David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/6/09 2:18 p.m.

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, Batman!

Since his first appearance in a 1939 edition of “Detective” comics, Batman has been a part of our culture, whether portrayed as the do-gooding Boy Scout of the campy 1960s TV series or the dark, brooding vigilante from Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” comic books.

Unlike many other comic book superheroes, Batman has no special powers. He can’t outrun a speeding bullet, turn green when enraged or communicate with aquatic life. However, in addition to his physical and mental skills, he does have some fantastic toys, all financed by the personal fortune of Bruce Wayne, his alter ego.

While the BatComputer, Batrope and Shark Repellent Bat-Spray all saved the day at one time or another, the Batmobile has to be Batman’s coolest crime-fighting accessory. And like Batman, the Batmobile’s portrayal has changed through the years.

While most of us remember the Batmobile of the 1960s—a wild, turbine-powered car that was really a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept modified by George Barris—Batman’s cars have ranged from the somewhat chunky sedans featured in the early comics to the sleek, winged creations of the recent movies and animated TV shows.

Batman gets a new car for next summer’s movie release, which Daily News reporter Nancy Dillon has labeled “something like a cross between a Lamborghini and an armadillo with a jet-pack.”

Although it may not resemble any small mammals, Dan Senecal, a quality control inspector from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., has created his own version of the Batmobile. And it’s based on a 1966 VW Kombi bus.

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