What superheroes have in high morals and immense powers, they often lack in common sense, at least as regards to vehicles. That’s the only way to explain the plethora of weird, garish or outright idiotic superhero cars, jets and other nonsense clogging our nation’s highways and airspace. Here are 15 vehicles that were wrecks long before they hit the road.
1) Batman’s Flying Batcave
Batman is the undisputed king of superhero vehicles — the Batmobile and the Batwing are still the platonic ideals of comic’s land and air-based transports — but even he got carried away on occasion. This massive, hilariously unaerodynamic airship contains duplicates of Batman’s crime-fighting equipment, sleeping quarters, a mini-Batmobile, but also a second trophy room — complete with another giant penny. Really, Batman? Are you that vain?
2) Spider-Man’s Spider-Mobile
Shockingly, the Spider-Mobile has a pretty reasonable origin. Two car manufacturers ask Spider-Man to promote their vehicle and offer him a big pile of cash, which Spider-Man accepts because he’s Spider-Man and is behind on the rent. It gets weird when the car companies demand Spider-Man build the car himself, although he asks the Fantastic Four’s Johnny Storm for help. Almost immediately after it was built, Mysterio tricked Spidey into driving the car into the Hudson River, and the companies sued Spider-Man because he's Spider-Man and he can have nothing good in his life.
3) The Hulk Copter
You wouldn’t think that the rage-fueled Hulk would have the patience or even the fine motor skills to pilot a sensitive piece of machinery like a helicopter (what with his giant hands and overwhelming power and all), but you’d be wrong, apparently. I assume this toy is for when the Hulk is tired of jumping immense distances, but still quietly seething about the indignities of modern airline travel.
4) Captain America’s TV Motorcycle
Captain America drives a motorcycle in almost all his incarnations… except the 1979 and ’80 TV movies starring Reb Brown, in which he drove a small Honda dirtbike with cardboard taped to it. Bonus points for using his shield as a mostly opaque windshield, though.
5) Night Star Batmobile
This neon-green vehicle from Batman’s Knight Force Ninjas line revealed that in 1998, Hasbro had no fucking clue about what ninjas or Batman would deem acceptable car detailing. Well, that, or else Grant Morrison was overseeing the line. Maybe this is the Batmobile of Zur-En-Arrh.
6) Any ATV
Virtually every major Marvel superhero has had a toy of himself hunched over an ATV, and even some of the villains (as the ridiculous picture above proves). Maybe Captain America might need one in a pinch, but Spider-Man? The Hulk? Iron Man? There is no need for any of these guys to ever get on an ATV, unless they are lost in the woods and drunk, simutaneously.
7) Green Arrow’s Arrowcar
When Green Arrow was introduced in the 1940s, he was a complete Batman rip-off, so while Batman had the Batmobile, Green Arrow had his “Arrowcar.” But while Batman went out of his way to make his vehicles bat-themed (or at least black), Green Arrow’s car was just a fucking car. There wasn’t even an arrow decal on it. Hell, it wasn’t even green. Look, I can go around and call my 2007 Nissan Sentra the Bricken-mobile, but I’d look like an asshole, too.
8) Violator’s Chopper, Spawn
There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with Violator’s motorcycle; he’s a demon, so he probably needs some kind of terrestrial transportation, and he’s a demon from hell, so it stands to reason that his vehicle would look like it came off the cover of a mediocre ‘80s metal album. No, the problem is that 60% of Violator’s mass is his giant head, which makes his spindly body look completely ridiculous on a motorcycle, nullifying all his demonic intimidation. It just goes to prove the old adage, “Never ride anything that is less than four times the size of your skull.”
9) Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet
Comics and movies alike seldom know how to handle Wonder Woman, and I think her Invisible Jet is a large part of that. She’s an Amazon? Got it. She can deflect bullets with bracelets? Sure, no problem. She has a magic lasso that makes people tell her the truth? Okay, that’s weird, but I’ll roll with it. She has an invisible jet that leaves her completely visible so she appears to be soaring through the air in a sitting position? Well, that’s really fucking dumb. Why do Amazons have this jet? Why does it leave the people inside visible? Can’t Wonder Woman fly on her own anyways? (She usually can.) How the hell does she remember where she parked it? The New 52-niverse has given the Invisible Jet to Steve Trevor and the A.R.G.U.S. agency as an experimental vehicle for the Justice League of America, and it’s one of the smartest changes DC made.
10) Legends of Batman Skybat
This is what it looks like Batman tries way too fucking hard.
11) Superman’s Supermobile
Shockingly, the Supermobile also has a pretty sensible origin. When the sun does some red solar radiation thingie and Superman loses his powers, he gets in the Supermobile — which effectively has all the same abilities he does — to fight bad guys until the sun clears up and he gets his powers back. Smart idea, right — so what’s the problem? There are two: 1) The car has Superman’s invulnerability because it is made out of the element Supermanium, which is the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever heard of, and 2) if the Supermobile has all of Superman’s powers, why doesn’t he give it to Batman when he's not using it? Hell, why doesn’t he make one for the entire Justice League? Can you think of the evil that could be avoided if there were a fleet of Supermobiles patrolling the skies?
12) Spider-Man Battle Action Car with Spider Legs
So take all the sensibilities of the Spider-Mobile and then add six giant fucking spider legs jutting out of the sides. Man, if the limbs themselves wouldn’t knock cars off the road, they’d still cause wrecks as drivers hurled themselves off the street to get away from this monstrosity.
13) The Penguin’s Ducky, Batman Returns
Hey, do you want to know where the ‘90s Batman movies first fell from grace? It wasn’t Batman Forever, it was in Batman Returns, when the Penguin showed up in a giant rubber ducky. This monumental goofiness allowed Warner Brothers and Joel Shumacher to camp up Forever, which of course led to the disaster that was Batman and Robin. All because Tim Burton decided to put the Penguin — the Penguin — in a giant rubber duck car. Sigh.
14) Super Powers Justice Jogger
When Superman is too tired to fly, run, or even walk after a bad guy, he’ll hop into the Super Powers Justice Jogger, which has the miraculous power to transport people at speeds up to 5 mph, as well as block out the sun’s harmful UV rays (which Superman would probably want, since he’s powered by the goddamned sun, but whatever). The features of the amazing Justice Jogger cannot be replicated, unless you happen to have feet and a pair of sunglasses.
15) Whatever the Hell This Thing Is
I’m less concerned about Superman needlessly riding a motorcycle or Wonder Woman getting relegated to the sidecar than I am the fact that Wonder Woman seems to be about 2/3rds of Superman’s size. Has she shrunk? Or is that someone else? Is that a child in a Wonder Woman costume? Is that why her hair is orange? Has Superman abducted her? Is she waving her arm hoping to signal other motorists?