Everyone has their version of Batman when the character comes to mind. For some, it’s Adam West, others think Michael Keaton, and there are likely many who consider Christian Bale. Now that Ben Affleck’s Batfleck has been taking the world by storm, he’s sure to wind up in the conversation. However, many had a problem with his take — he killed people. Unashamedly so, and seemingly without much thought. Of course, there’s an argument to be made about Keaton’s Batman. Remember the sewer-grenade kill? But Batman v Superman left little to the imagination, the Bat was brutal. Shortly after the film’s release, Zack Snyder explained why his Batman killed, but some people still aren’t comfortable with it. One of those people just so happens to be the definitive Dark Knight, Kevin Conroy.
Talking to IGN, Conroy spoke of what he loved so much about the character he’s been voicing for a quarter of a century. Out of that, came his issue with the Caped Crusader we saw on screen earlier this year.
“Personally I love the fact that Batman – in the stories I’ve done, and the way he’s been rendered by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, the people I’ve worked with most closely – he never kills anybody. He doesn’t cross that line. Batman is not a killer.
“He puts them into Arkham Asylum, which is what is so brilliant about the Arkham Games – someone realised, ‘my god, all these incredible villains are all in the same institution – let’s get a video game in there’. It’s a brilliant idea. But the fact that Batman never kills anyone – I loved that fact.
“In the most recent live action movie, that seems to have been a line that was crossed and it’s not one I’m particularly comfortable with.”
It’s an understandable concern, one that often divides Bat-fans. Should he kill? What does he stand for if he does; how does he justify the continued chaos and killing if he doesn’t? What’s most fascinating is that these questions will never be answered.
Hear more of Kevin Conroy’s definitive Bat-voice in Batman: The Killing Joke, Justice League Action, which launches later this year, and in Injustice 2 releasing in early 2017.
Image: Warner Bros.