Book Reviews: Batmobile: The Complete History and The Dark Knight Manual

Last week I received review copies from publisher Insight Edition of “Batmobile: The Complete History” and “The Dark Knight Manual: Tools, Weapons, Vehicles and Documents from the Batcave”. The books are massive and feature many photos from every Batman movie — lots that I haven’t seen before. Both books dive deep into The Dark Knight Rises too! Check out my full reviews after the break.

Batmobile: The Complete History

“Batmobile: The Complete History” is written by Mark Cotta Vaz and features 148 pages of detailed Batmobile history, along with 100 pages of full color photos. The book opens up with a look into the early days of Batman in the comics, and then goes on to cover every Batmobile that’s been on the big screen, including Adam West’s from the popular television show. The book focuses greatly on Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, with great quotes from the director himself, as well as Nathan Crowley, the man responsible for the design of the Tumbler.

Ever since I was a little kid, the Batmobile has been my “dream car”…. specifically Tim Burton’s Batmobile that was featured in Batman and Batman Returns. I would tell my parents that I wanted to drive a Corvette one day, because it had a similar look. Now as a 24 year old man, I hope that one day I can afford to buy an actual replica of Tim Burton’s iconic car. Chapter 4 of “Batmobile: The Complete History” was full of fantastic behind the scenes information and photos of my favorite Batmobile. This chapter features quotes from Batman’s creator, Bob Kane, and the story behind taking the iconic Batmobile from 1989’s Batman, and making even better in 1992’s Batman Returns.

The last few chapters cover Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, including The Dark Knight Rises, extensively. These chapters were my favorite because I’ve been such a huge fan of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and have been covering The Dark Knight Rises for the past two years on this very website. The most interesting thing I took away here was the fact that Christopher Nolan didn’t want to include a Batmobile in Batman Begins. Nolan didn’t see how it would fit into the realistic world he wanted to create, but Warner Bros. insisted that his movie include a “really cool car”. After meeting with Nathan Crowley in his garage in 2003, The Tumbler was born. The two knew that they wanted something that was a cross between a sports car and an urban-Humvee.

I’ve just scratched the surface in this review. I’d recommend this book to anyone who’s a fan of the Batmobile, or just the filmmaking process in general. There are lots more interesting stories and photographs to explore. Best of all, “Batmobile: The Complete History” is currently on sale. You can grab it at the publisher’s website,

The Dark Knight Manual: Tools, Weapons, Vehicles and Documents from the Batcave

The best way to describe “The Dark Knight Manual: Tools, Weapons, Vehicles and Documents from the Batcave” would be to call it an adult’s pop-up book/scrapbook. Each page has something to explore. There are police documents, blue prints, and details on every single one of Batman’s gadgets from the Nolan trilogy. We even see blue prints of the Batcave and the Bat. There are profiles from Bruce Wayne’s collection on all the main characters, including Miranda Tate, John Blake, Bane and Selina Kyle. The best way to describe this book is to just show it to you. Check out a brief video walk-through courtesy of Game Revolution:

I think any fan looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises will get a lot out of this book. It covers all of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies from Batman Begins to The Dark Knight Rises. It’s a book you’ll be able enjoy each time you look at it — I had to read it twice to make sure I read and saw everything it had to offer. Just like “Batmobile: The Complete History”, it’s currently on sale at at the publisher’s website,