Now, with the recent revelation that beloved Batman comic book tale Batman: The Killing Joke will be making its way to our screens in the form of a DC animated movie, it's perhaps no surprise that interest in a certain pair of iconic voice actors is currently sky high. After all, not only are Kevin 'Batman' Conroy and Mark 'The Joker' Hamill returning to perhaps their most acclaimed roles for the film, but they're doing so for one of the most character-driven Batman versus Joker tales out there.
Which, as it happens, mostly just reinforces one key thing:
Kevin Conroy Is Basically Just Batman At This Point
So much so, in fact, that it seemed about time we came up with some kind of list in support of that fact. Here, then, are seven key reasons that Kevin Conroy is, essentially, Batman.
7. He's Voiced Batman For Most Of Our Lives
In fact, if you were born after around 1987, there's a pretty good chance that some variation of his animated Batman was your first real exposure to the hero. From 1992's Batman: The Animated Series, all the way through to the Arkham games (with a whole lot else in between), Conroy has very much become the definitive voice of Batman.
6. He's The Reason Modern Day Batman Sounds The Way He Does
As Conroy himself put it in an interview with DC Comics a little while back, when preparing to play the Dark Knight in Batman: The Animated Series:
"I asked if I could try a different voice for Batman to make him really disappear in the mask. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that he’s the most powerful, wealthiest, most eligible bachelor in Gotham City, yet he puts on a cape and cowl and no one knows it’s him. So I suggested an alternate voice to really play up the mystery behind it which brought a little character into it for me, and made it a lot more fun."
Sure, Michael Keaton did much the same thing, but considering Conroy's longevity, there's a pretty good chance that without him, we wouldn't have seen the husky Bale-Man beloved by fans of the Dark Knight series.
5. He REALLY Commits To The Part
As Conroy himself as argued:
"He’s a complicated guy, and that voice can’t be just a quirky voice that you as an actor put on. It’s a state of mind that you have to get into because that voice comes from such a deep well of pain. If you don’t really do it genuinely, it sounds artificial. It sounds like you’re just putting on a funny voice. You really need to invest it with a lot of emotion and a lot of backstory. At least, that’s what I’ve found.
Which sure does suggest that somewhere inside Conroy there's a little of bit of Bruce Wayne fighting its way towards the surface...
4. He's A Real-Life Hero
Now, while Conroy can seldom be found patrolling the city streets at night (primarily because you'd never find him), he did still do something simply and heartwarmingly lovely in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. He headed straight into town, and volunteered to cook for the emergency service workers struggling to save lives.
Which, seeing as he's an actor, and would have been completely in the way doing literally anything else, is actually pretty darned awesome.
3. There Was That Time He Owned An Entire Promotional Video With One Line
Just wait for it... (or, y'know, head to around the 3:36 mark, and watch things unfurl from there...)
2. He Went To School With Superman
Or, rather, he went to Juilliard with Christopher Reeve — who soon became famous as the original movie Superman — presumably making his young adulthood the stuff comic book flashbacks are made of.
And, of course...
1. There Was That Time He Snuck Into Superman's House And Beat Him Up
More specifically, he broke into Tim ''90s animated Superman'' Daly's house, and went all Dark Knight on the beloved character actor.
Now, sure, it was all part of a gag — but that doesn't make Conroy any less gloriously terrifying... and Batman-like.