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15 Sep 2018

#BatmanDay: Looking at top 5 portrayals of the iconic superhero

'I am the vengeance! I am the night! I am Batman', more iconic lines have rarely been heard from superheroes.

Batman is one of the most beloved and relatable heroes. No, we are not talking about his wealth. He is an ordinary man who fights crime without any superpowers.

As DC celebrates Batman Day today, we bring you the 5 best Batman portrayals.

In context

5 best Batman portrayals in films and television


Context: Under everything, just another human being

Batman was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, and it first appeared in Detective Comics before it became DC.

The start of Batman's arc saw him more as a detective than a superhero. He operated in Gotham, a fictional place rife with crime.

The son of billionaires Thomas and Martha Wayne, Bruce became the caped crusader after witnessing his parents' murder.

Michael Keaton

#1: A dance with the devil under the pale moonlight

Tim Burton's 1989 film was one of the first steps in the right direction for a Batman movie.

The film drew inspiration from Frank Miller and Alan Moore's comics, giving Batman the dark and dangerous tone.

Jack Nicholson's Joker was a revelation but Michael Keaton stole the show.

His demeanor as he alternated between a tough vigilante and suave billionaire, became the franchise's cornerstone.

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Val Kilmer

#2: Out of the darkness, into light

Then, in 1995, Batman Forever had an extremely different flavor.

Someone at Warner Bros. decided that Keaton's film was too dark.

As a result, fans got a film with almost disco-lighting in some scenes. If that was not enough, Val Kilmer played Batman who had nipples on his bat-suit!

Nonetheless, Kilmer's sharp acting, bolstered by Jim Carrey's Riddler and Tommy Lee Jones' Two-Face saved the day.

Christian Bale

#3: Superhero or art film?

Christopher Nolan's trilogy remains the best Batman movies. Yes, comic book purists, fight me on this!

Christian Bale picked up the mantle of Gotham's protector and he did a wonderful job.

His voice distortions, passion, and pain as the Dark Knight, and his anguish as Bruce were all remarkable.

However, this writer opines that he played an even better Bruce than he did Batman.

Ben Affleck

#4: A hint of danger in the masked vigilante

Ben Affleck donned the cape after Bale for Zack Snyder's movies. Without going into how disappointing the films were, we shall only focus on how Ben Affleck was as Batman.

The film saw a different Bat, much more physically aggressive and doling out the pain.

While Affleck wowed us as Batman, especially in fight sequences, his portrayal of Bruce was almost one dimensional.

Kevin Conroy

#5: The voice that made Batman

Batman: The Animated Series is the best adaptation of Batman outside comics.

The iconic heavy voice of Batman in the series became so popular, that every film after it tried to mimic it. The genius behind this was Kevin Conroy, a man who never appeared on-screen.

Let us appreciate a true master, who made the animated Batman come alive through voice emoting and modulations.

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