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Top 10 Comic Book Vehicles

Written by  Published June 21, 2017 05:34
It was only a matter of time before I got to this one, right? One of the coolest aspects of comicdom has always been the fact that many of our heroes need spiffy, space-age vehicles to get around in, right? I mean, how else is the Fantastic Four going to get to Latvaria to battle Dr. Doom or the X-Men going to get to wherever the Brotherhood is causing trouble? They need transportation! Over the years there’s been a great amount of vehicles that have come along...and then...not so much. This here’s a list of the coolest of the cool, so don’t expect the Spider-Buggy or the Jokermobile or anything weird like that. Also, the Guardians’ Milano was JUST introduced in the comics, so that didn’t make the cut either! And as always, your favorite may not make the list! My apologies, but you know how hard it is to please EVERYONE! Feel free to air your opinion in the comments section!

So, without further ado, here’s the Bleed’s Top 10 Comic Book Vehicles!

 

10. The Avengers’ Quinjet

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The Avengers’ main mode of transportation is the Quinjet. Originally it was designed in Wakanda by Black Panther and his team of scientists, and then later the design was modified various times by Tony Stark. Over the years there’s been a few different models, even one that could travel through space! In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Quinjets are used mainly by the Avengers and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Some may wonder why the Quinjets landed so low on the list. Well, it’s mainly because they’ve never seemed all that special to me in terms of their capabilities, especially compared to the other aircrafts on this list! While still cool and all, there are a lot more exciting and awesome modes of transportation in comics! But we have to start somewhere!

 

9. Robin’s Redbird

Robin Redbird

I always found it sort of cool that Tim Drake had his own sleek, red car in the mid 90’s comics, almost like his own batmobile! Previously, the Dick Grayson Robin also had a “Robin-mobile” (I know, such an original name) which debuted in Star-Spangled Comics #113, and all Robins utilized various motorcycles (also called Redbirds) but this was by far, the best and most notable vehicle that was ever driven by one of Batman’s partners.

Of course, Tim was too young to drive at this time, but the clever DC writers snuck in that the advanced youngster was given a special driver’s permit to be able to drive his ill father around. I’ve never heard of a teenager getting such a cool honor in real life, but I suppose anything could happen in comics!

 

8. Nick Fury’s Flying Car

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MCU fans will now identify this as Agent Coulson’s flying car Lola, a design first introduced by Howard Stark at the Stark Expo in Captain America: Winter Soldier, but originally in the comics it was Nick Fury who first utilized a very cool flying sports car. The original was modelled after a Porsche 904, and later Fury was also known to use Aston Martins. All of the flying cars in the comics were also designed by Stark industries and Tony himself was known to use a flying Chrysler from time to time.

Later on, Phil Coulson’s Lola was indeed introduced in the comics and it was revealed that it was named after Phil’s ex girlfriend, Lola Daniels. Hmm, an interesting plotline to follow in the TV show! It’s funny how there have been various flying cars in comic books for decades and we in the real world 2017 have not yet figured out how to create one! Some advanced, technological future we live in! Pfeh!

 

7. Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet

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We may have not seen Gal Gadot pilot one (yet), but one of Wonder Woman’s most popular items in her arsenal has always been her Invisible Jet! Created in her very first story in Sensation Comics #1, the Invisible Jet (or plane), was basically given to her because Diana simply could not fly and needed a way to get around. Why make it invisible? Well, originally the plane was designed that way (by a young Diana herself) so it would not be shot down so easily in Man’s World. I’m not sure why Wonder Woman herself was visible inside the plane, though....I always thought it was silly and defeated the purpose.

Later on in the post-Crisis continuity, the invisible jet was created using alien tech and was not used very often, basically because Diana had flying ability. It also was much cooler, as it had an A.I. and could be mentally controlled by WW, and also could morph into a variety of other vehicles, and eventually even became a floating headquarters, affectionately referred to as the Wonderdome!

Whether you think the Invisible Jet was dumb or not, it has its place on this list as one of the most infamous and notable vehicles in comicdom! I actually hope we get to see some sort of version of it in a future Wonder Woman film, maybe as a flying aircraft with cloaking given to Wonder Woman by her pal, Bruce!

 

6. The Batwing

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Also known as the Batplane, Batjet or Batgyro, the Dark Knight Detective’s flying vehicle was first created in 1939 in Detective Comics #31, and was essentially created so Batman could travel to Europe! Why couldn’t Bruce Wayne just hop on his private plane to go to Europe? Well, back then they didn’t write comics with that sort of logic. It was a very crudely designed half helicopter/half airplane and didn’t look as though it could fly anyone anywhere, nonetheless across the ocean to Europe...but we are supposed to suspend reality here.

Later on, Batman was known to use a Batplane and after Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film, the Batwing was introduced in the comics and is basically now known as Batman’s primary aircraft in most iterations. What always made the batwing so cool was its design to look like Batman’s famous logo. I’m not quite sure if it would aerodynamically fly...but at least it looks great when he flies at the night with the moon as a backdrop!

Of course, this is not the last Batman vehicle on the list! Stay tuned!

 

5. Brainiac’s Skull Ship

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The only vehicle belonging to a villain on the list goes to Brainiac’s FEARSOME AS HELL metallic skull space warship that would scare the crap out of anyone if they actually saw it!! Created in 1983, this ship was created when Brainiac was able to transfer his intelligence into a robotic body and he also created this ship to travel in.

The Skull Ship didn’t just look creepy either. The thing was loaded with red sun torpedoes and guided missiles to fight Superman and even could rebuild extra bodies for Brainiac if he needed one. This intimidating ship was the perfect home for any super-intelligent alien with maniacal intentions! The ship was so cool that it has been redesigned and adapted into many comics, cartoons and video games, and most recently can be seen in the Injustice 2 video game with Brainiac’s throne room inside as an arena!

 

4. The Fantasticar

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This one was a no-brainer for comic book vehicles. Reed Richards and his family’s primary mode of transportation was always the very cool Fantasticar! First introduced in 1962, this vehicle was built by both Reed and Johnny Storm and what was always cool about it was that the 4 pods could always separate so the team could split up. The original design was pretty crude, though. It really did look like a giant flying bathtub! It was quickly remodelled into something a lot more sleek.

In the 2007 FF sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer we finally got to see a live-action version of the Fantasticar that was literally designed by Chrysler for the movie. It was one of the high-points of the film. We almost got to see a Fantasticar in the 2015 FF reboot as well, but it was written out of the script along with all logic, excitement and anything related to the source material. Man, that was a bad movie.

At any rate, this would not be a proper comic book vehicle list without the Fantasticar!

 

3. Ghost Rider’s Hell Charger

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Now I may take a lot of flak for this one, but I don’t care. I much prefer Robbie Reyes’ ’69 Charger to both Johnny Blaze’s and Dan Ketch’s Hell Cycles! It is a lot cooler and fits Reyes a lot more than a bike would. If you need any more convincing, simply watch Season 4 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to see just how bad ass this machine is!

The Hell Charger was created for the All-New Ghost Rider comic series in 2014 and while it wasn’t widely accepted by traditional fans right away, eventually it was embraced. After all, let’s remember that the original Ghost Rider’s vehicle was a horse! And Ghost Rider 2099 had a flaming sky-cycle. So basically, the Rider's vehicle has always been and will continue to update itself over time, just like the anti-hero himself!

 

2. The X-Jet

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Nicknamed the Blackbird, the original X-Jet was designed after the real-life Lockheed SR-71 fighter plane which inspired Kitty Pryde to name her pet alien dragon “Lockheed”! Later versions incorporated Shi’ar alien tech as well as tech created by Forge. Before getting the X-Jet, the team would be tansported by Professor X’s private plane....not as cool!

All of the cartoon and movie X-Men adaptations have given us versions of the X-Jet and the film franchise’s version had some pretty nifty cloaking technology. There was also a version of the X-Jet in the comics where the plane’s windshield was made from Ruby Quartz like Cyclop’s visor, allowing him to funnel his optic blasts through the plane!

Without a doubt the X-jet/Blackbird is in my opinion, the coolest aircraft in comics and always made the team look impressive when they showed up to beat up the badguys. I believe the only time when they didn’t have a plane of any kind was during the late 80’s “Australian Era” when the team were believed dead and hiding out down under! Thankfully they had Gateway’s portals to get them around, and that was for the best...because the X-Jet is not the most inconspicuous vehicle!

 

1. The Batmobile

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Of course, the G.O.A.T. of comic book vehicles has GOT to be none other than The Batmobile! Created in 1939, Batman has almost always had an automobile of some kind in his arsenal. Originally though, he simply drove a red car. In fact, the “Batplane” got its name even before the Batmobile!

There have been many different models of Batmobiles over the decades, some having a giant bat-head on the front, some looking like supped up tanks. And the original designer of the Batmobile also has changed over the different iterations. Originally it was Bruce Wayne himself that created the design, and years later a stunt driver named Jack Edison (whom Batman rescued one time) was revealed as the man behind the design.

Everyone seems to have their own preferred Batmobile. The comic model that I always personally preferred was the 1970’s Corvette version. That always seemed like a logical make for a Batmobile. But of course, who could forget Batman Begins’ live-action “Tumbler” version in which Bruce obtained from Lucius Fox?! The Tim Burton films' 1989 Batmobile is also a heavy favorite. Perhaps the most definitive Batmobile was the Batman ’66 black with red lining Futura version...always one of my favorite live-action Batmobiles. I’m also quite fond of the DC Extended Universe Batmobile we first were introduced to in Batman v. Superman, it seems like a perfect meld of all of the previous ones.

No matter which Batmobile is your favorite, they all have a strong place in the lore of Batman. And perhaps there is no other vehicle in comics that defines the hero the drives it more than the Batmobile. No other vehicle even comes close to being the greatest of all time!

 

Well, kiddos! There you have it! Hope everyone enjoyed this look at the best vehicles in comics! Until next time, BLEED OUT! 

Dave Michaels

With his unique brand of humour mixed with die-hard passion and knowledge for all things comic books, Dave Michaels puts his weekly spin on the pop culture like only he can. Each “episode” of Full Page Bleed provides fun, wacky commentary, interviews, recommendations of Dave’s favourite comics, and whatever else his “evil genius” can conjure up. What are you reading THIS for?! Read some FPB RIGHT NOW and PREPARE to BLEED COMICS! FPB is Here...

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