DC FanDome really has got the old juices flowing again when it comes to the caped crusader. From the reveal trailer of The Batman featuring Robert Patterson to the confirmation that The Flash movie will feature both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton’s Batman (Batmen?), it’s got us all here at Respawning feeling nostalgic about all the Batman movies/series/games that have come before. So with that in mind, what better topic for a Let’s Talk? So let’s find out who our favourite Batman is!
My instinct here was to go with Kevin Conroy as he’s been the definitive Batman to me through the years thanks to his amazing performances in the animated series, multiple animated DC movies and the Arkham games, but I’m pretty sure Conroy will get a lot of love further down this Let’s Talk. So with that in mind, I’m going to go with Ben Affleck instead.
Batfleck seems to get a lot of hate but I can’t help but feel that’s more down to the movies he featured in rather than Ben Affleck’s actual portrayal of the character. I’ve always loved the way Affleck plays a more older, run down and emotionally battered Bruce Wayne. You can tell how much influence he pulled from Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns and the love he has for the Bat has always shone through for me.
Although I actually really enjoyed Batman v Superman (extended cut of course), I can’t deny the fact that this version of Batman was gifted to us during one of DC’s worst run of films. I just hope that with the Snyder Cut of Justice League and The Flash movie coming up in the next couple of years that Ben Affleck can at least sign off his underrated version of the Batman in style.
Let me hit a little off piece, you might be thinking movie batmen? Maybe even animation or comics? Nah son, we’re talking video games on this video games website!
Anyway, I LOVE the Injustice Universe Batman. Voiced by Bat-vetern Kevin Conroy, The Injustiverse Dark Knight is an interesting take as a resistance leader, keeping civvies safe from the tyrannical ways of this worlds Superman, a fallen hero who took control of the world in some vain attempt to keep everyone safe.
Throughout the two games this Batman shows excellent judgement and pre planning that we have come to expect of this vengeance claiming hero. The added caveat being, This bats throws the hurtin’ bombs! A consistently top tier character, This Bruce has a fun and accessible combat style and some cracking jokes through out the story and some genuinely heart warming moments. Particularly with Super girl in Injustice 2, and…himself? in Injustice 1!
I didn’t even have to think for this entry as the best Batman is obvious. Batman Ninja!!
Batman Ninja was my film of whatever 2018 and I’ve watched it to death since. For those unfamiliar, the plot involves Batman and his main villains being transported to Feudal Japan, and details how they interact and fight each other when limited to the technologies of the time (and craaazy ninja magic of course).
If you’ve not heard of or seen this film yet then you definitely must as it solidly delivers everything you could possibly want from a Batman / ninja / Batman Ninja film!!
Without a shadow of a doubt, my choice of Batman is the version of him that was created by, and brought to the screen by Tim Burton in the 1989 movie Batman. Played by Michael Keaton, this Batman was a broody, dark and tortured soul.
Whilst at times there were some tongue in cheek moments, in keeping with the 1989, Tim Burton style. The movie overall is a brilliant representation of the Dark Knight. And not to forget, we also get to see the Joker played amazingly by Jack Nicholson.
And to make this already brilliant portrayal even better, we received a sequel in the shape of 1992’s Batman Returns. Once again, with Tim Burton behind the wheel, we get more of his iconic film making, this time going even darker by introducing, not one, but two villians for Michael Keaton’s Batman to fight.
We are treated to a superb portrayal of Oswald Cobblepot, better known as The Penguin, by Danny Devito.
And Batman’s femme fatal, on off, romantic interest, Catwoman. Portrayed both, psychotically and seductively by Michelle Pfeiffer.
In 1992, seeing her in a tight pvc catsuit, effected me. Sorry, went a bit off track there. So that’s my pick.
What are we talking here comics? Comics its Simon Bisley’s artwork for the 2000AD, DC crossover Judgement on Gotham, the art is so intense and bad ass looking with a batman that has a cowl that goes on for days and muscles flipping everywhere, it’s so damn cool… but films that’s a different story. Animated is obviously Kevin Conroy, no one will touch him there.
I’m pretty partial to Bale and Affleck but when it comes to the movies the guy that hits the nostalgia every damn times is Mr “chicks dig the car” himself Val Kilmer. Don’t get me wrong his Bruce is not great but he was clearly having a ball playing the straight man in a goofy movie, I don’t care what you say, Batman Forever is a 90’s version of the Adam West era and that is always good. His Batman is so dry in his delivery. It throws his enemies off, just look at Riddler he’s all cocky as shit with “Blliiiind as a baaaatt” then power batterang to the mind device, jump down one hole grab the lady and grapple her to the girders then save Robin only to trick Two-Face with a bunch of coins…why did he have those? I just think he was great and that film is great. It’s a comic come to life and hasn’t gone full Schwarzenegger. OH and that score…FUCK YES!
So…This is a loaded question. Every actor who has portrayed “The Batman” has brought something new to the role so much so that I think there’s only ever been one bad Batman, sorry Clooney. As to who I think is the best Batman, it really comes down to two candidates. Christian Bale or Kevin Conroy. Bale certainly had the harder job of the two with it being live action, and he did a stellar job, so much so that he epitomises the phrase “I’m Batman” with his renowned growl. The Dark Knight trilogy is still the best representation of Batman we have on the big screen, and Bale is a big reason for that. He truly sold the sacrifice it took to be The Batman.
But, for me the voice I still hear when I’m reading a Batman comic is Kevin Conroy. From starting in 1992, there’s a reason he’s still being hired to voice Bruce Wayne today, 28 years later. He manages to separate Bruce Wayne and The Batman, he has a cadence to each of them, so even if you’re just listening to him, you know the difference. He has been part of some of the best Batman media we’ve been fortunate enough to witness, be it TAS, the Arkham games, or some of the countless DC animated productions. I dread the day he hangs up the cowl for good, but at least when that day comes, there will be countless ways for me to behold his portrayals again.
Ironically despite it being batman I don’t actually have a preference on who dons the cowl. I think every actor has brought something different to the table and something fun. I’ve probably loved every variation of Batman equally which I get that, in itself is a pretty controversial statement.
Animated batmen, movie action batmen, TV batmen, video games batmen. They’re all Batman to me but to be fair. I become obsessed with Batman when I get into it (okay I’m always into it) but if you wanna see my feelings on the bat then have a looksee here: https://respawning.co.uk/?s=Obsessed%20batman