The Top 10 Least Stealthy Superhero Vehicles

November 17, 2009

They were designed to be the fastest, most responsive, and best-equipped transport vehicles in the history of mankind, but their sheer bulkiness and lack of seduction makes them impervious to one thing...you can see them from outer f***ng space.

Source: Warner Bros.

By Danny Gallagher

10. The Watchmen's Owl Ship

To be fair, this ship is one of the quietest vehicles ever created for a comic book, movie, or television show. It could follow you for miles and if you were completely blind or had no sense of depth perception, you wouldn't even notice it. The rest of us, however, with two eyes and the capacity to concentrate for long than a mosquito's attention span could spot this skyward eyesore a mile away, literally. It's a giant egg-shaped piece of machinery with a pair of bug eyes up front that are bigger than the kids into Mexican paintings staring into the headlights of an oncoming Chevy. The only way to remain hidden in this thing is never using the damn thing.

9. James Bond's Aston Martin

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Source: MGM

Q's ingenuity for hiding everything from weapons to a fully stocked bar in Bond's growing collection of high priced supercars is stunning. The only thing more stunning is his inability to reason that unleashing such an oil boiler on the English roads would attract more attention to our hero than a Jell-o wrestling contest between Pussy Galore and Holly Goodhead. Every time the average male sees a car worth more than the man driving it on the road, he immediately whips out his cell phone to grab a picture of it, a camera to capture video clips from every angle, or a piece of charcoal and a loose sheet of paper for a quick drawing. Can't Q hide a twin set of rotating miniguns and a dashboard defibrillator in a Pontiac Sunfire instead? Not only would guys not pay attention to it, but they would avoid whole states just to keep from sharing the same road with it.

8. Superman's Supermobile

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Source: Warner Bros.

Superman is the gold standard for superheroes in comic books, television shows, and movies. He can fly faster than any manmade aircraft. He can shoot lasers from his eyes that can blow up an elephant or freeze it in his tracks, if the elephant was somehow evil and threatened mankind's existence. So why does he need a ship? Not only is the idea of giving Superman his own mode of transport more pointless than letting the former Miss South Carolina compete on an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy!

7. Iron Man

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Source: Marvel Studios

A fully armored flying man isn't a bad idea in theory. In fact, it's a damn good one until you realize that sending him into the sky without warning the FAA, the Air Force, and the rest of the free flying world will attract the attention of every F-22 in the Earth's airspace. There's a reason God didn't give man wings...because there wasn't enough in the budget to develop flesh that could withstand the blast from a AGM-114 Hellfire missile.

6. Batman's Batmobile

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Source: Warner Bros.

Every time a new member of the Batman franchise hits the small or the big screen, the famed Batmobile gets cooler and cooler. It went from a square, ordinary sedan with a giant plastic bat face on the front to a custom made, 5-liter engine, 500 horsepower Nighthawk on wheels. But every time improvements are made to the Bat's ride, it fails to meet the requirements of the "sneak-test" on just about every level. It's always loud, noisy, and has an exhaust alone that could blow out every ear drum in a five-mile radius and the only way Batty can think of to compensate for this is to paint the damn thing solid black. Does that mean he has another Batmobile with white fluffy clouds and a blue background for crimes that are committed during the day?


5. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Turtle Van

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Source: CBS

Ninjas, by the very definition of their honorary title, are supposed to conduct their work in complete stealth and secrecy as if the evils of the world have been stamped out by nothing more than the dainty passing of God's gentle wind. The Ninja Turtles are not only the least ninja-y ninjas in the history of ninja-ing, but they managed to make themselves stand out even more by incorporating this holy Hell on wheels in their efforts. It's basically an abandoned VW bus that's been made up to look even more garish and ugly than an untouched VW bus and, as any burnout from the 60s can tell you, the ignition mode alone produces more noise and smoke than the average space shuttle launch.

4. The X-Men's Blackbird

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Source: Marvel Comics

This mechanical marvel of aerospace engineering is fairly impressive for a group of ragtag mutants who operate on what appear to be the budget of all four branches of the U.S. military. But not even Professor X's impressive bank account can fix the fact that the ship doesn't really provide much cover in every situation. In fact, if the team has to sneak into some undisclosed location to fight off the horde of evil without being spotted, it's dependent on the weather for cover. Delta's planes are dependent on the weather. And yes, Storm can conjure up any number of weather abnormalities to provide that cover, but what happens if she takes a sick day? Mutants have health insurance too, even if Blue Cross considers shooting laser beams out of your eyes as a pre-existing condition.

3. The Autobots' Swoop

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Source: Hasbro

If you’re a Transformer (and if you answered yes to that question, please seek immediately medical attention), you exist to hide in plain sight. Not only that but you can choose just about anything on the modern planet to change into as you fight the evil Decepticons. So why in the hell would you choose to be a flying pterodactyl? I mean, other than the fact that all sense of comprehension and basic reasoning have escaped your grasp more times than a baby chasing a greased pig?

2. Spider-Man's Spider Mobile

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Source: Marvel Comics

Spider-Man's ability to swing from building to building makes him the most efficient method of transportation in any type of downtown New York City traffic. He can simply avoid messy traffic jams and rush hour congestion by gracefully floating over them. So already his decision to get behind the wheel of his own "superhero mobile" has me baffled. But when I actually saw it, it left me twice as confused, a state that isn't hard for me to achieve in the first place. A simple word problem could accomplish the same thing. It looks like an off-road dune buggy painted up "Spidey"-style that can also drive up and down walls, a feat that would be impressive if Spider-Man couldn't already do the same thing. This one also has a stealth mode but it might as well as be a poorly triggered car alarm. At the push of a button, the car turns into a '50s Chevrolet Fleetline, a car so big that it couldn't draw more attention to itself it it were on fire.

1. Wonder Woman's Invisible Jet

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Source: ABC

The concept for this marvel of aerospace engineering has to stand as one of the biggest modern mechanical disasters since the invention of "Glow in the Dark Spam." It attempts to conceal Wonder Woman's whereabouts by making the entire plane invisible, an achievement of sheer genius...if the plane also concealed its pilot. Instead of keeping Wonder Woman out of plain sight, it just appears that she's flying 30,000 feet in the air in either a gas-powered jet, a self-propelled Barcalounger, or a supersonic toilet.

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