No Right Answer: Best Batman Ever

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OK, Escapist, you win this round... this series is awesome. We didn't even need to break out the Jones soda to debate it! Can't wait for the next one!

Good series. You guys are fun to listen to. Could be a little less stiff though.

Sorry guys, I could get this same level of entertainment watching two random people talk about this same subject.

If you're going to make a video debate, have some serious points instead of improving everything...

So apparently most people who post comments on the Escapist do not have the ability to detect irony? Interesting.

I think the best Batman was Michael Keaton.

He was the only one that played Batman with the right sort of insanity that is required for the character.

Craazhy:
This is difficult because we have yet to have a Batman movie where the studio wasn't pressing the villian in your face rather than the main character. Sure the main character had more lines and more camera time, or whatever, but who stuck out at you better?

Keaton or Nickelson?
Kilmer or Carrey and Jones?
Clooney or Arnold?
Bale or the immortal Ledger?

Maybe Clooney and Arnold was a even-sided fight, but my point remains valid that Batman and Bruce Wayne have not been pressed to their fullest genuine potential.

If I was forced to vote, I would vote Kilmer with Keaton as a close second. I just wish Kilmer had had a better director. I do agree that Clooney did the best Bruce Wayne, but his Batman was proportionately as dull.

I also fully believe that Val Kilmer played the best cowboy in the history of western films in Tombstone.

Your sarcasm aside for your actual picks (icwutudidthar), I think you might have forgotten a couple villains here or there since Keaton and Bale had two movies each under their belt.

For Keaton vs. Nicholson? Keaton, surprisingly. Nicholson's Joker is indeed awesome, but Keaton's Batman matched and in some ways surpassed his insanity. Heck, that insanity even managed to creep into Bruce Wayne at times ("You wanna get nuts? C'MON! Let's get nuts!") Keaton played a very adjusted and subtle Bruce with only hints of a dark past, different from the brooding playboy cover of Bale's--while Keaton's compared to Conroy's is similar but a bit more believable/mysterious and better merged.

For Keaton vs. Pfeiffer vs. De Vito, Keaton and Pfeiffer actually managed to match each other. Having an equally insane/damaged Catwoman was a good idea, even if Batman Returns suffered from a lot of flaws (was still an entertaining movie, though). I'll even overlook the idea that cats can bring people back to life and grant them nine lives. :p

For Kilmer vs. Carrey vs. Jones? Believe it or not, Kilmer came across to me better, despite Jones playing Two-Face and being a more iconic actor, despite Carrey's over-the-top antics. Riddler I can understand, but Two-Face was too much a caricature and B:TAS had already planted my impression of how Two-Face was supposed to behave.

For Clooney vs. Aaaahhnold! vs. Thurman? Believe it or not, Arnold stole the show. Clooney plays a good Clooney, but not a very compelling Batman, especially not when he's engaged in a dick measuring contest with Chris O' Donnell. He also has to live down the stigma of the Bat Credit Card and the nipple/ass suits. Arnold's role did all the work for him. Mr. Freeze immediately pulls at the heartstrings of anyone who has seen B:TAS first. Not even his stiff acting or ice puns could take away from that. Something I still marvel at every day.

I have not seen all of Batman Begins, but I'm gonna say it was Bale who came out on top there. Since Begins was all about how Batman becomes Batman, the focus on him almost without a doubt makes him the star of his own story. They also picked two perfect villains for this. Al Ghoul is a compelling villain in any version but is designed to be Bruce's image of the darker path or the low road, a compromise of some principle or another at its most basic level. And Scarecrow is meant to be the fear that seeps through Batman's armor and attacks Bruce Wayne directly, a fear he HAS to overcome to be who he is, to be Batman. Scarecrow is already set up to yield the spotlight to the bat.

Ledger AND Eckheart (once he's disfigured) outperform Bale in Dark Knight. But that's how it should be in my opinion, because this is the point where Batman starts being defined BY the villains he comes across, not the other way around. Forever dancing in the spiral of madness that is his obsession, his compulsion.

That being said? Keaton is the best Batman. Conroy's Batman is better, but only with the cowl on. People forget that Bruce Wayne is always Batman (ALWAYS), that there is a marriage between the two identities and each has to serve their role. Keaton's and Conroy's portrayals of both sides of the mask do it well, but Keaton portrays the UNION of both sides of the mask better. Conroy's, however, uses the Wayne side of the mask for Batman purposes a lot more often. Adam West is an awesome Batman just because he's Adam fucking West, in the same way that George Clooney is a terrible Batman because he chose to be George fucking Clooney. Of course, this is also likely because he chose to be George fucking Clooney in Batman and Robin, as opposed to Ocean's Eleven or The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Val Kilmer's Batman is just too bland to remember. Bale's, while bland, tried to take a more internal look into the cogs and gears of Bruce Wayne's mind, but since Dark Knight couldn't trust the audience to make inferences and instead chooses exposition for this, we end up reading the Batman Cliff's Notes instead of watching and seeing Batman.

I allways thought George Clooney was generally considered to be the Worst Batman?

I like Michael Keaton to be honest.

Unquestioningly the best Batman ever to grace the small screen (Im not sure if he had a feature film) was Kevin Conroy in Batman: The animated series of the 90's and later on Justice League and Justice League unlimited. He always did a perfect Bruce Wayne and Batman, if you didnt know any better you'd think they where different people.

The only other actor that came close to that perfect dichotomy of Suave Bruce and Badass Batman is Micheal Keaton. Close but yet so far...

Seriously, how many grew up with Conroy? Show of hands.....Thats what I thought 8)

All of them have their pros and cons. I like Kevin Conroy's Batman myself. The guy who voices Batman in Batman: The Brave and the Bold is like a manlier Adam West.

"Why are the nipples showing?" I ask myself that every time I see Batman's costume. Anyhow, Adam West is the best Batman to me personally, but somehow I feel like Bruce Wane is the ultimate Batman *Smirk*.

ermm i don't know if this for humor or you guys really mean it, but was Michael Keaton did a better role on the tim burton batman?

i like you guys

In order of preference (left being best): Kevin Conroy, Michael Keaton and Christian Bale.

The latter's performance only loses out slightly due to the silly dog growl in The Dark Knight. Let's hope that's toned down for The Dark Knight Rises.

I'm not feeling this show, to be honest.
The lads are alright, although Chris of the suspicious neck beard has a habit of... smiling... all the godamn time... Like he's in on some joke and won't tell us...
Or like he's farted and the other guy knows, but can't do anything as they're recording...

Or maybe I'm an asshole and he's actually having a good time doing the show.
More power to him in that case.

Two things, first off Kevin Conroy is the best batman, and two what is with the shameless Jones Soda plugs? Are you guys trying to get a sponsorship from them?

bruce wayne is the best batman

No love for kevin conroy? Seriously? The guy was great as both batman and brucewayne. I guess we're only recognizing live-action actors then...

Siris:
No! Wrong! The Animated Series was the best Batman!

This. I could have seen a good argument between the TAS Batman and Val Kilmer, because Val Kilmer did a pretty good job (despite having to work with a pretty lame script), but I still would give the victory to the TAS Batman.
George Clooney was horribly miscast for that role. But then,was there anything that "Batman and Robin" *did* get right.

You guys picked the two worst batman's as which one is best? Really?

Nostalgia Critic Pointed this out:
Michael Keaton IS the best batman. why?
Cause he is a comedian, WHO WOULD SUSPECT THAT!!!!????

Hijax:
Nicholas cage in Kickass is the best batman.

You are correct sir!!! haaa haaa haaa

Duffeknol:
Nostalgia critic did an episode on the exact same thing. No problem, though, since it's an age old question.

Also Kevin Conroy is the best batman duuuuhhhh.

Debate over after four posts. I was going to say this if no one else had, but silly me to think that no one else would.

honestdiscussioner:
You guys picked the two worst batman's as which one is best? Really?

Have you figured out yet why they call the show No Right Answer? Hint: there's a double meaning.

I've never seen the videos, but the best batman in my opinion: Batman Beyond.

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