Who is the Best Batman

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ScottyHawkeye

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Edited By ScottyHawkeye

Poll: Who is the Best Batman (180 votes)

Kevin Conroy 54%
Ben Affleck 4%
Christian Bale 24%
Michael Keaton 20%
Adam West 12%
Bruce Greenwood 1%
Peter Weller 2%
Troy Baker 2%
Diedrich Bader 2%
Rino Ramano 0%

Happy Batman Day

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ScottyHawkeye

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Kevin Conroy

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Shiftygism

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George Clooney probably would've been the definitive Batman had he not wound up in such a lousy camp driven offering.

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psmgamer

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Michael Keaton would be the best Batman. As for Bruce Wayne, Christian Bale.

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49th

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I hated Christian Bale as Batman, he does a stupid voice and has a weird bulbous head for a mask.

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Wemibelle

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Voice-wise, I'd definitely go with Kevin Conroy, but if I had to pick someone who played Batman in live-action, I'd probably say Michael Keaton was best.

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Bane

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Voice: Kevin Conroy

Ben Affleck otherwise. He's got the right look for Bruce Wayne and the build for Batman. It's just a shame his time as Batman wasn't put to the best use.

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nutter

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#7 nutter  Online

I voted Keaton. I think his take was pretty great.

I also loved Bat-fleck. Maybe that was more the presentation of the character, though. I thought no-fucks-given Batman, torturing fools, killing, with an alcohol problem was an interesting take on where that life might lead once you’ve done it long enough. Him getting snapped back into it by Superman being a WMD was interesting to watch.

Mind you, not a comic guy, I’ve just seen the non-Schumacher movies and played a few of the games.

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inevpatoria

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#8  Edited By inevpatoria

Really going all in on these Batman topics, eh, @scottyhawkeye?

I'm going to be the guy to say Christian Bale, even though Kevin Conroy is probably the "right" answer.

There's no such thing as a definitive [insert superhero here] portrayal in our day and age. Superheroes and their respective franchises have been commodified in film to the point that actors carrying the mantle change with, now, unsurprising regularity. Superheroes don't feel like huge archetypes anymore. Some of them have been so diluted that an actor change feels less important for them than it does for, say, James Bond.

You don't hear people say things like "Christopher Reeve was Superman" anymore because we're all so much more aware of the studio machine at work. And it takes so, so, so much more to surprise audiences with a portrayal of a well-trodden superhero story.

I say all this because Christian Bale's Batman--you could argue alongside Robert Downey's Tony Stark and probably Chris Evans's Captain America--feels like one of the last superhero portrayals that really meant something to people in that old-fashioned way.

Sure, Nolan's Batman universe was categorically a spin on the traditional Batman mythos. Not some gesture toward being comic-accurate by any overt stretch. But within that depiction, within the logic of that world, I completely bought in to Bale as Batman and Bruce Wayne, someone for whom this whole superhero thing had genuine human stakes and lifelong physical and psychological consequences. Bale was the Batman of our time, not just because he played the character for nearly ten years, but because he and Nolan redefined the way in which Batman was cool--and, in doing so, made us forget about Batman's embarrassing then-recent history.

I remember being genuinely wounded when Batman was recast for Batman v. Superman. Not because I had some grudge against Ben Affleck, but because it felt like we'd all just reckoned with the true importance of the Batman. So suddenly do we move on from objects of resonance.

[A sidenote: I think a common--and true--sentiment is that Nolan's Batman was always second fiddle to his unforgettable villains. The Dark Knight is elevated by the presence of the Joker. The Dark Knight Rises, though criticized for weird time dilation and unrealistic plot turns, really belongs to Tom Hardy's Bane, not Bale's Batman. While I agree with that, I think that's largely true of Batman in the source material, and I think the films smartly position the villains as foils to investigate Bruce Wayne's--and, to get theoretical, a post-War on Terror, post-G.W. Bush, post-Patriot Act America's--psyche. He might not be the most outwardly persuasive character in the movie, but his is the perspective the story cares about the most. Where does he bend. Where does he break. How do the pieces fall. What possible shape can they take when re-congealed. Batman is fascinating because of his counter-position with his adversaries, not in spite of it.]

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infinity_thor

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Not sure how anyone can say Bale. His take on Batman sucked and if we're being honest, that nolan trilogy sucked with Batman. He's the world's greatest detective and that series never really played that up at all.

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inevpatoria

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Not sure how anyone can say Bale. His take on Batman sucked and if we're being honest, that nolan trilogy sucked with Batman. He's the world's greatest detective and that series never really played that up at all.

lol

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FLStyle

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Not sure how anyone can say Bale. His take on Batman sucked and if we're being honest, that nolan trilogy sucked with Batman. He's the world's greatest detective and that series never really played that up at all.

I'm not the biggest Bale Batman fan in the world but The Dark Knight is in my top 5 of all time so you can keep your if we're being honest.

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cikame

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Can't make up my mind on this one, i think everyone's kind of... "ok", i don't really think of anyone as being THE Batman.
I think George Clooney has the right face for it, but i love Adam West's voice, so i voted Adam West.
I have to thank Bale however for giving the world the hockey pants line.

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Shindig

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Adam West. Seriously. It's the only role he could ever nail, besides playing himself.

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hermes

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#14  Edited By hermes

Best live action Batman, Michael Keaton. He is not entirely in line with the "ideal" Batman (he kills people with bombs while smiling, three things Batman is not known for), but his performance is the most iconic. It breaks apart when he takes off his costume, because Keaton is probably the worst Wayne.

Best Bruce Wayne, character-wise Bale. I just enjoy his playboy debauchery to keep people out of his track too much. Physically-wise Clooney. I always picture Wayne as a playboy in his forties/early fifties at most, specially when Robin enters the scene, and the other options look too young or not imposing enough.

Best Batman voice, Kevin Conroy, no doubt. Maybe tinted by nostalgia, but I think the animated series (the first season) is the definitive version of Batman. No other version "gets" his pathos in the way that show does. Also, Mask of the Phantasm is a better exploration of the character and his origin than any of the live action movies. But since there are a lot of people involved in creating that version of the character instead of a single author, it needs a different mention.

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OMGFather

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@hermes said:

Best live action Batman, Michael Keaton. He is not entirely in line with the "ideal" Batman (he kills people with bombs while smiling, three things Batman is not known for), but his performance is the most iconic.

Best Bruce Wayne, character-wise Bale. I just enjoy his playboy debauchery to keep people out of his track too much. Physically-wise Clooney. I always picture Wayne as a playboy in his forties/early fifties at most, specially when Robin enters the scene, and the other options look too young or not imposing enough.

Best Batman voice, Kevin Conroy, no doubt. Maybe tinted by nostalgia, but I think the animated series (the first season) is the definitive version of Batman. No other version "gets" his pathos in the way that show does. Also, Mask of the Phantasm is a better exploration of the character and his origin than any of the live action movies. But since there are a lot of people involved in creating that version of the character instead of a single author, it needs a different mention.

This for me exactly. I grew up with Keaton and Conroy so maybe I'm biased.

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infinity_thor

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@flstyle said:
@infinity_thor said:

Not sure how anyone can say Bale. His take on Batman sucked and if we're being honest, that nolan trilogy sucked with Batman. He's the world's greatest detective and that series never really played that up at all.

I'm not the biggest Bale Batman fan in the world but The Dark Knight is in my top 5 of all time so you can keep your if we're being honest.

I'm not saying it's a bad movie, it's fine. However in terms of being a great Batman movie I think it falls a bit short. The entire trilogy has movies that aren't bad, just lacking in the Batman aspect.

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BonelessSpirit

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#17  Edited By BonelessSpirit  Online

I'm glad to see Conroy leading the poll.

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Gundato

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best is Conroy by a large margin

But, from his limited (?) work in the role, I think Greenwood deserves a lot more love. Between Under the Red Hood and Young Justice he put in some REALLY great performances and made some difficult scripts and scenes work. His baseline was fine and I would go so far as to claim that his highs are comparable to everything but Conroy's greatest moments (think the Justice Lords episode).

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doombot13

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I voted Conroy but wanted to give a shoutout to Diedrich Bader. Brave and the Bold is my favorite Batman show, he killed it.

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NTM

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#20  Edited By NTM

Christian Bale. It's easy to laugh about his voice, especially when he does the 'where are they!' kind of yell, but I like and approve of his voice direction. It made sense. Others didn't go far enough with the voice. Also, think about Christian Bale, with his Welsh accent and compare it to both his American Bruce Wayne accent, then add on top of that a guttural voice. It's kind of impressive. It's hard to see Christian Bale as an actor/person, as Batman, so to me, it was a transformative role. The only thing I wish was done better was some of the fight choreography, especially in The Dark Knight Rises. The style was cool, but there were just too many moments where you can clearly see stuntman's waiting to go in for a hit, or one time falling down when he didn't get touched.

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Kraznor

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First Batman I saw in theatres was Val Kilmer so a bit irked I'm not even allowed to pick that wrong answer.

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Junkerman

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Just a PSA if anyone who likes batman is reading this and hasn't seen Batman Brave and the Bold you should watch it. Don't be put off by its colorful art style and panache, it is a love letter to Batman and celebrates him with a lovingly crafted comedy I was not expecting.

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Gundato

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@kraznor: I still argue that Val Kilmer was one of the best Bruce Waynes.

Horrible Batman, but good Bruce

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MonkeyKing1969

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If you just want to go for the voice...well, what is the point of half the package?

So, Ben Affleck without a doubt. Sure Bale could do his skinny, fly weight The Machinist (2004) character of Batman...lots of pathos in that performances. But, as far has being a Bruce Wayne and being a buff but older Batman, you cannot beat Bat-fleck.

I will say this ALL of the actors on TV and film did a pretty good job for their era of Batman: West, Keaton, Kilmer, Clooney, and Bale all did what was needed for their era and their films. But overall, the whole package from serious line reads to a touch of humor Ben Affleck wins with Keaton a close second.


Also, this has to be said, the best "burlesque" of Batman is Pete Holmes.

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ShaggE

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I love the hell out of Keaton's take on Batman as a weird-ass guy who gives zero fucks about killing, but Conroy is the definitive Batman to me. It's all about that voice.

Just like Hamill's Joker... once the "PG" restraints were taken off of him in the Arkham games, he became the perfect representation of the character to me. But, like Keaton, I'll always have a spot in my heart for Nicholson. He was very different from the more traditional takes, but he was so damn *weird*, and that was amazing.

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Arcitee

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You forgot Will Arnett (Lego movie 1,2 Lego Batman)

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FrodoBaggins

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I don't like batman, never have.

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Drachmalius

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Kevin Conroy really made me like the character of Batman in the first place, so he's my answer. But I think Christian Bale and Michael Keaton both did a great job with the role. And Ben Affleck had the most wasted potential of them all. He could've been amazing with a better director at the helm.

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ScottyHawkeye

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@inevpatoria: It was Batman Day, sorry had to wait for my Karma to drop. I will say you provided a well-crafted argument. I'd say Bale's rendition of Batman is how I'd envision a real-life, Batman, whereas Affleck and Keaton are closer to the source material. My personal favorite is Conroy because whenever I pick up a Batman comic or book his Batman voice is the one I hear when reading Batman's dialogue.

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Mikemcn

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I didnt know his name, but the voice I hear when I think of Batman is Kevin Conroy's.

Christian Bale is my favorite live action version. Other versions are just too goofy.

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Humanity

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I don't like batman, never have.

Yah but who is the best one?

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FrodoBaggins

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Aviont

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Diedrich Bader! Batman Brave and the Bold is some of the best batmam stuff and also a really good semi-Justice League show. The takes on silver and gold age comics is spot on and the humor is AMAZING.

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#34 Rahf  Online
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FrodoBaggins

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@rahf: oh you are really forcing my arm now 🤣 the least worst is probably Conroy. But still batman is shit. Spiderman FTW

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inevpatoria

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@rahf: oh you are really forcing my arm now 🤣 the least worst is probably Conroy. But still batman is shit. Spiderman FTW

Who is most bad?! I want a full ranking!

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Rahf

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#37 Rahf  Online
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MeierTheRed

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#38  Edited By MeierTheRed

@bane said:

Voice: Kevin Conroy

Ben Affleck otherwise. He's got the right look for Bruce Wayne and the build for Batman. It's just a shame his time as Batman wasn't put to the best use.

Agree on that, i really like Keaton but nostalgia plays a huge part of that. That aside i think Affleck did a great job at Batman, he was the only actor that managed to pull me through the boring snooze fest that was Batman Vs. Superman.

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Tophar01

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Bruce Wayne

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devise22

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#41 devise22  Online

Conroy gets my vote because his voice as Batman is iconic and he really has the detective stuff on lock.

That said, live action wise it's kind of nice to see some nuance in here and not just fanboyism. Like yes, the popular convention says that Batfleck was "bad" because it's fun to hate on Ben Affleck but he really had the Frank Miller Dark Knight Rises Bat down to a tee. The warehouse fight scene in BvS is legit as close to the Batman video games or "real" Batman combat that we've ever seen in live action. The reality is though the material otherwise he had to work with wasn't the greatest, which I think leads to people overlooking how hard he clearly worked in trying to bring the character to life. And while his Wayne still left something to be desired, that opening scene of BvS where he see's the consequences of Supermans/Zods DBZ fight actually justified the entire concept of that movie, and Affleck acted the shit out of that sequence. But he never really felt like what we are supposed to think when we see Bruce Wayne. Ergo, rich elite reality TV star type.

Bale was the best Bruce Wayne though. His rich playboy fly by night buying up hotels while partying in their lobby fountain antics was Wayne to a tee.

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FrostyRyan

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Bale obviously because his character has an actual fucking arc, unlike literally all the other live action batmans.

obvious respect to conroy though as his voice is 100% perfect for the character.

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#43  Edited By Tom_omb

@gundato said:

@kraznor: I still argue that Val Kilmer was one of the best Bruce Waynes.

Horrible Batman, but good Bruce

He's far from my number one, but I'm also disappointed he wasn't included in this multiple choice poll. I hate how people lump "Batman Forever" and "Batman and Robin" together, they are remembered as one movie. There's a huge gap in quality and intention.

@aviont:

More people need to see Brave and The Bold! Proof that silver age wackiness can work for Batman today.

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Castiel

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Your mother!