Batman first appeared in 1939's Detective Comics Issue #27 and swiftly became a household name due to the character's mysterious persona and his unwavering sense of vigilantism. After steadily increasing in popularity, the Caped Crusader made his jump to the small screen in 1943 and has been portrayed by a variety of actors throughout the years. As the nature of these iterations has varied from actor to actor, fans of the character have usually preferred one version over another. However, director Zack Snyder might've brought a sense of finality to this debate by dubbing Ben Affleck as the best Batman ever.
Despite having a total of eight live-action versions to choose from, the #DC fandom is usually divided between three of them: Michael Keaton's turn as Tim Burton's Batman, Christian Bale's realistic and raspy voiced Dark Knight and, finally, Ben Affleck's trigger-happy, menacing rendition. That's why, when fans are asked to provide a definitive answer, they have often diplomatically hailed Kevin Conroy as the greatest of all time, due to his perfect voice-work as Batman and Bruce Wayne.
However, as Zack Snyder has always been known to take bold decisions, he has publicly expressed his love for Batfleck on Vero while wishing everyone a happy Batman day.
When Warner Bros. first announced that they had hired Ben Affleck to star as Batman, fans of the character responded to the decision with concerns. However, when they finally saw him take down criminals with ease and stand face-to-face with Superman, fans were fairly convinced that they had a world class Batman on their hands. That's why, even when Batman V Superman went down in flames due to the unabashed critical panning, Affleck's nuanced performance as the emotionally dysfunctional Dark Knight was unanimously supported and his return to the big screen is still highly anticipated in 2017's Justice League and Matt Reeves's The Batman.
Batfleck Is Kevin Conroy's Favorite Batman As Well!
When the first teaser of Batman V Superman hit the screens of #SDCC 2014, fans were ecstatic with perhaps the most comic book accurate Bruce Wayne of all time. However, when the movie finally arrived in theaters, the movie was bashed for having an incoherent plot and its unnecessarily grim tone, but also praised for effectively utilizing Ben Affleck's acting prowess to bring Batman to life. So, it was an assuring moment when Conroy, who has voiced Batman for 24 years, complimented Affleck’s balanced performance.
"You know, I thought it was weird when Warner Bros. didn’t give the franchise to one actor when the first started doing the films. You just assumed they were going to cast a Batman and he was going to carry the whole franchise. But then when I saw the different ones — Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer, [George Clooney], and Christian Bale — all the different takes, this was really smart, because each actor does it so differently.
And I love seeing all the different takes. I think some of them get Bruce Wayne more than they get Batman, and some of them get Batman more than they get Bruce Wayne. I think Ben Affleck has probably gotten the best balance of the two. He’s a really good Bruce Wayne and a really good Batman."
Although Conroy aptly pointed out that Affleck had incorporated the most effective qualities of Bruce Wayne and Batman into his role, the veteran voice-actor didn't shy away from the fact that Affleck's Batman was a tad too bloodthirsty for his taste.
"I hated the fact that there was there was so much death in that movie. I just think that it's important that Batman doesn’t kill. That’s a line that we never crossed, and I love that about him. It was like he was too noble to kill. Killing was too cheap. It was something the villains did, you know? I love that about the character, so I have a real problem."
This is a complaint that many fans surely agree with, but the fact that Conroy and Snyder both agree that Ben Affleck has achieved something special with his performance is still noteworthy. As Affleck's Batman has begun to show some levity in the Justice League's promotional features, fans and critics can expect him to lighten his violent antics with some much needed humor. In addition to this, Matt Reeves has promised to explore Bruce's detective skills in The Batman, perhaps delivering the most comic book accurate Batman we've ever seen on the big screen.
Who is the best Batman of all time? Let me know in the comments.