Geek Dad wonders which actor did the best Batman: Adam West, Michael Keaton, Kevin Conroy, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, or Christian Bale?
That's easy for me to answer: Kevin Conroy. He's the voice actor for Batman in Batman: The Animated Series. Geek Dad says:
I’m sure people will argue that Conroy had an easier job than the others because he was doing voice acting, but anyone who’s done voice acting knows it’s a lot harder than it sounds. Plus, he didn’t get the benefit of getting to wear an awesome costume. And Conroy did a very good job, lending the role the gravitas it needed for the dark mood of the series, without making his Batman a caricature.
Sure, Conroy had certain advantages, but most of the Batman movies have hurt themselves needlessly. Michael Keaton did a good job in the first movie, in spite of his short stature. But the franchise went downhill after that. The writers and directors seemed to think that fancy special effects and stunts were substitutes for a good story with credible dialogue. Cute gadgetry, such as various incarnations of the Batmobile, were used and kept on screen like gaudy product placements. One-liners replaced actual discussions between characters.
And do I need to mention the nipples on the Batman costume? I mean, come'on guys, what were you thinking?
Most of the Batman movies were more like two-hour long trailers than coherent stories. That's why Mask of the Phantasm was, by far, the best Batman movie.
Christian Bale's Batman has been largely unhampered by such counterproductive tricks. Still, like Gavin Richardson in a Sailor Moon costume, he wasn't quite able to pull off the role credibly. It was, for example, obvious that Bale was straining to drop his voice an octave, whereas Conroy did so easily.
And Adam West's Batman, predating Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, is simply unworthy of consideration.
What do you think? Who was the best Batman?