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The new Batmobile as previewed by director Zack Snyder on Twitter.

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Take heed, evildoers of Gotham City: The new Batmobile is a not-so-lean, mean fighting machine that looks more like an army tank than a regular automobile.

The first glimpse of the caped crusader's new vehicle has been released to the panting public: On Wednesday night, Zack Snyder, director of the upcoming superhero mashup Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, went on Twitter to give fans their first look at the iconic crimefighter's car.

Snyder's brief comment with the pic: "Here's a real picture of the #Batmobile."

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Compared to Batmobiles of yesteryear (the original Batmobile for the 1966-68 Batman series was simply a 1955 Lincoln Futura with fins and insignia attached), the new Batmobile is one scary ride.

Sitting at rest in what appears to be an abandoned storage facility, the new Batmobile looks to be a seriously militarized vehicle.

Armor-plated from top to bottom with a flat black finish, the vehicle also has an option never featured on earlier incarnations of the Batmobile: A fearsome-looking, double-barrelled machine gun affixed to a swivelling turret just above the front bumper.

So far, the new Batmobile picture has been retweeted nearly 15,000 times.

But since Batman has famously refused to use a gun – in the comic books, the TV shows or any of the previous Batman films – the fact that he suddenly has some major firepower at his disposal naturally has people talking.

Within hours of the picture going public, The Verge had posted a lengthy condemnation of the new Batmobile with an article titled "How to ruin Batman with one photo."

On social media, Twitter user Brett Brooks (@BrettTheBrooks) seemed no less aghast with his tweet, "If that's what it looks like on the front of the new Batmobile, Zach Snyder missed the one rule of Batman: NO GUNS!!"

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Ryan Summers (@Oddernod) tweeted: "New Batmobile has twin guns on the front. Unless it's firing Kryptonite-tipped rounds, that's pretty idiotic."

Elsewhere, Bat-fan Jacob Pierce (@Batmanfan136) was slightly more pragmatic with his tweet: "Wait, are people complaining about the guns on the new Batmobile? You know that [Tim] Burton's Batmobile and [Christopher] Nolan's Batcycle had guns?"

On a more supportive note, musician Chris Daughtry showed his fanboy roots by reposting the Batmobile picture to his Instagram account along with the comment, "Allow me to take a moment to marvel in #zacksnyder's vision of the #batmobile for #batmanvsupermandawnofjustice. He is the KING of comic book movie visuals."

No doubt there will be more public debate about the new Batmobile before Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice arrives in theatres on March 25, 2016.

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