Voice Actor Kevin Conroy tackles Bale Batman
The most memorable images of Batman facing off against the Joker were imagined or drawn by the likes of Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan, Jim Lee, and Bruce Timm. Be it live-action, animation, or comic panel there’s an undeniable attraction between the two outcasts; one of the many fascinating aspects of their endless rivalry. Michael Keaton and Christian Bale have each received undeniable praise for their time behind the cowl. But how could we forget the voices that brought the animated madness of Bruce Timm and Paul Dini’s world to life?
Batman: The Animated Series did much more than compensate for the 90’s lackluster Batflicks. It became one of the paramount iterations of the character, and the pinnacle of Superhero cartoons. Its’ universal adoration can almost certainly be attributed to the unforgettable performances of Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as the Joker. The latter may overshadow the former, but any true DC fan will always laugh at a Batman who can’t match Conroy’s power and gravitas. Recently he took to the microphone once more to give his voice to a memorable monologue. Here, Kevin Conroy performs Bale Batman:
And here is the original Christian Bale version seen in theaters:
Conroy Delivers With Undeniable Power
Hearing Conroy reprise one of the two greatest voice acting performances of all time is just awesome. He and Mark Hamill have been incredibly welcoming of countless questions and requests over the years. Their friendship even fuels the fires of DC’s animated studios. Some 4-5 years ago Mark Hamill delivered the infamous Joker monologue in Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke. Here he is reading the famous narration from the graphic novel:
Hamill Shrieks With Unforgettable Malice
The idea then seemed to take a life of its own. DC’s animated studios had been entertaining more mature material. Conroy voiced his enthusiasm along with Hamill. Finally, the fans would hear the most iconic Batman and Joker of all time perform their most iconic face-off. It was, indeed, too good to be true.
Changes and additions to the narrative would unfortunately eclipse any of the movies redeeming qualities. Despite the performers chewing the auditory scenery, fan and critical backlash made the film the most controversial of Hamill and Conroy’s work. Still, the final product carries a chilling moment or two. Here’s the climax:
Mark Hamill Has A Little Fun With Donald Trump
Conroy has always maintained a serious disposition to his Batman voice, but leave it to Joker-Maestro Mark Hamill to have plenty of fun along the way. Earlier this year Hamill blew up the internet by reading some of Donald Trump’s tweets as his Clown(ed) Prince of Crime. His versatility with the character is truly masterful. A chilling and funny reminder that there is no greater Voice Acting Performance in the Art’s history. Can’t we all just have a laugh now and then?
Hamill certainly can:
The Cartoon Network series ended almost 20 years ago but its’ most revered Voice Actors have occasionally found occasion to meet on the metaphorical battlefield. The Arkham Asylum Video Game Series was a powerful continuation and, arguable, conclusion to their friendship. But much as the Batman/Joker relationship itself, there’s no end in sight.
Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill’s magnificent work has forever given life and soul to the famous feud that is surely destined to last…forever.