Getting cast into one of the most iconic comic book Super hero’s of all time can be a huge windfall. Dawning the mask of the caped crusader is the aspiration of many a youngster who has ever read comics, or for those a bit younger, been transfixed by the animated series. Being such a popular character, there have been numerous iterations in the past 40 years. With that in mind we rank the Top 5 (sorry Ben Afflect, you don’t make the cut).
5. Val Kilmer
Hands down the blandest of all the Batman’s, the former Iceman brought his patented dead delivery to the city of Gotham. The addition of his side kick Robin, as well as worthy adversaries in Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carey couldn’t drag along this dud of a hero. Maybe notoriously difficult to work with Kilmer just couldn’t find his artistic vision, or maybe he is just a giant baby in latex.
4. George Clooney
Replacing Val Kilmer in the franchise came Dr. Doug Ross himself. The television drama heartthrob gave a solid performance in an otherwise outlandish interpretation of the Batman heroic tale. The cartoonesque quality and addition of yet another side kick all but towed the line of farce unintentionally, yet a decent staring job by Clooney helped ring in a critically panned visual disaster.
3. Adam West
The original Batman, West served Gotham proud on the television sets of millions of Americans all through out the 1960’s. With his pensive delivery he gave thought and determination to any problem that may arise the fair people of Gotham. With a “Zowie” and “Kapow” he put down any villain that was dumb enough to take on Bruce Wayne, setting up his future career as the Mayor of a small Rhode Island town.
2. Christian Bale
Taking back up the reigns in the revamped Batman franchise, Bale came in a provided the longest tenure than any other Batman on film. Ridiculous gruff voice aside, Bale took the Dark Knight to new heights with his updated trinkets and perfect balance between the arrogant cocky playboy of Gotham and the intelligent heroic masked avenger.
The first to throw on the cape on the silver screen, Keaton surprised many by he nuanced performance in the first two Tim Burton classics. The dark quality of Burton’s cinematic vision had many people questioning if the Mr.Mom star could pull off such a polar opposite of the spastic comedic acting he had mostly done to that time. Boy did he ever pull it off. Going against heavy weight performances by Danny DeVito and Jack Nicholson, Keaton held his own with his strong and mysterious portrayal.
It is inevitable that Batman will be reinterpreted time and time again. There will be good portrayals and bad portrayals, but I think we can all agree that thank god Val Kilmer is too fat to fit in the Lycra.