Friday, July 20, 2012

Who's the Best Batman?

Through the years many have played the part of the Caped Crusader from Adam West, in the 60's TV show, to it's movie revival with Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and for the past three movies---Christian Bale.  But who is the best to have ever played the part?

Before we go on with the ranking, let me explain my criteria for judging.  Batman started out as a comic book.  Naturally, likeness to the comic book image is high on the list.  This would mean both as Bruce Wayne and as Batman in full regalia.  And then there's...hmmm...I guess that's basically it.  

As a caveat, it should be made known that the Batman character has had differing interpretation since the first Batman comic book was published in 1940.  The  1960's interpretation was of a campy quality that persisted after the series ended versus the darker persona that came out in the mid 80's under Frank Miller and Alan Moore.  

Since I grew up watching the 60's Batman re-runs, let's go with that version.

So what makes a Bruce Wayne/Batman?  First, the prominent jaws.  In all the comics rendition and animated features of the World's Greatest Detective he is pictures with a prominent chin.  Second, as Bruce Wayne he is suave and debonair.  He is after all a billionaire, playboy, industrialist, and philanthropist.  He is like Tony Stark in terms of stature but minus the flair and swagger.  Then there's the HAIR---styled and jet black.

In terms of the Bat Suit, I'd say that all of them was all equal considering the existing costume design capabilities of their own time (specially that of Adam West's whose rendition is 20 years the senior with that of Michael Keaton).

Christian Bale's jaw isn't prominent enough and too strong-faced.  He does fit the more dark Batman character of Frank Miller.

Michael Keaton's receding hairline and looks puny to play the Caped Crusader.

Val Kilmer was too pretty to be Batman!

George Clooney's buzz hairdo don't quite cut it.  In fairness to George, he was right on the money with regard to the debonair part.

And Adam West...I must admit, his portrayal was the one that started this all.  So I guess my nod goes to him.  I guess it was cool during the 60's to put an outline of eyebrows on Batman's mask.  Besides, I didn't mind it that much when I was into the series many years ago.  In retrospect I can just ask the question, "Why did they have to do that?!"


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