With the recent passing of legendary Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy, Batman fans around the world are reflecting on all the great things Conroy did for the character. In June 2022, DC Comics released its annual Pride special, which included a Conroy short story showing fans why he fell in love with the character.
With all this in mind, now is a great time to honor this generational talent by looking back on his illustrious career as the voice of the Caped Crusader. Among the starring role of one of the most iconic comic book shows ever made: Batman: The Animated Series – and many other roles in Batman movies and video games, Conroy’s list of great Batman performances seems endless.
10/10 Conroy played an evil Batman in “A Better World”
One of the best episodes of League of Justice, “A Better World” shows an alternate universe with a less forgiving and somewhat totalitarian version of the Justice League known as the Justice Lords. Though an evil Justice League is something fans have seen many times, this episode, directed by Dan Riba and written by Stan Berkowitz, features a team that lost heart after the Flash tragically died.
Understanding why Judge Lord Batman turned evil, Batman explains to his counterpart that while his choice to protect others would make his parents proud, going too far and taking people’s fundamental freedom would disappoint them incredibly. With Conroy voicing both characters, the scene perfectly conveys Batman’s inner morality monologue.
9/10 Batman endangered the Justice League in Doom
Loosely based on “Tower of Babel”, a story of JLA Vol. 1 by Mark Waid, Howard Porter and Steve Scott, Justice League: Doom is an animated film directed by Lauren Montgomery and written by Dwayne McDuffie. In the movie, Vandal Savage creates a team of super villains and comes up with a massive plot to wipe out 60% of the world’s population.
Hiring Mirromaster, Savage hacks into the Batcomputer and discovers contingency plans created by Batman in case any member of the League turns evil. Featuring a passionate and emotional performance by Conroy, this film takes a look at one of Batman’s most significant flaws: severe trust issues.
8/10 Conroy voiced the strange ghost in The Brave & The Bold
One of the great episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, “Chill of the Night” revolves around Batman coming face to face with the man who killed his parents: Joe Chill. Directed by Michael Chang from a script by Paul Dini, the episode is pretty dark by the show’s usual standards as it dives deep into Batman’s desire for revenge.
Watching Batman fight, Phantom Strange (voiced by Kevin Conroy) and the Specter (voiced by Mark Hamill) debate how Batman should get his revenge. With the Specter recommending that Batman kill Chill and the Phantom Stranger saying that he should bring Chill to justice, Conroy and Hamill voicing these characters is an excellent homage to their days as Batman and Joker.
7/10 Batman found the good in Mr. Freeze in SubZero
The second film in the legendary DC Animated Universe, Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero It was directed by Boyd Kirkland and written by Randy Rogel. Taking place during the third season of Batman: The Animated Series, Below zero revolves around Mr. Freeze long after his last encounter with Batman.
Building an arctic home for himself and his wife’s cryogenic chamber, Freeze learns that his wife will soon die unless they find a suitable donor for an organ transplant. Although the story centers on Mr. Freeze, the third act offers viewers a beautiful moment in Conroy’s career: Batman and Mr. Freeze put their differences aside and work together to save the innocent. This is an excellent representation of why Conroy’s Batman is loved; he constantly looks for the good in his villains.
6/10 Conroy’s Batman first met Superman in “World’s Finest”
One of the biggest events in the DCAU timeline, Conroy’s Batman first encountered Superman in an episode of Superman: The Animated Series titled “World’s Finest”. Directed by Toshihiko Masuda and written by Stan Berkowitz and Alan Burnett, the three-part episode centers on Bruce Wayne’s arrival in Metropolis much to the excitement of many locals.
Visiting the offices of the Daily Planet, Bruce comes face to face with Clark Kent, and Conroy’s chemistry with Tim Daly (the voice actor for Superman) is immediately noticeable. In the second and third parts of the episode, fans see Batman and Superman work together on their first case, a sinister plot orchestrated by the Joker and Lex Luthor.
5/10 Bruce Wayne reflected on his past in the return of the Joker
A fan favorite entry in the DCAU, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker It was directed by Curt Geda with scripts by Paul Dini, Glen Murakami, and Bruce Timm. Although the film centers on Will Friedle’s Terry McGinnis aka Batman Beyond, the many scenes featuring Conroy’s Bruce Wayne stand out as Conroy delivers some of the best work of his career.
With the film centering on the return of the Joker, Bruce is forced to reflect on one of the most tragic events of his life: the kidnapping and brainwashing of Tim Drake. In telling Terry about that time in his life, Bruce speaks from his soul and shows sincere regret for putting Tim through such a trauma.
4/10 Conroy’s Batman was immortalized in “Nothing to Fear”
the Batman: The Animated Series Scarecrow’s debut, “Nothing To Fear” centers on Batman shortly after being exposed to Scarecrow’s fear toxin. The episode was directed by Boyd Kirkland and written by Henry Gilroy and Sean Catherine Derek.
In typical Batman fashion, the fear toxin causes him to have vivid visions of self-doubt, with the ghost of his father telling Bruce that he is a disappointment. Finally getting over the fear toxin, Batman screams the voice in his head with the line: “I am revenge! I am the night! I am Batman!” An iconic quote that stuck with thousands of Batman fans, this line effectively immortalized Conroy’s Batman.
3/10 Batman showed his softer side in “Epilogue”
Recognized as one of the best episodes of justice league unlimited, “Epilogue” was directed by Dan Riba and written by Bruce Timm and Dwayne McDuffie. The epilogue centers on Amanda Waller telling Terry McGinnis a story about Batman. In the story, Waller describes her concerns about a young woman with strong psychic powers named Ace.
Knowing that Ace will soon die from a brain injury, Batman volunteers to kill Ace for Waller. However, as Batman does, he lies to Waller and takes the opportunity to have a personal conversation with Ace. Knowing that he will soon die, Ace asks Batman to stay with her and hold her hand. Moments later, Ace dies in Batman’s arms, resulting in one of the best Batman moments in the character’s history.
2/10 Bruce saw the alternate path in “Perchance To Dream”
Directed by Boyd Kirkland and written by Laren Bright and Michael Reaves, “Perchance To Dream” is a fan-favorite episode of Batman: The Animated Series. The episode centers on Bruce Wayne when he suddenly wakes up in a world where he is not Batman.
Realizing that his parents are alive and that he is engaged to Selina Kyle, Bruce determines that his memories of Batman are those of a nightmare. Finally coming face to face with Batman, Conroy’s ability to toggle between the respective voices of Bruce and Batman takes center stage as he delivers one of the best scenes of his career.
1/10 Bruce Wayne bared his soul in The Mask of the Phantasm
Long recognized as one of the best Batman movies ever made, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm It was directed by Eric Radomski and Bruce Timm, from a script by Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Martin Pasko and Michael Reeves. A movie that looks at the core of Batman, Ghost Mask does a remarkable job of showing how being Batman is ultimately a tragic burden on Bruce Wayne’s life and something he feels compelled to do.
Presenting a love interest in Bruce’s life, Bruce fights the desire for revenge with the desire to be happy. Conroy’s excellent skills are on display throughout the film, but one scene in particular that features Bruce crying on his knees at the graves of his parents is incredibly strong.
NEXT: 10 Unforgettable Kevin Conroy Projects