Sunday, 28 February 2010

The Man Who Would Be Batman

Justify FullMany men have played over the years, from the 1940s right up to the current day, and yet, to my mind, there is only one man who is truly Batman, having played him on and off over the last eighteen years. Yes, of course, that man is Kevin Conroy.

"What the huh?" I imagine you are saying at this point (or maybe something stronger, knowing that many have a tendency towards the mouth of the gutter). "Who the blinking flip* is this Kevin Conroy chappie? To be perfectly honest, I was pretty convinced you were going to say Adam West**"
Adam West is brilliant and quite the deadpan comedy genius and all that but no, he's not Batman. Kevin Conroy is. So who is he then? Well, he's the voice behind the animated version of Batman who appeared the early 90s Batman: The Animated Series as well as the continuations of that universe Batman Beyond and Justice League and also standalone features features such as Batman: Gotham Knight and Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. As such, this has made him the longest running actor to portray the role in either animated or live-action form.

Why is he so definitively Batman? I guess partly because he's played him for so long but mainly because he really seems to get the character. He uses distinctly different voices for Bruce Wayne and Batman, giving the common impression received in the comics that Bruce Wayne is the act/persona and Batman is the real personality. It's definitely his voice that I hear in my head when I imagine how Batman speaks. Certainly not Christian Bale who, much as I really do enjoy the new Batman films, takes the Batman voice a bit too far into the realms of the ridiculous.

So hats off to Mr Conroy for top Batmanning for nearly two decades now and let's give the last word to the man himself:-

* Or words to that effect.

** Star of the campy 1960s TV series version. You know, the one with the "dinner dinner dinner dinner dinner dinner dinner dinner Batman" theme tune. Yes, of course you knew.


Lady Euphoria Deathwatch said...

Hi Baldy,

I have to agree with you.

But if he isn't available Adam West is the very next choice.


That Baldy Fella said...

Lady E - There's always room for Adam West.

Irish Gumbo said...

I didn't know Batman and Public Enemy were in the same feature! Cool! I wonder which villain Chuck D. played...ooh, and what about Flava Flav!? (tongue firmly in cheek)