Of course, minutes after the reveal, the internet started complaining. "What's with the turret on the Batmobile? Zack Snyder is ruining my life again!" (That's actually just what I imagine it sounding like. I've seen some of the commentary and much of it is unprintable without heavy censorship.) People are taking issue with the violence the Batmobile design suggests Batman is willing to perpetrate. Other people are taking issue with those people, pointing out that the Dark Knight's pretty much always been well-armed, especially when it comes to his vehicles. Let's examine this predicament like sensible fans.
|Toys, but a good representation of Batman's arsenal. And they're COOL toys.|
|At some point, he swore to the reader that it only fired rubber bullets. Uh...|
|A better view of the beast.|
Christopher Nolan's trilogy didn't shy away from heavy weaponry. Indeed, the famed Tumbler was built as a military vehicle, as was the airborne Bat from The Dark Knight Rises. Both vehicles bore rockets and cannons, but were (mostly) shown to be used for non-lethal means. Think on Batman speeding the Batpod toward Joker in The Dark Knight. For all that weaponry, he never used it on a person—not even his ultimate villain. Sure, he blew walls, doors, cars and trains to smithereens, and machine-gunned an armored car carrying a bomb in an attempt to divert it, but Batman generally shows restraint in his usage of heavy firepower.
For everyone who has a problem with guns on this Batmobile, what sticks in their craw is Batman's otherwise ironclad rule against using guns. That's the weapon that killed his parents, so Batman chooses not to use lethal force and not to use firearms. Again, in The Dark Knight Returns, the Caped Crusader stops an army of young Batman devotees from using guns. "This is the weapon of the enemy," he declares, breaking a shotgun in half. "We do not need it. We do not use it." In more recent comics, he teaches his born-and-bred assassin son Damian that their way, the non-lethal way, requires more discipline, control and strength than if they were simple killers.
|One of the original images. A dusty, bird's-eye-view look at the new Batmobile.|
I too admit to some discomfort with the idea of lethal weaponry deployed by Batman, but only insofar as the filmmaker understands the character. Some have pointed out that Batman may need the extra firepower to combat Superman, as the title of the upcoming film suggests, which makes sense. But there have been plenty of technological innovations comic creators have gifted to Batman's vehicles that are non-lethal and just as effective against Batman's usual roster of baddies. That kind of thing speaks not only to Batman's vow and aforementioned discipline, it speaks to something I feel has almost always been missing from live-action adaptations of the character: his intelligence, not just as a detective, but his brilliance as an innovator and crimefighter.
My ending thoughts? I think the design is pretty cool. It's a sleek tank of a machine, an armored drag racer made for cutting through the Gotham streets. I dig it. It has to be properly utilized, however, and that's what we all must wait to see. Who knows—this Batmobile might be loaded with rubber bullets too. If this is going to be one part of his arsenal against Superman, though... probably not. Do you like or hate the design? Do you think it says anything about the character of Batman in this iteration? Fire away in the comments.