We Are Batman- Ranking the Cinematic Batmen
The greatest thing about Batman is that, depending on the time period, he can be whatever we need him to be at any given time. He has been a pulp detective, a campy cartoon character, a brooding loner, a family man, an empath and a monster. Batman has been all of those things and more throughout his career which has spanned nearly 80 years. He has been featured in a wide array of mediums over the years as well. He originally started as “just another story” in Detective Comics, before receiving his own title in the early ’40s. Since then, he has appeared on radio, television, in movies, video games and more. With each iteration comes something new about the caped crusader. Every writer and every actor that has ever taken on the role of Batman has added something different to the character’s legacy. To carry the mantle of the Bat is a difficult task to take on, and we salute each and every person that has done it. We want to celebrate those men as we offer up this list ranking each Cinematic Batman.
8) Lewis Wilson, The Batman Serial (1943)
Pros: Was the first ever live-action Batman. The costume was pretty comic book-accurate for the time. Strong jawline.
Cons: Terrible Mask. Bad at fighting. Weird cape.
7) Robert Lowery, Batman and Robin Serial (1949)
Pros: Better actor. A big inspiration for Adam West’s portrayal. Cool chest emblem. Better cape.
Cons: Even worse mask. Seriously, a Halloween costume from K-Mart looked better than that atrocity. People aren’t gonna be afraid of a guy who can’t even see out of his own mask. Also, he kinda looked like your drunk uncle wearing a cheap Batman costume.
6) George Clooney, Batman and Robin (1997)
Pros: He’s George Clooney. Incredibly dashing and more mature Bruce Wayne. A better actor than his predecessor. Coming off the success of From Dusk til Dawn, so no stranger to bats. Great chin.
Cons: Terrible script. Puns. Being turned into a love-struck teenager because of Poison Ivy. Bat Nipples. Had to be in Batman and Robin. Real dumb costumes, designed to sell toys. Too campy, even though he could play “dark” very well.
5) Val Kilmer, Batman Forever (1995)
Pros: Looked like Bruce Wayne more than Michael Keaton did. Good lips, which sounds weird but it’s important to the overall aesthetic. Portrayed “tortured Bruce Wayne” well. Was the first Batman to wear more than one “Bat Costume.” Had good chemistry with Chris O’Donnell.
Cons: Had terrible chemistry with Nicole Kidman. Acted with his mouth open a lot. First words were “I’ll get drive-thru.” Terrible Batmobile. Bat Nipples. Wasn’t Michael Keaton.
4) Adam West, Batman TV Series (1966-1968)
Pros: Comic book-accurate Batman Costume. Great sounding voice. Enthusiasm for the character. Was the only person in the TV series who was unaware it was satirical. Had great chemistry with Burt Ward’s Robin. Performance and creation of the show were what saved the Batman comic book from being canceled. Without West’s Batman, we might not have a Batman period. Batussi.
Cons: Paunchy belly. Cowl had ears that were too short. Was never given anything with real depth to work with. Battusi.
3) Ben Affleck, Batman V Superman and Justice League (2016, 2017)
Pros: Best looking Batman costume by far. Dark Knight Returns style build. Homeboy was ripped. Awesome chin. Even more awesome chin cleft. Played a great “dark Batman.” Seemed to enjoy playing the character at first. The best fight scene in a Batman movie ever.
Cons: Boring and bland Bruce Wayne. Weird costume in the latter half of Justice League. Grew to hate the role. Stopped fighting Superman because both of their moms were named ‘Martha.’ Quit the role before a definitive solo film.
2) Christian Bale, Dark Knight Trilogy (2005, 2008, 2012)
Pros: Best Bruce Wayne. Actually made us care about Bruce Wayne, even when he wasn’t in the Batman costume. Best actor to play the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne. Looked exactly like Bruce Wayne would look like. Ripped to shreds. Didn’t yell at any lighting operators. Best series of Batman films. Great chemistry with Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman.
Cons: Not a great costume. Missed the fundamental reasoning for being Batman in the first place. Was too “realistic” sometimes. Retired from being Batman after, like, a year. Then came back. Then retired again. Terrible chemistry with either of the Rachels. That g*damn voice.
1) Michael Keaton, Batman and Batman Returns (1989, 1992)
Pros: He’s Batman.
Cons: He’s not Batman.