Batman standing atop a building in the opening sequence for Batman: The Animated Series.

Every Batman Voice Actor, Ranked According to How Much Gotham Deserves Them

Apparently a lot of people are “vengeance” and “the night” these days.

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Batman is one of those roles that can make a career overnight. I mean, just look at Robert Pattison. The dude is a killer actor, and always has been. He was nailing it in movies like The Lighthouse and Good Time, but the unwashed masses didn’t think of him as anything else but “The Twilight Guy” until his stellar performance in The Batman.

Batman has left an indelible mark on the pop culture psyche, and many a star have sought riches and glory taking up the cape and cowl. But what about the unsung crusaders? The ones that truly live in shadow? The ones whose faces we don’t see. I’m talking of course about Batman’s voice actors. Their secret identities are often as mysterious as the identity of Batman himself (hint: he’s Bruce Wayne), but today we are going to shine a light on those actors that live in the darkness of the vocal booth. Here they are, every Batman voice actor, ranked according how much Gotham deserves them as a hero.

10. Benjamin McKenzie – Year One

batman year one
(Warner Bros.)

Gotham could use a hero like Benjamin McKenzie in a pinch, but there are better choices on this list. The choice made sense on paper. Benny shot to fame in the early 2000s by playing a rich bad boy type in The O.C., but the problem is that he didn’t have a lot of experience as a voice actor. While a film actor has the benefit of having their whole face in the shot, voices actors have a camera trained only on their vocal cords. Nuanced performances on film can sound flat in the vocal booth, simply because there isn’t a facial expression to go along with it. Because of this, Benjamin McKenzie’s performance falls a little flat.

9. Diedrich Bader – Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Animated heroes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
(Warner Bros.)

Gotham is doing a little bit better with a hero like Diedrich Bader in the Batmobile Driver’s Seat, but not by much. Batman: The Brave and the Bold was a series meant to portray the lighthearted aspects of crime fighting in Gotham (assuming there are any), but Bader’s performance doesn’t really reflect this. He sounds like every other tough guy. It’s not the wrong choice, it’s just not as interesting as some of the other vocal performances on this list. To be fair, many of these actors had some of the greatest Batman scripts ever written to work with. The Brave and The Bold is cute, but the odds weren’t in Bader’s favor.

8. William Baldwin – Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

Animated Batman.

Now we’re getting somewhere. Gotham City deserves a hero like William Baldwin on at least a biweekly basis. He only voiced the character once in Crisis On Two Earths, but he did a pretty phenomenal job. He has a vocal quality that makes Batman sound grounded and commanding. A good Batman portrayal has got to have some authority behind it, and Baldwin delivers on this front. The only reason that he isn’t ranked higher is because he did the role once, while other people on this list are veterans.

7. Will Arnet – The Lego Movie

lego batman
(Warner Bros.)

The people of Gotham City deserve a laugh, and Will Arnet is just the guy to give it to them. Will Arnet gets points because he did the exact opposite of what everyone expects Batman to be. Batman is serious, reserved, quiet, and commanding. Will Arnet was whiny, bombastic, loud, and goofy. It was a refreshing change of pace to see Batman play the fool FOR ONCE.

To be fair, Will Arnet isn’t really doing much voice acting here; he’s basically just doing Will Arnet. But that’s what movie stars do, and in this case, it works. His performance is buoyed by a hilarious script and great casting, but we still gotta give credit where credit is due.

6. Rino Romano – The Batman

Animated Batman firing a weapon.
(Warner Bros.)

Gotham deserves Rino Romano on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and maybe even Saturdays when it’s date night. Romano’s Batman was still relatively wet behind the ears, as he had only been fighting crime for three years, and Romano nailed Batman’s youthful “I’m pretty sure I know what I’m doing?” vibe. As the series progressed, Romano’s portrayal of Batman aged like a fine wine. He grew darker and more mature as Batman gained experience (and further psychological trauma).

5. Adam West – Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders/Batman vs. Two-Face, 2016-2017

Batman and Robin animated.
(Warner Bros./DC)

Adam West was the hero that Gotham deserved first. His goofy, quivering voice is marvelously comic book-y, and has cemented him as a campy cinema legend. Hearing him reprise his role as an older man was a joy to listen to. To be fair, West wasn’t quite able to age his voice down to the young man that Batman is portrayed as in these two titles. But who cares? Adam West is Adam West. Always a pleasure, never a chore.

4. Troy Baker – Batman: The Telltale Series

Bruce Wayne in Telltale Games' Batman.
(Telltale Games)

Here come the big guns. Gotham deserves Troy Baker every night of the week, with time off for holidays and vacations. Troy Baker is one of the greatest voice actors of his generation, giving an Oscar-worthy performance Joel in The Last of Us and Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The man is able to put so much gravity, world-weariness, and pain into his voice. It’s astonishing. Needless to say, his Batman is right on the money.

3. Bruce Greenwood – Under The Red Hood

Batman in Under the Red Hood.
(DC/Warner Bros.)

Bruce Greenwood was made to be the hero that Gotham deserves. His vocal performances are simply stunning, and he could play Batman 365 days out of the year. His voice has an effortlessly “Batman” quality, and it doesn’t sound like he’s “putting on” a voice whatsoever. It helps that he had the script of Under The Red Hood to work with, as it’s one of the finest Batman films ever made, animated or otherwise.

2. Peter Weller – The Dark Knight Returns

Animated Batman in The Dark Knight Returns.
(DC/Warner Bros.)

Peter Weller is the hero that Gotham deserves until it is old and grey. And that’s exactly the kind of Batman that P.W. plays. Weller has the luxury of working on what is arguably the greatest Batman story ever told. Batman returns to Gotham as an old man, barely able to do the job like he used to. Every word sounds pained and weary, but with an underlying resolve that makes the listener feel that Batman is willing to fight to his last breath.

1. Kevin Conroy – Batman: The Animated Series

Kevin Conroy grins in a split image with animated Batman
(image: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for ReedPOP / Fox)

Kevin Muthafuckin Conray is the hero the Gotham City DOESN’T deserve because he’s TOO GOOD FOR THEM. He’s the ULTIMATE BATMAN. He IS vengeance. He IS the night. He’s not only the greatest Batman voice actor, but the greatest Batman actor IN GENERAL. His voice is powerful, sharp, and commanding, but he can also add the wit and suaveness that so many other Batman actors lack. He is a billionaire playboy, after all. Kevin Conroy is a national treasure, and will forever be Batman until the bat signal shuts down for good.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.