For as long as humans have huddled together around camp fires at night, we’ve told stories. Some tales like The Last Son of Krypton or The Dark Knight Detective are so primal and mythic that they transcend time and space. They’re immortal. So as long as people exist to tell them, their will be Batman stories. We’ve seen a lot of great Batman performances over the years, but when it comes to the best on screen portrayal of The Caped Crusader, it’s not even close: Kevin Conroy IS Batman.
Yet, It almost feels as if Batman himself has died. For over 30 years, one man has been synonymous with Batman. Since the character’s inception, no other performer has personified The Dark Knight more than Kevin Conroy. Sadly, Kevin passed away at the still relatively young age of 66, from throat cancer.
Over the years, Kevin Conroy showcased his incredible talent and versatility in projects like Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, JLU, many DC Animated Movies, the mega-popular Arkham video game series, Justice League Action, and more. Conroy’s unmistakable voice managed to convey all of the anger, pain, sadness, compassion, humor, and vulnerability of Batman. When I read Batman in a comic book or graphic novel, it’s Kevin Conroy’s voice I hear in my head.
He even got to play the character in the live action, in The CW Arrowverse Crossover Event, Crisis on Infinite Earths. In the crossover miniseries (which is a hell of a lot of fun if you haven’t seen it), Conroy played a much older version of Bruce Wayne from an alternate universe, very similar to the character’s portrayal in the classic Kingdom Come comic book miniseries. Like his Kingdom Come counterpart, Conroy‘s Bruce Wayne is physically battered and broken. As a result of countless injuries sustained over his decades as Batman, Bruce has to wear an exoskeleton at almost all times, to help him get around.
While it may feel like he still had a lot of good years to come playing Batman, he leaves behind a truly legendary body of work and a legacy beyond comparison. He had a reputation for always showing love, kindness, and appreciation to his fans. He truly loved playing Batman and would often speak about how he felt honored to plat the character.
Kevin Conroy was an absolute ICON. We will never see his like again. This post by @TheBatstan on Twitter said it best: “30 years. 3 entire decades where one man became the definitive voice of a legend, to a point where he also became a legend. Wherever Kevin Conroy was, Batman was also there.
Goodbye Kevin. No matter what you’ll always be Vengeance, the Night, THE Batman.”
A FEW OF KEVIN CONROY’S BEST PERORMANCES
Conroy has given countless spectacular, nuanced performances as The Dark Knight over the years. To include every moment in a project, where his performance as Batman elevates the material into something truly special, would require literally thousands of videos. While this is by no means a comprehensive collection of his best work, here are some of my favorite moments of Kevin Conroy performing as Batman/Bruce Wayne:
Kevin’s Most Iconic Batman Line…
One of Kevin’s Favorite Performance As Bruce Wayne/Batman
The Birth of Two-Face
“I Didn’t Mean To…”
World’s Finest: Batman and Superman Meet For The First Time, In A Tense Confrontation
On An Alternate World Ruled By An Tyrannical Justice League Called The Justice Lords. Batman & His Alternate Universe Counterpart Debate The Merits & Weeknesses Of Democracy & Authoritarianism
Batman Sings “A I Blue” At A Nightclub As Part Of Deal To Break A Spell Put on Wonder Woman
Batman Save Superman & An Island Of Evacuating Civilians, From Doomsday & A Nuclear Missile With A Kryptonite Warhead
In The Aftermath Of Doomsday And The Failed Nuclear Weapon Attack On The League, Batman Warns Superman & Wonder Woman, That The Justice League Is Heading Into Some Very Morally Dangerous Territory
Batman Stays With Ace Until She Passes Away
After A Trip An Alternate Timeline, where Bruce’s Father Thomas Wayne Became Batman, After Young Bruce Was Killed instead of His Parents, Barry Allen AKA The Flash, Gives Bruce A letter From His Father
You’ll always be my Batman, Kevin. RIP Batman…
I’d love to hear about your favorite episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, The Arkham video gamess, or any of the other projects Kevin Conroy worked on. Let us know in the common section!
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