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Can I Get Fins With That?
Author: Cary Ashby
Saturday, September 23, 2006

Can I get Batfins with that?

No, this is not the demented mantra of a Batman fan stuck in a nowhere job. Instead, it's a plea to you, "The Dark Knight" director Chris Nolan, and the Sequel Powers That Be.

Mr. Nolan, it seems from the outside you have had you fair share of being unconventional in choosing the next actor to play the Batman's worst enemy. Consider this a way of one longtime fan - one who trusts implicitly in your cinematic vision for the Caped Crusader - urging you to consider adding some conventionality to the Batman's war on crime.

In short, it's time to see some Batfins on The Batmobile, er, Tumbler in “TDK.”

They don't have to be nearly as large as those in previous film incarnations, just some of the iconic Batwings fans are used to seeing on the Caped Crusader's main mode of transportation over the past several decades. Mr. Nolan, I don't need anything as obvious or blatant as the Batsymbol on the hubcaps (although I like those too, even though they look tacky onscreen); I simply believe having Batfins on the Tumbler would be just the right touch for the rejected military vehicle.

The comic book Batmobile has always screamed, "Here comes the Dark Knight." What better way to do that same thing in TDK than with modifying the Tumbler with Batfins? Although it's doubtful any Gotham citizen would confuse the Tumbler to be anybody else's vehicle but the Batman's.

Considering there's rumor that the Batman will slightly modify his costume in the upcoming film, wouldn't it stand to reason he might make a slight alteration to the Tumbler?

Alfred, at the end of "Batman Begins," hinted at some improvements to the Batcave - or at least its entrance- after Ra's al Ghul burned Wayne Manor to the ground. How about one subtle, sharp-looking Batfin on each of the rear driver's and passenger's side corners of the Tumbler while Alfred and Bruce Wayne are at it? Hey, just one on the middle rear would be great.

I admit to being taken aback - kinda like not being able to keep your eyes off a car wreck - when I first saw the Tumbler on the Internet. To be kind, my first thought was, “Congratulations for thinking outside the box.”

Then when I saw the Batman give the Gotham City Police Department a high-speed pursuit they'll never forget, I had the same thought Sgt. Jim Gordon had: "I gotta get me one of those."

Mr. Nolan, I know you want nothing to do with the previous Batman film franchise, but you gotta give Robin (Chris O'Donnell) in "Batman & Robin" some credit - "Chicks (do) dig the car." Actress Katie Holmes (Rachel Dawes), in the DVD interview about the new Batmobile, said once she saw the Tumbler on the set, she finally knew why guys were fascinated by cars. Heck, even Christian Bale said he was jealous that the stunt driver had the best gig on the set.

Not that the Dark Knight is about picking up chicks mind you, but how can a director like yourself - who has taken great pains to be accurate to the Batman's nearly 70 year history - overlook Batwings on The Batmobile, I mean, Tumbler?

It has a flame thrower for an exhaust, just like every one of the rest of the Caped Crusader's Batmobiles have had. One Batmobile that appeared briefly in the 1970s comics - essentially just a sports car -was the exception; it didn't have a Batsymbol, much less Batfins. All the other variations have had 'em, why not your version of The Batmobile?

Alright, I'll try a different approach. Maybe this will resonate with the director in you, Mr. Nolan. "Batman Begins" was unconventional as a super hero film, in that it mixed horror, drama and film noir to, ironically, tell a conventional origin story. Most fans would agree your choice to cast Heath Ledger as The Joker was unusual (Ledger pretty much admitted to that himself in an interview with The Toronto Star); how about showing us something that makes the Dark Knight's ride unique?

In a recent online interview with LATINO REVIEW, you said you want the sequel to be a different film experience than "Batman Begins." Don't be afraid of adding Batwings to the Tumbler. It's not a "been there, done that" decision, but rather one that pays homage to the Dark Knight's world.

Pretty please - with Batfins on the side..or middle?

BOF contributor Cary Ashby writes a twice-monthly comic book column for the "Norwalk Reflector." He is the newspaper’s crime reporter. Cary has an extensive collection of Batman comics and has been an avid fan for nearly 30 years. He can be reached via e-mail at

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