particular but fought with the allied forces in their modified Grumman XF5F Skyrockets. They even had their own air hangar on their own secret base, Blackhawk Island.
The faux-French mutant thief known as Fantomex counts among his powers an external nervous system that takes the form a bio-mechanical flying craft named E.V.A. In other words, a flying saucer that’s an extension of his will. Neat.
7. SILVER SURFER’S BOARD
The Silver Surfer’s board is mentally controlled, allows the Surfer to travel faster than lightspeed through hyperspace, has been known to travel through time and can even act as a pocket dimension in itself. It’s unknown how well it works on water.
6. GREEN MACHINE
A disused Channel Six news fan, tricked out with as much technology as Donatello could invent, including the Turtle Blimp which could inflate from the roof. Go Green Machine!
5. IRON MAN ARMOUR
Tony Stark wonders when the rest of these idiots are going to catch on and start wearing their vehicles.
4. THE HELICARRIER
The mobile headquarters of S.H.I.E.L.D. usually parked over Arlington, Virginia is one of those 60′s throwbacks we just love despite its obvious impracticalities. In recent years, the Helicarrier’s safety record is spotty at best, having been sabotaged and fallen out of the air on several occasions. But seeing it brought to life last summer in the Avengers movie renewed our love in this spy-fi classic.
3. THE INVISIBLE JET
Originally, Wonder Woman couldn’t fly; she used to gracefully glide on the currents of the wind, like all proper ladies can. But this necessitated a vehicle for actual flight which arrived in the form of the Invisible Plane. Modern day, flight-capable Wonder Woman hasn’t much need for her updated Invisible Jet but its still a pretty nifty machine – its invisible, artificially intelligent, travels faster than any man-made jet and has a built in radio. Interestingly, it has been suggested, though not proven, that Wonder Woman’s Invisible Plane was the inspiration for real-life cloaking technology.
2. THE BATMOBILE
See also, the Bat-Plane, Bat-Boat, Bat-Pogo Stick, etc. The Batmobile has been in the comics for as long as Batman himself but the most iconic designs usually came from his live-action depictions on TV and film. With over seventy years of Batman comics, there are a lot of models to choose from…
1. THE T.A.R.D.I.S.
Is the Doctor a superhero? He’s the last of an alien race who uses his abilities to help save the world. Remind you of anyone? And he’s got the coolest vehicle of all – a blue box with room for a library and a swimming pool, that can travel anywhere in space and time. The TARDIS is also the last of its kind, its self-repairing and intelligent. It’s got a chameleon circuit (broken), a perception filter and its telepathic, allowing travellers to speak native languages. Doesn’t always take you where you want to go. But it takes you where you need to go.
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