Justice League‘s reveal of Batman’s Bat-Tank in the Snyder Cut adds a new similarity between Ben Affleck‘s hero and The Dark Knight‘s version. For as long as movies are made, it seems like Batman movies will be made as well. Gotham City’s protector is a character so iconic that he occupies a rarefied air in pop culture, alongside fellow long-term icons like James Bond, Godzilla, and of course fellow DC superhero Superman. The public’s interest in Batman content never seems to wane much, even after the Caped Crusader having starred in eleven theatrical films to date, with a twelfth on the way in 2022.
Understandably, opinions on which big screen Batman portrayal is the best tend to be quite varied, as it’s not always just about the actor behind the cowl, but also the strengths of the writer(s) and director bringing the character to life at any particular time. It’s clear though that the Batman found in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is a perpetual favorite for the title of best movie version, as played by Christian Bale.
Bale and Nolan’s Batman partly works well due to their shared understanding of the character’s duality, with Bruce Wayne’s billionaire man about town reputation being just as much of a affected persona as his crime-fighting alter ego, perhaps even more so. While Ben Affleck’s older, more cynical Batman in the DCEU differs from Bale’s in notable ways, they’re more alike than it might at first seem, and Zack Snyder’s addition of a tank-like Batmobile into the Justice League mix just creates another commonality.
It remains to be seen exactly what Ben Affleck’s Batman will accomplish using his Bat-Tank in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but one assumes it’ll be used for combat and defense against the forces of Steppenwolf and Darkseid, as well as any other villains in Batman’s path. Another goal that massive vehicle accomplishes though is intimidation. After all, when that thing drives onto the scene, it’s clear that the person behind the wheel means business, and has serious firepower on their side. Rampaging parademons may not be impressed, but bad guys with more critical thinking skills could be given pause at the sight.
Christian Bale‘s Batman in the Dark Knight trilogy drove the tank-like Tumbler around instead of the standard sleek Batmobile for the express purpose of intimidating foes. It even had a mode called “Intimidate” that Batman put to use when going after criminals. While the idea of a Bat-Tank goes back to The Dark Knight Returns comic arc, Nolan’s Dark Knight films were the first to employ the concept in a movie, and there’s no way the inevitable comparisons wouldn’t have occurred to Snyder when making the same creative choice. Notably, the Bat-Tank in Justice League is much bigger and badder than the Tumbler, although that makes sense, as instead of just his usual rogues’ gallery, Affleck’s Batman is about to take on a potentially apocalyptic alien invasion.